22 Women Named to Second Cohort of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance

Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance Cohort 2 members (from left to right:) Eileen Zorc, Partner, Marr Jones & Wang; Sonya Gomes, Assistant Vice President & Deposit Operations Manager, Central Pacific Bank; and Phyllis Freitas, Director of Business Sales, Hawaiian Telcom.

Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance Cohort 2 members (from left to right:) Eileen Zorc, Partner, Marr Jones & Wang; Sonya Gomes, Assistant Vice President & Deposit Operations Manager, Central Pacific Bank; and Phyllis Freitas, Director of Business Sales, Hawaiian Telcom.

Twenty-two outstanding women from a variety of industries have been selected as members of the second cohort of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance. The program aims to further develop management and leadership skills in an effort to increase the representation of women executives in Hawaii.

“We are so thrilled to announce the members of this amazing leadership program specifically designed for women in Hawaii,” said Terri Funakoshi, Director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership at YWCA O‘ahu. “We look forward to being a part of their journey and really empowering them with the tools to become their personal and professional best.”

The future Mink Leaders will take part in an intensive 10-month program starting in September culminating in a community service capstone project and graduation ceremony in June 2018. Session topics include Leading Authentically, Emotional Intelligence, Social Capital Building, Principles of Negotiation, Financial Business Acumen and Intrapreneurial Thinking – majority of which will be facilitated by prominent women leaders. The signature sponsor for this second cohort is Kaiser Permanente.

“The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance invaluably nurtures the growth and development of our emerging female leaders,” said Beth Whitehead, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer at American Savings Bank. “It provides participants the opportunity to take a deep dive into their own potential, building upon the leadership skills needed to succeed in both business and community endeavors.  It also creates important alliances with other female leaders which creates a mutual support network that is invaluable.”

Whitehead has supported the program through sharing it with others at Americans Savings Bank and donating her time and expertise as a facilitator.

The second cohort members are as follows:

  • Michelle Acosta, Executive Director, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii
  • Mary Arakawa, Director of Information Technology, Kaiser Permanente
  • Shawn Benton, Of Counsel, Leong Kunihiro Benton & Brooke
  • Caroline Carl, Deputy Director, Hawaii Energy
  • Ging Ging Fernandez, Principal Consultant, D’Artagnan Consulting, Inc.
  • Phyllis Freitas, Director of Business Sales, Hawaiian Telcom
  • Sonya Gomes, Assistant Vice President & Deposit Operations Manager, Central Pacific Bank
  • Sophie Halliday, Director of Educational Programs, St. Andrew’s Schools
  • Kara Iwasaki, Vice President, Kumabe HR
  • Lea (Kaipo) Kaawaloa, Internal Auditor, The Queen’s Health Systems
  • Kara Kashiwabara, Human Resources Specialist, simplicityHR by ALTRES
  • Kanani Kealoha Faleafine, Loyalty Manager,  Hawaiian Airlines
  • Ku‘ulani Keohokalole, Director of Organizational Development, Liliu‘okalani Trust
  • Emily Kleiner, Director or Events and Promotions, Pacific Business News
  • Nohonani Leslie, Personal Banking Officer, First Hawaiian Bank
  • Andrea Lum, Manager, Communications & Community Advancement, American Savings Bank
  • Karen Maciorowski, Workers’ Compensation Adjuster, Hawaii Pacific Health
  • Sarabecka Mullen, Chief Operating Officer, John Mullen & Company
  • Cathy Schultz, Small Business Consultant, Cathy Schultz Consulting
  • Maria Su, Senior Manager, Spire Hawaii LLP
  • Kimi Takazawa, Director of Development & Marketing, Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Eileen Zorc, Partner, Marr Jones & Wang LLP

The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance launched in September 2016 with its inaugural cohort of 14 women. They successfully completed the program and graduated in March. The program is named in honor of Patsy T. Mink, the first female Asian American and the first female from Hawaii to serve in the U.S. Congress.

To learn more, visit www.mcbl-hawaii.org/minkleaders.

About YWCA O‘ahu
Founded in 1900, YWCA O‘ahu is the oldest and largest women’s membership organization in Hawai‘i supporting women and girls through housing, economic self-sufficiency, professional development and health and wellness. YWCA O‘ahu has more than 1,800 members and three unique facilities on the island of O‘ahu including the flagship YWCA Laniākea in downtown Honolulu, YWCA Fernhurst residence in Makiki, and YWCA Kokokahi recreational site in Kaneohe.

Over two million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 locations across the U.S. YWCA serves more than 25 million women and girls in 125 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ywcaoahu.org.

About the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership
The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) was established by YWCA O‘ahu, the U.S. Small Business Administration and a community of partners to become the only Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Hawai‘i. WBCs are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, and seek to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs who still face unique obstacles in the business world. MCBL is named in honor of Patsy T. Mink for her dedication to helping women through legislative reforms. She was a transformative leader and a national voice for gender equality, education, peace, and so much more.

CONTACT:
Cecilia Fong
YWCA O‘ahu
(808) 695-2620
cfong@ywcaoahu.org
www.ywcaoahu.org

WFN Recap: Catherine Ngo and Keala Peters on Mentoring

Wahine Forum Network.jpg

By Kelli Namba, MCBL Program Coordinator

On August 17, MCBL hosted its third Wahine Forum Network of the year featuring Catherine Ngo, President and CEO of Central Pacific Financial Corp., and Keala Peters, Director of Strategic Marketing at The Queen’s Health Systems. The two women discussed and shared their experiences and perspectives as both mentees and mentors.

Over 60 attendees enjoyed the informative and inspiring poolside chat. Some key takeaways included:

  • Mentors can assist with career planning/goals, building skills, problem-solving and networking
  • A mentoring relationship may be short- or long-term
  • There’s always advice and a perspective that can be helpful
  • High-performing individuals with mentors are promoted more frequently

Our next WFN will be held on Thursday, December 7 featuring Michele “Bud” Nagamine, Head Coach Women’s Soccer, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Please check our upcoming events page and e-newsletter for updates.

Entrepreneurs Tina Fitch and Meli James Share Advice at WFN

Meli James, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA), and Tina Fitch, CEO and Co-Founder of Hobnob, at the Wahine Forum Network luncheon on May 11 at YWCA O'ahu's Elizabeth Fuller Hall.

Meli James, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA), and Tina Fitch, CEO and Co-Founder of Hobnob, at the Wahine Forum Network luncheon on May 11 at YWCA O'ahu's Elizabeth Fuller Hall.

By Kelli Namba, MCBL Program Coordinator

On May 11, over 60 attendees came together for MCBL’s first talk-story formatted Wahine Forum Network luncheon featuring Tina Fitch, CEO and Co-Founder of Hobnob, and Meli James, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA).

James, who also serves on the MCBL Advisory Board, hosted the session and asked Fitch various questions about her background, career and insights. Some key takeaways from the women included:

  • Being the only woman in the room isn’t a disadvantage because there’s an expectation that you have of yourself to be 10 times as good.
  • Nonprofits are beginning to be treated as for-profits where it’s important to have sustainable models and measurable impact.
  • Diversity is needed in the tech industry.
  • Balance doesn’t mean 50-50; things are always in flux.

Save the date for MCBL’s next WFN on Thursday, August 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring a poolside chat with Catherine Ngo, President and CEO of Central Pacific Financial Corp., the parent company of Central Pacific Bank. For updates, please visit www.mcblhawaii.org/wfn.

Launch My Business™ Graduate Wins SmallBiz Editor’s Choice Award

By Kelli Namba, MCBL Program Coordinator

Photo Credit: Hawaii Business Magazine

Photo Credit: Hawaii Business Magazine

Launch My Business™ graduate and HI Cravings owner Jessica Kamana'o will be honored on May 4 at the 30th Annual SBA Awards & SmallBiz Editor's Choice Awards for winning in the New Business category.

After humble beginnings in 2013 selling acai bowls from her garage, Jessica enlisted the help of her husband, Kalani, and they began a crowdfunding campaign that raised $14,000 to open the first HI Cravings store. The company now operates at a walk-up window location in downtown Honolulu and at Ka Makana Alii in Kapolei, selling acai bowls that can be customized with toppings like fruits, and cookie dough to be “a healthy option by choice, or a delectable dessert by desire.”

The Kamana'o’s began coming to the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership at YWCA O‘ahu in mid-2016 seeking business advice. After realizing they needed a formalized course that would help them understand how to start, run and operate their business, they decided to take Launch My Business™ together. They hope to continue growing their business by expanding to the neighbor islands and the mainland, but vow to remember their roots and continue their commitment of giving back to the communities that they serve.

Jessica and Kalani graduated along with eight other current and aspiring entrepreneurs in March as part of the MCBL’s eighth Launch My Business™ cohort. MCBL is currently recruiting its ninth cohort and a free orientation session will be held on May 11.

2017 Women Who Mean Business & Women to Watch Honorees

Congratulations to The Pacific Business News (PBN) 2017 Women Who Mean Business, and Women to Watch Honorees!

The Women Who Mean Business and Women to Watch honorees for 2017 are an exceptional group of Hawaii business leaders from industries ranging from banking to energy to health care to tourism.

This year’s honorees in the Industry Leader and Women to Watch categories were chosen from more than 150 nominations.

Last night we had the honor of celebrating our very own YWCA O'ahu CEO Noriko Namiki, MCBL Board Chair Susan Utsugi, Mink Leaders Farrah-Marie Gomes & Jennifer Hee. Way to go Ladies!! Thank you for being an inspiration to all!

Women Who Mean Business Honoree, Noriko Namiki, CEO of YWCA O'ahu and the YWCA Team.

Women Who Mean Business Honoree, Noriko Namiki, CEO of YWCA O'ahu and the YWCA Team.

Women To Watch Honoree, Susan Utsugi, MCBL Advisory Board Chair with Colleen McAluney MCBL Program Manager & Terri Funakoshi, MCBL Director.

Women To Watch Honoree, Susan Utsugi, MCBL Advisory Board Chair with Colleen McAluney MCBL Program Manager & Terri Funakoshi, MCBL Director.