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 

The last event of the year is upon us which means that my year as president is officially coming to an end.  Thank you to everyone who embraced this year’s theme of “Legacy.”  I enjoyed welcoming you all to the meetings, quizzing you all on “What’s new with OWL?”  Or asking “What do all the different name tags mean?”  Each President brings a different style to the OWL year and I had fun being loud and crazy! 

The fall OWL mixer at the Outrigger Country Club was another success.  Many took notes at the workshop “The Art of Public Speaking” presented by Pene Paik.  We also heard from our pau hana sponsor, Linda Puu RN, from Kaiser Permanente.  There were a ton of great giveaway prizes such as: Halekulani Spa Gift card, 2 Chanel perfumes, Kaiser Permanente gift bag, DoTerra diffuser plus oils, 12th Avenue Grill gift card, Acuputure gift cert, a wellness package and a cool wineglass!  Thank you to all the members and one guest who brought these amazing giveaways to our pau hana event!  Pictures will be on our OWL Facebook page.  Be sure to like it. 

At our final meeting on Monday, Nov 5, we will be honoring two amazing women in the public and private sectors as our OWL Women of the Year.  This award is a great way to reward an OWL member for being an outstanding woman!  As a reminder, 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 to end our 2018 year.  For those of you who have Facebook, the Hawaii Police Department participated in the lip sync challenge.  Here is the link:  https://bit.ly/2NGSJSu

Finally, thank you for the opportunity to be your 2018 OWL President.  I have enjoyed the journey.


Valerie Schmidt

The OWL President 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.