LeaderLuncheon profile: Donna Tanoue

39th Annual LeaderLuncheon | Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | 12-1:30PM | Sheraton Waikiki

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Donna Tanoue is Vice Chair of Bank of Hawaii Corporation and Bank of Hawaii, as well as President of the Bank of Hawaii Foundation. Prior to her role at BOH, Donna has served as Special Deputy Attorney General to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Commissioner of Financial Institutions for the State of Hawaii, and partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel. Her experience led her to Washington D.C., where President Clinton appointed her Chairperson of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition to her impressive resume, Donna is active in the community, serving on the boards of Kaneohe Ranch and the Honolulu Museum of Art. 


Q & A with Donna Tanoue

What is your definition of a leader?

People who make a big difference in the lives of others. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is top of mind, as the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor approaches. The 442nd served with distinction, notwithstanding racist U.S. policies.  After the war, many members of the 442nd worked to achieve economic and social change, benefitting generations of people.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? What did they teach you?

Jadine Nielsen and Price Cobbs (author of Black Rage) taught me a great deal at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) about how to advance workforce diversity and inclusion.  

What was your greatest obstacle in your career and how did you overcome it?

Sometimes looking through too narrow a lens?  My husband, Kirk Caldwell, always encourages me to think about possibilities, from a perspective of abundance.  Mary Bitterman, a LeaderLuncheon honoree, my first boss and our lead independent director at Bank of Hawaii, is a source of inspiration to have a broader view of the world.

What motivates you to be a leader in your community?

Hawaii is still a special place.  I believe we have the wherewithal to nurture and sustain these islands and all that we hold dear about Hawaii, mindful of history. Each of us can do our part.   

What advice would you give to young women and girls who want to become leaders?

“Go For Broke.” (motto of the 442nd)

LeaderLuncheon honors women for the contributions they have made to their professions and in their community.  Join us in supporting Hawaii’s commitment to the advancement of women leaders by attending the 2016 LeaderLuncheon. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 695-2620 or click on the button below.