University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents elects new officers

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-8109
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jul 27, 2009

HONOLULU, Hawaiʻi — At its monthly meeting held on July 23rd at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the UH Board of Regents (BOR) elected Howard H. Karr as its chairperson and Dennis I. Hirota as vice chairperson for the 2009-2010 year.

A retired Hawaiʻi bank executive, Karr joined the Board of Regents in 2008. He concluded his 29 years with First Hawaiian Bank as executive vice president and chief financial officer of BancWest Corp. and vice chairman of the Administration and Finance Group of First Hawaiian Bank. He previously served as an accountant and audit manager with Coopers & Lybrand and served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve with the 100th Battalion 442nd Regiment Reserve.

Involved with numerous community, not-for-profit and professional organizations over the past two decades, Karr serves on boards or committees for Aloha United Way, the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association, Japan-America Society of Hawaiʻi, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, Special Olympics of Hawaiʻi and Waialae Country Club.

Born in Honolulu, Karr graduated from Roosevelt High School and earned a BBA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a major in accounting and minor in economics. He is a UH Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and was inducted into UH Mānoa‘s Shidler School of Business Alumni Hall of Honor. He was also awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from the government of Japan.

Hirota joined the Board of Regents in 2008. A licensed professional civil engineer, professional land surveyor and land court surveyor, he is the president of Sam Hirota, Inc., a 45-year-old civil engineering and surveying consulting company.

He is involved in a range of business, professional and public service activities, including service as past national director and president of the American Consulting Engineering Companies of Hawaiʻi. Hirota has served as a lecturer in computer applications at UH Mānoa‘s School of Architecture, as a director of the Ennis Foundation and is a member of the UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean‘s Advisory Council and Department of Civil Engineering/private sector liaison committee. He serves on the Board of Directors of Central Pacific Bank.

A graduate of Punahou School, Hirota earned a BS in civil engineering, MS in engineering and PhD in civil and sanitary engineering from the University of Michigan.

The other members of the BOR include: Artemio C. Baxa (Maui County), Carl A. Carlson, Jr. (Hawaiʻi County — West), Michael A. Dahilig (At Large), Ramón de la Peña (Kauaʻi County), Mark Fukunaga (Honolulu County), Chuck Y. Gee (Honolulu County), James J. C. Haynes II (Maui County), John C. Holzman (Honolulu County), James H. Q. Lee (Honolulu County), Eric Martinson (Honolulu County), Teena M. Rasmussen (At Large), Harvey S. Tajiri (Hawaiʻi County — East) and Grant Teichman (Student seat).

Members of the UH Board of Regents serve voluntarily and are not paid. For more information on the BOR visit

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