(BIVN) – Mayor Mitch Roth announced the appointment of a new Director of Human Resources for the County of Hawaiʻi.
Sommer Tokihiro was named to fill the position formerly held by Waylen Leopoldino, who departed the job on June 30, 2023. The appointment of Tokihiro was effective November 16, 2023, the County says.
The County says that the Merit Appeals Board was responsible for the recruitment process. The Board “conducted an internal search within the County of Hawaiʻi, ensuring a comprehensive and fair selection process,” a County news release stated.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Sommer Tokihiro brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role. Before being appointed Director, she served as HR Manager II in the Workers’ Compensation Division of the County of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Human Resources from April 2019 to November 2023. In this capacity, Tokihiro administered the County’s self-insured workers’ compensation program, demonstrating her commitment to employee well-being and organizational efficiency.
Her extensive background in case management, demonstrated during her tenure as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with Case Management Works – Hawai‘i, Inc., from October 2012 to March 2017, aligns seamlessly with the goals and responsibilities of the Director of Human Resources position. In that role, Tokihiro assisted individuals in returning to work following work-related injuries, showcasing her supportive and empathic approach to employee relations.
Sommer Tokihiro has proven to be a dedicated and results-driven professional throughout her career with an employment history spanning various roles within the County of Hawaiʻi and beyond.
Gabriella Cabanas, Chair of the Merit Appeals Board, expressed enthusiasm about Tokihiro’s selection, stating, “With her background in Human Resources and her expertise in case management, the Merit Appeals Board is pleased to announce her selection as she moves the County’s Human Resources program forward.”
Tokihiro holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Additionally, she is a SHRM – Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).
“Since her appointment, Director Tokihiro and I have worked closely to advance the County’s Human Resources program to ensure a positive and productive work environment for all our hardworking employees,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We both strongly believe in investing in our employees to help build stronger and more resilient communities. At the heart of that investment is aloha – which Sommer has plenty of. A special mahalo to all on our Merrit Appeals Board who worked diligently throughout the monthslong candidate selection process.”