42nd Annual LeaderLuncheon: Honorees, RSVPs and festivities

Four inspirational local women leaders will be honored at the 42nd Annual YWCA O‘ahu LeaderLuncheon on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Since 1977, YWCA Oahu’s LeaderLuncheon has been the premier event celebrating extraordinary women leaders in Hawai‘i who exemplify the mission of YWCA O‘ahu, “eliminating racism and empowering women.” The event features networking, inspirational speeches, and a chance for guests to learn more about YWCA O‘ahu and its work in the community.

This year’s LeaderLuncheon will include onsite event coverage on YWCA Oahu’s social media outlets (@YWCAOahu on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

RSVP for a LeaderLuncheon table sponsorship today:


2019 LeaderLuncheon honorees

Kathryn Inkinen
Founder & Advisor
Inkinen & Associates

“To me an executive or good manager has arrived when they give their time to the community.
That builds our community and that’s what we’re here for.”
-Kathryn Inkinen

In 1992, Kathryn Inkinen parlayed years of professional experience in the field of human resources management into the formation of Inkinen & Associates, Hawaii’s premier executive search firm. Kathy’s commitment to the success of her clients has resulted in a loyal and expanding base of clients who count on her and her team to provide executive placement services effectively and discreetly. In July 2018, Kathy turned over the helm of Inkinen & Associates to Ben Ancheta, who is now President. She remains active in the company as Founder/Advisor, and continues to employ her impressive credentials and exceptional skill set to ensure the delivery of superior services to clients of all sizes.

Prior to founding Inkinen & Associates, Kathy served as the top human resource executive for a bank and a five-star resort hotel. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a major in Travel Industry Management and is a past inductee to the College of Business Administration’s Alumni Hall of Honor. Throughout her career, Kathy has made giving back to our community a top priority, serving on boards of several community organizations. Past and present board appointments: Red Cross-Hawaii Chapter, the University of Hawaii’s Travel Industry Management Alumni Association, the American Lung Association’s Lung Force, Women Corporate Directors, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, HEMIC, School to Work Executive Council, UCERA and the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation. She is a lifetime member of the University of Hawai‘i Alumni Association, YWCA O‘ahu and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. In 2017, Kathy was awarded Alumni of the Year from Farrington High School and Small Business of the Year Award from Hawaii Business Magazine.

Kathryn Matayoshi
Senior Vice President
Government Programs & Account Relationships

“I think leadership is a continuum in a person’s life and probably through their careers.”
-Kathryn Matayoshi

Kathryn Matayoshi joined HMSA in December 2017, as senior vice president of Government Programs and Account Relationships, leading the company’s Account Management & Sales and Medicaid teams and enhancing HMSA’s strong relationships with Hawaii’s business community. Together, she works to improve the lives of HMSA members and the health of Hawai‘i by providing affordable, quality health benefits.

Before joining HMSA, she spent almost 20 years leading state agencies under four different governors and two mayors, where she was described as a leader who comes with out-of-the-box solutions and a business-minded perspective. Most recently, she served as superintendent of the state Department of Education, where she led the award winning Race to the Top effort, which led to transformative changes in education reform that resulted in higher student achievement. Her experience also includes advising Hawaii’s top business leaders as executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, serving as chief of staff at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and leading the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Kathy served as a board member for YWCA O‘ahu from 1995-2002 and as board chair in 2002. She has always been a strong advocate of YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Her colleagues say her strength as a leader is due to clear, insightful vision. And her heart for her community is what gives her the amazing ability to make positive change on a system-wide basis while simultaneously remaining focused on the student, patient, customer or individual at the center of those systems.

Kathy is a Hilo native and a proud graduate of Hilo High School. She earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and was in private practice at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel before joining Hawaiian Electric Company’s legal department.

Patricia Tam
Chief Executive Advisor
Halekulani Corporation

“Learning is the truest version of on-the-job training.”
-Patricia Tam

As Chief Executive Advisor at Halekulani Corporation, Patricia Tam is responsible for assisting the company’s COO in all aspects of its hotel entities, Halekulani and Waikiki Parc, maintaining and developing its unique and guest-experience oriented arts and cultural partnership programs, which has become a vital part of the globally-renowned Halekulani brand over the years and has won national acclaim in 2017 with the Americans for the Arts BCA 10 Award. Ms. Tam has been a member of the Halekulani legacy for more than 35 years.

In 1993, she became the first female to hold the senior executive position of General Manager for a top luxury hotel in Hawai‘i with a Five-Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. In 1999, Ms. Tam was honored for her outstanding achievements and contributions to further define the standards of service and performance within the hotel global industry when she was named “Independent Hotelier of the World” by Hotels, the leading publication of the worldwide hotel industry. Ms. Tam was appointed to Vice President of Halekulani Corporation in 2000, overseeing all corporate community relations and strategic partnerships related to the brand for Halekulani Corporation, and supports all aspects of the hotels’ operating and service standards.

Other highlights of Ms. Tam’s career include being named among Travel Agent Magazine’s “200 Most Powerful Women in Travel” in 1997 and 1998, and serving as Chairman of the Waikiki Improvement Association, Hawaii Hotel Association and as a board member of Aloha United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Hawaii Employers Council. Ms. Tam has been the recipient of the 2011 Women of Distinction Girl Scouts’ Award. In 2013, she was recognized with two major industry and business awards, the UH Legacy in Tourism award, and the Pacific Business News “Businesswoman of the Year.” Ms. Tam currently serves on the Executive Boards of the Waikiki Improvement Association, Waikiki Business Improvement District Association and Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association.

Beth Whitehead
Executive Vice President
Chief Administrator
American Savings Bank

“I think often girls grow up and don’t have those role models.
So for me, the thought that I could be one of those role models is kind of daunting,
but amazing and humbling.”
-Beth Whitehead

As Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of American Savings Bank (ASB), Beth Whitehead champions ASB’s employee experience with the goal of creating a great place to work. She is currently spearheading the brand new ASB Campus, a building that in 2019 will bring together approximately 660 teammates from five locations on O‘ahu in an innovative, collaborative workplace. Beth also oversees ASB’s community advancement department, and is a tireless advocate for the community.

In addition, she is responsible for ASB’s Human Resources, Learning and Development, Communications, Government Affairs, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, Legal, Compliance and Corporate Security teams. Prior to joining ASB in 2008, Beth served as deputy general counsel of First Horizon National Corporation, a diversified financial services holding company, where she oversaw mergers and acquisitions and managed the legal division. She served as general counsel at National Commerce Financial, which consistently ranked among the top five best-performing banks according to U.S. Bankers' list of 100 largest banking companies prior to its merger with SunTrust bank in 2004.

Beth graduated with honors from both the University of Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate. An active member of the community, Beth is a board member for the Hawaii Theatre Center, Helping Hands Hawaii, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii, the YMCA of

Honolulu and Girl Scouts of Hawaii; a former board member for YWCA O‘ahu; and past board chair for the Women’s Fund. In 2016, she was appointed by Governor David Ige to the State of Hawaii Workforce Development Council. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Banking and Finance at University of North Carolina School of Law.

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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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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


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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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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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.