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Molokaʻi driver Nelson Umemoto named MEO Employee of the Month : Maui Now

December 8, 2023, 7:00 AM HST

Nelson Umemoto. PC: MEO

“Uncle” Nelson Umemoto, a longtime Molokaʻi driver who is credited with “creating 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 Molokaʻi 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,” McPherson said.

Another nominator, Ashley Caris from the Head Start office in Wailuku, was transported by Umemoto when visiting the preschool site in Kaunakakai.

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


Umemoto has been driving for MEO since July 2009.

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

Source: Maui News

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