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

Meet our Board


Valerie Schmidt

Ameriprise Financial Services


Pam Harms
President Elect &
Communications Secretary

U.S. Army


Kristi Bates
VP Programs

'Iolani School


Yvonne Konia
Recording Secretary

Hawaii USA Federal Credit

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Lisa Ma
Director at Large

Xerox Corporation

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Renee Green
VP Programs

University of Phoenix

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Julie Arigo
Past President

Waikiki Parc Hotel  


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Joni Marcello
Director at Large

Meadow Gold Dairies

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Jennifer Grems
VP Membership

Mid-Pacific Institute

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Mona Choy-Beddow
Director at Large

Home Street Bank



Stacia Murray
Director at Large

Ameriprise Financial Services


Ananda Chou

YMCA of Honolulu

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Laura M. Lott
Director at Large

Kaiser Permanente


President's Message

Valerie Schmidt President, Organization of Women Leaders

President’s Message

June was a heavy month.  I have to tell you the passing of Kate Spade hit me pretty hard.  It made me think of how many times we as women or as moms think we are not doing well.  How we could do it better.  How we may overthink and wonder why the world can be so hard on us as we try to balance work, home and outside activities.  I’m hoping you all know that you are appreciated as the person that you are.  We all have different struggles that we face at different times of the year and we all put on our brave face and fight through it.  The women in OWL are all Leaders in our respective fields and this responsibility can be a heavy burden.  I’m hoping more women can share their stories and support each other through the hardest moments in their lives so that we can all safely get to the other side.  My message to you is that you are important, you matter and you are loved.  Thank you for being you. 

We had so much fun at the Spring Mixer that the planning for the Fall Mixer has already begun!   Thank you to Past President, Stacia Murray, for always helping to coordinate the logistics of this event.  The workshop topic at this mixer will be “The Art of Public Speaking” presented by the amazing Pene Paik.   This is a great way for OWL members to fine tune delivery and to use the power of your voice to reach a captive audience.  We will have fellowship after the presentation with wine (if you choose) and appetizers as we enjoy watching the sun set into the ocean.  We hope you will join us on Wed, Oct 3rd at the Oahu Canoe Club. 

For those of you who missed the May speaker, please see the write up by Joni Choi on “What we Heard” from speaker: Susan Yamada.  The Board not only plans out the year on the even number months, they also take turns on being the scribe to do these write ups for those of you who missed a meeting.  It is also time to nominate your favorite OWL members for our Woman of the Year awards!  Two amazing women in the public and private sectors will be selected and awarded on Monday, Nov 5.  Also this meeting will be held at the Halekulani Hotel where Police Chief Ballard will be our guest speaker.  She is the first female Police Chief in the State of Hawaii.  We are fortunate to have such a prominent person secured to end our 2018 year. 

Just a handful of amazing events to wrap up our 2018 year.  You won’t want to miss any of them.  Does your calendar have all of the dates down?  We hope so, because we want to see YOU at each OWL event!

-- Val  

President Val Schmidt 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 on 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.