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

It’s May!  This means that I am halfway through my OWL year!  What I am impressed with is the amount of collaboration for planning out the 2018 year.  After we had speaker Allison Izu in January, multiple members wrote on their comment cards that they wanted to have our Spring Mixer at Allison’s studio.  The board agreed to go with the members’ suggestion.  Spring Mixers are a new addition to the OWL year and we are so happy that the membership is happily engaged in anticipating this event.  Thank you to Past President, Kathy Perkins, for helping to coordinate the logistics of this event.  I’m excited to learn more about, “What is my color personality” as well as mingling with the members and guests who will be attending this mixer.   

For those of you who have never held an OWL board position, I want you to know that the OWL board does an excellent job of balancing what the members say in their comment cards with questions such as “What new speakers would be of interest to the members?” And “What sector in the community have we not hear from recently?” or “What is a current topic that is trending?”   The “Me Too” movement caused the board to seek out attorney Anna Elento-Sneed for our March meeting.  Anna did an amazing job of telling us her personal history as it correlated with the changes of women in the workplace to the present day “Me-Too” movement.   Thank you to our Board and Speaker Chairs that help us vet through the multiple suggestions of speakers to pull together the OWL year. 

As we go through the next few months, we will be asking our members to nominate OWL members for our Woman of the Year awards.  President Elect Pam Harms will also begin to plan her 2019 year.  OWL years continue to move through each President with this continuous collaboration of ideas and energies.  This year’s theme of “Legacy” allows us to think past 2018 and plan for the future of OWL members.  I’m happy that the speakers selected so far have challenged us to think about our roles as women in the workforce.  OWL helps us to remind us of how far we have come as women and how we can grow in the future. 

I look forward to seeing everyone at our future bi-monthly meetings.  I’m also excited to announce for our meeting on Monday, Nov 5th at the Halekulani Hotel we have officially secured Police Chief Ballard as 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.      

-- 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.