CAC presents finalists for interim appointment to vacant UH board seat

November 15, 2013  |   |  Comments
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The Candidate Advisory Council (CAC) for the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi has presented the following three candidates to Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill, on an interim basis, the City and County of Honolulu seat that was held by former regent Eric Martinson who resigned in mid-August:

Peter S. Adler
Jeffrey S. Portnoy
Stanford B. C. Yuen

The interim appointee would serve a term ending on or before June 30, 2014, contingent upon Senate review. Interim appointments take effect immediately and are subject to Senate review when the Senate next comes into session. 

The Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Hawaiʻi and consists of 15 members with representation as follows: 7 from the City and County of Honolulu; 2 from Hawaiʻi County; 2 from Maui County; 1 from Kauaʻi County; 2 At Large and 1 University of Hawaiʻi student.

Members of the UH Board of Regents as well as the Candidate Advisory Council serve voluntarily and are not paid for their service.

Candidate bios

Peter S. Adler

Peter Adler is a planner and mediator and a principal in an international network of professionals specializing in consensus building and cooperative problem solving. From 2002 to 2012 he served as president and chief executive officer of The Keystone Center, which specializes in resolving complex regulatory and policy conflicts centering on energy, natural resources and public health problems. During this time he led teams that helped settle major disputes over mining issues in Papua New Guinea and fishing challenges in the Baltic Sea.

Adler holds a PhD in interdisciplinary social science from the Union Institute and a Masters degree in sociology and community development from the University of Missouri. His prior executive posts include executive director of the Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation, founding director of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution and first executive director of the Neighborhood Justice Center, now the Mediation Center of the Pacific. He served as assistant director of the Hawaiʻi Bound School on Hawaiʻi Island and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India for two years.

Adler has worked in the government, business and the NGO sectors and teaches advanced negotiation courses in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi. In addition to numerous academic and popular articles, he is the author of three books, the most recent being Eye of the Storm Leadership. He and his wife Carolyn Watanabe have three daughters and two grandsons.

Jeffrey S. Portnoy

Jeffrey Portnoy was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1969 with a bachelor of arts degree with honors in Political Science and a minor in journalism. Portnoy also attended Duke University School of Law where he received his juris doctorate in 1972.

In June of 1972, Portnoy moved to Hawaiʻi and began employment as an associate attorney at the law firm of Cades Schutte Fleming and Wright (now Cades Schutte) and has remained at Cades Schutte for 41 years. He presently serves as chair of the firm's litigation department and served on its management committee for more than two decades.

Portnoy has been selected in “Best Lawyers in America” (Hawaiʻi) in seven legal specialties, including commercial litigation, first amendment insurance, legal malpractice, personal injury litigation and Bet The Company litigation and was selected as the Hawaiʻi Insurance Lawyer of the Year in 2011.

Portnoy has numerous law-related accomplishments, including membership in the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates; chair of the United States District Court Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1996; chair of the United States District Court Magistrate Selection Panel in 1990, selected by the Judges of the United States District Court to serve as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for two three-year terms; selected by the Judges of the Ninth Circuit to serve as the sole Hawaiʻi attorney member to the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board from 2005 to 2008; elected President of the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association in 2007; elected as the representative from the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association to the American Bar Association House of Delegates from 1994 to 1996; appointed by the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court to serve on the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board and appointed to serve on the Judicial Selection Committee.

Portnoy has served as the first male member of the Hawaiʻi Commission on the Status of Women. He also served as a member of the Honolulu Ethics Commission from 2011–2012; chair of the Neighbor Commission; president and chairman of the Board of Mānoa Valley Theatre for more than 25 years and is president of Hawaiʻi Pops.

Portnoy has been actively involved with the University of Hawaiʻi. He served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Journalism, teaching media law in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. He has taught and continues to teach several seminars at the Richardson School of Law. He also serves as a member of the Friends of Richardson School of Law and was a community member of the Law School Dean Search Committee. He has also assisted several University of Hawaiʻi presidents in legal matters.

Former Athletic Director Hugh Yoshida selected Portnoy to serve as a community member of the Athletic Advisory Board and he also advised the University of Hawaiʻi Athletic Department regarding several legal issues involving athletes and athletics. Portnoy has been a color analyst on University of Hawaiʻi basketball radio broadcasts for the past 15 years. He also represented the UH Mānoa student newspaper Ka Leo and several students in an award-winning lawsuit against the police union and the City and County of Honolulu, and has served as an informal legal advisor to the student newspaper for many years.

Portnoy and wife Sandi have been married for more than 40 years and have a daughter Carrie. Their family also includes a four-year-old dog.

Stanford R.C. Yuen

Stanford Yuen is the former special assistant to the Navy Region Hawaiʻi Commander (Admiral), culminating a professional career of more than 40 years in engineering, management, business, and intergovernmental roles in the private and military sector. He is currently the president of SLC Consulting, specializing in strategic engagement in engineering management and intergovernmental affairs.

As the special assistant to the admiral, his primary area of responsibility included working with the congressional delegation, local state and municipal government leaders, legislature, city council, other military services, special interest groups, and business community, on major projects affecting the Navy and the State of Hawaiʻi. Yuen’s involvements included a broad range of complex issues: intergovernmental affairs, military construction program, Ford Island bridge and development, engineering and land use, alternate energy initiatives, public-private venture housing, Kahoʻolawe cleanup, Barbers Pt. closure and conveyance, USS Missouri Battleship Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum, NOAA relocation to Pearl Harbor, Pro Bowl-National Football League, Marines relocation from Japan and strategic and community engagement.

The late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye recognized Yuen for his major role in coordinating efforts with Congress and the Pentagon, and making important contributions to the security and welfare of our nation while enhancing the social and economic well-being of Hawaiʻi’s citizens.

Yuen was also an engineer with Boeing and Lockheed, an account executive with Dean Witter and taught engineering economics at the University of Hawaiʻi. He began his federal professional career as an engineer at Hickam, then transferred to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, before joining Navy Region Hawaiʻi.

Yuen’s current and past community service spans national and local organizations including: Commissioner on the Honolulu Ethics Commission; President, Mun Lun School, the state's largest and oldest language school; Downtown Neighborhood Board; National Director, U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Assn; Director, Hawaii Arts Alliance; President, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Hawaiʻi); Director, Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Director, Honolulu Quarterback Club; Chair, Mayor's Task Force for Downtown-Chinatown master planning and infrastructure projects; and positions in numerous civic, cultural, ethnic, educational and athletic organizations. Yuen is an advocate of gender equity and civil rights, having served as a counselor for the Federal Women Program and is active in organizations whose mission is to prevent racial discrimination. 

A graduate of St. Louis High School and the University of Hawaiʻi with a BS degree in mechanical engineering, Yuen also earned a MBA degree from Pepperdine University and a MS degree in industrial engineering from the University of Southern California. He holds professional engineering licenses in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

Yuen has been the recipient of numerous major awards and recognition including: Engineer of the Year, Hawaiʻi, 1998; Department of the Navy Sustained Superior Performance (1996–2012) and four Meritorious Service Awards; Hawaiʻi Federal Manager of the Year, 1980 and U.S. Air Force Engineer of the Year in a worldwide competition, 1981. Recently, he was selected as the 2013 Model Citizen of the Year by the United Chinese Society of Hawaiʻi.

Yuen and his wife, the former Lynette Leong, reside in downtown Honolulu. They have three daughters and nine grandchildren, all residing on the mainland.

A Board of Regents Candidate Advisory Council news release

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