By Kelli Namba, MCBL Program Coordinator
The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) Grand Reopening & Client Showcase was held on Tuesday, March 7 and featured a blessing and appearances by various dignitaries. The Center relocated in November 2016 to the lobby level of the historic YWCA Oahu Laniakea building in downtown Honolulu.
Governor David Ige attended the blessing and gave a passionate speech to attendees about the progress women have made professionally and the need to continue efforts set forth by the late Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink and others. He also joined the celebration after the formal program to speak to guests and visit the client showcase.
The event also included a display of Congresswoman Mink’s desk that was generously donated to MCBL by Mrs. Joan Manke, her former Chief of Staff. Mrs. Manke and her husband Jim, a close friend of the Congresswoman, were in attendance.
MCBL was also pleased to have Senator Michelle Kidani at the event. She played an instrumental role in helping YWCA Oahu obtain funding for the renovation of the Center’s new location through the Grants-in-Aid program.
Ms. Jeannine Souki, YWCA Oahu board member and chair of the advocacy committee, also attended. She is the Executive Director at Hawaii Public Charter School Network.
New MCBL Director, Terri Funakoshi, participated in the blessing, welcomed guests and gave a speech about the Center. Ms. Funakoshi joined MCBL in September 2016 and brings many years of retail expertise that she has been sharing with MCBL clients.
Other speakers that evening included Ms. Keala Peters, YWCA Oahu board vice chair and Director of Strategic Marketing at The Queen’s Health Systems; Dr. Farrah-Marie Gomes, Mink Leader and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UH-Hilo; and Ms. Colleen McAluney, MCBL Program Manager.
The event would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and groups. The MCBL staff extends its sincere appreciation for all those who have played a role in making the Center the wonderful place that it is today.