Hawaii Tourism Authority fills top job vacated 6 months ago

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tourism Authority has a new leader in industry advocate George Szigeti.

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HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tourism Authority has a new leader in industry advocate George Szigeti.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Szigeti was chosen April 17 out of almost two dozen candidates and will be sworn in at the next HTA meeting, vacating his role as president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

Hawaii Tourism Authority’s former president Mike McCartney left in November to become chief of staff for Gov. David Ige. The Ige administration also took on the group’s vice president of administrative and fiscal affairs, who will be replaced now that Szigeti has stepped in.

Former board chairman Ron Williams has been serving as interim CEO.

Szigeti declined to comment, but other industry professionals applauded his appointment.

Hawaii Business Travel Association president Lorena Horiuchi says Szigeti is a strong industry advocate.

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“I think he did good at HLTA,” Horiuchi said. “He worked year-round developing good relationships with legislators. He’s got private-industry perspective, too. “

Szigeti was president and CEO at a beer, wine and spirits distributor called Better Brands Ltd. for about 15 years. He has been president of the Hawaii Food Industry Association, and was on the board of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

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