HONOLULU - Award-winning designer and Maui business owner Saedene Ota has been appointed to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced his appointment of Ota as one of five people filling vacancies on the Board of Regents, a panel charged with formulating policy and overseeing the state university system.
The board has 15 regents, nominated by the Regents Candidate Advisory Council, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
Ota will serve as the Maui County member on the board. Other appointees are Coralie Matayoshi and Jan Sullivan, City and County of Honolulu; and Sandra Scarr and Patrick Naughton, Hawaii County.
Ota was born and reared in Hawaii and worked in Northern California and Chicago before she established her award-winning graphic design firm, Sae Design, on Maui. She studied graphic design and packaging at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, California State Northridge and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.
Ota is also the owner of Maui Thing, a lifestyle apparel retail store in Wailuku.
She's involved in numerous community activities including the Maui Economic Development Board, Hawaii State Art Museum, Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation and A Keiki's Dream.
She has received numerous awards for her advertising business, including Hawai'i Advertising Federation's Pele Best of Show, Advertising Women of the Year, 18 Pele Awards and 44 Pele recognitions. In 2005, she was awarded U.S. Small Business Advocate of the Year.