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- Our Leadership Team
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
Scott Seu is president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric, which serves 95% of Hawaii's population on five islands.
Seu joined Hawaiian Electric in 1993 and has held numerous leadership positions across the company, including in the areas of environmental management, customer programs, renewable energy procurement, electric system operations, and government and community affairs. Seu was appointed to his current role in February 2020.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric, Seu worked as a mechanical and environmental engineer at companies in California and worked abroad in China.
In addition to his work at Hawaiian Electric, Seu is a board member of the Electric Power Research Institute. He also serves on the boards of various Hawaii nonprofit organizations including Hale Kipa and Teach for America-Hawaii and is a past board member of Hawaii Green Growth and the Bishop Museum. He supports the University of Hawaii College of Engineering as a member of the Dean's Council.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Seu is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and is a licensed mechanical engineer.
Senior Vice President, Operations
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, 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 Hawaii Employers Council Board of Governors, 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, Customer Service & Public Affairs
Shelee Kimura, senior vice president for Customer Service and Public Affairs for Hawaiian Electric, is responsible for all aspects of customer facing operations, government and community relations, and corporate communications. She also oversees customer energy resources, a critical component of Hawaiian Electric's strategy to achieve 100% renewable energy.
Kimura previously served as senior vice president of Business Development & Strategic Planning, where she led the development of Hawaiian Electric's 2015-2020 Strategic Transformation Plan, co-led its Transformation Program, expanded the market for renewable energy resources in Hawaii and launched the electric transportation division.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric, Kimura served as manager of Investor Relations and Strategic Planning and director of Corporate Finance and Investments at Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), the parent company of Hawaiian Electric. She was previously a consulting manager at Arthur Andersen and its successor firm in Honolulu, KMH LLP.
Kimura was honored in 2020 as one of three women selected for the Girl Scouts of Hawaii Women of Distinction and in 2018 was one of Hawaii Business Magazine's 20 for the Next 20. In 2016, the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) program, led by the U.S. Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the MIT Energy Initiative, awarded her with the C3E business award for her leadership and achievement.
She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Kimura is an Omidyar Fellow and serves on the Kamehameha Schools audit committee, the boards of the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, Na Kama Kai and the University of Hawaii Outreach College Advisory Council.
Tayne S. Y. Sekimura
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Tayne Sekimura is responsible for optimizing the financial performance of the company. She oversees corporate and regulatory accounting, financial planning and analysis, budgeting, risk management and treasury.
She has held various leadership positions at Hawaiian Electric in internal audit, information technology, facilities management and customer service. She established the company's SOX compliance program and co-led two large software implementation projects. She is also the company's chief risk officer, responsible for leading the company's Enterprise Risk Management program.
Sekimura began her career in public accounting with the predecessor firm of KPMG two weeks after graduating from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She received her Certified Public Accountant certification a few years after joining the firm.
Sekimura currently serves on the boards of Special Olympics Hawaii, which empowers people with intellectual disabilities, and EPIC Ohana, which works to strengthen families and enhance the welfare of children and youth. She also serves on the advisory board of the School of Accountancy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Business, which collaborates on various efforts to promote the school and provide opportunities for its students. Sekimura also participates as a mentor in the college's mentorship/coaching program, which provides students with an opportunity to connect and learn from accounting professionals, allowing for career insights as well as personal and professional development. She was inducted into the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor in 2018.
Jason E. Benn
Vice President, ITS & 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.
Benn holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University, and has a number of IT professional certifications.
Vice President, Human Resources & Chief People Strategist
Claire Cooper is responsible for the company's human resources functions, including labor and employee relations, organizational effectiveness and training, workforce strategy and diversity and inclusion.
Cooper joined Hawaiian Electric in 2017 as director of the human resources department.
She previously served as chief people officer for Island Air; vice president of human resources for Hawaiian Telcom, Hawaii Pacific University and Tesoro Hawaii; and vice president of organization development and training for First Hawaiian Bank.
She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, Human Resource Planning Society, World At Work and the Association for Talent Development.
Cooper has a bachelor's degree in communication education and a master's degree in education both from Michigan State University. She is a graduate of the Wharton Executive Program, Human Resource Strategy, at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Executive Advisor to the President and CEO
Darcy Endo-Omoto is Executive Advisor to the president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. Prior to this position, she was vice president of Government and Community Affairs.
Endo-Omoto serves as the president's advisor and counsel on key business and strategic matters and serves as the liaison to the executive team on critical company-wide initiatives. She provides operational and executive support of the corporate strategy and business needs. She also leads the corporate strategy division in support of company and process area strategic planning and monitoring of company performance. She serves as executive-level coordinator for the Crisis Management Team in emergency planning and response.
Before her present role, Endo-Omoto was vice president of Government and Community Affairs and had previously worked in a number of government and community relations positions in the company. Endo-Omoto was previously a partner at Goodsill, Anderson, Quinn & Stifel, a Honolulu law firm focused on regulatory law and government relations.
Endo-Omoto received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a law degree from Loyola Law School. She is the current president of the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii – a private nonprofit research and trade association made up of the major real estate developers and law firms in the state. She is a member of the board of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation. She is a council member of the U.S.-Japan Council and was a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation in 2018. She is a former board chair and gala chair of the American Cancer Society – Hawaii Pacific Region and a former board member of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
Vice President, Power Supply
Robert Isler is vice president of Power Supply at Hawaiian Electric, 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.
Before assuming his current role, Isler served as manager and director of generation project development, responsible for development and completion of new generating assets including the biofueled 50-megawatt Schofield Generating Station and the 20-megawatt West Loch Solar project.
Since joining the company in 1993, Isler has held multiple positions within the power supply engineering division, including management of projects associated with existing generating units and as project manager for the development, construction and commissioning of the 120-megawatt Campbell Industrial Park combustion turbine.
Isler served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear-trained submarine officer for six years and was honorably discharged at the rank of lieutenant.
Isler is a member of the EPRI Generation Sector Council and serves on the board of directors of Goodwill Hawaii and the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce.
Isler earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. He is also a licensed professional engineer.
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. Previously, he was vice president of Corporate Relations, responsible for Hawaiian Electric's communications activities.
Before joining Hawaiian Electric in 2016, Kelly worked as manager of member services and communications for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, responsible for business and residential customer account management, payment and call center operations, external communications and community engagement.
Kelly 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.
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.
Vice President, Regulatory & Business Strategies
As vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Business Strategies, Joe Viola is responsible for all proceedings before the state Public Utilities Commission. His area also includes the pricing division, which develops advanced rate designs and administers compliance with all existing rate schedules.
Viola's responsibilities recently expanded to include initiatives to support the electrification of transportation and to develop revenues from nontraditional business opportunities.
Before assuming his current role 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.