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