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Retirement party for Gerald DeMello

(l-r) Chancellor Don Straney, retiring Director of University Relations Gerald DeMello, and his wife Claudette DeMello. Photo by Maggie Morris.

A party for retiring University Relations Director Gerald DeMello was held Nov. 30.  Attending the event were University of Hawai‘i at Hilo administrators, faculty, staff and students, and members of the local community. Dignitaries included Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Message from Chancellor Don Straney on Gerald DeMello’s retirement:

It is with a great deal of mixed emotions that I am announcing that Gerald DeMello has decided to retire, effective December 31, 2012.

Gerald has served as director of University Relations since January 1991. For the past 21 years, he has been an indispensable advocate for the university and a major reason for the growth and development UH Hilo has enjoyed during that period. His outreach to Big Island legislators, federal and county officials, business, labor and community leaders has created a highly effective partnership with the university that has resulted in some of the most significant capital improvements in UH Hilo’s history.

There is no question that Gerald’s big-picture vision for “the university that can be,” and his genuine enthusiasm for UH Hilo, are strong selling points. His personality and professionalism have also played a big role in opening doors and creating opportunities for the university that may not have been possible without him. His capacity for getting a meeting at just the right time with key decision makers has often been the key to UH Hilo’s success, and with Gerald on the team, UH Hilo has had many successes.

Although we will miss Gerald, he has worked tirelessly throughout his career and deserves the opportunity to spend more time with his family. I know all of you join me in wishing nothing but the very best for Gerald as he embarks on new adventures.