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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                November 10, 2005




            A job resource specialist who runs one of the best youth services programs in the nation and a wastewater administrator whose exceptional skills helped to reduce injuries in the workplace were named yesterday (November 9) as the City Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year, respectively, in a ceremony at the Mission Memorial Auditorium recognizing the city’s top employees.


“Our workers are a big reason why our island community is such a special place and these two outstanding individuals represent the best of the best in the City workforce,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “They represent the many hardworking and dedicated employees who serve our citizens with a municipal government that provides essential services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”


            Leinaala H. Nakamura, the 2005 Employee of the Year, is a Job Resource Specialist III who serves in the Department of Community Services as the program manager for the City’s Youth Services Center, which is rated one of the top programs in the country.  Her clientele include at-risk young people who are emotionally challenged, homeless, criminal offenders, parolees, runaways, domestic abuse victims, school dropouts and gang members.  Ms. Nakamura has earned a reputation as being a hard worker with a strong dedication to our community and public service.


            Earl W.M. Ng, the 2005 Manager of the Year, is the Assistant Wastewater Division Chief in the Department of Environmental Services.  He demonstrated outstanding leadership skills by listening to, understanding and assisting his employees with problems.  Mr. Ng is also respected for his technical skills and was instrumental in developing an “in-house” system to expedite promotions and reallocations.  During his tenure, the Wastewater Division also met its goal to reduce the number of injuries on the job by 15 percent.


Also honored this morning were 22 departmental Employees of the Year (including Ms. Nakamura), nine finalists for Manager of the Year (including Mr. Ng),

16 Sustained Superior Performance awardees, and one exceptional achievement award recipients.


            Serving on the Mayor’s 2005 Outstanding Employees Selection Committee were:  John Aeto, Director of Sales, Cox radio; Alan Ho, President and Chief Executive Officer, Seafood Village Restaurant; Karen Kozen-Ryder, President, Island Ice Cream, D.B.A. Cold Stone Creamery; Geri Marullo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Child and Family Services; Sonya Mendez, Calendar Editor, Pacific Media Publishing; Ernest Nishizaki, Executive President and Chief Operations Officer, Kyo-ya Company, Ltd.: Gary North, Senior Vice-President, Pacific and President of Matson Terminals; Norma Spierings, Community Relations Director, Parents & Children Together (PACT); Jojo Watumull, President, American T-Shirt Company; and Hoyt Zia, Publisher, Hawaii Business Magazine.




Thursday, November 10, 2005

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