STATE COMPTROLLER Ray Sato retired from state employment Monday, and following hours of leisure life entered the private sector yesterday as a vice president of the engineering and consulting firm SSFM International.
Consulting company coup
He will serve as the company's vice president for the island of Kauai where he will establish a permanent office and complete the company's presence on each major island.
Sato has worked in Honolulu since 1993, when he served as deputy manager of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply under Kazu Hayashida. When Hayashida was named director of the state Department of Transportation, Sato took the helm at the Board of Water Supply, and then moved to the state Department of Accounting and General Services in 1998.
Prior to 1993 Sato lived on Kauai for 19 years, serving as manager of the Kauai Water Department.
He said he still owns a home in Wailua Homestead, "which was really brand new right after (Hurricane) Iniki," because of the repairs the hurricane necessitated. The day after repairs were completed he and his wife moved to Honolulu.
It's hardly the first time SSFM has lured people from the public sector, nor will it be the last.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources land manager Dean Uchida will join the company June 1 as senior project manager.
SSFM's other hires from the public sector include former state Department of Transportation Highways Division Chief and former Hawaii County Public Works Director Hugh Ono as vice president in Hawaii County; and former Maui County Public Works Director George Kaya as vice president of SSFM on Maui.
Company President Mike Matsumoto said with his increased stable of expertise and talent, the company can help government agencies as well as large corporate clients plan and manage programs, such as capital improvements.
SSFM also has operations in Saipan and the Philippines.
Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached