DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Veteran business leader picked to head Bureau of ConveyancesPosted on Dec 5, 2016 in Latest Department News
Les Kobata Moves Up From Deputy Registrar Position
(Honolulu) – Leslie Kobata, who has served as the Deputy Registrar in the DLNR Bureau of
Conveyances since 2011, has been tabbed as the next Registrar. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Les is an outstanding, innovative, and approachable leader. We are fortunate to retain his decades of private sector, high-level business experience, as the Bureau of Conveyances continues a major modernization initiative directed at making its vital State records easily accessible to the public.
The Hawai‘i Bureau of Conveyances is the only single statewide recording office in the country. It examines, records, and indexes more than 344,000 land and property documents and maps each year and it issues Land Court Certificates of Title and certifies copies of matters of record. On a daily basis, the Bureau of Conveyances inputs 1,100-1,500 documents and its records date back to 1845.
The Bureau of Conveyances is currently in the second phase of a multi-year project to digitize 35 million microfilm images and 5,500 reference books. Case added, “Les has been instrumental in moving this enormous project forward as part of his commitment to government efficiency and transparency. Ultimately when the project is complete, anyone with a computer, anywhere, will be able to access these vital historical records and documents.”
Kobata was born and raised in Honolulu. He graduated from Kaimuki High School and the University of Hawaii’i-Manoa with a degree in Travel Industry Management. He spent 18 years in sales and management positions with GTE Hawaiian Tel (currently Hawaiian Telcom), and worked with customers in both Hawaii and international markets. He was one of the first District Managers when payroll giant Automatic Data Processing opened its Hawaii office. He worked for six years as Vice-President for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and was responsible for various branch operations, then management of its training and development center.
Kobata said, “Since starting with the Bureau of Conveyances, our team has accomplished a lot to improve operations through the implementation of a new database system and getting a solid start to our digitization efforts. I want to thank my predecessor, Nikki Ann Thompson and our staff for their extraordinary work in laying the groundwork. I’m looking forward to continuing these efforts along with some new ones to improve our services to the people of Hawaii’i, streamlining work processes for our staff, and ensuring the timely and accurate recording and preservation of our land records.”
Kobata gives back to his Alma Mater, by doing volunteer work through the Kaimuki High School Foundation. He is married and has two daughters, both attending college on the mainland.
(All video & images courtesy: Hawaii DLNR)
Digitization Project Video News Release:
Digitization Project b-roll and SOTs: (Les Kobata 15:33-17:20)
Digitization Project Photographs: (Les Kobata #8978 and #9001)
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources