Kauai News

Kaua‘i man to take leadership role in state agency

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The Agribusiness Development Corporation announced new leadership over the state agency as of July 1.

The new chairperson is Kaua‘i resident Lyle Tabata.

Jason Okuhama was named Vice Chairperson, Jesse Cooke is a new board member, and new interim board members include Nathan Trump and Dean Okimoto.

“We are pleased to welcome our new ADC leadership,” said Wendy Gady, ADC executive director. “I am confident that under the direction of Chair Tabata, Vice Chair Okuhama and the entire ADC board of directors, we can lead our organization to a new chapter of success in agribusiness across Hawaiʻi to meet our farming, land use, and food production goals throughout the islands.”


Tabata is a seasoned manager and field engineer with 10 years as the appointed Deputy and Acting County Engineer of Public Works for the County of Kauaʻi. For 23 years, he worked in the Hawaiʻi sugar industry to become Vice President of Amfac Sugar Kauaʻi, manager of Lihue Plantation Company, Ltd., Kekaha Sugar Co., and Kauaʻi Sugar Storage Company, Ltd., in charge of operations, maintenance, engineering, safety, environmental compliance, and personnel.

Tabata is currently employed by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Highways KWY-K as a maintenance engineer.

The Agribusiness Development Corporation is a state agency created in 1994 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature and is administratively attached to the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Its mission is to conserve and convert arable lands and their associated infrastructure that were formerly large mono-crop plantation lands into new, productive uses.


The agency’s ultimate goal is to ensure that agricultural production and agribusiness ventures will be responsive to the current food and other agricultural needs of the state of Hawai‘i.


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