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

 
 

Since 1984...

Sharon Narimatsu, who worked for City Hall and Shirleyanne Chew, then with Hawaiian Telephone Company, met at a reception and found they had common concerns as professional women. Inspired by this chance meeting, the two agreed that women in government and business careers needed a forum to network.

At their invitation, 15 women leaders from government and business gathered at the Amfac Tower on June 27, 1984, to brainstorm about such an organization, which they strongly agreed was important. They decided the group would provide a network among decision-makers in the public and private sectors, and be a forum for them to share ideas, information, and support. They agreed it would be neither political nor fund-raising in nature.

Thus, their chance meeting gave birth to the Organization of Women Leaders, a networking group that shares information and offers support among professional women in the community. On August 3, 1984, officers were elected. The first membership directory listed 56 women.

 

 


Past Presidents

1985   Sharon Narimatsu                       1986   Shirleyanne Chew
1987   Barbara Marumoto                      1988   Linda “Fritz” McKenzie
1989   Suzanne Peterson                       1990   Ramona Mullahey
1991   Faith Evans                                 1992   Gitta Covey
1993   Pauline Namuo                            1994   Joyce Ingram-Chinn
1995   Carol Costa                                1996   Stephanie Saito
1997   Jeanette Takamura                     1998   Claire Cooper
1999   Sharon Narimatsu                       2000  Karen Nakamura
2001   Peggy Hong                                2002   Kelly Walsh
2003   Pearl Imada-Iboshi                      2004   Michelle Kakazu
2005   Janice Nielsen                            2006   Barbra Pleadwell
2007   Shelley Wilson                            2008   Linda Dias
2009   Pamela Martin                            2010   Linda Nakamura
2011    Mimi Beams                                2012   Stacia Murray
2013   Tracie Young                               2014   Kathleen Perkins
2015   Julie Inouye                                2016   Kate Braden
2017   Julie Arigo 2018 Valerie Schmidt

Meet our Board

Pam Harms   President   U.S. Army

Pam Harms
President

U.S. Army

Laura M. Lott   President Elect   Kaiser Permanente

Laura M. Lott
President Elect

Kaiser Permanente

Valerie Schmidt   Immediate Past President   Ameriprise Financial Services

Valerie Schmidt
Immediate Past President

Ameriprise Financial Services

 
Kristi Bates   VP Membership   'Iolani School

Kristi Bates
VP Membership

'Iolani School

Mimi Beams VP Membership   Community Advocate

Mimi Beams VP Membership

Community Advocate

Renee Green   VP Programs   University of Phoenix

Renee Green
VP Programs

University of Phoenix

Belinda Lau VP Programs   Hawaii Tech Support

Belinda Lau VP Programs

Hawaii Tech Support

Ananda Chou   Treasurer   YMCA of Honolulu

Ananda Chou
Treasurer

YMCA of Honolulu

Holly Hayashi                 Recording Secretary   Servco

Holly Hayashi Recording Secretary

Servco

Lisa Ma   Communications Secretary   Xerox Corporation

Lisa Ma
Communications Secretary

Xerox Corporation

Cheryl Cross                   Director at Large   Booz Allen Hamilton

Cheryl Cross Director at Large

Booz Allen Hamilton

Julie Arigo   Director at Large   Waikiki Parc Hotel

Julie Arigo
Director at Large

Waikiki Parc Hotel

Joni Marcello   Director at Large   Meadow Gold Dairies

Joni Marcello
Director at Large

Meadow Gold Dairies

Cecilia Fong Director at Large   YWCA Oahu

Cecilia Fong Director at Large

YWCA Oahu

Jennifer Grems   Director at Large   Mid-Pacific Institute

Jennifer Grems
Director at Large

Mid-Pacific Institute

President's Message

Pamela Harms President, Organization of Women Leaders

What an inspirational speaker we had for our OWL May luncheon!  Sunshine Topping, former Vice President for Human Resources and Cultural Officer, Hawaiian Telecom, truly fits into this year’s OWL theme of Leading by Example.  Sunshine’s stellar career coupled with her willingness to make life’s difficult choices, makes her a leader to admire.

The month of July is, of course, when American’s celebrate Independence Day.  Upon signing the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject, or subordinate, to the British monarch and were now united, free, and independent states. 

In July 1848, 82 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, some 240 men and women gathered in upstate New York for a meeting convened to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women.  One hundred of the delegates–68 women and 32 men–signed a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, declaring that women, like men, were citizens with an “inalienable right to the elective franchise.” The Seneca Falls Convention marked the beginning of the campaign for woman suffrage.

It took another 72 years before the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1920.  It states, “That the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”  In those 72 years and facing strong opposition, it was women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone, who never gave up the fight for women’s right to vote.  This included opposition to women’s involvement in public affairs and against the idea of women speaking to audiences of both men and women.  Activities that we as women take for granted today, but were fought for by the brave women who truly did lead other women, and men, by their example.