Christian Fern Named Executive Director

Christian Fern Named Executive Director of University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)

UHPA board of directors unanimously voted Christian Fern as the new executive director, effective December 1, 2019.

Fern, who has served as an associate executive director with UHPA since July 2015, succeeds Kristeen Hanselman, who joined UHPA in December 2007. Hanselman will continue to serve as executive director, a position she has held for the past four years, to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

“We began to discuss the leadership transition process in February this year and conducted an exhaustive search as part of our due diligence,” said Ashley Maynard, president of the UHPA board of directors. “We reviewed a number of candidates, and Christian’s leadership experience and understanding of legislative advocacy, collective bargaining, and the challenges faculty face, made him the ideal choice to continue to lead the union forward.”

Prior to serving as an associate executive director for UHPA, Fern worked for the state’s two largest health plans, HMSA and Kaiser Permanente. He worked at HMSA for 16 years in progressively responsible roles that led to his position as manager of the Employer-Union Trust Fund and federal plan. At Kaiser Permanente, he was manager of large accounts for state and federal plans.

Fern worked as a legislative intern for the Senate Judiciary Committee while he was a University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa political science student, and returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee as a committee clerk after he graduated.

“Being a part of UHPA has provided me with valuable insights and a deep understanding of the issues facing Hawai‘i’s public sector unions and the University of Hawai‘i,” Fern said. “In this post-Janus world, the public-sector unions will need to continue to provide traditional forms of union representation while seeking new and innovative opportunities to connect with members and prospective members.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with Christian as he gained exposure to the different challenges of union representation,” Hanselman said, noting that Fern has represented members on grievances and arbitrations, worked with faculty and the UH administration on contract enforcement and interpretation, participated in lobbying at the State Legislature to represent faculty interests, and been involved in short- and long-range strategic planning.

Fern, a Honolulu resident, is a Punahou School graduate and received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa. He also completed the Advanced Labor Studies Program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Gov. David Ige appointed Fern to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund, and Fern now serves as the chair of the trust. The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund provides medical, chiropractic, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to all eligible State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, County of Hawaii, County of Maui and County of Kauai employees and retirees. EUTF covers more than 190,000 lives: 68,000 employees, 47,000 retirees, and 80,000 dependents. Fern also serves a chair of EUTF’s investment committee and is a member of its benefits committee.

Hawaii CC Faculty Hosts Their Regular Meetup

On October 11, 2019, the Faculty at Hawaii Community College hosted a Faculty Meetup with about 35 people attending. Held at a rented beach house overlooking Hilo Bay, the meetup featured “really good food”, a little bit of swimming and apparently was an overall good time.

Hawaii CC holds faculty meetups “at least twice a semester” with a gala Spring dinner at the Hilo Yacht Club in May. The faculty meetups are organized by UHPA Reps and other members.

Ashley Maynard, UHPA president, commented on the event, “Hawaii Community College has clearly set the standard for all other campuses to follow. If the rest of the campuses and colleges can replicate something like this, our faculty would be immeasurably stronger and more unified in the pursuit of creating a better academic workplace for all”.

Sam Giordanengo, UHPA Board Member representing Hawaii Community College and part of the team that organized the meetup, said, “This is a good way for faculty to see each other outside of the college setting. We talk shop, talk family, and just get to know each other as people. Normally on campus we’re either in meetings and too busy doing our jobs to take time out of the day to connect. These Faculty Meetups allow us to just be friends, share food, and have fun together.”

Hawaii CC meetups have been going on for the past 5 years on a regular basis and were started by now-retired (but still working as a lecturer!) Joel Peralto who kicked off the idea for a special celebration at the time. The event was so successful that the faculty decided it shouldn’t be a one-time-only event, and they have been going on ever since.

Get a quote and receive a free emergency kit

Though the current hurricane season is about to end, it’s never too late to get an emergency kit. Our friends at Farmers Insurance Hawaii are offering the below for all UHPA members. The link to your keycode referenced in the offer is available to you only via our member-only Google Drive (view content access instructions). If you’re not a member,  signup is quick and easy via our online form.

 

Message from Farmers Insurance Hawaii:

From the Farmers Insurance Hawaii ohana to yours, we care about your safety and are providing emergency preparedness kits for hurricane season. Visit Farmers Insurance Hawaii for an auto insurance quote at our Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului, or Lihue offices and receive one free emergency kit. Be sure to include the UHPA keycode (available for members only on this page) – to receive your UHPA member discount.

Disclaimers:

1) Quote promotion valid through November 29, 2019 or while supplies last.

2) Must mention the promotion at time of quote. One emergency kit per household per completed quote. For existing policyholders, one emergency kit per household per policy will be provided while supplies last.

3) To participate, visit Farmers Hawaii’s Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului, or Lihue office to request an auto insurance quote. Honolulu: 500 Ala Moana Blvd. Tower 6, 5th Floor between 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday. Hilo: 111 E Puainako St, Hilo, HI 96720 at Prince Kuhio Plaza, between 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday. Kona: Walmart 75-1015 Henry St. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 between 9:00am-6:00pm Monday-Friday. Kahului: Walmart 101 Pakaula Street, Kahului, HI 96732 between 9:00am-6:00pm Monday-Saturday. Lihue: 3016 Umi Street #1, Lihue, HI 96766 between 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday. Upon quote completion, customer will receive one emergency kit.

4) For Hawaii residents 18 years or older only.

5) Employees of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies are not eligible.

6) Cannot be combined with any other offers.

7) Some restrictions apply.