HTDC Announces New Board of Directors
By Ellen Ng • April 13, 2022
The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) has formed its new board of directors who will take the helm in steering the future of the state agency. Eight accomplished individuals have been appointed by Governor David Ige after a rigorous vetting process and were selected for demonstrated leadership, service excellence in the community and domain expertise. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) will serve as interim board chair.
“We are excited for the appointment of leaders from their respective organizations to our board and we look forward to leveraging their experience to propel the mission of growing Hawaii’s tech and manufacturing economy,” says Len Higashi, acting executive director of HTDC.
The directors represent critical areas of Hawaii’s tech ecosystem – education, industry, and government:
Mike McCartney, Director, DBEDT (Interim Board Chair) – Prior to joining DBEDT, Mike was the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor, appointed by Governor David Ige in December 2014. He was the past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Director of the State of Hawaii Department of Human Resources Management, President, and Chief Executive Officer of PBS Hawaii, and was also elected to the Hawaii State Senate where he served for 10 years.
Vassilis Syrmos, Vice President of Research and Innovation, University of Hawaii System (Ex-Officio) – Vassilis provides critical leadership and coordination of systemwide research and innovation efforts, including management and direction of UH’s research support, technology transfer and many compliance functions. He previously served as the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, developing major research facilities such as the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE Hale), the state’s only laboratory to be rated LEED Platinum. Since 1991, he has been with the department of electrical engineering at UH Mānoa, where he is a professor and has served as the associate dean of the College of Engineering.
Rick Volner Jr., Vice President, Maui Operations & Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS), HC&D, LLC (Representative, Neighbor Island Economic Development Board) – Born and raised on Maui, Volner’s career spans 20 years in various leadership positions at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) and Alexander & Baldwin (A&B).
Bernice Glenn, Founder, Inovi Group – Founded Inovi Group to develop suites of technologies and analyses, immersive technology showcases and demos, to custom breakthrough experiences addressing innovation, leadership, strategy, transformation, transition, and alignment. Her expertise includes expanding US-Japan tech collaboration, strategy and manage teaming for rapid solutions to the field. She has experience coordinating acquisition policy and research and engineering priorities to support US and Japanese companies in innovation, policy leadership and ground-breaking research.
Craig Nakanishi, Partner, Cades Schutte LLP – Craig is a partner at the firm with a focus on energy, public utilities, and business and real property transactions. He is also the chair of the firm’s Energy Group and the firm’s Internet, eCommerce & Information Technology Group. His energy practice includes advising on a wide array of energy issues as well as providing guidance in the formulation of strategic plans and frameworks, crisis management, corporate governance, and government affairs.
Edward Barnabas, Principal / Director, Booz Allen Hamilton – Ed is a leader in Booz Allen’s Indo-Pacific business representing the firm’s Strategic Innovation Group, with its regional headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ed primarily serves DoD clients throughout the region including Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, Guam, Singapore, and Alaska. With over 20 years of experience leading complex IT solutions, Ed focuses on building, scaling, and overseeing the regional innovation agenda across key dimensions such as: artificial intelligence, cloud, immersive, digital transformation and cyber. Together with his team, they help advance their capability agenda by building and partnering to integrate technology solutions to solve their client’s complex mission challenges. Ed has led technology efforts for various clients including DoD, IRS, Treasury, DoS, FBI, CDC, Census Bureau, and Federal Reserve Bank. His primary role is to bring technologists and strategists together and provide whatever they need to be successful.
Gregory Kim, Founder, Vantage Counsel LLC – With over 30 years of experience as a corporate and securities attorney, Gregory has represented emerging growth companies and public companies in private and public offerings, mergers & acquisitions, SEC filings and reports, venture capital, joint ventures, business formations, and licensing and other technology transactions. He was a partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel in Honolulu, and Silicon-Valley based law firms VLP Law Group and Convergent Law Group, and was an associate at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (now known as Pillsbury Winthrop) located in San Francisco. Greg had previously served as law clerk for the Honorable Herbert Y.C. Choy, Ninth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals.
Sandra Fujiyama, Executive Director, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) – At PACE, Sandra spearheads community outreach efforts to elevate and promote entrepreneurship education, locally, nationally, and internationally. Prior, she served as the innovation and business development officer at UH’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. Sandra was also a practicing attorney, having worked for Dentons U.S. LLP in Honolulu and at various firms in Los Angeles, including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC and Sidley Austin, where she specialized in intellectual property law. She is authorized to practice in California, Hawaiʻi and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Vincent Kimura, Director of Programs and Partnerships, UH Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s (OIC) tech startup incubator, Ideation Studio@UH – Prior he was lead founder and former CEO of Smart Yields and currently serves as its President and Chairman. Born in Honolulu and raised in Asia, Vincent has worked for more than 15 years as an entrepreneur, running three startups. In 2021, Vincent was named “20 for the Next 20” by Hawaii Business Magazine, and awarded the 2016 Clean Tech/Ag Entrepreneur by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association and was a 2016 finalist in the Pacific Business News Business Leadership Awards. He was also named to the Pacific Business News 2016 40 Under 40 cohort, which recognizes outstanding young business professionals in Hawaii.
To view the upcoming board meeting agenda and review past board meeting minutes, visit here.