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


I’m excited to be the 2018 OWL President.  Five years ago, when I joined as a member, I was impressed with the caliber of women members.  Also, each speaker touched my heart and I was inspired to hear their individual journey.  It was in those early moments of being a new member that I thought about becoming a board member and eventually to this position of President. 

When I first joined, I thought that the Organization of Women Leaders was the best kept secret.  A group of women who were leaders in their respective fields.  I wondered why I didn’t know about this group sooner.  Once I joined the board, I realized I was talking about the speakers to others outside of OWL.  I bragged about who I got to hear from and how each woman was making a difference in the lives of the women who followed in her footsteps. 
Over the years, OWL has been my foundation of women.  I work in a predominantly male occupation, and I didn’t realize how much I needed to be surrounded by women.  I craved the nurturing and the questions of my life, my family and how I was creating balance.  I realized there was no other group out there that was offering this support to help me move further in my life and my career. 

As the 2018 OWL President, I choose the theme of “Legacy.”  I want the board, our speakers and our members to think about how they will leave a legacy for the women that follow.  It is one thing to leave a footprint and another to create a movement.  Each time we stand up for one another, each time we encourage each other to share our experiences, we are creating a movement.  I think sometimes we may not realize that each moment that we share together, we are teaching our daughters and the young women that follow us, that they can trust women, and use each other’s strengths.  I am hopeful that once we are aware of each of these moments, then each footprint will leave an impression.  Then us as a collective will create a very powerful future for ourselves and those that follow.

Here’s to an amazing 2018!

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.