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Uechi Promoted to Leadership at Maui News

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Former Molokai Dispatch reporter Colleen Uechi has been named to the top editorial leadership role at The Maui News. Uechi began her journalism career as an intern with The Molokai Dispatch in 2014, and worked on staff until the end of 2015, when she joined The Maui News team as a reporter. She was promoted to assistant city editor last year. She now replaces Lee Imada as managing editor, who worked at the publication for 40 years.

Originally from Oahu, Uechi is originally from Oahu and graduated from Hawaiian Mission Academy in Honolulu. She studied intercultural communications and Spanish at Pacific Union College in California and after her 2013 graduation, taught English in Kazakhstan for five months. Shortly after her return, she began her reporting internship at the Dispatch, covering community news and sports.

“The Molokai community showed me so much aloha during my time at the Dispatch and I’ll always be so grateful for that,” said Uechi. “Getting to cover the island’s stories through the eyes of student-athletes, small businesses and local families gave me fresh perspective and the utmost respect for the community. Molokai and the Dispatch team will always have a special place in my heart — nothing beats games in the Barn, Christmas light parades and paying $9 for a gallon of milk.”

While at the Dispatch, Uechi earned several Excellence in Journalism awards, a record of outstanding writing she has continued at The Maui News.

“Colleen was a well-loved reporter on Molokai, and we are so proud that she launched her career at The Molokai Dispatch,” said Dispatch Editor Catherine Cluett Pactol. “We know she will carry forward her reputation of community sensitivity and journalistic excellence that she demonstrated on Molokai in her new leadership role at The Maui News.”

Leadership at Maui’s daily newspaper also had glowing words to share about Uechi.

“Colleen is an excellent choice as managing editor,” said Imada. “She will ably carry the torch that I was handed from David Hoff, who received the flame from Earl Tanaka. She brings a steady hand and top notch reporting and editing skills in the best traditions of The Maui News.”

Maui News Publisher Chris Minford affirmed the choice, adding that Uechi will carry forward Imada’s legacy.

“Colleen was mentored by former managing editor Lee Imada, and he has prepared her well to carry on the award-winning journalism at The Maui News,” Minford said. “We thank Lee for his years of service and contribution and look forward to the ideas and energy Colleen brings to the table.”

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