Moloka‘i driver Nelson Umemoto named MEO Employee of the Month

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December 8, 2023

“Uncle” Nelson Umemoto, a longtime Moloka‘i driver who creates an inviting and comfortable atmosphere on his bus, was named Maui Economic Opportunity Employee of the Month.

“He is highly respectful to all of his riders,” said MEO Moloka‘i Branch Manager Mahie McPherson, one of two MEO staff to nominate him for the honor. “He truly makes it a point to make all riders feel invited and comfortable on his bus.”

“Nelson is always positive, always smiling and is always inclined to accommodate our transportation needs,” she said, noting that he stays late and comes in early as needed.

“He really is a joy to work with” and “is an outstanding representation of MEO,” Mahie said.

Nelson’s other nominator, Ashley Caris from the Head Start office in Wailuku, was transported by Nelson when visiting the preschool site in Kaunakakai.

“My nominee demonstrated flexibility and teamwork when being asked toadjust his typical work day to support early morning transportation for visiting Maui staff,” said Ashley. “My nominee was prompt, kind, respectful, and a very smooth driver.”

Nelson has been driving for MEO since July 2009.

For being named Employee of the Month for September, Nelson earned a $150 check and an extra vacation day. He was honored at MEO’s General Staff meeting Oct. 31. Mahie and Ashley split $50 as nominators.

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