Karr, Hirota re-elected to chair, vice chair positions on Board of Regents

University of Hawaiʻi
Tina Shelton, (808) 956-9803
External Affairs and University Relations
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Oct 28, 2010

UH Board of Regents Chair Howard H. Karr
UH Board of Regents Chair Howard H. Karr
UH Board of Regents Vice Chair Dennis I. Hirota
UH Board of Regents Vice Chair Dennis I. Hirota
HONOLULU – Retired Hawai‘i bank executive Howard H. Karr has been re-elected to serve for a one-year term as chair of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents, and engineer Dennis I. Hirota has been re-elected to serve as vice chair of the 15-member board.
“I am excited to make a contribution to the University of Hawai‘i by serving on the Board of Regents. I want to help make it a better university so we can give our local kids a world-class education without them having to leave Hawai‘i,” said Karr.
Karr joined the Board of Regents in 2008 representing Honolulu County. 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.
Involved with numerous community, not-for-profit and professional organizations over the past two decades, Karr presently serves on boards or committees for Aloha United Way, the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, Hawai‘i Medical Service Association, Japan-America Society of Hawai‘i, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, Special Olympics of Hawaii and Waialae Country Club.
Born in Honolulu, Karr graduated from Roosevelt High School and earned a BBA from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a major in accounting. He is a UH Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and was inducted into Mānoa‘s Shidler College of Business Alumni Hall of Honor.
Hirota joined the Board of Regents in 2008, and is the president of Sam Hirota, Inc., a 45-year-old civil engineering and surveying consulting company. Hirota served in the Air Force as an environmental research engineer at Air Force Weapons Lab at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, earning the rank of captain. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, teaching graduate level civil engineering. Returning to Hawai‘i in 1971 to join the consulting engineering firm founded by his father, he has been involved in the design of private, commercial, residential and federal projects throughout the Pacific region. He is a licensed civil engineer, land surveyor and land court surveyor.
Hirota 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 Hawai‘i and corporate representative to Hawai‘i Leeward Planning Conference. He has been a trustee at O‘ahu’s Le Jardin Academy for 25 years, during the period of new campus acquisition, expansion, design and development, and a lecturer in computer applications at UH Mānoa’s School of Architecture. He serves as a director of the Ennis Foundation and is a member of the Mānoa College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council and Department of Civil Engineering/private sector liaison committee.
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.