STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3707
RE: GOV. MSG. NO. 503
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, to which was referred Governor's Message No. 503, submitting for study and consideration the nomination of:
Director of the Department of Human Resources Development
G.M. No. 503
for a term to expire at noon on 12-03-2018,
begs leave to report as follows:
Your Committee reviewed the personal history, resume, and statement submitted by Ryker Wada for service as the Director of Human Resources Development.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the nomination for the appointment of Mr. Wada from the Office of the Governor; Comptroller; Department of Human Resources Development; Department of Agriculture; Department of Budget and Financing; Office of Enterprise Technology Services; Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Department of Transportation; United Public Workers, AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO; State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers; Hawaii State Teachers Association; and eighteen individuals.
Ryker J. Wada is currently the Interim Director of Human Resources Development. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of Human Resources Development and as the Personnel Regional Officer of the Department of Education from February 2015 to January 2017. Mr. Wada has served, among other positions, as a managing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii; Legislative Specialist in the Business Registration Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Law Clerk at Wong Oshima, Attorneys at Law; and a staff attorney for the House of Representatives Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce during the Regular Session of 2001. While Mr. Wada is currently an inactive member of the Hawaii State Bar Association, he was first admitted to practice law in the State in 2003. The nominee received a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington.
Your Committee believes that the nominee, with over fifteen years of legal and human resources experience in the public and private sectors, possesses the qualifications to serve as the Director of Human Resources Development. More particularly, his invaluable experience in labor relations will serve him well in the numerous labor protocols overseen by the Department. Testifiers commented on Mr. Wada's intelligence and willingness to expand his knowledge, commitment to ensuring the provision of high quality services, and approachability, including being supportive, appreciative, and genuinely concerned about the well-being of employees – qualities that will benefit the Department as it strives to fulfill its mandates.
Your Committee notes from the nominee's personal statement that his vision for the Department of Human Resources Development is to enable the Department to provide quality service with improved efficiencies, customer service, and staff support. He will accomplish this by emphasizing open communication and transparency through regular meetings with human resources and personnel officers within executive branch departments. Mr. Wada also aims to make himself available to the community via the department's website and staff. Mr. Wada's highest priority is to increase efficiencies to benefit state employees and the community-at-large.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee, after full consideration of the background, experience, and qualifications of the nominee, has found the nominee to be qualified for the position to which nominated and recommends that the Senate advise and consent to the nomination.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair