2018 LeaderLuncheon profile: Julie Arigo

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Julie Arigo is the General Manager of Waikiki Parc Hotel and oversees all aspects of the hotel. She has been recognized by national industry magazines, including Hotel Management's "Top 25 General Managers to Watch" in 2013 and Pacific Edge's "Leading Ladies of Hospitality" as one of the top executives from Oahu's hotel industry.

She began her career at Waikiki Parc in 1994. Prior to assuming her role as General Manager in 2012, she held various managerial roles and has been instrumental in development Waikiki Parc as a contemporary hotel, offering personalized service and innovative guest experiences.

Arigo is also the founder and the 2014-15 Chairperson of Women in Lodging & Tourism (WIL) - Hawaii Chapter and was the 2016-17 President of the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL). She currently still serves on the board for the two chapters along with the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Travel Industry Management School's Travel Advisory Council and Soroptimist International.

She is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and the Hawaii Society of Business Professionals (HSBP).

She was named "2013 Woman Leader of the Year" by the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL), for her exemplary professional leadership and community service and received the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management Alumni Hall of Honor Award in 2015.

Get to know Julie Arigo: LeaderLuncheon Q & A

YWCA O'ahu asked Julie Arigo several questions about her thoughts on leadership and service.

Q: What types of qualities make a good leader?

Julie Arigo: The leaders whom I admire and inspire me are those who have accomplished so much and demonstrate these very valuable qualities:

  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Humble
  • Respectful
  • Integrity
  • Competent
  • Empowers
  • Enthusiasm
  • Compassion

Q: What has helped you become a more effective leader?

JA: By immersing myself amongst professionals from diverse industries and by building good  relationships with individuals having different backgrounds and experiences, it has definitely helped me to gain more knowledge and enhance my skills set. Networking is what I attribute to becoming a more effective leader.

Q: Name a woman leader who inspires you and explain why.

JA: Vicky Cayetano. In my opinion, she exemplifies all of the leadership qualities I have mentioned  above. I have known her for many years and I have always been impressed with how she conducts herself as a professional and as a friend. She recently received PBN’s 2018 Career Achievement recognition and I feel it is well-deserved.  She is an ambitious woman, a go-getter, gracious, and  makes people feel important no matter who they are. When I was moving up in my career, I always thought being a short, local Asian female would be obstacles in obtaining leadership roles but I know this is not true now and Vicky certainly has proved that!

Q: What was your dream job growing up?

JA: When I was in high school, I dreamt of becoming a flight attendant. I wanted to travel and thought flight attendants always looked so professional, well put together, and most of all seemed to enjoy themselves while serving others. It seemed like the dream job to me until I found out what the minimum height requirement was at the time!

Q: What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever received?

JA: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: ”Sometimes you have to toot your own horn”.

My boss gave me this advice. He ran into me on my return to the hotel from a luncheon in which I had just been recognized as "Woman of the Year" by an organization. He asked what the lei was for, I told him, and he asked me if I would have told him about it had he not run into me that day. I smiled. He then gave me this advice, telling me that sometimes it’s okay to toot your own horn because otherwise, things may go unnoticed by those who should know about your successes outside of work and who can be key people in support of your career succession. Since then, I share this with my female peers and aspiring young professionals: There are appropriate times to be modest and then there are times when you do need to “toot your own horn”.

Q: As a woman leader, what can you advise others to do to help each other or help the next generation of women leaders?

JA: Be generous in sharing your knowledge. Be welcoming of knowledge shared with you.

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RSVP for the 41st annual leaderluncheon today

Join YWCA O'ahu in honoring four extraordinary local women whose commitment, grace and spirit have made a tremendous impact in their communities. Guests from all fields of work are invited to attend the YWCA O'ahu LeaderLuncheon to support the advancement of women leaders in Hawai'i and the YWCA mission of "Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women."

Table sponsorships are available starting at $3,000. Individual tickets cost $150. Click HERE to make your LeaderLuncheon reservation today.

Welcome, Eden and Darlene!

Two new staffers joined YWCA O'ahu last month. Eden Monteilh is our new manager of Health & Wellness and Member Services. Darlene Dela Cruz has come onboard as the YWCA O'ahu marketing/communications coordinator. 

 Eden Monteilh

Eden Monteilh

Eden Monteilh has a background in the fitness industry as a manager, director, program designer, personal trainer, workshop presenter and exercise instructor for more than 23 years. She has worked for non-profit, military and private facilities, as well as opened her own Functional Training gym for nearly four years. Eden specializes in TRX training, athletic conditioning for youth and adults and is known for "out of the box" fitness programs. She recently was contracted for and completed the Special Olympics Hawai'i 2018 Functional Training program for their athletes and coaches. Her off-time is spent training for triathlons and obstacle course races, hiking and working with special needs children. She moved from Virginia Beach to Hawai'i 25 years ago and has four children. She fundamentally believes that everyone is an “athlete,” and personal fitness needs to be a lifestyle, not a resolution. Personal fitness requires opportunity, discipline and motivation. At a young age she was discouraged by others not to pursue various activities due to a congenital back issue, but she has found her "athlete" within, and she’s passionate about helping others find their athletic goals.

Some of Eden's goals for YWCA O'ahu Health & Wellness are new facility updates and class formats, and providing more cutting-edge fitness challenges for members. She will serve as an instructor for a few classes, and is always available to answer any fitness or membership questions.


 Darlene Dela Cruz

Darlene Dela Cruz

Darlene was born and raised in Kalihi, Honolulu, Hawai'i. She is an alum of Farrington High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, with a minor certificate in Spanish. Darlene initially was a nursing major, but she decided to pursue a career in reporting and media when she started a blog during her junior year of college and realized how her impacted others.

She worked as a writer and features editor at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa student newspaper, then traveled to New York City to study magazine/book publishing for six weeks at the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. Prior to arriving at YWCA O'ahu, she worked as managing editor of the new “magazine division” launched by Oahu Publications, then served as reporter/photographer for the Hawai'i Catholic Herald newspaper. 

In her spare time, Darlene enjoys watching sports, singing and shopping.

Darlene made many new friends and enjoyed her experience as a former Health & Wellness member at YWCA  Laniākea  from 2009 to 2016. She is grateful to return to YWCA O'ahu now as a staffer and hopes she can assist in getting word out about YWCA Oahu's mission.

Nicole Velasco


YWCA O'ahu warmly welcomes one of the newest members of its Board of Directors, Nicole A. Velasco. 

Nicole serves as the lead for business development in Hawai'i for NORESCO, an energy efficiency company. On behalf of NORESCO, she is responsible for creating awareness about Hawaii’s energy opportunities, supporting educational efforts to increase local workforce training in the energy sector, and driving impact through government systems and buildings upgrades at both the city and state level.

Velasco previously served the City & County of Honolulu as executive director of the Office of Economic Development and as executive secretary of the Neighborhood Commission Office. Velasco has also worked as an analyst for the Hawai'i State Office of the Auditor and the Finance Committee of the Hawai'i State House of Representatives. She has been a government affairs advisor at Ashford & Wriston, LLP, as well, representing a variety of clients with legislative concerns in the State of Hawai'i. 

Q: Do you have any fond memories of YWCA O'ahu?

A: My first experience with the YWCA ohana was in 2012, when I was an assistant coach for the Farrington (High School) women's water polo team. Without a pool on campus, our girls were grateful to have access to the locker rooms, gym and heated pool. For many of these student-athletes, going to the YWCA in downtown Honolulu was the greatest exposure they had outside of Kalihi. To know that they got to spend quality time together building collaborative skills in a safe environment was a gift that I know we'll never forget. 

Q: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?  

A: By preschool, I wanted to be a lawyer, doctor, and teacher ... all at the same time! I was pretty young when the O.J. Simpson case was live, and I was inspired by Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor. Though I didn't fully understand all the details of the prosecution, I liked that she was speaking truth and leading her team.

Q: What would you like to work on or accomplish as a member of the YWCA O'ahu Board of Directors? 

A: In alignment with my own personal missions, serving on the advocacy committee is what I am most excited about. While strengthening our laws is only one piece of the puzzle, we must have stronger laws to ensure the safety, protection and health of our community.

Q: What advice do you have for empowering women and young girls?  

A: Discover your voice and be heard.

Christine Lanning


YWCA O'ahu warmly welcomes one of its newest Board of Directors, Christine Lanning. Christine leads an elite team of system integrators as President of Integrated Security Technologies - a woman-owned, small technology business in Hawaii in business since 1998. IST’s mission “Leading Hawaii to a Safer Place” reflects her history of commitment to the local community and the security industry.

In 2014, Christine was awarded the ASIS Woman of the Year Award and in 2015 became the first female elected to the Board of Directors for PSA Security Network, North America’s largest electronic security cooperative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Information Systems. Christine is a champion for culture building and leadership, believing in Ho’ohui (creating connections and building bridges together).

Q: What is your fondest memory of YWCA O'ahu?

A: The first yoga class I ever took was at the YWCA. It was at a time in my life when I was learning about physical fitness. My yoga teacher was amazing with newbies and really taught me a lot about my body confidence.

Q: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?  

A: My mother wore business suits to work and she was well respected. So I wanted to be something where I could wear a business suit and be as respected. Little did I know that there was more to it than what you wear.

Q: What would you like to work on and/or accomplish through your directorship at YWCA O'ahu? 

A: I would like to work with as many young woman as possible and help them with their confidence and understanding that they can do anything they put their mind to.

Q:What is one piece of advice for women and young girls?  

A: Do not be afraid to fail. Failure is one of the most difficult things to appreciate. But failure is when the magic of change and growth happens.

Kendra Oishi

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YWCA O‘ahu warmly welcomes one of its newest Board of Directors, Kendra Oishi. As the Executive Administrator and Secretary to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Kendra offers our organization a wealth of knowledge and information about public service and government.

Kendra is a lifelong Hawaii resident whose academic, professional, and personal activities have centered around community and public service. A proud product of Hawaii’s public school system, Kendra found herself on a career path dedicated to public service and has over 19 years of state government experience. Her career has focused largely on the areas of policy development and implementation, the state budget, and education.

Kendra has developed a deep affinity toward community engagement in local politics. She served as the Chair of the Committee on Credentials for the 2012 and 2014 Hawaii State Democratic Conventions and recently completed a term as a Region Chair for the Oahu County Democrats. Kendra has participated in policy research and debate prep activities for statewide campaigns. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Hawaii - West Oahu and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco.

In her free time, Kendra enjoys traveling, photography, reading, and dining with friends.

Kendra also guides and informs our Advocacy Committee on many important topics. To learn more about our advocacy work and Committee, please visit:  https://www.ywcaoahu.org/advocacy/.