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Our Leadership Team
Our leaders are focused on safely delivering reliable, affordable and renewable electricity on the five islands Hawaiian Electric serves. They’re also active in nonprofits and community organizations.
President & CEO
Shelee Kimura is the president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric, which serves 95% of Hawaii’s population on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Lanai and Molokai and is committed to serving communities with safe, affordable, reliable clean energy.
Shelee was appointed to her current role in January 2022 and previously served as senior vice president of Customer Service & Public Affairs and senior vice president of Business Development & Strategic Planning. She provided leadership for the company’s customer care initiatives through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, making equity and access a top priority while improving customer satisfaction and stakeholder engagement. She led the development of Hawaiian Electric’s 2015- 2020 Strategic Transformation Plan. During that period, she strengthened and grew the Hawaii market for affordable, clean energy resources and launched the electric transportation division, which will play a critical role to help decarbonize Hawaii’s economy.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric, Shelee led Investor Relations and Strategic Planning at Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), the parent company of Hawaiian Electric and the largest publicly traded company in Hawaii. She previously worked as HEI’s director of corporate finance and investments and prior to that was a consulting manager at Arthur Andersen and its successor firm in Honolulu, KMH LLP.
Shelee was honored in 2020 as one of three women selected for the Girl Scouts of Hawaii Women of Distinction, an award that recognizes the achievements of women who demonstrate courage, confidence and character. In 2016, she was honored with the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Business award by the U.S. Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative.
Shelee received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was a presidential scholar. She is an executive education graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Shelee is an Omidyar Fellow and serves on the board of Na Kama Kai and the Kamehameha Schools audit committee. Shelee and her husband are proud parents of three teenage children.
Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
Jim Alberts is responsible for operations across the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric. Operations includes the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, grid operation, electrification of transportation, supply chain and safety and security.
At Hawaiian Electric, he previously served as senior vice president of Business Development & Strategic Planning and senior vice president of Customer Service. In these roles, Alberts oversaw the areas of business development, company strategy and implementation, and contracting for gridscale renewable resources.
Alberts joined Hawaiian Electric in 2012, coming to the company with more than 20 years of utility experience at Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and Aquila.
During his career in the energy industry, Alberts has focused on delivering and improving value for customers. While at KCP&L and Aquila, he led the customer teams to be recognized top performers. He also led the sustainable resource strategy team while at KCP&L. Alberts became a certified Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion and Black Belt while at Aquila, producing significant improvements and savings for customers.
Alberts serves as a board member of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA); the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, and the Aloha United Way.
Alberts holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a master's degree in Business Administration from Drake University.
Senior Vice President, Planning & Technology
Colton Ching is senior vice president of planning and technology. He has responsibility for planning Hawaiian Electric's 100 percent renewable energy grid and for the procurement of cost-effective, reliable and resilient renewable generation.
Ching is also responsible for developing and managing Hawaiian Electric's strategies and budgets for the transmission and distribution system. He previously served as vice president of Energy Delivery, as well as vice president of System Operation and Planning and has 30 years of utility experience.
In addition to his work at Hawaiian Electric, Colton serves on the Metro Board of Directors of the YMCA of Honolulu and the Executive Board of the Aloha Council of the Scouts BSA. Colton is also one of 13 inaugural cohorts in the Omidyar Fellows Leadership program.
Ching was born and raised on Maui and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering.
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
Paul Ito will serve as SVP, CFO & treasurer of Hawaiian Electric until approximately December 31, 2024 to ensure a seamless transition and provide additional time for the utility to appoint a successor. Ito will return to HEI and resume his original role immediately following his term at Hawaiian Electric.
Paul Ito served as CFO at HEI, and has been with HEI since 2018, where he has also served as vice president of tax, controller and treasurer. He has led the accounting, financial reporting, tax and treasury functions, and provided support in the enterprise risk management, investment analysis, and strategic and operating plan functions. Ito also managed HEI's information technology efforts, leading digital transformation initiatives in accounting, tax and financial reporting.
Prior to joining HEI, Ito held various leadership roles at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (A&B) (NYSE: ALEX), including senior vice president, CFO and treasurer. Ito worked in the audit practice at Deloitte & Touche, LLP's offices in Honolulu and San Jose, and Deloitte's national office in San Francisco. Ito holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Master's degree in Professional Accounting with a concentration in managerial accounting from the University of Texas in Austin.
Jason E. Benn
Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Jason Benn is responsible for the innovation and delivery of IT services and solutions that enable improved efficiencies and service quality for Hawaiian Electric and its customers.
He oversees a team of over 150 employees in Information Technology and Services, Enterprise Performance Excellence, and Information Assurance departments. Benn is also tasked with the role of implementation manager for the $77M Enterprise Resource Planning/Enterprise Asset Management (ERP/EAM) project.
Benn has been with Hawaiian Electric since 1997, holding various information technology positions of increasing responsibility. In 2010, he was promoted to ITS manager before being promoted in 2017 to acting CIO, then a few months later, vice president, ITS & CIO. In 2021 he was promoted to Senior Vice President.
Benn holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University, and has a number of IT professional certifications. He serves on the board of governors of Hawaii Community Foundation.
Senior Vice President, Customer, Legal and Regulatory Affairs
In the beginning of 2022, Joe Viola expanded his executive leadership responsibilities and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Customer, Legal and Regulatory Affairs.
In his previous role as vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Business Strategies, Viola was responsible for all proceedings before the state Public Utilities Commission. His area also included the pricing division, which develops advanced rate designs and administers compliance with all existing rate schedules.
Viola's responsibilities also included initiatives to support the electrification of transportation and to develop revenues from nontraditional business opportunities.
Before assuming his leadership roles in 2014, Viola served as an attorney in Hawaiian Electric's legal department for more than 13 years, beginning as associate general counsel and progressing to director of the department.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric, Viola was a litigation attorney in California and in Honolulu and was also a law clerk for Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon. He was an adjunct professor for several years at the University of Hawaii, Richardson School of Law.
Viola holds a bachelor's degree from the State University in New York at Binghamton and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He is licensed in Hawaii and California.
He serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Human Services and the Oahu Economic Development Board. He previously served as a board trustee for the Hawaii Blood Bank.
Vice President, Human Resources & Chief People Strategist
Jackie Ingamells joined the Hawaiian Electric leadership team in May 2022. In her previous role, she was the Chief People Officer at ProService, Hawaii’s largest HR solutions provider. Her leadership has spanned customer experience, employee experience and enablement, to overseeing the entire business at AT&T Hawaii.
Ingamells brings with her experience leading people strategies in both Hawaii and abroad in multinational corporations. Her background includes executive leadership roles at MetLife in New York City, Hong Kong and Japan from 2014 to 2019, AIG in Hawaii and Asia-Pacific, and AT&T Hawaii earlier in her career.
Ingamells holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Master of Science (MS) in Information Systems from Roosevelt University, Chicago.
Vice President, Power Supply
Mike DeCaprio became Vice President of Power Supply in June 2022. He is responsible for all company-owned generation assets, including operation, maintenance, environmental compliance, fuel procurement and storage as well as development of potential new company-owned generating projects.
Since 2016, Mike has worked as director of Generation - Oahu, overseeing one of the largest areas of the company and providing leadership in engineering, planning, operations, budgeting and labor relations, among many other assignments. He was instrumental in the successful commissioning of the Schofield Generating Station in 2018, including working with IBEW Local 1260 on staffing and establishing training and safety standards.
Mike started at the company in 2004 and worked in various roles in Power Supply, leaving in 2012 for a position overseeing plant performance at AES Hawaii. He returned to Hawaiian Electric in 2013 as superintendent of technical services in the engineering division of Power Supply.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Mike first came to Hawaii while serving as a nuclear technician in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering technology and has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University.
Vice President, Government & Community Relations & Corporate Communications
Jim Kelly is responsible for overseeing the company's relationships with state and local government and its community engagement and customer education activities. He also oversees internal and external communications, including advertising and customer research, and digital communications.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric in 2016, Kelly worked as manager of member services and communications for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. He joined the energy industry after a career as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Massachusetts, Minnesota, California and Hawaii. He worked as editor of Pacific Business News in Honolulu and as managing editor of The Honolulu Advertiser.
A native of Minnesota, Kelly holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He has also taken graduate-level courses in historic preservation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
He is a member of the board of directors of the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Historic Hawaii Foundation.
Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer & Corporate Secretary
Erin Kippen oversees and leads the Legal, Corporate Compliance and corporate secretary functions.
Kippen joined Hawaiian Electric in 2008 as an associate general counsel and most recently served as vice president of Legal before being promoted to her current role in 2020.
Kippen has advised the company on a wide range of strategic, corporate governance, compliance and commercial matters including renewable energy projects, purchase power agreements, fuel agreements, outsourcing and licensing arrangements and general business matters.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric, she was vice president of business and legal affairs for Viacom Media Networks (formerly known as MTV Networks), a division of Viacom International Inc., in New York City and worked for several large, global law firms in New York City and London.
Kippen is a graduate of Punahou School. She holds a bachelor's degree from Smith College in Massachusetts and a law degree from Tulane University School of Law in Louisiana. She is licensed to practice law in Hawaii.
Vice President, Enterprise Operations Services
Keola Siafuafu oversees the Enterprise Operations Services team, comprised of supply chain purchasing, warehouse and inventory management, safety fleet, facilities and security.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric in 2018, Siafuafu spent more than 27 years serving in various roles at Verizon and Hawaiian Telcom, including executive director of support services overseeing statewide operations of safety, environmental services, purchasing, logistics, inventory management, facilities, land & easements, fleet operations, legal compliance and security.
Siafuafu serves as a board member of the Hawaii Food Bank. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in criminal justice/business administration from Chaminade University.
Vice President, Energy Delivery
Rudy Tamayo is responsible for the operation, maintenance and modernization of the electric grids on the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric. Energy Delivery is the company's largest operations area and involves all aspects of transmission and distribution of electricity from substations to customers, including engineering, project management, construction, maintenance, outage response and customer installations.
Tamayo began his career at Hawaiian Electric in 1991 as a project program manager. Since then, Tamayo has assumed a variety of leadership roles, including director of telecommunications at Hawaiian Electric, a role that included strategic planning and cyber security, and director of test and substation, where he was responsible for the maintenance and modernization of the electric grid.
Tamayo came to Hawaiian Electric from General Electric, where he worked in power system and field engineering and marketing for seven years in California and Hawaii.
Tamayo earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii. He also holds an associate's degree in electronics and communications systems. He maintains a license as a registered professional engineer.
Dr. Ed Tavares
Vice President, Cybersecurity Risk Management & Chief Information Security Officer
Dr. Ed Tavares is responsible for the development and execution of our enterprise-wide cybersecurity strategy.
Ed came to Hawaiian Electric from Hawaiian Electric Industries where he was director of Information Technology Audit. He led the development of technology-focused internal audit programs to evaluate cybersecurity risk across IT systems operated by HEI.
Previously, Ed held numerous technical and leadership positions in Hawaii and abroad. In the early 1990s, he led the integration of industrial control systems for a bagasse-to-energy pilot project in Paia, Maui, the installation of networks in classrooms on several high school campuses on Oahu, and the rollout of secure wireless communication networks for first responders.
Ed holds master’s degrees in both Computer Science and Mathematics from Washington State University and a doctorate in Applied Computer Science from Columbia University.
Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima
Vice President, Resource Procurement
Rebecca is responsible for our company’s strategies to procure utility-scale energy resources, storage resources, and non-wires alternatives consistent with the companies’ long-term resource plans.
Rebecca became director of the company’s Renewable Acquisition Division in 2017 and previously served as senior associate general counsel at Hawaiian Electric. Prior to that, Rebecca was an associate attorney at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel.
She has a law degree from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, a master’s of business administration from the University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business, and a bachelor of science in international management from Butler University in Indianapolis.
Vice President, Customer Service
Brendan leads Hawaiian Electric's efforts to improve and sustain customer satisfaction and create and increase value for customers by anticipating customer needs and interests and developing offerings and plans to enhance the customer experience.
Brendan has been with Hawaiian Electric's Legal division since October 2011, most recently serving as director and overseeing legal support for all aspects of the company’s business, including customer energy resources and virtually all other aspects of Customer Service operations. Brendan also managed the Land and Rights of Way, Claims and Records Management departments.
Brendan also had diverse experience before joining Hawaiian Electric. He served as in-house legal counsel for the Board of Water Supply, was a litigator with the law firm of Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda, held positions with ProService Hawaii, and was general manager and sales manager for a local small business.
A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Brendan holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law. He earned both his MBA and bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Seattle University’s Albers School of Business. Brendan also served for four years as the Chair of the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission and for ten years on the Board for the Native Hawaiian Legal Defense and Education Fund, dba, Hoomaka Foundation.