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  • News Release: Mayor Blangiardi Announces City's Employee, Manager Ofthe Year Award Winners

Mayor Blangiardi announces City’s Employee, Manager of the Year award winners

Mayor Rick Blangiardi (center) poses for a photo with 2023 Manager of the Year Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui (left) and 2023 Employee of the Year Dorreann Kaehuaea (right).
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday announced the award recipients for the City and County of Honolulu’s Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year during a ceremony at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room.

Dorreann Kaehuaea, of the Department of Environmental Services, was selected as the City’s 2023 Employee of the Year, while Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui, of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, was honored as Manager of the Year.

“I am inspired by the hard work and dedication that Dorreann and Kathleen have demonstrated despite the many unprecedented challenges they faced over the course of this past year, and I am grateful to have them as colleagues here at the City and County of Honolulu,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Today, we celebrate not just their ironclad commitment to public service, but also their leadership when it comes to improving the lives of everyone on the island of Oʻahu.”

The announcement was made during the 2023 Mayor’s Awards Program, which recognizes city workers who have performed job-related acts of heroism and highlights employees who have performed their jobs in an exemplary manner.

Kaehuaea, the employee of the year, is a Recycling Specialist IV with the Department of Environmental Services. The 31-year city employee was recognized for her positivity while completing her departmental duties in a productive and extremely efficient manner.

Elliot-Pahinui, the manager of the year, is Information Officer for the Board of Water Supply. She was honored for leading her department’s communications programs and innovative services to inform and educate water users on Oʻahu.

Two city employees received Valor Awards for acts of heroism that involved exposure to extreme danger and possible injury to the employee, others or property. Tristan Fabro, of the Honolulu Department of Emergency Services, was recognized for saving victims caught in treacherous surf conditions, and Fredderick Degala, of the Honolulu Police Department, was honored for his rapid response to a emergency medical event while off-duty.

The Exceptional Achievement Award was presented to the following employees from the Department of Community Services for their development and execution of Work Hawaiʻi hiring events: Mark Menard, Michelle (Pohai) Moku; Cassidy Patmont; and Lee Williams-Naeole.

Lisa Hirahara-Smith was honored as the Outstanding Deputy Corporation Counsel, for her exceptional efforts on behalf of the department as the senior deputy of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit project. The Outstanding Deputy Prosecuting Attorney award went to veteran attorney Kristen Yamamoto, for serving as the captain of the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Prosecution Team.

The Citizens’ Selection Committee, which selects the winners, consisted of Natalie Fogle, Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities at Bank of Hawaiʻi; Dana Harvey, director of external affairs at Alexander and Baldwin; and Jason Thune, vice president of strategy and fiber deployment at Hawaiian Telcom.

For more photos from the ceremony, click here:

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