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July Newsletter

Volume 28, Issue 4
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

~  Maya Angelou – April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

July 14 OWL Luncheon

Kelly King 
Vice President and Chief Communications Officer,
Pacific Biodiesel Technologies
Co-founder and Chair, Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance



Leaning in, on and towards the future!  

Kelly King will discuss how, beginning in her mid-twenties, her determination to make a better world for her children helped her evolve from a young wife and mother into a state elected official and eventually vice president of America’s first, and arguably most sustainable, biodiesel company.


Kelly King is the Vice President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC, having co-founded the renewable energy company with her husband Robert King in 1996.  Well known as an industry pioneer, Pacific Biodiesel was created to alleviate the disposal of waste cooking oil at Maui’s landfill and became the first commercial biodiesel company in the U.S.  As director of Marketing & Communications, Kelly has helped sell and/or develop 13 biodiesel plants built by Pacific Biodiesel in the U.S. and Japan, and the company’s community-based biodiesel model has become a standard for the sustainable renewable fuel industry.
In 2006, together with Daryl Hannah and Willie and Annie Nelson, Kelly co-founded the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a national non-profit organization that is developing a certification process for sustainable biodiesel practices.  In Hawaii, Kelly has been active as a board member on many local non-profits and served as an elected member of the Hawaii State Board of Education, representing Maui County from 1994-98.  She currently serves as a board member of the following organizations:

  • Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (Chair)
  • Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance
  • Hawaii Energy Policy Forum
  • UHMC Sustainable Sciences Mgmt Advisory Council

Kelly’s current agriculture-related projects with Pacific Biodiesel include overseeing a Congressional appropriation project in collaboration with the U.S. Army to test military-based biodiesel fuel crops in Hawaii as well as an SBIR grant project to develop a value-added by-product that holds great promise as a solution to the taro farmers’ soil amendment and apple snail problems. 


Pacific Club

1451 Queen Emma St

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
RSVP due by noon on Wednesday, July 9 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

by Kathy Perkins

There were several OWL gatherings in May. Our May luncheon was held on the 12th with Chenoa Farnsworth as our guest speaker. She gave us a fascinating look at the entrepreneurial world in Hawaii and how Blue Start-Up supports these budding businesses. Also, we had our first Spring Pau Hana on the 28th at Oahu Country Club. The evening was filled with food, fun and lucky drawings! We hope to see more OWL members and their guests at the next Pau Hana in October.
June marks the beginning of summer, which is always an exciting time. There seems to be a sense of accomplishment during this time - graduates have finally “done it” and are proud of their accomplishments, while anxiously awaiting the next chapter in their lives.  For me, summer is the mid-year point and my personal goal is making time for major cleaning. A couple of my projects are: wash the windows and screens and once accomplished, I can enjoy the sunrises and sunsets viewed from dust and streak-free windows! Unfortunately, I’m procrastinating about beginning this project. My second project is to purge my wardrobe of items not worn in a year. This year, the purging process has been done with my daughter and we had lots of fun tackling both our wardrobes to banish the ‘stealers of closet space’… end result, lots of boxes to donate! Now onto the windows . . .
Your OWL organization is also at the mid-year point. The luncheons will be back at the Pacific Club, a location convenient for our downtown members and guests. We hope to see many more of our members over the next few months. Also, half-year memberships are available, so I encourage you to bring a friend to the luncheons. 
Kelly King of Pacific Biodiesel will be the guest speaker at our upcoming luncheon on July 14th at The Pacific Club. Hawaii Business Magazine selected Pacific Biodiesel as the Best Green Business for 2014. It will be interesting to hear how the company was built and has grown since it was started in 1996.

See you at the July luncheon!

What We Heard
May 12

Chenoa Farnsworth
Blue Startups

by Judy Bishop

At our last luncheon, Chenoa Farnsworth, Managing Director at Blue Startups, spoke to us about her role, her organization, and entrepreneurship in Hawaii.

Blue Startups is Hawaii’s first entrepreneurial grassroots movement nurturing rising entrepreneurial companies and it is nurtured by a venture accelerator.  Some background on recent programs to encourage entrepreneurship in Hawaii:
  • In 2000, ACT 221 stimulated the economy by providing a tax credit to 370 tech related companies in Hawaii, but when the recession hit, those companies couldn’t self-sustain.
  • In 2012, there was the birth of a new entrepreneurial community, not government driven, but   organically grown.  This venture group supports technology based entrepreneurial ideas and efforts by providing a process for young people to grow their companies. The formula is: Seed Investment+ Mentorship+ In house support (infrastructure), followed by Demo (road show) where they present their business venture/concept to investors.
Blue Startups has received 600 applications, selected three cohorts, and provided a mentor for each cohort group.  Each cohort has 10 companies. So far they have produced 23 company portfolios and executed four demo dates in Honolulu and Silicon Valley.  Two Cohorts have graduated, a third is in process.

Blue Startups companies include internet, software, mobile apps, ecommerce.  They follow a Lean Service Methodology (constantly measure and test with customers) and define their process as: Invest - Mentor - Accelerate (in house services).  They don’t require that once a company goes through their process they have to remain in Hawaii.

Seed money provided is $20,000 initially and $50,000 upon completion of the program.  Upon completion, typically three months, companies participate in a Demo Day (in Hawaii and Silicon Valley) where they meet potential investors, gaining national exposure.

Blue Startups was founded by Hank Rogers of Blue Planet Software online games (Tetris) in partnership with state and private investors.  More than 60 global mentors have volunteered their time.  Some of their challenges are Talent Recruitment, Market Access, Geographical Isolation, Entrepreneurial Culture and Critical Mass.

Some of their rising stars are:
  • Volta: electric car battery charging stations are complimentary but the advertising on the kiosk is paid.
  • FloWater – Founded by 26 year old environmentally concerned local boy who sells H2O filtering vending machines, eliminating plastic bottle usage
  • Looking for happy hour venue? It is an online app that tells you where they are in your area;  Even has an affinity program.  Now in the Hamptons, NY, Portland and Honolulu.
  • GIBI – GPS animal tracking device.
These all sound like seemingly good ideas which someday in the future we may wish we had all invested in, Ladies!!

Member Profile
Pam Harms is the new Director of the Veterans Law Clinic at the William S. Richardson School of Law, which educates law students regarding issues veterans face after their military service, and offers needed legal assistance to our veterans.  Pam served for over 24 years on active duty as an Army lawyer.  She retired in 2012 as a Colonel after serving as the Senior Attorney for U.S. Army Pacific, managing Army legal support in the Asia-Pacific Region.  She deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2006 as the Senior Attorney for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).  As the first, and only, woman to serve in that position, she supervised a staff providing legal advice including international law and law of war.  Pam also served as a military prosecutor deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and deployed subordinate lawyers to Kosovo supporting NATO’s Kosovo peacekeeping mission.
Before coming to Hawaii, Pam was an Army War College Fellow at the Department of Justice serving as Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, assisting in drafting significant legal briefs on national security issues.  After retiring, Pam worked at the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and also serves as Lecturer in Law for the Elder Law Clinic at William S. Richardson College of Law.
Pam is a mentor in Hawaii’s Veterans Rehabilitation Court, serves on the Board of the Huakailani School For Girls, and is a Distinctive Women in Hawaiian History Program volunteer.  She has two daughters, Devan, who is completing her Ph.D. in Bioethics at St. Louis University, and Darian, who is pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts at the University of Alberta.  She is married to Grover Harms, who works at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves.
Member Achievements

OWL Members Ina Chang, President of Aloha Data Systems, and Lisa Truong Kracher, President of Staffing Solutions of Hawaii both received the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award on April 30.  The BBB judged companies based on several criteria to determine if they do business with integrity and honesty.  Aloha Data won the medium-sized business category alongside Staffing Solutions of Hawaii.  This is the second time in the BBB history that there was a tie for the win. Congratulations to Ina and Lisa!

Tracie Young has been elected to the Board of Directors for Soroptimist International of Honolulu, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.
OWL Observations
     ~ What I Now Know 
  By Melissa Pavlicek
How a Trip to Long’s Drugs Saved a $20 million Deal

As a beginning attorney, I was thrilled to be assisting Aloha Airlines negotiate a $20 million aircraft lease.  After weeks of work, I was disappointed to learn that my part in closing the deal would not be with the CEOs or consulting with banks in New York and Hong Kong.  Instead, I was assigned to observe the wire transfer being received by a clerk at the bank across the street.

Arriving a few minute before the planned closing, I was informed to my horror that the clerk was on break and that no one would be monitoring the transfers for at least an hour – a time when Hong Kong banks would be closed for the day. I immediately recalled stories of a failed aircraft deal, triggered by a one hour delay.

The wire transfer clerk went to Long’s Drugs, I learned. So, I high-tailed it over to Long’s and persuaded that clerk to go back to her station.

Sometimes the least glamorous job makes or breaks a project.
Melissa Pavlicek is President of Hawai‘i Public Policy Advocates, LLC

OWL Observations highlights OWL members' experiences in the workplace.  We have diverse membership and each of us has a variety of experience gained from our careers.  We should share these experiences and observations with each other.  

If you would like to contribute an observation, please send your submission (150 words or less) and photo to Communication Secretary, Kristi Bates at 
OWL Book Community
The OWL Book Community is moving to a pau hana time slot of Tuesday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hawaii Yacht Club, behind the Ilikai Hotel in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.  Tuesdays at HYC is pizza and salad night.   

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 8 and we will be discussing Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement.    As we didn't have a proper meeting to discuss Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Marriage, we will likely take an opportunity on July 8 to catch up on that as well!

The rest of the year schedule includes Tuesday August 26, Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman, The story of two women in 1889, who depart from NYC in opposite directions to see if they can beat the record to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days,  and finally on Tuesday,  October 28 we'll be discussing  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is the perfect Thanksgiving story about the Kingsolver's family adventure in eating only local foods from their farm in Virginia or local community .  The summer is upon us and I hope you all have some opportunity to pick up one of book selections and catch up with us at one of our next gatherings!  If you read an exceptional book, please let me know and we'll put it on our list for 2015.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan 
Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Hawaii Yacht Club
1739 Ala Moana Blvd.
RSVP to Pamela Martin at
Spring Pau Hana - May 28

On Wednesday, May 28th, OWL members enjoyed pau hana at Oahu Country Club. Members and their guests shared laughter and feasted on delicious pupus and refreshments.  Many thanks to the following members who donated lucky draw prizes: Laura Noda, Resuables for Life; Dr. Elizabeth Elliot; Julie Arigo, Waikiki Parc Hotel; and Kathy Perkins.
We love to hear from you!  Because we know your time is valuable, OWL President Kathy Perkins will be reading the member announcements along with her welcome message.  Please email your news to Kathy 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 Kristi Bates 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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