UH President's award for Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance honors Hirota and Nakayama

University of Hawaiʻi
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Aug 8, 2008

HONOLULU — Francis Hirota of Leeward Community College and Mark Nakayama of UH West Oʻahu have been named recipients of the President‘s Award for Excellence in Building and Grounds Maintenance. This award honors a UH employee who exhibits dedication and sustained superior performance in a maintenance, landscaping, custodial, shop or trucking position.

Francis Hirota is a janitor supervisor at Leeward Community College. Hirota has contributed to the janitorial section of operations and maintenance most notably by maintaining a safe and healthy working environment and reducing employee absences. By carefully monitoring employee reaction, Hirota bought new supplies to reduce adverse health reactions. Hirota is also responsible for improving staff morale with his unceasing gratitude and encouragement. "He appreciates us and encourages us to come back, do it all over again, even though we may be invisible workers on campus," a colleague noted. "His message to us is that our work in keeping the campus clean, sanitary and healthy is very visible to everybody, so do not underestimate the work we do day after day."

Mark Nakayama is a custodian at UH West Oʻahu. One of two maintenance personnel employed by UH West Oʻahu, Nakayama helps carry out all the building and grounds chores usually assigned to many different people on other campuses. Nakayama is known for his willing, pleasant, cooperative demeanor and efficiency. When faculty or other staff members make requests, the tasks are nearly done within 24 hours. Not only does Nakayama have janitorial, grounds and maintenance responsibilities, but he also contributes ideas and improvements to new projects. "Mark has made our small two-person maintenance staff an important part of the education team," noted a colleague.

Hirota and Nakayma will be recognized for their achievements along with other UH award recipients at the annual convocation ceremony to be held September 9, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at Kennedy Theatre on the UH Mānoa campus. The ceremony is open to the public and no reservations are needed.