The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today three new appointments to its management team, with Leslie Dance named as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development, Charlene Chan as Director of Communications, and Chris Sadayasu as Brand Manager. All three started work on January 5.
George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said, “These are three eminently qualified, highly skilled professionals, each with an impressive body of work of forward-thinking strategy development and program execution on a broad scale. This solidifies our team’s capabilities as we begin a new year meeting the ever-present challenges of global competition for the world’s travelers.”
Added Szigeti, “Leslie Dance brings worldwide marketing experience working with Fortune 500 companies to help advance our vision for strengthening and diversifying Hawaii’s tourism base. Charlene Chan is a savvy communications professional who ensures we will fulfill our pledge to be open and transparent with tourism’s stakeholders and the general public. Chris Sadayasu is directing the marketing programs targeting Oceania’s travelers, while supporting the events in Hawaii that HTA sponsors for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Leslie Dance – Vice President of Marketing and Product Development
Leslie Dance will direct HTA’s global marketing program to support the growth and strengthening of Hawaii’s tourism industry. She has strong ties to Hawaii, having been born in Honolulu and worked for a decade in public relations on Hawaii Island and Oahu early in her career. For most of the past two decades, she has held executive marketing positions for high-profile corporations in London, Chicago, Rochester (NY), and Seattle. Highlights include serving as vice president of worldwide brand strategy, management and communication for Eastman Kodak (2008-2013), and as corporate vice president and general manager of global marketing and communication for Motorola Mobile Device Business (2000-2007). She has always considered Hawaii home and jumped at the opportunity to support HTA’s tourism marketing efforts for the State.
Charlene Chan – Director of Communications
Charlene Chan brings 26 years of international business and marketing experience to HTA. She spent the first 16 years of her career working in San Francisco, highlighted by her service as a product manager at Levi Strauss & Co. helping to launch a new brand to three national superstores. She has worked for the past decade in Honolulu, including seven years as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the public relations firm, Bright Light Marketing. Charlene has extensive experience in communications and strategic planning. She will serve as HTA’s primary contact for news media, industry stakeholders and the general public on communication issues.
Chris Sadayasu – Brand Manager
Chris Sadayasu is responsible for managing tourism marketing in Oceania and supporting HTA’s leadership with project management experience of its sponsored Hawaii-based special events. A former college athlete and 1998 graduate of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, Chris has spent the past 14 years primarily working for organizations involved in planning of large-scale community projects, including the City and County of Honolulu’s Office of Strategic Development (2014-2015), Hawaii Community Development Authority (2010-2014), Aloha Tower Development Corporation (2008-2010), and Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (2001-2008).