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Meet the Speaker: Liuone Faagai, Manager at Hawaiian Electric

Meet Liuone Faagai, Strategic People Initiatives Manager at Hawaiian Electric. Learn how he went from a sedentary lifestyle to completing five consecutive marathons.

Meet him in person at the Process Excellence for Utilities Conference, September 19-20, 2018 in Palm Springs, CA, where he will discuss transforming three operating companies into one and how it was a herculean task to merge entities, cultures, and adopt one best practice methodology to move forward.

Question: Name, title, company?
Liuone Faagai, Manager, Strategic People Initiatives, Hawaiian Electric

Question: Family, hometown, where you live?
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Hawaii. I currently live in Kapolei, Hawaii with my lovely wife and two young adult children

Question: What is your utility/process excellence experience?
I have six years of Utility experience and over 25 years of Human Resources experience. I am relatively new to the world of continuous improvement.

Question: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
Like many folks in their mid-40’s, the stresses of life and a sedentary lifestyle got the best of me. I found myself unfit and unhealthy. The scale was off the charts and I had difficulty doing some of the simple things like buckling up my seatbelt or walking up a flight of stairs. In 2013, I decided I needed to change. A friend suggested I take up jogging and join their marathon training program. Reluctantly, I joined her and the rest is history. Since then, I have completed five consecutive Honolulu marathons and three half marathons and will be attending my first out of state marathon this year.

Question: Notable achievements?
I am a proud spouse and parent. I also received my Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and successfully completed and obtained my Certification of Completion of a Utility Executive Course from University of Idaho.

Question: Where do you see Continuous Improvement/Process Excellence in utilities in two years?
As our industry continues to rapidly change, I see there will be a strong demand for Continuous Improvement/Process Excellence methods, tools, resources, and experts to help their organizations remain competitive by continuously improving its systems, practices, and processes.

Question: What is your biggest challenge?
There are so many initiatives going on at the moment, so prioritization and having access to the appropriate resources to achieve sustainable results is a big challenge for us.

Question: What did you do prior to working in your current role?
General Manager of Human Resources, primarily responsible for the strategic focus and overseeing the HR function for the company.

Question: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
My parents who taught me the value of family, community, hard work, and humility.

Question: What is one of your biggest goals (in life or business)?
To make a positive difference in the lives that I impact; both personally and professionally.

Question: What’s the biggest misconception you run into in your role (or what people seem to think about Process Excellence)?
That’s it’s a one and done; technology is moving so rapidly that by the time you implement an initiative, it’s already obsolete from a technology perspective and it may need to go through another iteration.

Process Excellence for Utilities California