Maui Business

HTA Appoints Dylan Ching, Keith “Keone” Downing and Sigmund “Sig” Zane to Serve on its Board of Directors

April 29, 2021, 11:44 AM HST
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The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority appointed three individuals – Dylan Ching, Keith “Keone” Downing and Sigmund “Sig” Zane – to serve on its board of directors. The appointees were nominated by Gov. David Ige and confirmed by the Hawaiʻi State Senate with their terms effective immediately.

“The HTA Board of Directors is diverse, dynamic, visionary and uniquely qualified to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities and guide HTA, as our state’s lead tourism agency. This morning, it dawned on me that our three new board members, Sig, Keone and Dylan, whom I respect and welcome, are all accomplished businessmen and avid surfers – a combination that exemplifies the balance we seek at HTA, between community, culture and commerce. Mālama pono,” said John De Fries, HTA president and CEO.

The new board members will take part in HTA’s upcoming Board of Directors meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 29.

A seasoned hospitality veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Dylan Ching is the vice president of operations for TS Restaurants, which includes Duke’s Waikīkī and Hula Grill Waikīkī on Oʻahu, Keoki’s Paradise in Poʻipū and Duke’s Kauaʻi on the Garden Island. Ching currently serves as a board member for various organizations, such as the Waikīkī Community Center, Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association, Waikīkī Business Improvement District and the Bishop Museum Association Council. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Ching received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego.

  • Dylan Ching. Image courtesy of Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
  • Keith “Keone” Downing. Image courtesy of Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
  • Sigmund “Sig” Zane. Image courtesy of Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

Keith “Keone” Downing is an expert waterman and operator of Downing Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi’s oldest surf shop. Born and raised in Honolulu, Keone is the son of big-wave pioneer George Downing, a pioneer, competitor, coach, student, innovator and one of the last Waikīkī Beach Boys mentored by Duke Kahanamoku. Keone is a principal member of the non-profit Surfing Education Association, also known as Save Our Surf, through which he has been dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiʻi’s oceans, coral reefs, waves and beaches. Keone is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the California School of Arts and Crafts.

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Sigmund “Sig” Zane is a keiki o ka ʻāina, a child of Hawaiʻi, cultural practitioner, educator and one of the founders of iconic fashion apparel brand Sig Zane Designs which he and his wife Nalani Kanakaole opened in 1985 in Hilo on the island of Hawaiʻi. From the earliest years, the ocean was Zane’s playground, learning to surf in Waikīkī. Zane graduated from Roosevelt High School on Oʻahu and attended Hilo Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island.

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Downing’s term ends on June 30, 2022. Ching’s and Zane’s terms end on June 30, 2024. The three replace outgoing HTA board members Rick Fried, Kelly Sanders and Kuʻuipo Kumukahi. Senators today also confirmed HTA board members David Arakawa and Sherry Menor-McNamara for another term.

“My gratitude is extended to Kuuipo, Kelly and Rick for their service to HTA and to the people of Hawaiʻi; while I’m energized by the extended board terms that have been granted to Sherry and David,” said De Fries.

HTA’s Board of Directors is a policy-making entity comprised of 12 members, who serve as volunteers and meet monthly to guide the agency’s work on behalf of the State of Hawaiʻi. Board approval is required for key HTA functions and initiatives, including its annual budget and annual marketing plan, which includes funding support of community programs.

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