Mayor Richard Bissen announces the retirement of County of Maui Managing Director Kekuhaupio “Keku” Akana. His retirement takes effect Dec. 31. In deciding to retire, Akana pointed to wanting to spend more time with his ʻohana including seven grandchildren.
“When I took office in January, I was honored to have retired Deputy Police Chief Kekuhaupio Akana agree to join our team as Managing Director,” Mayor Bissen said. “His commitment to help set a strong foundation in our first year has given us an inspiring leader that has nurtured and guided our team as we navigated through our inaugural year. We wish him all the best and mahalo his family for sharing him with us and for their support throughout this year.”
Akana has 25 years of service in the Maui Police Department; he retired as deputy police chief in 2006. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Aside from his local government service, Akana is known for community service.
In 2013, Akana and others collaboratively founded a community care van called A Cup of Cold Water. The episcopal ministry is operated by volunteers providing water, food, hygiene and first aid supplies to the houseless, poor and needy.
Akana, an accomplished weightlifter and football player, provided community outreach through the Queen Emma Athletic Club for youth and the Wailuku Weightlifting Club for adults.
“Kekuʻs compassion and empathy have made an extraordinary difference to our team and we are grateful for his dedication to public service,” Mayor Bissen said.
Mayor Bissen said he is submitting to the Maui County Council for its consideration the appointment of Josiah Nishita as managing director. Currently, Nishita is serving as deputy managing director and head of the newly formed Office of Recovery. Council approval of the appointment is required.
“I’m looking forward to the strong contributions that Josiah will make and am confident that he will be successful in his support of our many departments,” Mayor Bissen said.
Nishita has served as the deputy managing director for the County of Maui since 2020. For eight years he was with the Office of the County Clerk, nearly seven years as deputy before serving as County Clerk. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from George Fox University and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Hawaiʻi Shidler College of Business.
The Department of Management oversees the county’s 17 departments.