July 2016 OWL Newsletter
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Volume 30, Issue 4

“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly,

just harness your power to your passion”

~ Oprah Winfrey


July 11 Luncheon

Virginia M. Pressler, MD, MBA, FACS

Director of Health
State of Hawaii Department of Health 
Dr. Pressler is Director of Health for the State of Hawaii Department of Health, overseeing Communicable Diseases, Disease Outbreak Control, Family Health, Emergency Medical Services, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Developmental Disabilities, Environmental Health, State Laboratories, Behavioral Health, Hawaii State Hospital, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and other public health services.
Dr. Pressler has been active in the community in a wide variety of volunteer roles including past board member and secretary of the YMCA, past board member of the Hawai‘i Society of Clinical Oncology,  Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i, Past President of the Hawaii Pacific Division of the American Cancer Society and a National Assembly Delegate for the American Cancer Society. She is past chair of the Cancer Center of Hawai‘i and former vice chair of the Board of North Hawai‘i Community Hospital. She is an ex officio member of the board of the Hawaii Health System Corporation (HHSC), the Commission on Water Resource Management, the Hawaii Medical Education Council, and others. She is also on the Board of the Employee Union Trust Fund. and has served on numerous state commissions and task forces. Dr. Pressler also served on a U.S. Congressional Commerce Committee on health information technology and served on the Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality for the Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Dr. Pressler is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Business Leadership Hawai‘i Lifetime Achievement Award, and awards from the Shidler College of Business, Hawai‘i Institute for Public Affairs, American Cancer Society St. George National Award, Planned Parenthood, Hawaii Medical Association, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, YWCA, University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni, and others. Dr. Pressler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, and MBA, MS in physiology and MD degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

1451 Queen Ema Street
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
RSVP due by noon on Wednesday, July 6 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 Kate Braden invites all new members and interested current members to join her before the meeting at 11:15 a.m. for an informal meet and greet, as well as short discussion of the mission of OWL.  

Please don't miss this great opportunity to learn more about OWL and get answers to any questions you may have about our organization.


President's Message

Wow, it’s already half way through the year.  I’m back from my summer vacation and I hope you’ve had a chance to take yours.  It’s been a great year so far, with excellent speakers on a bevy of topics and more time at the meetings to network.

We’ve been inspired by Dr. Shawn Kana‘iaupuni’s recent leg of the voyage on Hōkūle‘a sail around the world.  Alice Inoue  taught us how to increase our happiness. Helen Wai, a native Hawaiian and resident of Nanakuli shared how we can each reduce our energy use by in specific ways.  She gave us each a led bulb and let us have use of a trickle meter to measure those zombie electricity hogs.

 Your Board has worked hard to setup great speakers for the rest of the year.   The Pau-Hana has been scheduled for September 28th.  It’s our annual networking event; make sure to put it on your calendars.   We hope you’ll come to the meetings and bring a friend!

- Kate


What We Heard
May 9


Malama Honua, Worldwide Voyage

by Julie Inouye

Our May guest speaker was Dr. Shawn Kana‘iaupuni, speaking on behalf of Malama Honua, Worldwide Voyage. Shawn was one of two women on the 18th leg of the Polynesian Voyaging Societies voyage of Hōkūle‘a. A sociologist by training, Shawn spent 5 weeks with 12 people, on 62 feet of space. This once in a lifetime experience allowed a women with virtually no sailing experience an opportunity to be part of a global effort to bring people together with their stories of hope. The term Malama Honua basically means “to care for our Earth”.

Shawn did a fantastic job bringing us along as she retold her visits to the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Florida Everglades and many other amazing places. In every stop the Crew functioned as ambassadors not only Hawaii but of humanity. The mission to bring people together through their culture and sense of responsibility to one another was quite inspiring.

For more information and to track the ongoing voyage go to

L: Kristi Bate R: Shawn Kanaiaupuni
OWL Board Member Kristi Bates & Guest-speaker Dr. Shawn Kana‘iaupuni
               OWL Pau Hana 
Save the Date!  SEPT 28, 2016

It's time for our annual get together.  Members and guests are welcome to come and enjoy an evening with your OWL sisters, meet new friends, and a chance to win fabulous door prizes!
Thursday, September 28, 2016
Outrigger Canoe Club
2909 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815

Cost: $35 if paid by Sept. 15th and  $40 after Sept. 22nd.  Heavy pupu, no-host cocktails.
 5:30-7:30 pm

Please make your check payable to OWL Hawaii and mail to OWL (516 Kawaihae St #E Honolulu, HI 96825) by Sept. 15th.  
Accepting Nominations


The OWL Board asks that our members start early to consider nominations  for the 2016 OWL Outstanding Woman Leader of the Year.  The winners will be announced at our annual meeting on November 7th. In keeping with OWL's original purpose of bringing together the public and private sectors, we would like to present awardees in both the public and private sector.

Criteria to be honored include excellent leadership in one’s profession, in community service, and as a role model for other women. The OWL Woman of the Year should be an OWL member in good standing for the calendar year in which the award is given.

Please download the nomination form at and email to President Kate Braden at by Friday, September 30, 2016.
Dr. (ret.) Roberta Wong Leung was recently chosen by the Associated Chinese University Women to be their candidate for United Chinese Society's Model Chinese Mother of the Year, 2016.

From her significant and effective professionalism in the field of the Travel Industry and Management, her success as an educator, to her outstanding community service, Roberta is an amazing role model to her two accomplished daughters. Aldrinana holds a Master's Degree from the London School of Economics and works for the Department of State's Global Partnerships in Washington, DC.  Robbieanna has a Master's Degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights and will be joining the Peace Corps in the fall.

Pictured is Dr. Roberta Wong Leung and her husband, Aldrin, and daughters, Aldrinana and Robbieanna.

Mona Choy-Bedow recently became President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii at an installation ceremony on May 19th.  Founded in 1911, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii is one of the foremost Chinese organizations in Hawaii. Its mission is to promote business and economic development, to preserve Chinese culture, and to encourage civic responsibility.

Ina Chang recently received the Outstanding Overseas Taiwanese Young Professional Award.  Ina is the president of Aloha Data, a database management company co-founded with her husband Dmitry in 2001.  Under her leadership, she and her team have made Aloha Data the leading industry expert on
 document scanning and electronic records management in Hawai‘i. 
Seina (Say-nah) Rahim is 4th generation born and raised in Honolulu with 6 of her formative years spent in South Korea and Japan.  After graduating from Colorado State University, she taught survival skills (Home Economics) to middle school students. Seina pursued her Paralegal certificate and her began Human Resources career; working for ProStaff Staffing Service, First Data Corporation, and First Horizon Merchant Services. After 14 years in Colorado, she returned to Hawaii in 2003 where she worked for NextSource as the On-site Coordinator at Bank of Hawaii. 
Seina has been at ProService Hawaii the last 9 years and has worked in a variety of roles, always contributing to the learning, development, & growth of employees. She is currently the Payroll Quality Assurance Manager at ProService Hawaii, responsible for improving processes & leading training - upholding nearly perfect standards of accurate & timely payroll for 1300 clients (20,000+ employees throughout the Hawaiian islands). She is a Certified Payroll Professional and member of American Payroll Association-Hi Chapter.  She lives in Hawaii Kai with her husband and 7 year old son.
Carol Surban has called Hawaii home for the past 25 years.  She comes from a large family (twelve sisters and brothers), but has chosen to keep her own family small. She happily lives on the windward side of Oahu with her husband of 10 years and son.
Carol is the Director of Client Information Services with ProService Hawaii. In this role, Carol leads a team dedicated to driving innovative and sustainable data management practices for the organization and focuses on new uses for information that will help grow the business and retain clients. Carol is a big believer in constant learning and has, over her nine years at ProService Hawaii, fully embraced the philosophy of growth, development and mentoring as a key component in retaining valued team members.
Prior to ProService, Carol was the Office Manager and lead trainer for the Weight Watchers Hawaii franchise. This provided great experience in business administration and staff training and development.
Leela Bilmes Goldstein is Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Hawai`i, a grant making foundation dedicated to supporting women and girls exclusively statewide. She makes up half of the non-profit’s two-person staff and is responsible for everything from donor and grantee outreach; fund- and friend- raising events; and emptying the trash.

Leela was born in Bangkok, Thailand and grew up in Honolulu. She received three degrees from UC Berkeley, the most recent of which was a PhD in Linguistics. Prior to Women’s Fund of Hawai`i, she worked in development at Punahou School and continues to run her own small jewelry business. Besides Hawai`i and California, Leela has also attended university and worked in Thailand and France.

In addition to running (which she hates) and paddling (which she loves), Leela spends as much time as possible with her husband, two teenage girls, and golden retriever, Moose.
Danielle Lum, BASI, is a promotional products strategist, assisting businesses and organizations maximize their marketing dollar by matching their message with the best logoed product, employee uniform and direct mail piece, among other strategies.  She recently joined American Solutions for Business as a marketing specialist after being her own boss. As president of NK Design, Inc., Danielle had a remarkable run of 120 straight months of being the Employee of the Month.
For the past decade, Danielle has served as an adjunct professor at Chaminade University in the Communication Department, leading classes in Introduction to Communication, Professional Presentations and Public Relations.
Danielle also had a short story she wrote about her mom included in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book and has collaborated with others on a portion of a book for entrepreneurs who are looking for motivation and new skills. 
She is active in the community, volunteering to help with walks and fundraisers, and she and her father volunteer their time to coach a youth boys’ basketball team. Danielle has also been inducted into the Rotary District 5000, Ala Moana Chapter.
2016 Membership Renewal and

Upcoming Luncheon Meeting Dates
July 11 - Pacific Club

September 12 - Pacific Club

Speaker: Chief Debbie Eleneki
Battalion Chief, Honolulu Fire Department

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:

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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