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.

2018 LeaderLuncheon profile: Ginny Tiu

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Ginny Tiu began playing the piano at 3 1/2 years old. She was discovered by Ed Sullivan when she was five, and her career took off. She has performed throughout the world, including at Carnegie Hall. She performed for President Kennedy and President Bush. She did a movie with Elvis Presley when she was eight years old, called “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

She continues to perform, but her main focus now is on giving back and helping others, both people and animals. Tiu is especially passionate and committed to helping those most vulnerable, and hopes to encourage others to do the same, through her philanthropic work, fundraising, educating, and advocacy.

She has been on the board of the Hawaiian Humane Society for almost 10 years, and served as its Chair. She was instrumental in its successful Capital Campaign, which raised over $18 million dollars. She is also on the board of the Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra.

She was honored by Maryknoll School with the Monsignor Kekumano Award of Noblesse Oblige “To whom much is given, much is expected”, and with the Philanthropist of the Year award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Get to know Ginny Tiu: LeaderLuncheon Q & A

Q: WHAT TYPES OF QUALITIES MAKE A GOOD LEADER?

A good leader inspires and leads by example - is confident but not arrogant - one who can see the big picture. One who is competent and decisive but also open to suggestions, has integrity, compassion, and sincerity.

Q: WHAT HAS HELPED YOU BECOME A MORE EFFECTIVE LEADER?

Understanding the importance of planning and not getting too busy just doing things. Meeting people from different walks of life, sharing knowledge and experiences.

Q: NAME A WOMAN LEADER WHO INSPIRES YOU AND EXPLAIN WHY?

My sister Vicky Cayetano because she is not only very smart, she also has a very big and kind heart. I always say that the mind is only as good as the heart that drives it. She is strong and at the same time, compassionate.

Q: WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB GROWING UP?

I have been truly blessed by having been able to do what I love from a very young age, and making a career of it since I was 5 years old, playing the piano, traveling the world, meeting all kinds of different people, and learning to appreciate our differences.

Q: WHAT’S ONE OF THE BEST PIECES OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

To believe in God and believe in yourself - to treat others with respect and compassion.

Q: AS A WOMAN LEADER, WHAT CAN YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DO TO HELP EACH OTHER OR HELP THE NEXT GENERATION OF WOMEN LEADERS?

Don't let anyone dictate who you are or what you can do. Look for good mentors but don’t compare yourself with anyone. God created you unique and special. Just be the best that you can be. You have something to contribute that no one else has.


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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.

2018 LeaderLuncheon profile: Loretta Luke Yajima

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Loretta Luke Yajima is the Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center. 

In 1987 she became involved in the planning stages of the Hawai'i Children's Museum and assumed the position of President of the Board of Directors. She led the Museum through three capital campaigns raising over $20 million as the museum transitioned from a storefront children's museum in Dole Cannery Square to its current location in the Kaka'ako Waterfront Park. 

Today the 45,000-square-foot Children's Discovery Center is one of the finest children's museums in the country. 

In 1973, Yajima was recognized as one of the Outstanding Elementary Teachers of America. In 1991, she received the JC Penny's Golden Rule Award for Volunteerism, and in 1992, the George Washington Medal of Honor Award for Individual Achievement from the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. 

During her term as President, the Hawai'i Children's Museum received the First Lady's Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award as the most innovative project, a Community Recognition Award from The Chamber of Commerce of Hawai'i, the Award of Excellence from The College of Education at the University of Hawai'i, and a Certificate of Recognition from the City Council of Honolulu. 

In 2008 Yajima was recognized by Pacific Business News as the Woman Volunteer of the Year, and in 2009 she received a Humanitarian Award from the SGI Cultural Center in Honolulu. Recently, she was awarded Punahou School's Charles S. Judd, Jr. Humanitarian Award for her work in helping to build children's museums throughout China. 

She continues to work today as a full time volunteer for the Center.

Get to know Loretta Luke Yajima:
LeaderLuncheon Q & A

Q: What types of qualities make a good leader?

Loretta Luke Yajima: A good leader is one who has a vision, is passionate about it, and has the ability to communicate that vision to inspire others. He or she must be humble and able to inspire others by example and work to create a culture where each team member can give his or her best toward the success of the project.  As a leader, one must learn what others value and then inspire trust in his or her team by focusing on each person’s strengths.  If your primary purpose is for a “greater good” then people will extend themselves well beyond what they would normally be capable of doing, and that is when magic happens!

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

LLY: Learning to ask for and accepting help from others.

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

LLY: There are many accomplished women who inspire me.  Our team at the Discovery Center, for example, amazes me every day with their dedication and love of children.  But this quote from Oprah Winfrey sums it up when she says, “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” 

Q: What was your dream job growing up?

LLY: Ever since kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  I still remember the names of my kindergarten and first grade teachers, Betty Crooker and Mary Redding, and I remember them both for their love of children.  I thought at that time, nothing could be more noble as a profession.  I started my teaching career with Project Head Start in Kuhio Park Terrace and then taught at the University Lab School as a demonstration teacher for curriculum materials being developed for the DOE. In 1987, I left my position as Administrative Director of Hanahauoli School when a group of volunteers approached me to help them start a children’s museum in Hawaii. So, I left my job and became a fulltime volunteer for the Children’s Discovery Center.  And, that was 30 years ago.  My whole life I’ve devoted my efforts to nurturing empowering children. Helping others and making a difference in their lives is what inspires me until today.  I guess you could say then that this is my dream job!

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

LLY: I remember well the lessons that I learned from observing my mother, Beatrice Luke.  She told me to always be grateful for what I have and to help others who are less fortunate.  She also told me to always be humble and that when you believe in something worthwhile to never give up. This advice has been the guiding principles from which I have lived my life. 

When the task of conducting a capital campaign to move the children’s museum from Dole Cannery to Kaka’ako Park seemed like an impossible dream, I realized that the need was too great and the mission too important for us to allow ourselves to give up.  In the beginning, the legacy of building a children’s museum for the families and children here in Hawaii was to be a gift to them from the donors and volunteers who made the Center possible.  Now the legacy is much larger than that . . . it is the love that is passed on and communicated between parent and child when they come to the Center.  In many ways, the legacy is that which the Center stands for (empowering children, instilling in them a pride in their ethnic and cultural heritage, and the importance of learning as a lifelong endeavor) which will continue to grow and be passed on from generation to generation.

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

LLY: Believe in yourself.  Don’t be afraid to attempt to do something you’ve never done before and to learn from your mistakes. Most importantly, have faith in others and what they will do when they too believe in the dream. To those who would say the aloha spirit is no more, I say spend a day with me and I’ll show you where it overflows.  Here in Hawaii, where our commitment to our children has remained strong, we have accomplished something wonderful here in Kaka’ako.  The children, who are ultimately the beneficiaries of this spirit, will come to our Center and discover – not just exciting new things about themselves and the world – but a Center that was built by the spirit of aloha!


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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

2018 LeaderLuncheon profile: Catherine Ngo

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Catherine Ngo serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Central Pacific Bank. She joined the bank in 2010, and previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer. 

Prior to her time at Central Pacific Bank, Ngo was a founding general partner of Startup Capital Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm established in 2005, with investments in Silicon Valley and Hawai‘i, as well as in China.

In addition to managing a portfolio of several technology companies, she assisted other firm portfolio companies with operational issues, generally in the legal and finance areas. Ngo also had primary oversight for the venture capital firm’s investor relations activities and had a significant role in managing the firm’s China-based portfolio.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, School of Law, Ngo started her career in private law practice, focused on banking and securities law.

In 1993 she joined Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a financial services company focused on serving the needs of venture capital-backed technology companies, as well as venture capital firms. As Executive Vice President and General Counsel, she was part of the executive team credited for the bank's turnaround. In 2002, Ngo served as Chief Operating Officer of Alliant Partners, an investment banking subsidiary of SVB.

Ngo is venture partner of Startup Capital Ventures, L.P., Chair of the Board of Trustee of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, Advisory Director of Catholic Charities Hawai‘i; and serves on the Board of Hawai‘i Gas.

Get to know Catherine Ngo: LeaderLuncheon Q & A

Q: What types of qualities make a good leader?

Catherine Ngo: I believe leadership is largely defined by one’s ability to inspire others.  To be inspirational, a leader must have a clear vision, communicate through actions over words, empower others with accountability, be fair and trustworthy, and above all, lead others by example.

Q: What has helped you become a more effective leadeR? Name a woman leader who inspires you and explain why?

CN: I believe that by always pushing myself outside of my comfort zone allowed me to become a more effective leader.  Embracing challenges goes hand-in-hand with leadership. I also believe in the power of mentorship to sustain the momentum and inspiration to continually improve. A mentor that comes to mind is Ann Wells, who in the early '90s owned one of the largest temporary agency firms that supported most of the major tech companies based in Silicon Valley that were generally led by men.  In my very early days in banking, and as I was presented with every-increasing opportunities outside of my legal and risk management core competencies, Ann always encouraged me to “go for it”.

Recently, a woman leader who has inspired me is Christine Camp, a successful real estate developer, community leader, and the CEO of Avalon Group LLC, who also serves on our company’s board of directors.  As I was considering stepping up to become CEO of CPB, I remember her standing in my office, looking me straight in the eye, and saying "just do it".  And, she has not stopped with that advice and continues to provide me with guidance and support.

For both Ann Wells and Christine Camp, those words of encouragement were exactly the nudge I needed to overcome that bit of reluctance and insecurity lurking in me - that nudge to step outside the very comfortable zone I was in.

Q: What was your dream job growing up?

CN: As a young girl, I wanted to be a doctor.  I was drawn to helping others and making a difference in people’s lives.  However, that dream was dashed when I worked in the University of Virginia hospital during my first year of college and found that seeing pain, suffering, and blood made me physically weak, and I could not overcome this.  While I certainly am not healing sick people today, I'd like to think that in my role, I am helping people and making a positive difference in their lives.

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

CN: I received a lot of great advice throughout my professional career and one of which was from a successful CEO and owner of a significant business.  His advice was, “As a professional, you will make mistakes. There will be challenging times.  Managers, or even the company CEO, may make mistakes.  All of this is okay as long as the focus then is on the fix and the road ahead, AND that you learn from those mistakes.”   

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

CN: We all should remember the support and guidance we have received from our mentors to get to where we are today.  And so, let's provide similar guidance and support, in turn, to our next generation of women leaders.  Not only will this benefit these women, but  I will say that playing a role in the development of this next generation may end up being one of the most gratifying parts of your professional life (as it is for me today).


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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.

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.