MCBL Seeks New Mink Leaders

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Want to learn how to leverage your talents and strengths? Do you want to enhance your influence and negotiation skills? If these statements describe you, you could be a good fit for the next Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance! The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) is currently accepting applications for the next Alliance. Deadline to apply is June 30, 2017!

In September 2016, MCBL selected 14 women to join a new initiative called the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance. The program was created in an effort to increase the representation of women in C-Suite positions by helping emerging female leaders improve their management and leadership skills.

The six-month course covered topics ranging from strategic planning to financial business acumen and culminated with a pinning ceremony on March 1 with the graduates, their families, and their sponsors.

Following the graduation, MCBL’s Advisory Board received feedback from each Mink Leader and used their ideas to improve the evolving program. One of the most significant changes is extending the program from six months to 10 months and the session times from two to five hours.

“Besides all the positive learning from the cohort, the participants wanted to increase the number of sessions and have a longer day to include time to plan a community service project to benefit MCBL & the YWCA,” said Terri Funakoshi, Director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership.

Funakoshi noted that the new curriculum includes sessions on Emotional Intelligence, HR as a Strategic Business Partner, and Intrapreneurial Thinking. Another added benefit to the program is that one cohort member will be chosen to serve on the MCBL Advisory Board and Leadership Committee for a one-year term—this year’s honorary member will be Isla Young, a director on the Maui Economic Development Board.

 “Being part of the program really helped me to feel confident that I could make a difference and when you see that there’s opportunities to do that we need to stand up,” Young said. “We need to join together, help together and really uplift other women in the community to improve our island state.”

The Mink Leaders have already made good on their promise to give back to the community, by volunteering their time at the Hawaii STEM Conference on May 1-2 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“Isla shared with us that her team puts on a STEM conference each year, and this year she was bringing the conference to O‘ahu,” said Emi Au, Mink Leader and YWCA O‘ahu Board of Director. “We thought it would be good to lead some workshops on professional and career development to augment the standard STEM sessions, so we decided to put on a negotiation session, speed mentoring session, and a communication session.”

Hear from graduates of the inaugural Leadership Alliance below:

Runjini Murthy, Howard Hughes Corporation:

"I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance. It’s come along at a perfect time in my career and for the contributions I want to make in my community. I have a new role at my organization and I feel like I’ve learned the strategies and tools I need to speak my mind and speak to a diverse group of stakeholders at my organization."

Jennifer Hee, The Salvation Army:

"Being a Mink Leader means carrying on the legacy of Patsy Mink, our namesake. She is just someone that we can look to as a strong woman leader and she overcame so many obstacles both as an Asian-American and as a woman going through her political career."

Ashlee Kishimoto, Hawaiian Airlines:

"It really took me out of my job and really got me to focus on things that I don’t do on a normal basis. I particularly enjoyed the session that Kat and Shelley held on strategic planning. It really gave me an opportunity to take a step back and think about who I am, where I want to be and where I want to lead this company."

Farrah-Marie Gomes, University of Hawaii at Hilo:                                                     

"As a result of participating in the program I’m now better able to recognize the leadership skills and talents in others. One of the great things about being a leader is giving others the opportunity to lead. And I firmly believe that having more leaders among us makes us all stronger together."

If you’re interested in applying for the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, please click here.