IEHA Hawaii Chapter - History of Our Chapter

The Hawaii Chapter of IEHA
Uniting Facility Managers Worldwide

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History of Our Chapter

The Hawaii Chapter of the National Executive Housekeepers Association (NEHA) was founded by Melissa Fontes, the Executive Housekeeper of the Ilikai Hotel on July 9, 1968.The chapter was chartered with 115 initial members. Fontes was the chapter president from 1968 to 1970.

Donald Cronkhite became the first Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH) of the Hawaii Chapter.


Dr. Henry Kalani and Rose Galera

During 1978-1979, Henry Kalani initiated the first 320-hour certification program for housekeepers at Kapiolani Community College (KCC). Kalani was later given an honorary lifetime membership into the Hawaii Chapter.

Among other things, Hawaii hosted the 1979 NEHA Pacific Southwest District biennial conference. A $50 registration fee included three conference days, with a workshop, lunches, aloha cocktail party, coffee, refreshments, as well as the installation dinner.

At the 1996 convention, held in Dallas, convention delegates voted on and passed a bylaw officially changing the association's name from NEHA to the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA). The name change was effective as of that 35th Biennial Congress. During that period, IEHA was 6,600-plus members strong.

The Hawaii Chapter is IEHA's largest chapter with approximately 100 members. The association represents facility housekeeping at the management level and members represent a variety of industries, including hospitality, health care, education, contract cleaning and suppliers.

IEHA has more than 75 chapters worldwide.


Hawaii chapter members attend the 2010 IEHA convention in Orlando, Fla. From left: Maile Broniola, Madeline Chang, John Yamamoto and Anna Rodriguez.

Past Presidents

Melissa Fontes (1968-1969)

Don Cronkhite (1970-1972)

Barbara Allister (1972-1973)

Agnes Gutman (1973-1974)

Sachio Koyada (1974-1975)

  Pat Burkett (1975-1976)

  Josephine Auld (1976-1977)

  Pete Rivera (1977-1979)

  Mattie Vero (1979-1981)

  Angela Padigos (1981-1983)

  Paulette Collins (1983-1985)

  Pat Kramm (1985-1986)

  Cathy Quevido (1986-1989)

  Rose Galera (1989-1993)

  Harris Nakamoto (1993-1995)

  Roy Honda (1995-1997)

  Madeline Chang (1997-1999)

  Rose Galera (1999-2001)

  Elcinor Evasco (2001-2003)

  Patty Kawaoka (2003-2005)

  Gary Nushida (2005-2009)

  John Yamamoto (2009-2011)

  Rose Galera (2011-2015)

  Hao Dang Tanacsos (2015-2019)