July 7, 2020 – The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has contracted with Honolulu-based executive search firm Bishop & Company to assist in its search for a new president and chief executive officer. The assignment is being spearheaded by Erinn N. Tomlinson, the search firm’s director of executive recruitment.
The organization’s current leader, Chris Tatum, announced last month that he would be retiring at the end of August. Mr. Tatum, who was previously area general manager for Marriott Resorts Hawaii, held the HTA role since late 2018.
This position reports directly to the HTA board of directors. The new president and CEO will be responsible for leading, administering, and directing the activities of HTA, said Bishop & Company. Among the major duties and responsibilities, the CEO will be charged with scheduling, developing the agenda for and attending meetings of the board, along with providing the board with information, comments and recommendations on a wide range of subjects of concern to HTA.
The CEO will also represent HTA in communication with the state governor and the legislature; represent the agency in contracts and negotiations with entities, such as destination marketing businesses; and direct staff and consultants in developing and/or studying proposals, including economic feasibility, financing requirements and arrangements, and the costs, benefits and risks inherent in the specific projects or project proposals.
The role further involves program and resource management, community and industry relations, public relations, program evaluation, administration duties and personnel management.
Candidates should have knowledge of the hospitality/travel industry and the unique channels of distribution for Hawaii (travel retailers, wholesale tour operators, airlines, etc.), said Bishop & Company. Asia-Pacific market experience, particularly Japan, is required, as is an understanding of the economic structure of Hawai‘i.
Effective written and oral communications skills are essential. Prospects must have the ability to communicate effectively with the general public, legislators, government employees and agencies, community members and organizations, tourism industry stakeholders, and partners in HTA’s major areas for destination marketing. A key part of the role involves the ability to establish and maintain amicable working relationships with the staff, board of directors and general public.
Candidates should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or equivalent executive-level experience, said the search firm. Experience as an administrator, including at least 15 years in fiscal and personnel management and organizational culture development in a leadership capacity, is also required.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s mission is to strategically manage Hawaii’s tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. As the state’s lead entity and advocate for the tourism industry, HTA formulates and implements short and long-range tourism policies and plans, advises the private sector and coordinates all agencies on tourism-related activities, conducts market development-related research, establishes public informational programs, and monitors complaints.
As a locally owned and operated corporation, Bishop & Company has been helping Hawaii businesses since 1986. Judy Bishop acquired the firm (formally known as CTA Staffing) in 2005. The firm is now certified by the Small Business Administration as an 8(a) company. Specialties include staffing services, HR management consulting, recruitment, executive recruitment, job placement, temporary to full-time positions
Ms. Tomlinson has 20 years of comprehensive experience in recruiting, corporate training and human resource management. At Bishop & Company, she is considered an industry leader in full life cycle recruiting and business development. Ms. Tomlinson has established relationships with entry-level candidates to C-suite and senior executives. She has diverse industry experience including hospitality, telecommunications, healthcare and higher education, with a successful track record recruiting for both for-profit and non-profit organizations, varied specialties in technical, middle to executive level management, human resources, sales and marketing, finance and more. Certified by HRCI as a professional in human resources, DiSC, TALinsight, Inside Out GROW Coaching and Achieve Global, she is experienced in sales and customer acquisition, account management and customer service.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media