2019 LeaderLuncheon Honoree Profile: Kathryn Inkinen

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The 42nd Annual LeaderLuncheon, YWCA Oahu’s biggest fundraiser of the year, is happening on May 15, 2019 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, 12 noon-1:30 p.m. We’re looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments of exceptional women leaders and sharing our mission of “Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women” with our guests.

In the weeks leading up to the event, we’ll introduce you to the 2019 LeaderLuncheon honorees. YWCA O‘ahu selected four amazing women who will be highlighted for their contributions in their fields of work and in their communities. Get to know our first 2019 LeaderLuncheon honoree below!

Q&A with Kathryn Inkinen

Founder & Advisor
Inkinen & Associates

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What types of qualities make a good leader? 

Good Listener. Passionate. Positive Attitude. Confident. Honest and Trustworthy. Visionary.

What has helped you become a more effective leader?

I have always tried to create and maintain a high standard and level of excellence in everything I do. Build trust and inspire people. Lead by example, but also empower employees as individuals.

Name a woman leader who inspires you and why?

Kepola Dudoit who is the resident artist at YWCA O‘ahu. She participated in the Fernhurst Transition Program (community-based reintegration for women coming out of prison), participated in Dress for Success and joined the Professional Women’s Group. While her life has had many adversities, she is headed for success and is motivated to become a small business owner. She can be a role model and inspire many other women. On a personal note, I heard about quilling over 50 years ago and became interested and did small projects. Kepola will share her quilling techniques with me; her creative skills are inspiring and her positive attitude is contagious.


What was your dream job growing up?

I did not have a dream job, but I knew I did not want to be a teacher or nurse which most of the girls in my generation wanted to be. I studied business and was open to learning and taking on career opportunities as they became available. I have been in hospitality, banking and a business owner — all varied but great positions.


What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve ever received?

My father in the mid-sixties said to me that I can do anything a boy can do in a career, but “don’t ever forget your roots.”


What can you advise others to do to help each other or help the next generation of women leaders?

Share stories and experiences, not only professional but personal successes and hardships. Women need to balance professional with personal family responsibilities to be successful. Give each other confidence and support to move forward in times of adversities toward success. Each woman leader should find a “mentee” to share experiences with or just to be there to listen when needed.

Read Kathryn Inkinen’s full bio here.

RSVP for the 42nd Annual LeaderLuncheon today! Click here.


Mahalo to the Hawaii State Legislature for a generous donation! Here’s the photo and press release to recap what happened today:

Lawmakers, including members of the Women's Legislative Caucus, collected 432 pounds of gently used professional clothing for the YWCA's Dress for Success program. (Standing, from left) Rep. Della Au Belatti, Rep. Cynthia Thielen, Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker, Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura, Rep. Gregg Takayama, Maryann Bray, YWCA Lead Member Services Associate, Rep. Lisa Kitagawa, House Speaker Scott K. Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Kepola Dudoit, YWCA resident artist, (seated from left) Rep. Linda Ichiyama (with baby Emily), Rep. Dee Morikawa, Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, and Cecilia Fong, the YWCA Director of Fund Development.

Lawmakers, including members of the Women's Legislative Caucus, collected 432 pounds of gently used professional clothing for the YWCA's Dress for Success program. (Standing, from left) Rep. Della Au Belatti, Rep. Cynthia Thielen, Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker, Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura, Rep. Gregg Takayama, Maryann Bray, YWCA Lead Member Services Associate, Rep. Lisa Kitagawa, House Speaker Scott K. Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Kepola Dudoit, YWCA resident artist, (seated from left) Rep. Linda Ichiyama (with baby Emily), Rep. Dee Morikawa, Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, and Cecilia Fong, the YWCA Director of Fund Development.

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Members and staff at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature have donated 432 pounds of gently used professional clothing, shoes, handbags, and other assorted items to the Dress for Success Program hosted by the YWCA O‘ahu.

The items were collected from March 25 to April 10 and presented to the YWCA today. The clothing will be provided to women – many of them formerly incarcerated – making a second start in life with the help of the YWCA. 

Dozens of individuals brought, bags, boxes, and bundles of clothes, nearly filling the entire front portion of Representative Gregg Takayama's Office (District 34 - Pearl City, Waimalu, and Pacific Palisades).

"This will be a great help for recently incarcerated women to look their best when applying for and working at a new job," said Takayama, Chair of the House Public Safety, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. "I want to thank everyone for their compassion and generosity to help these women, especially the members of the Women's Legislative Caucus."

Receiving the donations on behalf of the YWCA were Maryann Bray, Lead Member Services Associate; Cecilia Fong, Director of Fund Development; and Kepola Dudoit, resident artist.

For more information, go to https://www.ywcaoahu.org/dress-for-success


Honolulu Biennial 2019


Opening Friday, March 8, YWCA Laniākea will exhibit art as part of the downtown loop of Honolulu, featuring many of the city’s most important historic buildings in complement and contrast to the bustling nature of the city’s urban center. Aliʻiolani Hale, Foster Botanical Garden, Hawaiʻi State Art Museum and YWCA Laniākea will host works from Honolulu Biennial artists to include 10 new commissions and 10 site-specific installations.

The YWCA Laniākea is home to an era of tremendous social awareness and change in Hawaiʻi. Its history inspires generations of women to rededicate themselves to the cause of community service as part of the YWCA Oahu’s broader mission to empower women and eliminate racism -- a fitting partner site for Honolulu Biennial 2019.

YWCA Laniākea will host four artists, including three newly commissioned works.

A central feature of the YWCA installations will be a new fibre-based commission by Maui-based artist Chenta Laury (African American | Hawaiʻi). Seattle-based artist Ellen Lesperance (United States) will present a new commission - -four paintings that recreate historic knit garments worn my women at acts of civil disobedience. The paintings were inspired by a photograph of a Greenham Common Camper protester wearing a sweater that was created to look like a newspaper. Central Pacific Time (Kānaka Maoli, United States | Hawaiʻi) is both a collective created by Roger and Lei Bong and their online radio station streaming from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The collective’s mission is to provide a platform for the community to explore and navigate Hawaiʻi’s past, present and future through sound and story. They will present an interactive audio installation titled, Wiliau: Entwined Currents. This new installation reinterprets compositions written by Queen Liliʻuokalani during her imprisonment (1895-1896), allowing visitors to manipulate the audio tracks through movement.

The Honolulu Biennial will announce information on public programming in February. To keep up to date on all the latest from the Honolulu Biennial Foundation follow @honolulubiennial on Instagram, and sign-up for the newsletter at honolulubiennial.org. For questions related to YWCA Laniākea site, please contact rjones@ywcaoahu.org.

42nd Annual LeaderLuncheon: Honorees, RSVPs and festivities

Four inspirational local women leaders will be honored at the 42nd Annual YWCA O‘ahu LeaderLuncheon on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Since 1977, YWCA Oahu’s LeaderLuncheon has been the premier event celebrating extraordinary women leaders in Hawai‘i who exemplify the mission of YWCA O‘ahu, “eliminating racism and empowering women.” The event features networking, inspirational speeches, and a chance for guests to learn more about YWCA O‘ahu and its work in the community.

This year’s LeaderLuncheon will include onsite event coverage on YWCA Oahu’s social media outlets (@YWCAOahu on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

RSVP for a LeaderLuncheon table sponsorship today:


2019 LeaderLuncheon honorees

Kathryn Inkinen
Founder & Advisor
Inkinen & Associates

“To me an executive or good manager has arrived when they give their time to the community.
That builds our community and that’s what we’re here for.”
-Kathryn Inkinen

In 1992, Kathryn Inkinen parlayed years of professional experience in the field of human resources management into the formation of Inkinen & Associates, Hawaii’s premier executive search firm. Kathy’s commitment to the success of her clients has resulted in a loyal and expanding base of clients who count on her and her team to provide executive placement services effectively and discreetly. In July 2018, Kathy turned over the helm of Inkinen & Associates to Ben Ancheta, who is now President. She remains active in the company as Founder/Advisor, and continues to employ her impressive credentials and exceptional skill set to ensure the delivery of superior services to clients of all sizes.

Prior to founding Inkinen & Associates, Kathy served as the top human resource executive for a bank and a five-star resort hotel. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a major in Travel Industry Management and is a past inductee to the College of Business Administration’s Alumni Hall of Honor. Throughout her career, Kathy has made giving back to our community a top priority, serving on boards of several community organizations. Past and present board appointments: Red Cross-Hawaii Chapter, the University of Hawaii’s Travel Industry Management Alumni Association, the American Lung Association’s Lung Force, Women Corporate Directors, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, HEMIC, School to Work Executive Council, UCERA and the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation. She is a lifetime member of the University of Hawai‘i Alumni Association, YWCA O‘ahu and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. In 2017, Kathy was awarded Alumni of the Year from Farrington High School and Small Business of the Year Award from Hawaii Business Magazine.

Kathryn Matayoshi
Senior Vice President
Government Programs & Account Relationships

“I think leadership is a continuum in a person’s life and probably through their careers.”
-Kathryn Matayoshi

Kathryn Matayoshi joined HMSA in December 2017, as senior vice president of Government Programs and Account Relationships, leading the company’s Account Management & Sales and Medicaid teams and enhancing HMSA’s strong relationships with Hawaii’s business community. Together, she works to improve the lives of HMSA members and the health of Hawai‘i by providing affordable, quality health benefits.

Before joining HMSA, she spent almost 20 years leading state agencies under four different governors and two mayors, where she was described as a leader who comes with out-of-the-box solutions and a business-minded perspective. Most recently, she served as superintendent of the state Department of Education, where she led the award winning Race to the Top effort, which led to transformative changes in education reform that resulted in higher student achievement. Her experience also includes advising Hawaii’s top business leaders as executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, serving as chief of staff at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and leading the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Kathy served as a board member for YWCA O‘ahu from 1995-2002 and as board chair in 2002. She has always been a strong advocate of YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Her colleagues say her strength as a leader is due to clear, insightful vision. And her heart for her community is what gives her the amazing ability to make positive change on a system-wide basis while simultaneously remaining focused on the student, patient, customer or individual at the center of those systems.

Kathy is a Hilo native and a proud graduate of Hilo High School. She earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and was in private practice at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel before joining Hawaiian Electric Company’s legal department.

Patricia Tam
Chief Executive Advisor
Halekulani Corporation

“Learning is the truest version of on-the-job training.”
-Patricia Tam

As Chief Executive Advisor at Halekulani Corporation, Patricia Tam is responsible for assisting the company’s COO in all aspects of its hotel entities, Halekulani and Waikiki Parc, maintaining and developing its unique and guest-experience oriented arts and cultural partnership programs, which has become a vital part of the globally-renowned Halekulani brand over the years and has won national acclaim in 2017 with the Americans for the Arts BCA 10 Award. Ms. Tam has been a member of the Halekulani legacy for more than 35 years.

In 1993, she became the first female to hold the senior executive position of General Manager for a top luxury hotel in Hawai‘i with a Five-Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. In 1999, Ms. Tam was honored for her outstanding achievements and contributions to further define the standards of service and performance within the hotel global industry when she was named “Independent Hotelier of the World” by Hotels, the leading publication of the worldwide hotel industry. Ms. Tam was appointed to Vice President of Halekulani Corporation in 2000, overseeing all corporate community relations and strategic partnerships related to the brand for Halekulani Corporation, and supports all aspects of the hotels’ operating and service standards.

Other highlights of Ms. Tam’s career include being named among Travel Agent Magazine’s “200 Most Powerful Women in Travel” in 1997 and 1998, and serving as Chairman of the Waikiki Improvement Association, Hawaii Hotel Association and as a board member of Aloha United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Hawaii Employers Council. Ms. Tam has been the recipient of the 2011 Women of Distinction Girl Scouts’ Award. In 2013, she was recognized with two major industry and business awards, the UH Legacy in Tourism award, and the Pacific Business News “Businesswoman of the Year.” Ms. Tam currently serves on the Executive Boards of the Waikiki Improvement Association, Waikiki Business Improvement District Association and Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association.

Beth Whitehead
Executive Vice President
Chief Administrator
American Savings Bank

“I think often girls grow up and don’t have those role models.
So for me, the thought that I could be one of those role models is kind of daunting,
but amazing and humbling.”
-Beth Whitehead

As Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of American Savings Bank (ASB), Beth Whitehead champions ASB’s employee experience with the goal of creating a great place to work. She is currently spearheading the brand new ASB Campus, a building that in 2019 will bring together approximately 660 teammates from five locations on O‘ahu in an innovative, collaborative workplace. Beth also oversees ASB’s community advancement department, and is a tireless advocate for the community.

In addition, she is responsible for ASB’s Human Resources, Learning and Development, Communications, Government Affairs, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, Legal, Compliance and Corporate Security teams. Prior to joining ASB in 2008, Beth served as deputy general counsel of First Horizon National Corporation, a diversified financial services holding company, where she oversaw mergers and acquisitions and managed the legal division. She served as general counsel at National Commerce Financial, which consistently ranked among the top five best-performing banks according to U.S. Bankers' list of 100 largest banking companies prior to its merger with SunTrust bank in 2004.

Beth graduated with honors from both the University of Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate. An active member of the community, Beth is a board member for the Hawaii Theatre Center, Helping Hands Hawaii, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii, the YMCA of

Honolulu and Girl Scouts of Hawaii; a former board member for YWCA O‘ahu; and past board chair for the Women’s Fund. In 2016, she was appointed by Governor David Ige to the State of Hawaii Workforce Development Council. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Banking and Finance at University of North Carolina School of Law.

Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance names 21 local women leaders to its third cohort

Honolulu, HI – The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, the only program in Hawai‘i designed to enable mid-career women to advance their management and leadership skills, has named 21 participants to its third cohort, which will start in August.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome our next cohort of aspiring Mink Leaders,” said Terri Funakoshi, Director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership. “These amazing women are well-accomplished and we look forward to helping them grow, both professionally and personally.”

The following women have been selected for the 2018-2019 Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance:

•    Ananda Chou (Branch Executive Director at YMCA of Honolulu-Atherton)
•    Audra Dinell (Vice President of Account Services at Success Advertising Hawaii)
•    Shayna Doi (Marketing & Communications Manager at Hawaii Energy)
•    Suzanne Eugenio (Marketing Services Manager at UHA)
•    Jessica Gluck (Senior Tax Manager at Alexander & Baldwin)
•    Sarah Guay (Director of Organizational Development at American Savings Bank)
•    Kira Higa (Senior Manager, Benefits, at Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.)
•    Mele Kalama-Kingma (Entrepreneur and owner of Mamalani LLC)
•    Denise Kilgore (Assistant Client Care Manager at Altres)
•    Donna Kojima (Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at First Hawaiian Bank)
•    Melissa Miyashiro (Chief of Staff at Blue Planet Foundation)
•    Teri Nobriga (Program Management Director, Pacific Region, at SAIC)
•    Asiana Ponciano (Manager, Consumer Affairs Office, at Hawaiian Airlines)
•    Mapu Quitazol (Project Manager at MEDB, Inc., STEMworks)
•    Kelsi Tamashiro (Branch Manager at Bank of Hawaii)
•    Sharilyn Tanaka (Vice President AOAO/Personal Lines Sales at Atlas Insurance Agency)
•    Alyssa Tercino (Vice President, Management Reporting Manager, at Central Pacific Bank)
•    Christian Whitney (Senior Policy and Contracts Strategist, Pole Infrastructure Enterprise, at Hawaiian Electric Company)
•    Kimberly Takata (Program Manager at HMSA)
•    Kimberly Perez Hults (Associate Director of Business Development at Argosy University)
•    Kaiulani Shinsato (Manager, Distributed Energy Resources Strategy and Policy, at Hawaiian Electric Company)

To date, 35 Mink Leaders from diverse fields and industries, including banking, healthcare, technology, law, education, and nonprofit, have graduated the program. This year’s group of Mink Leaders is eager to take part in learning more about topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Design Thinking, Principles of Negotiation, and Strategic Planning. Participants will benefit from valuable expertise offered throughout the program by prominent women leaders and facilitators. The curriculum also includes a community project that allows the cohort to contribute to YWCA O‘ahu’s mission of empowering women.

“The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance was born out of the recognition of the tremendous need to better prepare our community’s women leaders for ongoing successes,” said Sherri Okinaga, Vice President of Talent Development at First Hawaiian Bank. “It provides our participants with many opportunities to value their own natural talents, invest in mutually supportive networks, build their influence, be resilient, learn to negotiate, and embrace self-promotion to galvanize change in both business and community endeavors.”

Okinaga has supported the program by encouraging women at First Hawaiian Bank to participate. She also donates her time and expertise as a member of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership Advisory Board, where she serves as the leadership program’s curriculum designer and one of its facilitators.

The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance began in September 2016 and is a 10-month program designed for emerging women leaders who are committed to personal growth, professional impact, and community change. This program further develops management and leadership skills in an effort to increase the representation of women executives in Hawai‘i. Through facilitated sessions, the cohort will have the opportunity to engage directly with established business professionals and build alliances with fellow Mink Leaders. Participants are chosen through a competitive application process and are required to attend 16 out of the 18 program sessions in order to graduate in June 2019. The program is offered by the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership, a department of YWCA O‘ahu.

The program was named in honor of the late Patsy T. Mink, who was both the first Asian-American woman and the first woman from Hawai‘i to serve in the U.S. Congress. She was renowned for her commitment to proactive leadership and women’s advocacy.

For more information about the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, visit www.mcblhawaii.org/minkleaders.