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

I am excited and honored to be your 2019 OWL President!  Having been a member of OWL for several years, and spent the last three years publishing the OWL Newsletter, I am constantly impressed by the dedicated professionals that comprise our OWL membership.  From learning about our OWL ladies’ amazing accomplishments to attending our luncheons where we hear from accomplished women in Hawaii, the Organization of Women Leaders is an incredible group of ladies.
 
This year, I would like to ask our members to think about our professional examples.  Who have been the leaders in our own professional development who we have tried to emulate and why?  Do we take the time out of our busy schedules to consider if we truly are setting our best example for those we lead?  Some of the attributes I think about when I consider a good leader include being passionate about the organization’s mission, encouraging teamwork, fostering honesty, and setting standards.  Leading by example doesn’t just happen, it takes commitment and the ability to objectively reflect on our own leadership style.
 
With this in mind, I’d like to take time in each of my President’s messages to highlight a particular woman leader who has set a high standard in leadership.  For my first woman, I have chosen Patsy Mink.  Of course, there is not enough space in this short message to detail all of this amazing woman’s accomplishments.  Most of us know she was the first Asian-American woman (and first woman of an ethnic minority) to be elected to the U.S. Congress (in 1964), and she was instrumental in drafting and passing Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination by federally funded institutions.  She also introduced the first comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act and the Women’s Educational Equity Act.

Patsy Mink really wanted to become a doctor.  But in 1948, no medical school to which she applied would accept women. So instead of being defeated, she became a lawyer to advocate for change.  After passing the Hawaii bar exam in 1953, however, she continued to face discrimination in finding work as an attorney, so she created a solo practice and, as they say, the rest is history! 
 
I encourage each of you to read about this amazing woman.  Think about how she was able to get beyond the many obstacles she faced and become a leader in the U.S. Congress, build coalitions, and pass important legislation.  She certainly exemplifies the honest, passionate, team leader that “walked the walk.”
 
Here’s to an amazing 2019 at OWL and to all of our women leaders!