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2013 City employee and manager of the year announced today

 Honolulu − Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) Civil Engineer VI, Thomas S. Otaguro, Jr. was named City Employee of the Year and Department of Community Services Community Assistance Division Chief, Gail M. Kaito was named City Manager of the Year at the Mayor’s Awards Program held this morning at the Mission Memorial Auditorium.

Thomas Otaguro joined the BWS as an engineering student intern in 1990 and has advanced to his current position where he oversees the Water Systems Planning Branch.  His perseverance and innovation led to saving $400,000 annually in electric costs and eliminated the need for an additional $25 million pumping station.  Thomas has also donated his time for more than 20 years as a volunteer at the Water for People food booth at the Halawa Xeriscape Garden’s annual open house, raising money for healthy water drinking supplies for third-world countries.

 Gail Kaito has served the people of the City & County of Honolulu for over 26 years, most recently managing a $47 million dollar budget that provides rental assistance to house close to 4,000 individuals and families on Oahu.  She designed and implemented our Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program and the Community Development Block Grant program, which have helped 2,649 people in 1,272 households by providing financial assistance for rent, utility payments, case management and legal services. 

 Honolulu Police Department Officers Louise R. Akina, Hector R. Inciong, Michael K. Lemes, Shayne S. Sesoko, Jeffrey T. Tallion, Wade P.K. Tamarra and Kyle S. Yonemura received the prestigious Valor Award at this morning’s ceremony.  Each of the 33 nominees for Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year and 2 Outstanding Attorneys of the Year were also recognized at today’s ceremony.

 The Citizens’ Selection Committee, which picks the winners, was composed of Linda Chu Takayama, Attorney At Law; Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha; and Sandra Pohl, owner of the Louis Pohl Gallery.

 “The City & County of Honolulu has more than 8,500 dedicated, hard working team members that keep our city moving,” Mayor Caldwell said.  “The 42 individuals we recognized today stand out for their contributions over the past year and I’m proud of them all.  Congratulations to Thomas Otaguro and Gail Kaito on being selected as the 2013 Employee and Manager of the Year.”