The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today that Marisa Yamane, a longtime award-winning journalist, has been appointed as director of communications and public relations. She begins work at HTA on May 6.
“We are very excited to welcome Marisa to our HTA ohana, as she brings to us more than 15 years of journalism experience in the islands, as well as an innate passion for sharing the stories of Hawaii,” said Chris Tatum, HTA president and CEO. “Among her responsibilities, Marisa will be essential to supporting the wonderful work being done in our neighborhoods by community groups dedicated to perpetuating Hawaiian culture, protecting the environment and showcasing festivals and events.”
Yamane’s primary responsibility will be utilizing her communication and public outreach experience to help HTA fulfill its mission of supporting the sustainability of Hawaii’s leading industry and reinforcing the benefits it brings to residents and communities across the state.
“I am honored to have this incredible opportunity to help the community in a different way, by being part of the team that manages our state’s tourism industry,” Yamane said. “I’m looking forward to working with such an experienced and dedicated leadership team.”
Yamane currently serves as one of the main evening news anchors on KHON and its sister station KHII. She co-anchors the 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. weeknight newscasts and also covers breaking news stories as a reporter.
Over the course of her career at KHON, Yamane has reported on news stories covering a wide range of topics including numerous severe weather events. Last year, Yamane reported extensively from the island of Hawaii during the Kilauea volcano eruption.
Yamane’s reporting on crime and law enforcement in Hawaii led to her helping to launch the weekly Hawaii’s Most Wanted segment on KHON in partnership with CrimeStoppers.
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Yamane has received numerous accolades for her journalism work, including an Emmy Award, multiple Edward R. Murrow awards and Associated Press Mark Twain awards.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Yamane graduated from Iolani School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 2004, after working as a TV reporter in Wichita Falls, Texas, Yamane moved back home to Hawaii to serve as a reporter at KHON.
“I’m excited about this new chapter in my life and look forward to making a positive impact in the place where I grew up,” Yamane said.