May 2016 Newsletter
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Volume 30, Issue 3
"Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
~ Golda Meir

May 9 Luncheon

Dr. Shawn Kana'iaupuni

Director of Public Education Support Division
Kamehameha Schools

OWL is excited to announce that our next luncheon guest-speaker will be Shawn Kana'iaupuni, who will be discussing her recent voyage on the Hōkūle‘a.  Shawn has had a long and distinguished history of leadership in Hawaiian culture-based education, guiding the establishment of Kamehameha Schools' Research and Evaluation division from 2001-2007 and now in her current role as Director of the Schools' Public Education Support Division. Shawn graduated with a Bachelors' in Public Affairs and Psychology at the University of Denver before moving forward to earn her Masters' and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Chicago and then a M.B.A. from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She is a former editor of Hlili, a multi-disciplinary research journal on Hawaiian well-being. Her prior research publications have focused on Native Hawaiian well-being, place and identity, culture-based education, and outcomes for Hawaiian children in public schools. Shawn has been with Native Hawaiian Education Council since 2003, and has also served on the boards of the National Indian Education Association and is on the Race and Advisory Committee of the U.S. Census Bureau.

As Director of Public Education Support at Kamehameha School, Shawn works closely with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on the educational efforts of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.  During our luncheon, Shawn will talk about her voyage on the Hōkūle‘a, which comprised leg 18 from the Virgin Islands, to Cuba and then on to Florida.  This is a not-to-be-missed OWL luncheon event, offering members and their guests the opportunity to sail with Shawn as she recounts her experiences!


Pacific Club
1451 Queen Emma St.

11:30a.m. - Noon Networking & Lunch
Noon - 1:00 p.m. Meeting & Presentation

RSVP due by noon on Wednesday, May 4th at
Check payable to OWL for $45 for each guest.
℅ Cynthia Takenaka
516 Kawaihae St. #E

Honolulu, HI 96825-1240

Phone:  808-394-3451 | Fax: 808-395-4417 | website:

President's Message
Our next speaker, Dr. Shawn Kana’iaupuni, from Kamehameha Schools, will talk to us about the wahine voyage of the Hokule’a.  I just heard a gentleman talk about his experiences on the early voyages and his last recent one.  It will be very interesting to get a wahine’s perspective!
As our theme this year is mentoring, we are working on developing a panel of women to talk specifically about mentoring and mentors in their lives with a moderator for our November annual meeting.  The Board will research this and let you know what we come up with.  Keep your calendars open for the last two weeks of September as we are working on getting a September date for the networking pau hana we do each year.
Speaking of networking, if you wish more networking opportunities come to the meetings at 11:30, get your lunch, and network until noon.  If you are not interested, come a bit before noon, get your lunch and be ready for the official portion of the meeting to start.  As a soft networking group you are also invited to bring brochures, cards or other information about your business and place them on the side table as you enter.  Announcements are for accomplishments, recognition, and non-profit events that OWL members might be interested in, like the Women’s Fund’s Tea and Champagne Fundraiser.
Your Board is working on plans and ways to enhance your experience with OWL and we do appreciate and review all the comments you make.  Hopefully the new meeting arrangement will help with the additional networking some of you have asked for.
As we move forward in the year with great speakers and friends, please invite your collegues and friends as a guest at one of the lunches to share OWL’s awesomeness!



What We Heard
March 14

Alice Inoue

Founder and Chief Happiness Officer
Happiness University

by Pam Harms

L. Val Schmidt and R. Alice Inoue
Our March luncheon offered our members and guests the opportunity to hear from Alice Inoue, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer, Happiness University.  Alice provided a glimpse into her own life story.  She has held 40 different jobs and professions, each offering her the opportunity to reinvent herself.  As she explained, what she has learned through her reinventions is that nothing happens to you, everything happens FOR you, which has become her guiding principle. 

In 2013, Alice founded Happiness University, a business dedicated to helping both individuals and corporations develop positive mindsets to live more inspired in their personal and professional lives.  Through her work, she helps people find their own answer to the question: "What do you want to do?"  

What Alice has discovered through her work, and what she teaches her clients, is that everyone needs to stop wishing for life to be something it's not and accept it for what it is.  Once we develop this realistic way to think about the present, we can work towards maximizing our potential for the future.  To help develop a positive mindset, at the end of each day, Alice advises that everyone should think of three positive things that happened to them -- exercise your brain -- by the 8th day it becomes part of your day.

Alice certainly left us all thinking about how we can use her advice not only in our own lives but in our workplaces as well.  

Miriah Holden is an Associate Attorney at Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, focusing on commercial litigation, collections and foreclosures, landlord/tenant disputes, bankruptcy/creditor's rights, asbestos defense litigation, medical malpractice and title insurance/escrow.
Miriah received her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Richardson School of Law and her Masters of Business Administration from the Shidler College of Business.  She was recognized by Pacific Business News Forty under Forty (2015) and was named an ABA outstanding pro bono attorney, Hawaii (2012).  She serves as the National Conferences of Team Coordinator to the ABA Young Lawyer's Division (YLD) and previously served as the Hawaii State Bar YLD President.  Her many community service activities include serving as director on the Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii Board, volunteer guardian ad litem for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, coordinating the Hawaii High Schools Mock Trial Program and volunteering at other YLD service projects.

Stella Cabana is a Benefit Consultant for Atlas Insurance Agency, responsible for supporting the Benefit Consulting team in marketing, sales and servicing of clients and prospects and assisting with implementation, account management and retention of Atlas’s small business clients.  Prior to Atlas, Stella was a Strategic Account Executive at Hawaii Dental Service and has over 20 years of dental insurance and employee benefits experience.
Stella graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a Business Administration degree.  She volunteers at Child & Family Services as a Guild member.  She stays active training and a competing in triathlon races including full and half ironman distances.  Stella's favorite workout/race experiences include cycling up Haleakala, swimming in the North Shore swim series, and off-road running in beautiful Kualoa Valley.  She is currently training for her next ironman race in Copenhagen in August and works outs regularly with training mate and fellow OWL member, Stacia Murray. 

Monica was born in Germany and traveled around the world with her family before settling in Hawai‘i in 1991, at the age of 12. She received a BA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and became the morning traffic reporter at KHNL. She then transitioned into public relations, working for The Queen’s Medical Center before launching her own firm where she represented the likes of designer Andy South, Hawaii International Film Festival and BAMP Project, where she worked with top acts like Justin Bieber, Journey and John Legend. Monica then became the Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Modern Luxury Hawai‘I, planning events for prestigious brands like Harry Winston, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tiffany & Co. 
In 2014, Monica became Corporate Relations Lead for Monsanto’s Hawaii division, directing PR and Marketing efforts for a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. 

Angela Choi is the Director of Marketing and Marrie Llie Guittap is the HR Manager at Yummy Restaurant Group, which includes Yummy Korean BBQ, Lahaina Chicken Co., Mama’s Spaghetti House, Steak & Fish Co., Cheeseburger Factory, Chow Mein Express, Liliha Bakery, The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood, and opening this year Umamiya Shabu Shabu.  They share administrative responsibilities and have grown well together within the company's success.  
Angela uses her skills from her fine arts degree in advertising to produce ads, menus, and everything marketing related.  While working full time at the Yummy group, she and her husband own and run a beauty salon in Waikiki, NWL nails wax lashes. During the weekend she stays even busier spending time with her husband, son (5 yrs), and daughter (3 yrs).  If there were any free time available, she would love to play a round of golf, swim laps, go ice skating, or take a bikram yoga class.
Marrie Llie Guittap started with the company thirteen years ago as an administrative assistant and now oversees 300 plus employees.  She’s been married for 5 years and blessed with a son (3 years old). On the weekends, she spends time with her son, taking him to the mall and park. The things she loves the most in life are spending time with her family, shopping at Amazon, and travelling (yearly if work does not interfere).

2016 Membership Renewal and Upcoming Luncheon Meeting Dates


May 9 - Pacific Club

July 11 - Pacific Club

September 12 - Pacific Club

November 7 - Halekulani Hotel

Annual dues for Jan. through Dec. 2016 is $260.

Membership luncheons are generally held on the second Monday of January, March, May, July, September and November from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Meetings are usually held at the Pacific Club, but locations will be confirmed prior to the meeting.  

Link to renewal form:
Valerie Schmidt, as President of The Bella Project, was recently honored to accept a $2,000 grant to provide formal attire to high school girls in Honolulu.  The Bella Project focuses on low income, special needs, critically ill, and military high school girls.

The grant was awarded by the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, created to provide its members with a means to give back to their communities. 

Ina Chang, President of Aloha Data, was recently featured in "Business in Hawaii", Reg Baker's weekly television show featuring positive stories about business.

Aloha Data provides a high tech solution to data needs offering attorneys, physicians, CPAs and other businesses that have file storage needs the opportunity to save money and time by using technology solutions to manage their old paper based filing systems. 

Carol Surban was promoted to Director of Client Information Services, ProService Hawaii in February, 2016.  Carol's promotion was featured in Business Pacific News, People on the Move.

ProService Hawaii has offered Human Resource oustsourcing, solutions and services to businesses in Hawaii for twenty years.


Julie Arigo, General Manager of Waikiki Parc Hotel, was recently honored that the Waikiki Parc Hotel received two accolades.  The hotel was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Hotels in the U.S.A. (mentioned in Feb 2016 issue), and the Hawaii Business Magazine named the hotel one of the Best Places to Work (mentioned in April 2016 issue).
The Women's Fund of Hawaii invites you to their 2016 Tea & Champagne, 5-9pm, May 16, 2016 at the Pacific Club.  Please see for more information.

Ameriprise Financial’s Hawaii Wealth and Legacy Planning Group has moved to Downtown Honolulu in a 6,200-square-foot office at the Topa Financial Center.  The financial firm recently held a ceremonial blessing of its new office. It formerly was located on Kapiolani Boulevard, where it still has offices occupied.  Ameriprise Financial, founded in 1894, currently has more than $777 billion in assets under management.  

OWL Mission Statement

The mission of OWL is to develop a network of contacts among women in decision- making positions to promote effectiveness on the job and professional advancement.

The goals and objectives of OWL shall be to establish a network of contacts between the public and private sectors; to establish a professional and interpersonal support system for women professionals; to offer informational opportunities for women in management; to provide career-related ideas and information; and to share job and career advancement opportunities.

We love to hear from you!  Because we know your time is valuable, you may send OWL President Kate Braden your announcement for her to read along with her welcome message.  You are also invited to bring your announcement brochures and flyers to our meeting to place on a table reserved for this purpose.  Please email your news to Kate Braden at

You may also share your achievements or any newsworthy items with your OWL sisters through our newsletter.  Email your news along with a photo to Pam Harms at  

As a courtesy to our speakers, guests and OWL members, please keep side conversations to a minimum during the speaker presentation.

Mahalo!  Ahui Hou Kākou!

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Organization of Women Leaders Hawaii · 516 Kawaihae St. #E · Honolulu, HI 96825 · USA

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