Jay Furfaro is a retired Kauai hotel veteran of 31 years who began working for the Guslanders and Amfac hotels in 1971 at the Hanalei Plantation and Coco Palms hotels. Originally from the Waianae Coast, Jay grew up in the hotel business at Makaha Inn & Country Club where he was a management trainee for Westin Hotels while studying the hotel & restaurant business at Kapiolani Community College within the University of Hawai`i system.
Jay joined Outrigger Hotels & Resorts in 1992 to become General Manager of the Outrigger Kauai Beach Resort, previously a Hilton hotel. While he was General Manager, the hotel launched a program with the late Dr. George Kanahele, called "The Way of the Canoe" (Ke Ano Wa`a). This program instilled the Hawaiian values of hospitality and the shared responsibility of preservation, as well as being the keeper of the host culture. The resort was renovated; the management contract renewed and significant improvements were achieved. His business was the first recipient of the Kaua`i Chamber of Commerce "Green Star Award" for its efforts in recycling and energy management.
With his leadership, Jay managed the transition of the Outrigger Wailea Resort after leaving the Outrigger Kaua`i Beach. In most recent years, Jay oversaw the opening of several hotels for Outrigger in the Cook Islands, Fiji, and French Polynesia. Jay was a key contributor to the renovation of the Radisson Kauai property, which was formally the Outrigger.
In addition to Jay's commitment to excellence in his work, he is also a civic leader and a teacher of our culture. Jay has been a member of the Kaua`i Citizens General Plan Commission as well as a member of the Kaua`i Planning Commission. Jay served as president of the Kaua`i Historical Society from 1994 to 1997.
Jay is the keeper of records for Gomez Ohana of Hanalei. His wife of 37 years, Ema Gomez, was raised in Hanalei, Kaua`i. The Gomez family descended from one of the original Princeville cowboys, Louis Antonio Domingo Gomez. Jay and Ema, have three children Nicole, Jennifer and Marissa. All three young women are graduates of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai`i.
Jay is honored to be serving the people of Kauai as an elected leader, and is pleased to work and collaborate with the diverse members of the Kauai County Council. Jay's friends and associates agree - Jay has brought "valuable contributions to government".
Jay is a proud member of many community organizations, and is actively involved in Kauai Habitat for the Humanities. The focus of KHFH is to address the below affordable housing needs of those Kauaians who strive to attain the American dream of home ownership that strengthens the values of community and family.
Jay's passion for the ocean includes shoreline preservation, protection of surfing locations and is an upena net fisherman. Jay's favorite pastime has included longboard surfing since 1959 at Makaha Beach (Keiki O Ka Nalu). He was the winner of the 1988 longboard surfing championship on Molokai and has visited many South Pacific islands.