Launch My Business™ Graduate Wins SmallBiz Editor’s Choice Award
By Kelli Namba, MCBL Program Coordinator
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 Honorees
Congratulations to The 2017 Women Who Mean Business Honorees! 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!
The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) Grand Reopening & Client Showcase
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.
Congratulations Mink Leaders!
March 1, 2017
Congratulations to the inagural cohort of Mink Leaders!
On behalf of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL), we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the Mink Leaders on their graduation from the Leadership Alliance program.
Having completed this six-month program, we hope you feel a sense of great pride and accomplishment. We also hope you'll take the knowledge you've gained, lessons you've learned, and relationships you've built with you as you pursue your professional goals and success.
Most importantly, we ask that you share your skills, talents and expertise to guide and uplift girls and women in your workplaces and communities, so that they may benefit from having a supportive and nurturing environment. it is only through working together and helping each other that we can all truly achieve success.
We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.
Sincerely- MCBL Staff
Terri Funakoshi, Director
Colleen McAluney, Program Manager
Kelli Namba, Program Coordinator
January 11, 2017:
MidWeek (Proof Positive):
Courtesy of MidWeek
2016 Downtown Uncorked
October 21, 2016
A fundraiser for MCBL and a Product Showcase for the Launch My Business Cohorts, check out our facebook page to see all the fun pictures. facebook@mcbl-hawaii
First Girls Summit on Hawai'i Island
The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) hosted the one-day conference at Hawaii Preparatory Academy in October and invited students from Honoka‘a High & Intermediate to participate. The theme of the Girls Summit was “Women in Science.” We were very fortunate to have the summit on Hawai'i island at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy's E-lab. Throughout the summit, the young women networked with peers, heard from keynote speaker Christine Lanning, attended two breakout sessions, engaged with professional women during a mentoring activity and participated in an advocacy portion.
MCBL receives the Holomua Awards
October 26, 2016—MCBL receives the prestigious Holomua Award for outstanding efforts in supporting Boots to Business and our veteran-owned businesses.
BOOTS TO BUSINESS
Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.
Introducing the Inaugural Cohort of The Patsy. T. Mink Leadership Alliance
THE 14 WOMEN OF THE INAUGURAL COHORT ARE:
Kristin Alm, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, Human Resources Manager
Emi Au, American Savings Bank, First VP, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis
Tracy Camuso, Group 70 International, Land Use/Environmental Planner
Farrah-Marie Gomes, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Associate VP for Student Affairs
Tiffany Hatchett, Central Pacific Bank, Branch Manager
Jennifer Hee, The Salvation Army, Chief Development Officer
Chancy Hopper, Maui County Council, Supervising Legislative Analyst
Ashlee Kishimoto, Hawaiian Airlines, Senior Director of Investor Relations
Beth Kuch, Hawaii Community Foundation, Associate Director, Communications
Jessica Munoz, Ho‘ola Na Pua, Founder/President
Runjini Murthy, Howard Hughes Corporation, Database Marketing Manager
Sarah Pardieck, Kaiser Permanente, Program Manager, Health Care Reform, Exchange Operations & Membership Admin
Erinn Tomlinson, Bishop & Company, Executive Recruiter
Isla Young, Maui Economic Development Board, Director of K-12 STEM Education, Women in Technology Project
Despite progress on gender equality, women are still significantly underrepresented in top-level management. According to CNN, just 5% of companies have female CEOs and only 16.5% of companies have women as top-level executives. The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership is looking to change that.
With the guidance of the MCBL Advisory Board, YWCA O'ahu is proud to announce a new initiative, the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance. Susan Utsugi, Senior Vice President & Director of Business Banking at Central Pacific Bank and Chair of the MCBL Leadership Committee, said this 6-month program was created by women for women to enhance their leadership skills and to deal with challenges and opportunities in their career and personal lives.
"We want to make sure that we can continue to have generations of women leaders in Hawaii,” Utsugi said. “I’m so happy that we could come together under the YWCA and the Mink Center for Business & Leadership and create this initiative. I think there’s a real need for this kind of program.”
Many for-profit and non-profit organizations are making gender diversity a priority in the workplace and have sponsored emerging female leaders within their companies. Candidates submitted resumes with two letters of recommendation, committed to attending at least 80% of meetings and events, and completed individual interviews with members of the MCBL Advisory Board in August.
“We were very careful in our selection and wanted to make sure that the cohort was comprised of women that really set the bar high,” Utsugi said. “I hope they’re able to build skills as well as confidence in themselves. I think you can have a lot of tangible skills and we can do a lot of tangible training, but we also want to make sure that deep inside they have that confidence to know they are great leaders.”
Sherri Okinaga, Vice President of Corporate Training & Development at First Hawaiian Bank, helped design the curriculum for the Leadership Alliance. She believes some of the biggest challenges women face in their careers include making time to invest in a network and overcoming a hesitation to negotiate.
“Women in leadership represent a two-way street. While organizations must change the culture and structure of work to enable women to advance, women must also invest in honing leadership skills that will increase their opportunities for success in the workplace,” Okinaga said.
The curriculum includes coaching from some of the top female business professionals on O‘ahu, and focuses on the topics of leading a collaborative team, strategic planning, financial business acumen, conflict management, negotiation, community service coaching and much more.
Participants will also receive special seating at the Wahine Forum Conference, reserved seating at two Wahine Forum Network luncheons, and networking coaching from Pineapple Tweed Founder & President Piia Aarma at Downtown Uncorked. Okinaga will kick off the program on Sept. 20 with a session on leading authentically and the program will conclude with a graduation ceremony in March 2017.
“The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance was born out of the need to prepare our community’s women leaders for on-going success,” Okinaga said. “Women are still underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline. It is our hope that through this leadership program, participants will learn to value their own natural talents, become their own best advocates, build their influence, and galvanize change.”