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by Matt Alderton | June 02, 2015
Its new leader, George Szigeti, has officially commenced his tenure as president and CEO, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced last week.

"We are pleased to welcome George as the new president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority," HTA Board Chair Aaron Salā said in a statement. "Our board is confident that his extensive business background and experience will make him an effective leader in ensuring a sustainable tourism economy for the state."

Szigeti replaces interim President and CEO Ronald Williams, who took over for President and CEO Mike McCartney when he departed in November to become chief of staff for Hawaii's new governor, David Ige. Prior to joining HTA, he served as president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA). Before that, he spent 15 years as president and CEO of Hawaii operations for Better Brands Ltd., a wholesaler and distributor of beer, wine, and spirits.

"It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected by the HTA board of directors to lead the state's tourism agency," Szigeti said. "There are a lot of people, not only in the industry but throughout our communities, who are impacted by tourism. They rely on us as an industry and as an agency to support one of Hawaii's largest economic drivers. I look forward to working with our staff, partners, government, and community leaders to balance and maintain success for the industry and the state."