Hawaii Tourism Authority picks McCartney as tourism chief


The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has selected Mike McCartney as its new president and chief executive officer. The announcement was made this morning during a special board meeting at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“The board is highly confident that Mike McCartney is the right person for the position,” said Kelvin Bloom, HTA’s chair. “During the search process, we looked for an individual who would be able to provide strong leadership and guidance to the organization, build exemplary relationships with the community, the tourism industry and government, and ensure that the goals of the Authority are implemented in an effective manner. We are certain that Mike will accomplish this and help lead the tourism industry to a more prosperous future.”

McCartney will replace Lloyd I. Unebasami, HTA’s chief administrative officer, who has served as interim president and CEO since October 9, 2008. “On behalf of the board, I wish to recognize Lloyd Unebasami for the outstanding work he has done as HTA’s interim president for the past five months,” said Bloom. “We appreciate Lloyd’s commitment to the Authority, the industry and our community.”

McCartney will begin in his new position on April 6, 2009. McCartney is currently the executive director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. He was the former chair of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, former president and CEO of PBS Hawaii, former director of the Hawaii State Department of Human Resource Development, and served as a state senator for 10 years. Born and raised in Hawaii, McCartney is a graduate of Castle High School and received his BS from Pacific University in Oregon.

“These are very difficult times for Hawaii and our visitor industry,” said McCartney. “It is our responsibility to all work together immediately to ensure the future success of Hawaii’s leading industry. I look forward to the challenges ahead and to working together with the HTA board and staff, the industry, and the community in the coming months.”