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

The OWL ladies and guests enjoyed another great speaker at our March meeting, Noriko Namiki, CEO of the Oahu YWCA.  The work performed by Noriko and her team at the YWCA to empower women in our community is truly inspirational.  Noriko also hosted our OWL luncheon at the YWCA, and attendees had nothing but rave reviews about Noriko, the venue, and the food!   

As we all know, May is Mother’s Day.  A time to honor not only our own mothers, but all mothers.  The official U.S. Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis. Following her mother’s death in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers make every day for their children.

We have many mothers among our OWL members who we honor on Mother’s Day.  As we all know, being a working mother isn’t easy.  For myself, raising two daughters while working long hours in the U.S. Army, sometimes spending months away from them, was certainly stressful.  A recent study found that the women most surprised by the difficulties of motherhood were those women with college degrees, those who had babies later, those who had working mothers, and those who had assumed they would have careers.  Even though highly educated mothers were less likely to quit working, they were more likely to say that being a parent was harder than they had expected.

As leaders who may be juggling work and motherhood, and/or managing working mothers, we should strive to be sensitive to issues faced by our working mothers.  Although we may have different interpretations of what “work-life balance” means to us, we need to support and assist all women in the workplace in deciding what that means to them, and then help them attain it!