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Linda Sawai retiring, Joseph Sam joins UHPA

Linda Sawai Retiring in December; 

Joseph Sam to Succeed Her as UHPA Associate Executive Director

A strong leadership team is critically important for the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly. At every turn, there are new challenges facing UH faculty. UHPA must constantly be vigilant, anticipate what’s ahead, and be prepared to take action.

Linda is a Backbone of UHPA

Linda Sawai

Linda Sawai has been a vital member of our leadership team as an Associate Executive Director.  Hired by past Executive Director J. N. Musto in 1983 she has been the backbone of our organization, offering a historical perspective, depth of insight, and bringing strength and stability to balance the often frenetic pace at which we must relentlessly work to defend and uphold the rights of our faculty members. 


Linda has also kept UHPA in sound financial shape, responsible for all aspects of accounting and budgeting. Based on everything that Linda provided UHPA, it was extremely difficult for us to accept that she plans to retire at the end of this year.  Nevertheless, we respect her decision and we wish her all the best as she begins a new chapter in her life. She may not be involved with the day-to-day operations of UHPA in the coming new year, but she will always remain and be a part of the UHPA ‘ohana.  Regardless of whether she is not here or retired, we all know that she will be there for UHPA and a die-hard advocate of our members.

Words cannot fully express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Linda for her nearly four decades of superior leadership, service, motivation, and for the positive atmosphere she has provided to UHPA and its membership.  Linda is an inspiration to all and a model of a dedicated and passionate individual who supports the labor movement and all of Hawaiiʻs working families.  This is a retirement well deserved and earned.


UHPA Welcomes Joseph Sam

Joseph Sam

As you can imagine, finding someone to succeed her was not easy. Fortunately, however, we have been able to lure Joseph Sam from Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) to join our leadership team.

Joe, a certified public accountant, will report directly  to Christian Fern and will be responsible for financial management, including budgeting, forecasting, and accounting to ensure the union continues to operate in a financially sound manner. Linda leaves big shoes to fill and having Joe on board now ensures there will be a smooth leadership and functional transition over the next four months.


Joe’s Extensive Experience 

Joe was a valued team member of HMSA. He served in progressively responsible roles at HMSA for 16 years, for the past two years  as Director of Government Programs. He started at HMSA in 2005 as Senior Internal Auditor, and was promoted to other key positions, including Senior Business Analyst and Senior Manager of HMO and Government Reporting.

We’re very fortunate to have Joe on our leadership team as his experience in financial management for large and complex organizations and programs will be an asset to UHPA and the faculty we represent.

Another UH Alumnus Joins UHPA

Joe is a UH alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Santa Clara University and a Master of Business Administration degree with a Concentration in Accounting from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa. He is involved in the community and currently serves as the Treasurer of Helping Hands Hawai‘i and a member of the American Heart Association’s Hawaii Young Leaders.

Please join us in congratulating Linda on her upcoming retirement in December 2021 and welcoming Joe to the UHPA team!