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Senate confirms Maesaka-Hirata, Coppa, Wong, Aila

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The state Senate has unanimously confirmed four of the governor’s nominees: Jodie Maesaka-Hirata as director of Public Safety; Bruce A. Coppa as comptroller of the Department of Accounting and General Services; Major General Wong as Adjutant General, Department of Defense; and William Johnson Aila, Jr. as chairman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

* Jodie Maesaka-Hirata received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu. Maesaka-Hirata brings much knowledge and experience in re-entry programs. Beginning her career with the Department of Public Safety as a Case Manager at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in 1989, she served and was promoted to a variety of different positions, including as the statewide Volunteer Services Officer, and as Community-Based Administrator at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. Most recently, Maesaka-Hirata served as Acting Waiawa Correctional Facility Warden. As Acting Warden, she oversaw the direction, control, coordination, and general management of the Waiawa Correctional Facility.

* Bruce A. Coppa posses more than 25 years of diverse business background and managerial experience. Most recently, Coppa served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Coppa Consulting, INC., a management consulting firm in Honolulu. Chief Operating Officer of Communications Pacific, Vice Chairman of The Chambers of Commerce of Hawaii, Trustee of the University of Hawaii Foundation, Chairman of the March of Dimes Hawaii, and Board Director of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Executive Director Executive Director of The Pacific Resource Partnership, and Vice President of Operations, Marketing, and Planning for E.E are among many positions Coppa has held. He holds a Masters in Business Administration in Global Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.

* Major General Darryll D.M. Wong received a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Business Administration from the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii where he also earned a Certificate in International Management. Major General Wong brings much military knowledge and experience. Most currently, the served as the Commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard, the eighth largest Air National Guard unit in the nation. He has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Vietnam Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Services Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

* Serving as Harbormaster of the Waianae Small Boat Harbor for 23 years, Aila brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in protection and management issues related to aquatic resources, boating and ocean recreation, and water resources. Most recently, he served as the Interim Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), where he assumed responsibilities for issues that include: cultural and historical resources, conservation and coastal lands, iwi kupuna, native and endangered species, and public parks.

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