HCDA's Dinell will return to hospitality roots
HCDA director Daniel Dinell will start his new job in August
Daniel Dinell, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency overseeing more than 4,000 acres of land, will be returning to his private-sector roots.
Dinell, who held the post of executive director of HCDA since January 2004, will be assuming a new position in the hospitality industry beginning August 3.
"This move represents a tremendous opportunity for me personally and professionally," said Dinell. "It wasn't an easy decision because I truly love the mission of HCDA and all it stands for."
HCDA, formed in 1976 by the state legislature to develop underutilized areas, regulates the redevelopment of 670 acres in Kakaako and 3,700 acres in Kalaeloa, formerly Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
Under Dinell's leadership, several key developments took place, including the opening of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, as well as new roadways and a surge of private developments, which include a number of high-rise residential condos as well as retail projects.
But one high-profile plan, a mixed-use project for Kakaako Makai that would have included luxury condominiums, was scrapped amid public opposition, and the agency's planned takeover of Kewalo Basin is opposed by many of the commercial boaters there.
Still, HCDA chair Michael Goshi said Dinell's performance review earlier this month was positive, and that his shoes would be hard to fill. Dinell will assist HCDA in its search for a replacement.
Dinell said he received an unsolicited job offer that he couldn't turn down. He declined to name his future employer.
However, his new position will be based here, he said, and will encompass both Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region. Dinell is a 15-year veteran of the hotel industry. Prior to joining HCDA, Dinell was vice president of strategic planning and community affairs for Hilton Hotels.
Dinell said despite the challenges over the years, he felt he was leaving HCDA in a good position, focusing on a community-oriented approach to its work.
"Development in the waterfront area will be done using this strong, grassroots community consensus-building process," he said. "We've started this process, and in the end, it's going to pay dividends for HCDA and the state as a whole."