Getting to Know our new President

Getting to Know our new President Katy Deshotels-Moore

I was thrilled when Garrett Webb sent me a text announcing that Katy DesHotels-Moore was appointed the new LICH President. My thoughts: it was perfect in every way. I don’t remember the first time I met Katy, but it was somewhere back in the mid-1990s. I was a landscape supervisor at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and she was involved with a big new project down the coast called Hualalai Resort.  I had no idea then that she would become the Resort Landscape Director and hire me to join her management team in the year 2000. Actually, my first memory of meeting Katy was being invited by our National Guard employees to a field day at Schofield Barracks. We met at Keahole Airport, boarded the general’s private jet and landed at Schofield for a tour of the headquarters and base. After lunch, we donned heavy vests, helmets, ear protection and big-a** automatic guns and headed out to the live-fire range for target practice. We were able to see our employees in the field and came away with a newfound respect and appreciation for their volunteerism and military service. We forged a friendship from that day on.

Fast-forward to 2002, I had been working with Katy for 2 years as her Hotel and Residential landscape manager. The Four Seasons Hotel was 6 years old and we only maintained 9 private residences at that time. One day in May, Katy called an impromptu manager’s meeting and announced her plans to leave to pursue her education and dream of studying Landscape Design and Architecture at CalPoly, SLO. She had seen the Hotel Landscaping and Resort Development morph from lava fields to a sculpted terrain of shades of green and now it was time to realize her lifelong goal. Originally a native of Louisiana, Katy had spent her early working years in the Gulf of Mexico on Oil Producing Platforms but her love of adventure and the ocean brought her to Maui on vacation, where she met her equally ocean-loving husband, Bill who was a dive captain. Eventually, Katy moved to Maui and worked for Kihei Gardens and Landscaping in the early 90’s. In 1995, she was relocated to the Big Island by Kihei Gardens to hire and train the landscape staff of the newly-built Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The era of sugarcane production had just come to an end on the Big Island, so the majority of the landscape staff came from this failed industry. Katy then worked for California Hawaii Foliage Growers after leaving the Hapuna Prince. Her main purpose was to prepare the mature trees and palms that would later be installed at Hualalai Resort. Her hand is still visible in the success of the landscape, now 27 years later.

I consider Katy one of my strongest mentors in the field of landscaping and I owe much of my success to the time we spent together here at Hualalai. Katy never just walked; she had long legs, so I felt she was always 2 steps ahead of me. Even though I came to her with a strong background in tropical horticulture, I really knew little about field growing conditions, construction, installation, water quality, irrigation and, especially managing the human resource. Katy DesHotels-Moore will lead LICH into its future with vision, passion and a wealth of experience and knowledge. As I said in opening, her appointment as LICH President is perfect in every way.


Erin Lee, Director of Landscape

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

 Katy on the job on Lana’i

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About the author  ⁄ Garrett Webb

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