The board of Hawaii’s struggling state-based public exchange has picked an energy industry veteran to run its operations.

Jeffrey Kissel is the new executive director of the Hawai’i Health Connector.

From 2007 through June 2013, Kissel was president of Hawaii Gas, an energy company.

“I’m at a place in my career where I can really give back to the community and do something that will make a difference in people’s lives,” Kissel said in a statement about his new post. 

Tom Matsuda, the state’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) implementation director, took over as the interim executive director in November 2013, after Coral Andrews, the founding executive director, decided against trying to renew her two-year contract.

Hawaii was unable to get its exchange enrollment system working by the Oct. 1, 2013, start date of the first PPACA public exchange open enrollment period. This past spring, the exchange board came close to deciding to use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ federal HealthCare.gov enrollment system to manage 2015 enrollment.

Kissel has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

From 1988 through 1999, he managed crude oil trading for an oil refinery. He later ran a calling party equipment vendor, then became president of Cleveland Wrecking, a subsidiary of URS Corp. He went on to serve as an executive vice president at companies in the civil engineering and construction industries before going to work for Hawaii Gas.