COM. REP. NO. 1483
RE: GOV. MSG. NO. 534
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, to which was referred Governor's Message No. 534, submitting for study and consideration the nomination of:
Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism
G.M. No. 534
for a term to expire 12-07-2026,
begs leave to report as follows:
Your Committee reviewed the personal history, resume, and statement submitted by Dane Wicker for service as the Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the nomination for the appointment of Dane Wicker from the Governor; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; Department of Transportation; Hawaii State Energy Office; Department of Health; Department of Budget and Finance; Department of Public Safety; Department of Agriculture; Office of Planning and Sustainable Development; Department of Taxation; Stadium Authority; Hawaii Public Housing Authority; Office of Community Services; Office of Enterprise Technology Services; Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority; Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority; Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation; Hawaii Technology Development Corporation; Land Use Commission; Agribusiness Development Corporation; Hawai‘i Tourism Authority; Mayor of Kaua‘i; Pacific Resource Partnership; Ulupono Initiative; Ko‘olau Foundation; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 1260; Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association; International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142; International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 100; Hawaii Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust; Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative; Title Guaranty Hawaii; Matson Navigation Company, Inc.; Hawaii Foodservice Alliance, LLC; Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc.; Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Labor Caucus; Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996; Oceanit; Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce; Hartung Brothers, Inc.; Filipino Community Center, Inc.; Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters; Kauai Economic Development Board; WCIT Architecture, Inc.; HPM Building Supply; and forty-four individuals.
Upon review of the testimony, your Committee finds that Mr. Wicker's background, government work experience, and business knowledge qualify him for appointment as the Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Mr. Wicker has over a decade of experience and understanding of government and its processes, budgeting, and public policy. Mr. Wicker previously served as Chief of Staff and Committee Clerk to the Chairperson of the Senate's Committee on Ways and Means for eleven years, where he gained valuable experience with budgets, economic development, office management, and governmental administrative procedures. Mr. Wicker further directed the operating and capital improvement projects and oversaw the review of the Governor's executive operating budget of approximately $16 billion. Your Committee believes that Mr. Wicker's understanding of departmental operations, the budgeting process, and financial-impact analysis will be invaluable to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and its attached agencies to prepare for their budget briefings and will be crucial to assist the Department in revitalizing and diversifying the State's economy.
Your Committee further finds that most recently, Mr. Wicker served as an Administrative Assistant at the Department of Planning and Permitting for the City and County of Honolulu where he coordinated and communicated administrative decisions, work programs, budgets, and objectives to all stakeholders. Mr. Wicker also previously served as the Assistant to the Director of Pacific Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii's East-West Center, where he pursued federal grants and supported the creation of programs in schools to spread the awareness of climate change. Having worked at both the state and county levels of government, your Committee believes that Mr. Wicker has acquired the necessary leadership and professional attributes that will enable him to serve the State and community well at the departmental level.
Your Committee further notes that Mr. Wicker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at West Oahu and is currently pursuing a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Additionally, Mr. Wicker is a small business owner and operates businesses in retail and farming. Your Committee believes that Mr. Wicker's business experience and his current efforts to further his education by obtaining a Master's degree are indicative of his desire to continually challenge and improve himself. These qualities demonstrate that Mr. Wicker will make an excellent leader at the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, where he will be required to think productively and innovate to move the Department forward in a positive manner. Your Committee therefore recommends that Dane Wicker be appointed to serve as Deputy Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, based on his knowledge, experience, and dedication to public service.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism 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 Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism,
LYNN DECOITE, Chair