1980 - 1989
Past LeaderLuncheon Honorees
|In sharing their leadership journey, our Leader Luncheon Academy of Honorees opened our eyes to the challenges of days past, the extraordinary progress made in Hawaii, and the legacy passed on to those women who would follow.
sharon “shay” bintliff, m.d. - 1980
“The greatest advocate for the children of Hawaii.”
Dr. Sharon “Shay” Bintliff is a pediatrician, professor of pediatrics at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, director of the Birth Defects Center at Kapiolani-Children’s Medical Center and director of the University Affiliated Facilities Project for children with developmental disabilities.
Honored by the YWCA in 1980, Shay was the first female chair of a clinical department at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine. She was recognized because of her success as a physician and as a working mother. In 1980 it was still difficult for women to advance in the medical field, especially if they had children, and Shay showed that it was possible to have a rewarding career and
be a great mom.
Shay’s proudest accomplishments include helping to organize the first Domestic Violence program for women, opening Safe-Houses throughout the island, and organizing the “Blow the Whistle on Violence” program, which obtained its continuity through national sponsorships. Bringing sensitivity, generosity and devotion to children’s causes, Shay has served as Medical Director for the Waimano State Home and Training Schools and chaired the Governor’s Committee on Children and Youth.
In addition, she surfs, plays tennis, plays golf, runs marathons, paddles, and is a dietician and physical fitness advisor for the Outrigger Canoe Club. These are all sports that many, at one time, considered to be too dangerous for women.
In order to make Hawaii a better place, Shay would like to see the collective power of women’s leadership come together to achieve the following: “better salaries for our teachers to retain the excellent ones our children deserve, after school programs in every school to give working parents the security of care for their children, and healthcare for ALL Hawaii citizens.”
The vision that drives her to succeed is being the best, most compassionate physician she can possibly be. Shay also has a passion of living a very balanced and full life as an example to others.
mealii namahoe kalama* - 1980
Mealii Kalama was recognized by the YWCA in 1980 as the acknowledged leader in the renaissance of Hawaiian quiltmaking. Through her work and teaching, Mealii brought worldwide acclaim to the once-dying art.
Throughout her life, Mealii lovingly shared her talent in design, composition and color sense as well as her knowledge of Hawaiian culture, all so tenderly entwined in the quiltmaking art. Mealii taught the history as well as the practice. She taught that Hawaiian women would design their quilts based on their beautiful floral surroundings, their old gods, their legends and their sovereign nation. Their quilt designs encompassed their beautiful flowers such as the Mokihana, the Liko Lehua, the Ulei berries from their travels from Tahiti, to the flag quilts which symbolized their self identity in a rapidly changing world. Each quilt had a picture, story and name and its own power, and therefore was not used as linens but rather should be used for display and decoration. Mealii’s quilts included bright bold patterns of the breadfruit tree, pineapple, coconut tree and the native silver sword plant.
She completed hundreds of quilts, including the quilt on Queen Liliuokalani’s bed in Washington Place and those commissioned for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
Mealii was honored in 1985 with a one-time-only National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Offered to master folk and traditional artists, the award recognizes lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and/or contributions to America’s traditional arts heritage.
After retiring from her career with Honolulu Parks and Recreation, Mealii continued to teach, as a volunteer at Papakolea Playground and as a Hawaiiana instructor at The Kamehameha Schools. Mealii was ordained a lay minister of Kawaiahao Church, where she served as secretary of the Board of Trustees for 26 years.
shimeji kanazawa - 1980
“Women in leadership (must) realize that there is so much potential among our younger people…and help them contribute to the betterment of our community and the world.”
Born the eldest of eleven children and educated through high school at the Wainaku Jodo Mission in Hilo, Shimeji Kanazawa was swept into leadership as a quiet, inexperienced young woman during World War II. “Shim” was an assistant to the Swedish Consul General who, through the Geneva Convention, was placed in charge of the internment camps in Hawaii. She was the interface with the families and individuals of camps, people who were displaced and in need of help.
Shim was the “Florence Nightingale” of Hawaii, helping the people in every way she could. “It’s hard to imagine now, but people destroyed what they held most dear, priceless scrolls, family pictures, even money, whatever would link them to Japan,” she explained. Thus began her legendary years of service and her dedication rising from her Japanese respect for the elderly and the family.
For almost 40 years Shim served as a member and chair on the Policy Board of Elder Affairs for the Hawaii State Executive Office on Aging. She has also supported her community as an officer of the Board of Directors of Kuakini Medical Center, and auditor of the Moilili Nishi Hongwanji Mission. She was an officer of the Health and Community Services Council, has served as president of the Hawaii Legal Auxiliary and was on the State Commission on Children and Youth. Shim was vice chair of the Hawaii Gerontology Project and director of the Western Gerontological Society.
At 91 years young, Shim continues to serve, on state and national levels, with programs which benefit the aging. She was instrumental in founding and guiding Project Dana, the very successful Buddhist-based elder-care program which serves hundreds of Hawaii’s seniors annually.
Shim was inducted into the YWCA Academy in 1980 as a role model and a leader among women. Shim credits her family with supporting her and advises women today to “never give in or give up.”
andrea lynn simpson - 1980
Andrea Simpson was honored by the YWCA in 1980 for professional accomplishment and her determination to break through the “glass ceiling.”
Andrea’s path to success began in the position of advertising copywriter, right
out of college. Due to her strong work ethic, Andrea progressed to be United California Bank’s youngest officer as assistant cashier. She joined First
Hawaiian Bank in 1973 and was later named that bank’s youngest officer.
At the time of her induction into the YWCA Academy, she was manager of corporate communications at Pacific Resources, Inc. In this position she was responsible for corporate, financial and retail/marketing advertising; public
relations and employee communications for PRI and its subsidiaries. Andrea’s master thesis appeared in condensed form in “Bank Marketing Magazine.”
She was also a lecturer in the MBA program at Chaminade University.
Andrea was a director of the Hawaii Heart Association, the Arts Council of Hawaii Trojan Junior Auxiliary, and a member of the Honolulu Advertising Federation, Public Relations Society of America, Junior League of Honolulu. In 1978 she was named “Outstanding Young Person of Hawaii” by the Hawaii Jaycees and “Woman of the Year” by Panhellenic of Hawaii.
Andrea left Hawaii in 1998 and now works with Edison International as vice president for corporate communications.
|janice wolf - 1980
“The year I was honored -- 1980 -- was perhaps the beginning of the lifting of barriers for women.”
As the human affairs/social services writer for the Honolulu Advertiser, Janice Wolf helped to raise the level of community awareness of major social problems. Her coverage frequently stimulated community action and resulted in help to people
“I think the highlight was the series I did on Family Court, in large part because I was the first reporter in Hawaii ever allowed into the closed courtrooms and therefore forged new ground. Looking back, I do think that series really opened the public’s eyes to a court that affects more people than any other court in the state.”
”I hope the work I did at the Advertiser opened doors for women and children, gave them inspiration to move beyond poverty, to go to school. I also hope the work I did shed light on issues of public concern that actually led to public policy changes and legislation in such areas as open adoption, changing draconian rape laws.”
Janice went on to graduate from law school in 1985, and served as the administrative law clerk to former Chief Justice Lum, followed by a job as the Administrative Director of the Courts for the State of Hawaii.
She married four years ago and relocated to Las Vegas. She now serves as staff attorney for Clark County Legal Services Legal Aid, for its Children’s Attorneys Project. Janice represents abused and neglected children (direct advocacy -- not as guardians ad litem) and her office challenges the child welfare system in court. As it turns out, her boss, the executive director -- a woman -- is the speaker of the Nevada assembly. Political involvement has been a natural. She also serves on the board of directors of the Rape Crisis Center for Southern Nevada, so she’s come full circle in another discipline.
”At the Advertiser, I was able to bring about changes in a more global way. Now, as a children’s attorney, change comes one child at a time.”
ann b. catts, md - 1982
As the first woman president of the Honolulu County Medical Society in 1976 and also the first woman president of the Hawaii Medical Association in 1981, Dr. Ann B. Catts has been recognized in Hawaii, and nationally, as a trailblazer for women in medicine.
Dr. Catts joined the YWCA of O‘ahu LeaderLuncheon Academy in 1982. At that time, she was an associate pathologist at Queen’s Medical Center. Born in New Jersey, Dr. Catts completed her pathology residency at Queen’s, and stayed on staff there after. She served as medical director of Diagnostic Laboratory Services from 1985-87 and as assistant professor of pathology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at University of Hawaii.
Dr. Catts has a unique reputation for sharing herself as well as her professional ability with others. Throughout her career, she was compelled to lead positive changes for women in the medical industry. Dr. Catts did not limit her talents
to the medical field; she has been an active participant in numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Blood Bank of Hawaii, Breast Cancer Task Force, Honolulu Art Academy, Honolulu Symphony and many others. In 1984, Dr. Catts was awarded the Physician of the Year Award, for her community service efforts, from the Hawaii Medical College.
Now an active retiree, Dr. Catts volunteers at the Hawaii Medical Library, where she works on archival material concerning Hawaiian hospitals and physicians. She continues to be community minded and would like to see positive improvements made to address the homeless, especially for women with children. Dr. Catts credits her success to continually striving for excellence and committing her
talents to service.
nancy corbett* - 1982
“The work we do must make a difference in children’s lives.”
Nancy Corbett, founder of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, has dedicated her life to providing cultural opportunities for young people. In 1955, while teaching drama to children for the department of recreation, she determined that live theater would be a logical next step for her students. The result was the tremendously successful Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Since it began, more than 5 million people have attended a production of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
HTY tours the six main islands each year, reaching children from every corner of the state with its positive, unique brand of local theatre. HTY has always celebrated diversity: It produces well-known classics, works that are folkloric in nature, adaptations of contemporary children’s literature and an array of original scripts. The plays often have cultural and historical themes, addressing everyday issues that are important to Hawaii’s young people, and HTY knows how to make them fun.
A life trustee of Hawaii Theatre for youth, Nancy is co-founder of the Symphony Women’s Committee and also served as executive director of the Honolulu Community Theatre and acting director of the Academy of Arts and Academy Education Department, where she served 15 years. She is a member of the Arts Council of Hawaii State Theatre Council. The Hawaii State Legislature passed resolutions honoring her upon its 25th anniversary. Nancy also spearheaded the movement to revitalize the Waikiki Shell in the mid-fifties and served as chair of the dedication.
A graduate of Smith College, Nancy came to Hawaii for a visit in 1931 and never left. A young lawyer named Gerald Corbett changed her plans. Five decades later, Nancy was selected to join the YWCA LeaderLuncheon Academy for her powerful service to children and to the community through the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
|betty hemphill - 1982
“The spirit of Hawaii during the years from 1915 to 1923… was definitely turned toward inter-racial cooperation and the intermingling of racial groups in business, social life, even in marriage. Some were eager to meet together in religion. Hawaiian Boards were not prepared at that time to serve them on an inter-racial basis.”
Writing was “not a conscious decision,” Betty Hemphill said. Yet her poems about women in the Bible, Third Testament Women: Poems and her book, The Crossroads Witness, enlightened readers to the plight of racial inequity in Hawaiian churches. She was honored by the YWCA as a voice for women in Hawaii in 1982.
Betty Hemphill, president, State Division, American Association of University Women, began her career in community service in 1958 as president of the Far East Wives Club in Tokyo. A native of Nebraska with a degree from the University of Nebraska and a master’s degree in history from George Washington University, Hemphill lived in Japan for 12 years. While there, she served as a trustee and counselor for the International Christian University.
When Betty came to Hawaii in 1973 with her husband and their three children, she immediately assumed responsible roles in her new community. She was editor of the conferences held by the International Federation of University Women in 1976 in Honolulu and 1979 in Japan. Also she was an alternate at the convention held in Canada in 1980. Betty was a chairman for church relations at Hawaii Loa College.
sister maureen keleher* - 1982
Sister Maureen Keleher believed deeply in the motto of St. Francis of Assisi: “It is in giving that we receive.”
Sister Maureen was the chief executive officer for St. Francis Medical Center from 1943 to 1988, founding Hawaii’s first hospice program and advancing plans for St. Francis Medical Center West in Ewa. Under her direction, the 200-bed hospital increased to more than 300 beds and the hospital’s health ministry expanded in many vital directions. Some of the programs nearest to her heart are the Home Care program which serves 400 patients on Oahu and 50 on Kauai and the renal program which has satellite facilities in Leeward Oahu, Maui, Hilo and Kauai that serve 300 kidney patients.
Under Sister Maureen’s leadership, St. Francis became a leader in organ transplants. The state’s first heart transplant was done at St. Francis. The
Liliha Street hospital has been at the forefront of kidney dialysis, substance
abuse treatment for women, cancer rehabilitation and senior citizens care.
But Sister Maureen’s true legacy was her pioneering effort in the late 1970’s to bring to Hawaii the concept of hospice care -- where terminally ill patients are cared for in their homes, or a setting outside the traditional hospital, with as little pain as possible.
When the 12-bed, Sister Maureen Keleher Hospice Center opened in Nuuanu in 1988, it was the only freestanding hospice in the state. A decade later, there were eight facilities statewide handling close to 1,500 patients.
A registered professional nurse, Sister Maureen grew up on Rhode Island. She earned a nursing degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and later, a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Hawaii. She is a fellow of the American College of Hospital Administrators. Former regional administrator of the Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Maureen was a diocesan coordinator of health affairs, immediate past board Hospital Association of Hawaii and Hawaii Nurses’ Association.
She was hailed as a visionary of the hospital community. But for Sister Maureen, the hospital business was not about the number of beds her facilities could accommodate or being the first to put in the latest medical gadgetry. “The quality of health care service is more than diagnosis and treatment. It encompasses the reaching out and touching of patients as individuals, and at the same time, keenly understanding them as people.”
|lois taylor - 1982
Lois Taylor was a feature writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. She came to Honolulu as a bride during World War II with a degree in English and Journalism from the University of California at Berkley. After rearing four children, Taylor began her career at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a society columnist in 1961.
Ten years later she became a feature writer.
A versatile professional, Taylor could be counted upon to deliver quality stories
on any issue – from politics, to the frivolous, to sensitive human issues. Her enthusiasm and sense of humor were staples of her personality. She maintained a deep interest in Asian cultures and local ways.
In 1975, the National Child and Family Service Association honored her. For six years she was on the State Commission on the Status of Women and served in 1977 on the Hawaii Coordinating Committee for International Women’s Year. She is a past officer and director of Pacific Asian Affairs Council and the Kindergarten and Children’s Aid Association. She is a sustaining member of Junior League and a past officer of Honolulu Press Club.
Continuing her lifelong support of environmental issues, she is a current member of The Outdoor Circle. She wrote in the Evergreen, a regular Friday feature for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
beebe freitas - 1983
“I found Hawaii to be a great world of opportunities. If you wanted to try something new, just give it a whirl. It was wide open.”
In 1966, when Beebe Freitas moved to Hawaii from the East Coast, she believed her music career would come to an abrupt halt. Instead, she joined a thriving arts community, gained amazing opportunities and dedicated her life to enhancing the musical experience in the Islands.
Throughout a distinguished career, she has been accompanist for such music legends as conductor Leonard Bernstein and has performed with such renowned soloists as Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and David Shifrin. She received top honors for musical accomplishments, including a Ford Foundation Scholarship to study at Oberlin College and a performing artist award from the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Today, Beebe continues to be a vital force in Hawaii’s music community. She is on staff at the University of Hawaii in the Department of Music and Hawaii Opera Theatre. She is also an organist for First Presbyterian Church and Punahou Chapel. As a member of numerous boards, including Honolulu Symphony and Hawaii Opera Theatre, she volunteers for the betterment of Hawaii’s musical environment.
Since being honored by the YWCA in 1983, Beebe has gone on to earn numerous accolades for her volunteer work in the arts and music. She is the recipient of honors by the National Society of Arts and Letters, the City and County Commission on Culture and the Arts, and a Living Treasure of Hawaii Award by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. In 2005, Beebe was presented with the Alfred Preis Award by the Hawaii Arts Alliance. This prestigious award “honors individuals who have demonstrated in word and action a lifetime commitment to arts and arts education for Hawaii’s children and their families.”
Today, the people of Hawaii enjoy a flourishing landscape of artistic and cultural opportunities, much of which can be traced back to a young musician who came to Hawaii in the 1960s: Ms. Beebe Freitas.
lucille moore - 1983
Lucille Moore, president and director of Intelect, Inc., built her company from a two-person operation into one of Hawaii’s largest and most sophisticated high technology companies with more than 110 employees and two overseas offices
in California and Venezuela. At the time, she was one of two women in her field
to hold this position in the country.
She created a “working with” attitude at Intelect, an attitude she believes is compatible with Hawaii’s culture and effective in implementing the stringent quality assurance standards necessary for air traffic control systems. More than 95 percent of her workforce is from the local community and represents a cross-section of ethnic groups. Having grown up in a fieldstone house without electricity, running water, plumbing or heating, Moore is particularly sensitive to the plight of the less fortunate and has striven to employ and teach them.
Governor George R. Ariyoshi commended Moore for her thoughtful, people-orientated management methods. Hughes Aircraft Company, one of the world’s most prestigious high technology manufacturers, selected Intelect as its outstanding sub-contractor of the year.
Moore is recognized in the telecommunications industry as an expert in project implementation and financing of International Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. She was a member of the Lanikai Association and the Asian Women’s Association.
|myrtle schattenburg* - 1983
Myrtle Schattenburg was a volunteer for senior citizens concerns, and one of Hawaii’s most active and conscientious supporters of human services. She worked to improve the quality of life for others for more than 62 years.
Her career in community health service began in 1921 as a nurse for the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. From there, she went on to become a volunteer nurse instructor for the Red Cross followed by three years of home nursing. From 1949 until her professional retirement in 1965, she was an instructor in practical nursing for the Department of Education’s Old Nursing School which today is Kapiolani Community College. She moved to Hawaii in 1926. Schattenburg is a graduate of the University of Michigan and conducted graduate work at Wayne State University.
Myrtle, a past president of the Hawaii League for Nursing, was a member of the Legislative Committee of Nursing Association. In 1979, she was named the Outstanding Woman Senior Citizen in Hawaii and in 1966 was named Hawaii Mother of the Year. All her life, she continued to be a role model for all women and inspired hope, enthusiasm and action.
Schattenburg was a member of Kokua Council for Senior Citizens; chair of the Health Task Force; board member of the Mayor’s Commission on Aging and worked for HCSCH Neighbors Helping Neighbors; Program Malama (DSSH); Senior Health Screening at St. Francis; Long Term Care Network and Hawaii Pacific Gerontology Society.
emme tomimbang - 1983
Emme Tomimbang has been in the communications industry since the age of 10. At that time, she hosted her own radio program called Teenage Corner playing the rock portion of her father’s Filipino program on KPOA. In 1973, she became the assistant program director for KISA Radio, where she had her own morning show called Morning Girl for two years. From there, she went to KITV where she worked as a producer, reporter, and documentary specialist. She has received numerous awards for her documentary on Honolulu’s Street People; an Emmy award nomination for her documentary on Aloha Week’s Royal Court in London; Outstanding Award for Cultural Contribution to Philippine Heritage by the Filipino Community Association; Outstanding Alumni – Farrington High School, and the 1978 Prison Blue Moon Jaycees Award.
Tomimbang learned her craft on the job and has developed into one of the most talented and inspiring reporters in Hawaii Television. She is a member of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. She has served on numerous event and boards for American Cancer Research, Special Olympics-Honolulu and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
In 1983, when Emme was honored for her leadership role in the community, she had just made her way up from field reporting, to specials, and finally to anchor. This was a major accomplishment for her and a very reflective moment in her career. However, this was a time of a blatant salary inequality where men were making far more than women for doing the same jobs. As women throughout her station were fighting for “equal rights for equal pay,” they went on a three-month strike. Several other stations even walked the picket line with them to support their fight. Fortunately, an agreement was made and Emme went back to her position as KITV anchor.
When asked to describe the moment Emme first identified herself as a leader, she replied, “I never really identified myself, it was usually said by someone else. When I heard it more than once, I realized this must be so. So, I began to think of ways to inspire other women in my talks.” Emme Tomimbang hopes her leadership as a ‘local girl’ and Filipina will inspire other local Filipinas to reach greater heights. In the future, Emme would like to see the collective power of women’s leadership come together to help more women achieve leadership positions in corporations and in television broadcast stations.
In the Oct/Nov 2006 issue of Generations Hawaii Magazine, Emme Tomimbang was featured on the cover story. This was a four-page article of the extensive and impressive career of Emme, and it highlighted the amazing accomplishments throughout her career. One of which was her exclusive 1989 interview with former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. The article goes on to describe her career, personality and gives an inside glimpse of her home life. This was a prestigious article with a grand reader base, and hopefully captured the hearts of many young women attempting to succeed within the world of journalism.
|rev. edith h. wolfe - 1983
The YWCA honored Reverend Edith H. Wolfe in 1983 for pursuing a traditionally male profession and for encouraging women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethical origins, to work together in a Christian mission.
A former school teacher, Edith enrolled in seminary in the 1940s. She recalled how one of her professors refused to call on her, the only female student, as he felt she was “wasting” a seat that otherwise a man might occupy. After ordination, Edith had a hard time finding a church that would accept a female pastor. She joined the Congregational Church (now United Church of Christ) in 1946.
Edith’s career spans 37 years and four countries, including 11 years as pastor of Rehoboth Congregational Church, the largest church ever served by a woman pastor. She has served churches in the United States, Canada, England and Wales.
She moved from New England to Kalihi in 1965 to serve as the executive secretary of the United Church of Christ’s Woman’s Board of Missions of the South Pacific Islands. Her first project was to help prepare for the 150-year anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries to Hawaii from New England. It was through her efforts that the military was persuaded into towing a replica of the missionaries’ boat Thaddeus to Kona for the event. “It doesn’t seem a lot to ask” Edith said at the time.
Edith traveled extensively in the Pacific islands and worked on missions in Micronesia, the Philippines, Yap and Japan. In 1978, during the Vietnamese “boat people” crisis, she formed a program to teach English to refugee mothers and their children. She worked with Filipino, Samoan and Micronesian women to assist them in their efforts to work together for common concerns.
Edith served dozens of churches in the islands, including the historic Wananalua Church in Hana. She enjoyed greeting visitors from all over the world and giving them what she called the “free 50-cent tour” of the church and grounds. She delightfully provided an “aloha gift” to visitors. Each day, Edith would put out a basket of bananas from the church’s trees with a sign: Help Yourself to a Hana Banana.
barbara dew - 1984
“Never give up learning, always keep up with laws and rules affecting the industry, maintain high ethical standards and keep current on market conditions.”
Known by her colleagues as the “Grand Lady of Hawaii Real Estate”, Barbara Dew is admired for her integrity, experience and overall knowledge of the real estate market. Barbara’s exemplary leadership style is characterized by her motivational attitude, excellent management skills and dedication to continuing education. She was recognized as a great leader by the YWCA in 1984.
Barbara Dew entered real estate in 1963 and within ten years, was head of her own brokerage firm, Realestators Ltd. In another decade, she had parlayed a two-member office into a thriving company with 40 fulltime associates becoming Conley Dew Ltd. That company later merged with three others to become Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, now one the of the state’s largest residential real estate firms.
Barbara Dew is currently a director of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and the principal instructor of the Real Estate School. She was appointed to the Real Estate Commission in 1989 and served two four-year terms. She was honored in 1986 as ‘Realtor of the Year’ by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Barbara is past president of the Hawaii Association of Realtors and has been a director of the National Association of Realtors.
Barbara created the Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties real estate licensing school and trains approximately 150 new licensees per year. She loves to study new techniques to improve the industry standard and sharing her knowledge with upcoming professionals.
An avid community volunteer, Barbara has served on the boards of YWCA of O‘ahu, Junior Achievement of Hawaii, Girl Scout Council of the Pacific, Rehabilitation Center of the Pacific, Aloha United Way, Rotary Club of Honolulu, Chamber of Commerce, and Children’s Aid Association. She is a past president of the Junior League of Honolulu and was one of the first women officers of the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
shelby anne floyd - 1984
Shelby Anne Floyd is a founding partner in the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing. She is credited with bringing, and winning, the first sex and race discrimination case against the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Since moving to Hawaii in 1976, she has championed the causes of equal opportunity in employment, handicapped children, and public welfare recipients. In one of her most recent cases, preliminary approval of a $2.3 million settlement for public housing tenants was granted on June 9, 2006 by Hawaii’s Third Circuit Court.
In 2002, Ms. Floyd received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hawaii Women Lawyers and the Hawaii Psychological Association’s Daniel K. Inouye Award. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii awarded her their Loio Ku Kahi (Outstanding Attorney) award in 1999. She also received the Legal Advocacy Award from the Mental Health Association of Hawaii in 1994. In 1984, she was also named Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year by the Hawaii Women Lawyers.
Ms. Floyd is currently the resident partner in the Kona office of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and maintains an office in Waimea on the Big Island. Her practice concentrates on class action litigation in public benefits and consumer classes, as well as construction litigation, real property law and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Floyd has been active with the Mental Health Association and the Developmental Disabilities Task Force.
|melani granfors - 1984
Melani Granfors was a reporter, producer, writer and host for Hawaii’s only prime-time TV public affair show, KHET’s “Dialog.” She also has anchored the prime “drive home” slot on news radio KHVH, where she began her broadcasting career in 1975 as a reporter. Later, Granfors was anchorperson and reporter at KHON-TV, KHVH newsroom manager and press secretary to former Lt. Gov. Jean King. In 1978, she was a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Young Women.
Granfors’ broadcasting career has focused in on issues concerning children, women and the family. She is a member of People Attentive to Children and is on the Honolulu County Commission of the Status of Women Media Task Force. She is also a member of the Vietnam Vets Leadership Program, the Historic Hawaii Foundation and the Alliance for Drama Education.
ah quon mcelrath - 1984
“All of us started working in the pineapple canneries when we were 12 or 13 years old. There were no child labor laws then. I packed and trimmed pineapple and picked eyes out of the so-called jam. I worked in the cafeteria, which was supposedly the gem of jobs, because you made 27 1/2 cents an hour as against 18 cents an hour packing pineapple. In season we worked 12 hours a day. That was how we supported the family and got back to school
during the fall.”
Ah Quon McElrath dedicated her life to the cause of workers’ rights and the concerns of women, the elderly and other minority groups. A child-worker from
an immigrant family, she worked to persuade union leaders to look beyond salary issues and to go after standard-of-living improvements like occupational safety, ethnic equality, health care and education.
Ah Quon began her volunteer work with the ILWU during the 1938 waterfront strike. In the 1940’s, she helped organize the workers of Honolulu’s waterfront and sugar plantations. She helped union members and their families obtain public assistance and medical treatment and continued working for member benefits when she joined the union’s staff in 1954. Lobbying the state legislature as social worker for the union, Ah Quon worked for increases in public assistance and support for human services. She helped push through the Wagner Act for Hawaii’s agricultural workers in 1945, and later on improvements in workers compensation and unemployment insurance as well as a Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Act.
The ILWU was also successful in providing inexpensive housing for its members. In 1981, Ah Quon helped secure a $6 million community development block grant for refurbishing the infrastructure and the homes at the Ewa Plantation Village. The idea was to make sure people in the future would still know what it was like to live in a plantation community.
Looking back, Ah Quon believes that what the ILWU accomplished in Hawaii was truly remarkable. She believes there is much value to teaching younger members the history of the ILWU to reinforce understanding of the contributions their forebears made to building a stable economy in Hawaii. “There are still people who are poor,” Ah Quon said recently. “There are still people who need health care, there are still people who cannot join unions, there are still people who don’t eat. That’s what keeps me going.”
may moir - 1984
May Moir’s garden in Nuuanu blooms with bromeliads, orchids, and other tropical foliage plants gathered in the jungles of Madagascar, Panama, Colombia and Costa Rica. Decorative plants were May’s forte and she shared her love and extensive knowledge with others over her years. May was a floral designer and an artist who possessed simple philosophy about her passion; “you let nature do what she’s gonna do, you don’t have to be all spick and span.”
In 1973, May held a one-woman flower arranging show at the Contemporary Arts Center. She went on to write three books using her combination of experience and knowledge of Hawaiian plant life, including “Garden Watcher,” published by the University of Hawaii Press.
Her artistic flair for floral arrangements was the inspiration for the elegant gardens of the Honolulu Academy of Arts. May continued sharing her knowledge and wisdom of ingenious plant arrangements throughout her career. She volunteered at Honolulu Academy of Arts and served on the Academy’s Building and Grounds Committee.
harriet a. o’sullivan - 1984
Harriet A. O’Sullivan served as the District Special Projects Director for the State Department of Education for twenty-five years before retiring to become a full-time community volunteer.
She is currently president of the Foundation for Hawaii Women’s History. Its mission is to celebrate the achievement of Hawaii’s women throughout the history of the islands and to empower women and girls to reach their full potential by recognizing the value of these multicultural contributions.
In 2004, Harriet co-hosted a Hawaii State Public Library exhibit “‘Onipa‘a The Legacy of Our Queen.” The traveling courtyard exhibit paid tribute to the Queen, and included Hawaiian notables Claire Ah Sam, executive director of Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center; Nalani Olds, notable and revered musical artist, and participants of Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center Community Projects.
Harriet continues to serve the community as Committee Chair for the Ali‘i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club. Harriet served as president of the Girl Scout Council of the Pacific, a board member for the Aloha United Way, and organizer and director of the Hawaii Committee for National Women’s History Week. Additionally, Harriet was active with the Hawaiian Homelands Commission and the Public TV Citizen’s Advisory Group. Harriet also earned the Girl Scout’s highest award, the Thanks Badge, for her contributions to the Girl Scouts organization.
lucille breneman - 1985
“Service through storytelling”
Lucille N. Breneman was selected to join the LeaderLuncheon Academy in 1985 because of her work as a leader among Hawaii’s oral readers. She was a founding member of the Storytelling Association of Hawaii and in 1984, she established the Hawaii Story League whose motto is “service through storytelling.”
One of the foremost authorities in the field of storytelling, Lucille taught that if you were going to tell personal or family story, it must be interesting. And if you wanted to teach something, it would be best learned through story. Through this sharing of experience, tellers would use stories to pass on accumulated wisdom, beliefs and values. Through stories, people explained how things were, why they were, and our role and purpose. Stories are the building blocks of knowledge, the foundation of memory and learning.
Lucille published numerous articles in regional and national journals on how to tell good tales. In 1983, she and husband Bren authored a handbook on the art of storytelling called “Once Upon A Time: A Storytelling Handbook.” An excerpt:
“Without the development and use of visualization, the storyteller becomes nothing more than a relater of incidents. After a short time, no matter how arresting the series of incidents, most listeners will become bored. With visualization heightened, incidents come alive. A quality of “nowness” is established which brings the audience into the never-never land that the storyteller is creating.”
Now a professor emeritus with the University of Hawaii after 34 years as a speech teacher, Lucille continues to promote the art of storytelling in Hawaii.
denby fawcett - 1985
“As a 24-year-old newspaper reporter, I covered the war in Vietnam. It was the story of our era. It was what was happening to my generation, I don’t think any of us were prepared for what we’d see when we got there. It was the pivotal moment in my life and I think in all of our lives. It made me a more serious person, a more centered person, more grave, I suppose.”
Denby Fawcett has been a news reporter since her junior year at Punahou School when she wrote a column for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The YWCA recognized her in 1985 as an outstanding journalist of local and national acclaim.
In recent years, Denby worked with eight other women journalists to write a nationally published book “War Torn,” a collection of personal stories about their experiences covering the Vietnam War. Denby’s job has taken her to cover wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and an internal conflict in Haiti. She was one of a few female war correspondents in Vietnam and won many honors for her 18-month stay there, including a Pacific and Asian Affairs Council award, an award from the U.S. Army “for outstanding coverage of the American soldier as an individual in combat,” and the Honolulu Press Club award.
One of Denby’s local accomplishments was being honored for co-writing a newspaper column in the Honolulu Advertiser to help parents, called ‘Parents’ Hotline’. Parents often told her that the advice column she wrote with Lynne Wikoff gave them good tips. As many fathers as mothers said they read the column, which gave Denby hope that fathers were taking as much of an interest in the daily care of their children as mothers, which was not the case when she was growing up in the 1950’s.
Denby is a graduate of Columbia University. She was also a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. She has completed all the required work for a Doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Hawaii with the exception of a dissertation.
joan lee husted - 1985
Joan Lee Husted is one of the highest ranking female union officers in the state with the title of Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Joan was a driving force behind the establishment of the Hawaii State Teachers Association in 1971, and has been a member since its inception. She promoted countless reforms for teachers including having child care leave included in the HSTA contract; a first in the public sector. She was also instrumental in starting the HSTA ’s award-winning Women’s Leadership Training Program. She bargains for 13,000 public school teachers statewide, of which most are women. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is the exclusive representative for teachers with collective bargaining, legislative, and professional development issues and is an affiliate of the 2.7-million member National Education Association.
Joan has been an active union leader in the state for 35 years and is scheduled to retire December 31, 2007. “Even though I could have retired several years ago, I have loved staying on with HSTA to help fight for fair and equitable treatment for Hawaii’s public school teachers. Their deep commitment and their willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure every child receives a quality education has continued to inspire me for these past 35 years to keep working hard on their behalf,” Husted said.
Over the course of her impressive career, Husted has fought to allow teachers to use sick leave for maternity, designed a rapid dismissal process to remove poorly performing teachers from the classroom and worked with others to establish a student code of conduct. Joan also won the right for a “duty free” paid lunch break in 1973 - previously teachers had no lunch break. She bargained for the elimination of classroom cleaning or supervision of students doing classroom cleaning from the teachers’ job description, and negotiated a clearly defined work day to be capped at 7 hours, and a work year to be capped at 190. Prior to collective bargaining, work days and work years were open-ended and undefined. She worked with other education partners to create a student code of conduct in 1997 that enabled schools to establish rules for acceptable behavior among students and improve discipline, and she facilitated the creation of the Hawaii State Teachers Association-Retired - today the organization has 4,000 members statewide.
Schools superintendent Pat Hamamoto said she has the “ultimate respect” for Husted, even though they have been on opposite sides of issues at times. “Every public school teacher in Hawaii owes a big mahalo to Joan for her tireless efforts to fight for better pay and better working conditions on their behalf. But, in the end, it is Hawaii’s children who have benefited most from Joan’s determination to put a highly qualified teacher in every classroom.”
Joan, a former teacher, was named a Pacesetter of the Pacific by the Honolulu Star Bulletin. She was also named the Labor Union Leader of the Year by the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) in 2005. Before joining the staff at HSTA, Husted was an intermediate school counselor and curriculum specialist for the Hawaii State Department of Education. Prior to arriving in Hawaii, she taught at both Brooklyn High School and Vandercook Lake Elementary School and was a counselor at Saline High School near Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Husted served as chairperson of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, was on the Legislative Ad Hoc Commission on Comparable Worth, and was a member of the Hawaii Tax Review Commission.
Husted is a graduate of Brooklyn High School in Michigan. She received a Baccalaureate degree from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan, and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. She has done additional graduate work at the University of Hawaii.
marion saunders* - 1985
Marion Saunders was a champion of women’s rights and is known throughout the state for her work in education, international affairs and community service. She organized and directed the Continuing Education for Women Center at the University of Hawaii. From 1974 to 1980, she was a member of the State Board of Education. Saunders was an active opponent of any organization that mistreated or overlooked women.
Marion Saunders left a legacy of more than 50 years of community service in Hawaii. From the time of her arrival in 1946 until literally the night of her death, she made herself available to those who sought or needed help. And she assumed leadership in pointing to things that needed fixing, and in organizing people to set them right.
Marion and her husband Allan, a legendary professor and dean on the UH campus, contributed a great deal to the democratizing of Hawaii. And then they strove to make it work, helping to develop the organizations and institutions and traditions that would sustain a genuinely democratic society. Together they launched the League of Women Voters here, and a Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Marion was also a member of Hawaii’s advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and of her church’s social action committee.
But for the next 25 years, much of her energy was brought to bear on education. Not a new consideration, as a WAVE officer during World War II, she had been assigned to teaching officer candidates about weekly war developments. Later, in Hawaii, she served as a principal of the territory’s first adult continuing education school.
She was in charge of helping Micronesian students for the East-West Center, and she had launched a continuing education program for women at the university -- the precursor to today’s women’s studies program. Saunders says she was introduced to the feminist movement through the Center. In 1974 Marion ran successfully for a seat on the school board. Although she was there for only six years, her contribution was sufficiently memorable that for the next 18 years, people would stop her on the street to ask, “Aren’t you Marion Saunders of the school board?” Leaving the Board of Education did not mean leaving education, however. In fact, Marion discovered that from outside the system there were things that could be said and done for school reform that could not easily be heard within it.
She activated a League of Women Voters Education Committee which held conferences, testified at legislative hearings, and in multiple other ways tried to educate the public about school problems and needs and what ought to be done to address them.
She never quit. During the last two years of her life she proposed, and then helped found, the University’s Academy of Lifelong Learning, and she led a discussion group seeking to plot a new course for the East-West Center. Throughout her life, she made herself available to help schools and teachers and parents.
Marion’s contributions and service have been acknowledged by a number of organizations and agencies in the community - by the Honolulu City Council, by the Soroptimists, by the Sertoma Club (which once made her “Woman of the Year in Government”), by the American Federation of Teachers, and the Young Women’s Christian Association for community service. She also received the “Most Valuable Member” League of Women Voters award, was named an Outstanding Alumna by both the East-West Center and her alma mater, University of New Mexico, and in 1994 she was designated a “Living Treasure of Hawaii” by the Hongwanji Temple of Honolulu. As the Sertoma Club had put it, she exemplifies their maxim, “Make life better for other people.”
martha torney - 1985
Martha Torney has devoted much of her life on the job as a criminologist and, in her spare time, to improving the justice system. She is currently interim director of the State Office of Youth Services, which oversees the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. She continues to urge lawmakers to support bills in the House and Senate that would redefine the purpose of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility to focus on “rehabilitation” of youths.
Martha is one of the most dedicated professionals in her field and her contribution to the field of corrections is extensive. Martha’s corrections career spans 32 years. Her work in the correctional field actually started in a juvenile training school in 1969. Martha moved to Hawaii in 1973 and worked for Project Lift Up,
a private non-profit organization, as an Outreach worker. The primary focus of the project involved probationary use, dealing with paint-sniffers in the Kam IV housing. Martha states she has a fascination for corrections work.
Martha is one of the architects of Hawaii Sex Offender Treatment Program. She participated in creating the Office of Youth Services. Martha began working at the old Hawaii State Prison (now Oahu Community Correctional Center) in March 1977. Martha held a second job working at the King Kalakaua Center for Humanistic Psycho-therapy as a psycho-therapist. Martha also worked at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. In July 1980, Martha began working with the Hawaii Crime Commission as a Researcher. In September 1982, she became Director of Mediation for the Neighborhood Justice Center. In September 1984, Martha accepted a position as a Corrections Program Specialist with the Corrections Division of the Department of Social Services and Housing.
Martha currently focuses her energy as a department planner. She is involved with a variety of projects for the Department of Public Safety’s legislative responsibilities. Martha finds great satisfaction in developing public policy for the Department of Corrections.
In her spare time, she teaches at the university level as adjunct faculty at Chaminade, University of Hawaii, Honolulu Community College, Hawaii Pacific University, and lectures in the Criminal Justice programs.
lynne f. wikoff - 1985
Lynne began writing in 1978, first as a newspaper columnist writing on parenting issues, then working in corporate communications, all the while wishing she had time to write for children. In 1999, she decided she’d never have enough time and she got started anyway. Lynne is the consumate wordsmith. She has had two picture books published by a regional publisher, has several manuscripts either under consideration by national publishers or in progress. She also does manuscript reviews and editing for a regional publisher and a limited amount of other freelance writing.
Lynne’s column in the Honolulu Advertiser reached nearly 100,000 households a week. The “Parents’ Hotline” was started in 1978, with another honoree Denby Fawcett, answering many anxious parents’ questions. The column won recognition from the Hawaii Chapter of the Mental Health Association. Lynne has written freelance articles on childrearing for Working Mother, Working Woman, Savvy and Mothers Today. Her children’s books include Tutu Knows Best (2006) and A
Butterfly Tale (2005).
Lynne is a graduate of UCLA and earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawaii. She has served on the Board of Directors of PATCH (People Attentive to Children), the Hawaii Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, and the Honolulu Jewish Community Pre-School. Lynne is the current editor of The Children’s Alliance of Hawaii Newsletter.
lily k. yao - 1985
“Gender doesn’t make any difference. You have to perform the best at your current job. If you are an outstanding person, you will be noticed.”
Lily K. Yao started with Pioneer Federal Savings Bank as a teller in 1968. She proved that anything was possible when she became president and chief executive officer of the bank 16 years later. She was the first female president of a major financial institution in Hawaii. Lily was recognized by the YWCA in 1985 and since that time many women have followed in her footsteps to attain leadership roles in the banking industry.
When Pioneer Federal and First Hawaiian Bank merged in 1997, Lily was appointed FHB vice chairman. Lily had a remarkable 35-year career of achievement in banking and represented First Hawaiian Bank in the community. She retired in 2003 as president of First Hawaiian Foundation and vice chairman of First Hawaiian Bank.
Lily’s volunteerism includes work with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, U.H. Board of Regents, Oceanic Institute and many more, she also served as chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and the Hawaii Savings and Loan League.
Active in her retirement years, Lily still encourages women to not be afraid of being ambitious and stresses the importance of making goals and plans. An avid golfer, she shares her love of the sport with young golfers. She helped create the Hawaii State Women’s Golf Foundation, an organization that provides stipends and scholarships for golfers who may not have the financial resources to pursue their dreams. Through the foundation, the Lily K. Yao Scholarship fund was created in her honor to give scholarships for college to female golfers.
naomi s. campbell - 1986
When the YWCA inducted Naomi S. Campbell into the LeaderLuncheon Academy in 1986, she had been practicing law for over 30 years. Dedicated to the sensitive, complicated issues of family law, she was instrumental in developing the framework for Hawaii’s family court system.
Naomi founded the Family Support Division of the Department of Corporation Counsel in 1975. Her work in the area of family law has been recognized nationally as a “renowned legal authority on family matters.” She worked with State legislature to improve and implement legislation to strengthen collection
and enforcement of child support. She also served as a hearing committee member of the disciplinary board of Hawaii Supreme Court.
Naomi was president of the Hawaii Family Support Council, the Aloha Branch of the Business and Professional Women’s Association and is a Lt. Col. and legal officer of the Hawaii Wing Civil Air Patrol. Formerly an adjunct law professor at the University of Hawaii Law School, she also is a member of the board of the Academy of the Pacific. Other affiliations include memberships in the American Bar Association, and Society of American Trial Lawyers Association. She was cited in the International Who’s Who in Community Service.
Today, Naomi is retired as a lawyer, but is still active on the board of the teen-pregnancy intervention program at Kapiolani Hospital. She speaks to and meets with teens and teachers to discuss the issue of teenage pregnancy. A truly remarkable woman, Naomi continues to strive for a better well-being for women, children and families in Hawaii.
lt. janice m. hamby - 1986
Women make up less than ten percent of the United States military troops, so those that choose to serve often exceed expectations in terms of dedication, ambition and sheer work ethic. Janice M. Hamby was a young lieutenant when she joined the YWCA LeaderLuncheon Academy in 1986. Over the next twenty years, she progressed to the rank of rear admiral select, and amassed a career record of exciting challenges and accomplishments.
While stationed at Pearl Harbor in the 1980’s, Janice founded and led the Hawaii Women Officers’ Professional Association, an organization dedicated to the professional development and concerns of women officers in the armed services.
At the same time, she served as foreign ship liaison and fleet support officer for commander and then rose to Plans and Project Management Department Head
at the Data Processing Center of Pearl Harbor.
Leaving Hawaii, Janice went to Boston University and earned a Master of Sciences in Information Systems Management and a Master of Business Administration, graduating from both programs with highest honors. She was subsequently assigned as assistant professor of Computer Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy. She completed several overseas tours, deploying to Haiti and the Mediterranean. Then in 1997, Janice returned to school and earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War Academy.
Listed among the “Outstanding Young Women of America,” Janice was recognized locally as Hawaii’s Young Career Woman of 1984, and received the Naval Achievement Medal in July, 1984. Continually striving for new challenges, Janice writes extensively on military issues and has received awards for her essays.
fran g. hill - 1986
Fran G. Hill created a program that touched women of all ages, in all professions,
and of all ethnic backgrounds. She was honored by the YWCA in 1986 for founding Courageous Women Alcoholics, a non-profit organization that helped women recover from alcohol addiction. Through guidance, counseling and supportive group interaction, members gradually (re)gained self-esteem and rebuilt their lives.
Having had a successful business career, Fran devoted herself full-time to CWA, building the organization through grants from local businesses and foundations. With twenty years of experience as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, she was proficient in charity work and fundraising.
In addition to her work for Courageous Women Alcoholics, Fran developed a book to address the feminist approach to stopping drinking. She also served as a founding board member of the Hawaii Women’s Political Action League and was a member of their policymaking committee.
karen t. nakamura - 1986
“What does a woman know about contracting? How do I know if she can get the job done? What will I have by the time she is finished?”
No one has been more surprised at her success than Karen T. Nakamura herself. She had originally pursued a career in speech therapy, later switched to cosmetology, and, by accident, found herself taking over the family business.
Today, Karen is the first woman president and chief executive officer of the 450-member Building Industry Association of Hawaii and is one of the most successful women in a still male-dominated field.
She is a highly respected and nationally recognized general contractor, co-owner and general manager of Wallpaper Hawaii, Ltd., formerly a “mom’n’pop” family business which now thrives at close to $1.5 million annually. In 1985 The National Association of Home Builders chose her out of 138,000 members as the ‘National Remodeler of the Year.’’ She was the first woman to be given that honor.
The YWCA honored Karen in 1986 for her accomplishments as an entrepreneur and leader in a competitive male-controlled world few women have dared to enter.
Karen is also active in the stewardship program for the Catholic Diocese and is a member of the Main Street Task Force. She also supports women in business and in the construction industry by providing career-path jobs through the University of Hawaii’s apprentice program. She serves the business community as a member of the board of directors of the Honolulu Executives Association.
|jeannette paulson hereniko - 1986
“I believe in wild wisdom. You have to let go of your own expectations, your judgments. That’s the wild part.”
Jeannette Paulson Hereniko may best be known to the community as the founder, in 1980, of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), an annual event bringing together 40,000 people of all ethnic and economic backgrounds. She was the festival’s director for 15 years, until 1996. “I think those were the deepest and most meaningful years of my life,” Jeannette recalls, “working with the people of Hawaii to empower minorities, to have their voices and images seen as equal to the Hollywood images.”
Jeannette was honored at the 1986 YWCA LeaderLuncheon for contributing to Hawaii’s culture through films, television and the arts. She was honored by the Hawaii House of Representatives and the City and County of Honolulu for her work as producer/writer/director of the television program “The Aina Remains,”
She has spent a lifetime telling stories. “I escaped through movies, I escaped through storytelling.” Today she continues to “talk story.” Her creation “Wild Wisdom,” is a tribute to her maternal grandmother from whom she inherited her instincts for storytelling. It is also an acknowledgment of her husband, who she says encouraged her to define herself and continues to give her “unconditional love.” Through her work, Jeannette encourages women to call in their “inner wisdom” and to not fear rejection. “The wisdom mixes with the wildness inside of ourselves,” she says. “That combination is what I want for my life.”
In 1990 Jeannette served as the first director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and she now directs the Asia Pacific Media Center of the University of Southern California. Jeannette continues her career in independent cinema of the Pacific, and recently produced her first film, The Land Has Eyes, directed by Vilsoni Hereniko. She continues to work with film schools and film festivals on the mainland and in Asia.
|elizabeth l. k. takao - 1986
Elizabeth Leilani “Cherry” Kumukahi Takao has devoted much of her life to helping fellow workers and union members during her employment at Dole’s cannery. An active participant in her labor union for close to thirty years, Elizabeth still assists cannery workers although she has been retired since the 1970s.
The YWCA honored Elizabeth in 1986 for her work with the labor union and for her avid community involvement. Since that time, as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Aging for six terms, she assisted in drafting polices and programs for Hawaii’s elderly citizens.
Elizabeth also works with members of the Lanakila Senior Center’s Hawaiian arts and crafts program. She strives to preserve Hawaiian culture and encourages others to join the Center and to perpetuate the ancient arts and crafts.
Takao continues to make significant contributions to Hawaii as an expression of her desire to help others who have not had the advantages she had.
harriet bouslog* - 1987
“What she did laid the model for subsequent actions in civil liberties and self-determination. She had the kind of creative intellect that led her to interpret the law very differently.”
Harriet Bouslog played a big role in moving Hawaii from a near-feudal society dominated by powerful landowners to a fair and democratic state. She was “a feisty advocate for ILWU strikers and other working people at a time when it was unpopular and unpolitic.” (Honolulu Advertiser). She was honored for her career and her courage by the YWCA in 1987.
Harriet’s defense of labor at a critical time made a tremendous difference in terms of Hawaii’s labor relations policy. She was the first female labor and civil rights lawyer in Hawaii hired by a “Big Five” law firm, and then went on to challenge their authority by fighting for improved industrial relations and better treatment of workers.
Spirited and flamboyant, she was disbarred by the territorial government, at the time largely comprising corporate counsels for the Big Five, for remarks that allegedly disparaged the court system. Lawyers for unpopular causes, they said, did not have the right of free speech. Harriet appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, setting legal precedent still in place today.
Throughout her long career Harriet never wavered from her belief in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the cornerstones of American democracy, and that everyone – even those who could not pay – deserved legal representation in upholding these rights. “She took on the power of the Big Five -- that is what was so magnificent about what this woman did,” said Ah Quon McElrath, retired ILWU social worker. “She stuck to her guns in the interests of the working people, of civil liberties, basically of the underdog ... at a time when very few establishment attorneys would.”
|winifred buckley - 1987
Winifred Buckley has been involved in the promotion of the business community for more than 17 years through her business and volunteer activities.
She was membership coordinator and corporate secretary for Small Business Hawaii, where she produced newsletters and organized regularly scheduled luncheons where small-business people shared their experiences. At Small Business Hawaii, Buckley worked with an organization consisting of 98 percent of Hawaii’s businesses that employ under 100 people, and overall employ two-thirds of the non-governmental workers in the State.
Winifred Buckley is a past president of the Hawaii Chapter of Women in Communications (Theta Sigma Phi) and former membership/community relations coordinator of the Hawaii Employers Council. She received the Hawaii Communicators Association Award for the Hawaii Employers Council News Bulletin. Buckley is a graduate of the University of Southern California.
clorinda low lucas* - 1987
Elizabeth Jessamine Kauikeolani Low Lucas (1895-1986) was Hawaii’s Jane Addams. A descendent of Kamehameha I, she was born in 1895, two years after
her hanai grandfather, Sanford Dole, helped lead a revolt that overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. Clorinda, as she became known, learned early on the fundamental difference between the values of her Hawaiian heritage—caring, sharing, trusting relationships, cooperation in work and in play — and the values of competition and achievement held by Western culture.
Guiding her wide-ranging professional activity was the long term goal of a society that would value and respect all people, especially children. Her concern was that all children have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, a personal sense of values and opportunity to guide daily living, and problem-solving capacities that would enable them to take social responsibility for themselves and the world around them.
For three years following her graduation from Smith College in 1917, Clorinda worked in New York City for the national board of the YWCA in the Division of Education for Foreign-born Women. She was the first Hawaiian to have professional social work education. After obtaining a Master’s in Social Work from the New York School (now Columbia University School of Social Work) in 1937, she returned to Hawaii. She served as the O‘ahu County Chief of the relatively new Department of Public Welfare, then as director of Public Child Welfare.
In 1943, Clorinda was asked to develop a pupil guidance program (school social work) in the state Department of Public Instruction. She served as director until she retired in 1960.
Clorinda was the first woman to serve as a member and chairwoman of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust. With her leadership, units of the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center were established on the main Hawaiian Islands. She served as president of the board of directors of Kapiolani Children’s and Maternity Hospital, chair of the State Commission on Children and Youth, chair of the Kamehameha Schools Advisory Council, international president of the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asian Women’s Association.
With a family lineage that included both royalty and modern Hawaiian power brokers, Clorinda found her place in service to Hawaii’s most deserving citizens: the children.
|patsy t. mink* - 1987
Patsy Takemoto Mink was actively involved in government and public service for more than 25 years. A graduate of Hawaii’s public schools and the University of Hawaii, she received her law degree from the University of Chicago. Mink was the first woman to practice law in the state of Hawaii. In addition to conducting a private law practice, Mink served as an attorney for the Territory of Hawaii House of Representatives. Mink’s public service to Hawaii includes her eight years in the
State Legislature, twelve years in the U.S. Congress, and four years on the Honolulu City Council.
Patsy Mink has also served on the National Advisory Committee and White House Conference on Families, and was National President of the Americans for Democratic Action from 1978 to 1981. Among her numerous honors, Mink has received the National Association of Asian and Pacific American Education Distinguished Service Award and the National JACL Nisei of the Biennium Award.
In 1965, Patsy Mink was the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years. As a U.S. Representative, Mink focused on education, childcare, and the environment, and she championed equal opportunity, having been the victim of racial discrimination as a child and as an adult.
While in Congress she was noted for authoring the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, which prohibits gender discrimination by federally funded institutions, an outgrowth of the adversities Mink faced through college.
Patsy Mink also introduced the first comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act and authored the Women’s Educational Equity Act. All of these laws written by Mink were declared landmark laws by Congress as they advanced equal rights in America beyond what could be imagined during the time. Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act was renamed by President George W. Bush on October 29th, 2002 to become the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity Act.
On August 30, 2002, Patsy Takemoto Mink was hospitalized with complications from chicken pox. Her condition steadily worsened, and on September 28, 2002 Mink died in Honolulu of viral pneumonia, at age 74. Hawaii and the nation mourned as President George W. Bush ordered all flags to be lowered to half mast in honor of her contributions towards the equal rights of Americans. Mink received a national memorial and was honored with a state funeral in the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda attended by leaders and members of Congress. She is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
|mary kawena pukui* - 1987
“She did not hoard any of what she knew. She shared with an open heart filled with aloha.”
A cultural expert, translator, researcher, genealogist, composer, teacher, and author, Mary Kawena Pukui was a pioneer in Hawaiian culture. She was honored by the YWCA in 1987 for her contributions to the preservation & revitalization of the native language and culture.
Mary was not a wealthy woman, but she was rich with knowledge of the Hawaiian life and her experiences. She was active as a scholar. Using a combination of life experiences, scholarship, and training, she wrote three important papers on hula. She was also credited with writing or co-writing over 50 books and more than 150 songs. Mary was also honored as one of Hawaii’s “Living Treasures” in 1976, and received two awards from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association.
With great determination and dedication, she and Samuel H. Elbert created the dictionary that would be considered the “bible” in Native Hawaiian language. Published in 1957, The Hawaiian Dictionary put the language and culture into a format that was easily shared worldwide.
“…the real ‘ohana is a natural phenomenon,” Mary said. “It refers not to wishing for a relationship, but to a unity of people due to their common ancestors living both in them and in the spirits who remain in palpable daily contact with the ‘ohana.”
|barbara tanabe - 1987
“…While free press seems like an archaic term in our world today, independent, competitive and credible news institutions are vital to a democratic society. News organizations are the “fourth estate” to the three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. We need a strong and healthy fourth estate.”
Barbara was recognized by the YWCA in 1987 for her achievements as one of the first Asian-American women in broadcast journalism. In 1970, when she was hired in Seattle, there were no other women of color reporting on television in the nation. She worked for 17 years at Hawaii and Washington television stations as anchorperson, producer, business and general news reporter, and news director. During her distinguished journalism career, she received recognition for news reporting and for her foreign assignments in China, Guam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, and Okinawa.
Of historical significance, Barbara was also the first in the nation to do a television report on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. That resulted in Congressional hearings and eventually the repeal of the executive order that allowed the internment, and a Congressional apology and reparations for the survivors of the internment.
“Hawaii was more progressive than the rest of the nation in the diversity of our community and the presence of women in the workforce,” Barbara explained. “However, there were few women leaders, none in television news management, none in newspaper news management, none in executive leaderships of state government… Opportunities existed only for women willing to challenge the status quo and seek parity by working longer hours, more days, and at a higher level of professional competence.”
After leaving the news business in 1986, she joined a major public relations firm in Honolulu, becoming its president and ceo in 1993. Currently, Barbara heads up her own communications firm in Honolulu, Ho‘akea Communications. Barbara helped found the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, which has become the premier public policy research organization in Hawaii with a staff of five and a budget of $1.5 million. Barbara was its first chair of the board of directors and remains active on its board and executive committee. Barbara is an early-morning riser and can be found swimming or working out at the Laniakea YWCA many mornings.
“I believe women should become more active in public policy-making to create workable solutions for problems that affect all of us – housing, healthcare, education, sustainable economy – to name a few. The Chinese say ‘women hold up half the sky.’ We need to make sure our collective power is there to help our future generations.”
mililani b. trask - 1987
Mililani B. Trask has distinguished herself in her work representing native Hawaiian legal interests. A graduate of the University of Santa Clara, School of Law, Trask has served as a deputy prosecutor for Honolulu and legal counsel to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Her legal advocacy of issues includes helping the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana implement State legislation to vegetate Kaho‘olawe and providing counsel to the Native Hawaii Land Trust Task Force.
In addition to her activities as an attorney, Trask is the president of The Native Planters, a nonprofit organization to promote growing of native foods and involvement in traditional agricultural practices. Utilizing her strong interest and talent in the music field, Trask led her all-women band, Na Wahine Leo Nani, to first place in the 1984 Na Himeni Ana Competition at the University of Hawaii.
Trask has been working for more than a decade at the international level for Hawaiian and indigenous rights. In 2001, Trask was nominated and appointed by the president of the Economic Social Council of the United Nations as Pacific Representative to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Mililani has been at the forefront of the discussion of the Akaka bill, ongoing court challenges involving Native Hawaiian rights and institutions and developments at the United Nations on this issue.
Trask’s most visible contribution to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement was her foundation of Na Koa Ikaika o Ka Lahui Hawaii, an internationally recognized native Hawaiian non-governmental organization. The organization, with over 20,000 members, wants lands and financial restitution for native Hawaiians much like the “nation within a nation” status of the indigenous North Americans.
Outside of Hawaii, Trask has worked with the United Nations to aid indigenous people from around the world seeking independence. She was a member of the Indigenous Initiative for Peace, helped author the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and was elected vice chair of the General Assembly of Nations of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
For seven years, Mililani worked and studied under the guidance of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
linda coble - 1988
“When women try harder because they want to… and not because they have to… ours will be a more equal world.”
Through her two most visible roles in Hawaii, as a television and radio news anchor and reporter in Hawaii and as Rotary’s District Governor (2000-2001), Linda Coble has been creating awareness and taking action in Hawaii since 1969. Linda was the first woman news anchor on Hawaii television and was recognized by the YWCA in 1998 for leading the way for other women.
Linda Coble has been a journalist and volunteer since arriving in Honolulu in 1969 for a two-week graduation vacation. The University of Oregon graduate began her career as a newsroom secretary at Channel 4 and then reported and anchored the news on KGMB until 1988. For a short two years (1981-83), Linda worked in Oregon at KGMB’s CBS sister-station as news anchor. It was there that she met her husband-to-be, newsman Kirk Matthews, who joined her in Hawaii the following year.
From 1988-98, Linda was employed by KSSK Radio and anchored the news for Perry and Price. During her broadcasting career, she also hosted the Emmy-winning “Linda Coble’s People in Paradise,” “Chefs in Paradise,” and “People in Paradise” with her husband Kirk. She has received numerous community and professional awards including the YWCA Leadership Award for Communications and the Public Relations Society of America’s Newsperson of the Year award.
She notes her greatest rewards have come from the personal satisfaction of volunteering as a member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu and on the Advisory Board of the Hawaii Family Support Center/Healthy Start. A member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu since 1987, Linda is an avid community volunteer and professional public speaker who epitomizes a commitment to the principle of ‘service above self’. Linda was named the 10th Rotary Treasure by the Rotary Club of Honolulu.
On the status of professional women, Linda says, “There will come a time when we no longer have to refer to successful citizens with the qualifying gender identification… female newscaster… lady manager… woman doctor…!”
kathryn lucktenberg - 1988
“I think the next step is to work towards a time when a person’s gender – or color or age – simply ceases to be an issue.”
Kathryn Lucktenberg joined the Academy in 1988. At that time, she had been concertmaster of the Honolulu Symphony for 11 seasons. Kathryn’s work in Hawaii influenced the state’s cultural status for years to come, as she co-founded and co-directed the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ “Academy Camerata” series.
“If there’s anything I could suggest for young women moving into the work force in
the next decade it would be to tap into your own creative intuition, follow your instincts and set no limits for yourself,” Kathryn said. “Perhaps I’m in a profession that has already accepted women more readily than others but I believe we now have the freedom to express ourselves in a way perhaps earlier generations couldn’t.”
A fourth-generation violinist, Kathryn Lucktenberg entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at age 15. She completed high school there and earned her Bachelor of Music from Curtis in 1980, studying with Jascha Brodsky, Jaime Laredo, and Ivan Galamian. Lucktenberg’s professional debut was with the Philadelphia Orchestra, performing the Barber Violin Concerto. Her performance credits include solo appearances with the Honolulu, Savannah, and Augusta Symphonies, and, as a member of the Kasimir String Quartet, a highly acclaimed tour of England, France, and Italy. She has concertized extensively in the western United States and Asia, with concerts in Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, New Zealand and Hawaii. Kathryn has recorded for CRI and Koch labels.
Since 1993, Kathryn has been an associate professor of violin at the University of Oregon. She has taught master classes internationally, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the southeastern United States. She frequently serves on adjudicating panels, and regularly sends her own students to major competitions.
ruth m. ono, ph.d. - 1988
“I realize now that credibility is power. If people believe in you and trust in you and know that whatever you do is for a good cause, or something that is good for this community, it touches home.”
In 1988, Dr. Ono was recognized by the YWCA for having overcome the gender and ethnic barriers in the healthcare industry, having been the first Asian American woman to achieve a position of status and power at Queen’s.
During that time, Hawaii had elected a Governor (Waihee) of Hawaiian ancestry who appointed women to some of his cabinet positions. Additionally, the number of women in our state Legislature was also on the rise. While the “glass ceiling” still continued to exist, the business community in Hawaii was much more open to women in leadership than any other state, which provided “local” women an opportunity to elevate to executive positions in large corporations.
Ruth has had a number of firsts: first woman to receive an honorary degree from Japan’s Toho University; first woman to be honored by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii; first woman to chair the Aloha United Way. Ruth M. Ono, Ph.D., is now vice president emeritus of the Queen’s Health Systems, but she is far from retired.
Current issues that Dr. Ono would like to see the collective power of women’s leadership work towards are improving to make Hawaii a better place are wiping out domestic violence, housing homeless children and creating a vocational training center to transition the homeless and/or jobless to become self-sufficient. On the other end of the spectrum, providing young graduates desiring higher education with financial support will also be critical for the future “brain power” in our State.
Grubb and Ellis President Jackson Nakasone says, “I think it’s that old Hawaiian saying: The more bread you throw on the water, the more fish you catch. I think she gives so much of herself, so you know, the Island community, the aloha, then people give back to her. That’s why she’s a powerful person.”
jane renfro smith - 1988
Jane Renfro Smith was the first chief executive officer of the Hawaii Community Foundation, serving from 1988 to 1998. Smith was credited with growing the foundation from an asset base of $16 million in 1988 to more than $230 million in 1998. Prior to that, Smith was a vice president and department manager with
Pacific Century Trust, working at the trust for over 20 years.
Following her retirement from Hawaii Community Foundation, Smith held the position of interim managing director of the YWCA of O‘ahu for 1½ years. Her vast experience and leadership skills, combined with her commitment to women’s issues and public service provided direction for the YWCA at that time.
An effort to focus on needs of women and girls began in 1989 with Jane Renfro Smith creating the Women’s Fund of Hawaii. “Tremendous problems were facing girls and women in Hawaii,” she said, “and only one out of nine grants from traditional funders went to help women and girls.” Smith started the fund by asking 10 people to give $1,000 each, and in two weeks had 14 people donating $14,000.
Smith gave a presentation to a business group pointing out that only about four percent of all philanthropic dollars were going to programs serving women and girls. A follow-up Star-Bulletin column resulted in 18 women and one man each wanting to donate $1,000 – and was the birth of the Women’s Fund of Hawaii. The Fund continues to this day and their focus is on raising awareness and dollars to support programs and projects supporting women and girls, with special interest in engaging women in philanthropy.
Since her retirement, Jane moved to Oregon with her husband and is now active in that community. She has served on boards for Encore Theatre, Eugene Tree Foundation, and Universal Heath Care for Oregon; has participated on a steering committee for Two Rivers Interfaith Ministry; volunteers for WomenSpace Crisis Line and is a facilitator for a weekly WomenSpace support group.
|judy sobin - 1988
Judy Sobin served as executive director of Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (Hawaii Lawyers Pro Bono Referral Project) for over 10 years, and stayed active as a volunteer with the organization after her departure in late 2003. The organization provided (and still does today) opportunities for attorneys of the Hawaii State Bar Association to serve the public through direct service to clients, consumer credit clinics, and through neighborhood legal clinics.
One of the programs, through Hawaii Lawyers Care, funded from an Americorps grant in 1994, and exemplifies the type of work that the Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii organization administered. This specific program was to bring in 10 lawyers, 15 law students and 15 other students to help provide safety to victims of domestic violence in Hawaii, by helping them obtain court orders to keep batterers away. Lawyers and students helped victims file for protective orders, and helped with divorce, child custody and child support issues.
Judy has been an advocate for men’s and women’s legal rights throughout her career. Her legacy at Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii was the ability to harness the pro bono energy of the legal community to serve the legal needs of our island state.
In 2004, Judy decided to spread her wings and she took over as the chief executive officer of the 5,000 member organization, Honolulu Board of Realtors. She served in this position for one year, where she oversaw, among other things, the conversion to a new computer system that stores O‘ahu’s real estate listings.
Judy has also served on the Board of Directors for Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus and is an involved community volunteer in many non-profit organizations.
“I have unlimited respect for the abilities and the power of women. All Hawaii will benefit as women gain full equality at work and at home.”
amy agbayani, ph.d. - 1989
Amy Agbayani, Ph.D. is director of student equity, excellence and diversity (SEED) at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. SEED is the culmination of enlightened minds and efforts, representing the beginnings of new sensibilities, awareness and consciousness. Recognized as an expert and advocate for minorities in education, she was honored by the YWCA in 1989 for her leadership as a strong voice for civil rights, immigrant rights, workers rights and equity and diversity in higher education for minority students at the University of Hawaii.
Through her work with SEED, Amy promotes diversity and supports the academic success of students from underrepresented groups, which may include Native Hawaiians and other ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, under-prepared students, adults returning to education, and gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. Amy is also founder and the first director of Operation Manong (now known as the Office of Multicultural Services), an organization providing training to all UH-Manoa students on multiculturalism and pluralism, aiding recently-arrived immigrant children, and working in recruitment and retention of ethnic groups underrepresented in higher education and the professions.
Amy is a tireless advocate for the civil rights of Filipinos and other marginalized minorities in Hawaii today. She was appointed first chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission by Governor John Waihee. Amy helped to start several civil rights movements, including the Inter-Agency Council for Immigrant Services and Na Loio Immigrant Rights and Public Interest Legal Center in 1983.
At any given time, Amy is active (usually in a leadership position) in at least ten community organizations, including Hawaii Women’s Political Action Caucus, Friends of the Liberties Union, to name a few. Amy continues to push the envelope to fight for the underdog and strive for social justice. In doing so, she inspires many to do the same. Her body of work is an inspiring testament to the adage, “think global, act local.”
irmgard farden aluli* - 1989
“Vital, interesting caring and enormously busy.”
The most prolific female Hawaiian composer since Queen Lili‘uokalani, Irmgard Aluli wrote over 200 songs. The exact number of compositions is not known as she never bothered to keep a record of her output. She wrote her first composition, “Down on Maunakea Street”, in 1935.
In 1937, Irmgard composed her first hit song, “Puamana.” Homesick for her Farden family home, Puamana, in Lahaina, Maui, she wrote the song while working on Molokai for UH. In time, it became the name of her family quartet, formed in the 1970s. The group performed from California to New York, and was “on call” for major celebrations and public concerts in Hawaii.
“Auntie Irmgard” also composed many songs touching on a spiritual theme. Her children’s songs have distinguished her in the small group of island composers, mostly women, who have written Hawaiian songs for children. One of ten children, Irmgard was raised in an environment of music. Long before she began composing tunes and writing lyrics, Irmgard was singing in family music sessions, at school, and in church choirs.
Irmgard was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 1998 and was awarded a special Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Lifetime Achievement. Irmgard worked in the fields of home economics and real estate, but she was honored by the YWCA in 1989 for her leadership in the music community. A remarkable role model, she inspired women with her energy, talent and willingness to share her abilities.
penny bradley - 1989
“...Grandmas usually don’t do this.”
Penny Bradley has become a role model for all women by adding long-distance running, biking, swimming and playing polo to her routine as well as a top broker in Hawaii real estate. She became a model member of Try Fitness!, a women’s fitness group when she ran her first marathon at the age of 62. She also impressed her nine grandchildren with her newfound athleticism and by quitting smoking in 2000.
After just two years in the real estate profession, Penny Bradley founded her own firm, Bradley Properties, Ltd., for which she served as president and chief executive officer. Her thorough involvement and leadership in her profession is reflected in her service as president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, as vice president of the Hawaii Association of Realtors, as a member of the Urban Affairs and Public Affairs Committees of the National Association of Realtors, and she holds three national professional designations.
Penny is an active member of the Young President’s Organization, as well as community and civic organizations such as the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, the Downtown Improvement Association, Aloha United Way and the Honolulu Symphony.
Penny’s dedication to her profession has set a strong personal example for her children and grandchildren. When her family was young, she had less time for working out as she struggled to balance the workload of a single parent of three and a busy professional. Once her children were grown, she returned to her love of athletics and hasn’t slowed down since.
ines cayaban* - 1989
Ines Cayaban’s career as a nurse and an educator began in 1931 when she worked as a public health nurse at Palama Settlement. She was selected as a YWCA LeaderLuncheon honoree in 1989 for her lifelong service to the community of Hawaii.
What was supposed to be a brief stopover to visit friends in Hawaii turned into 65 years of community service for Ines. Born and raised in the Philippines, she was en route to Columbia University when her friends persuaded her to stay in Hawaii.
After enrolling at the University of Hawaii, Ines began working at Palama Settlement, making her the second Filipina public health nurse employed in the territory of Hawaii.
Ines went on to become a health educator and home nursing program director for the American Red Cross and the Hawaii Cancer Society. She wrote and published several pieces including “A Goodly Heritage,” a book about the Filipino contributions to Hawaii and founded the Filipino Nurses Association of Hawaii. Ines served as supervisor of several community outreach programs for the State Department of Health, Tuberculin Skin Testing Service, Christmas Seal Association, Immigrant Health Services and O‘ahu Tuberculosis and Health Association. After retiring in 1970, she continued to teach. She coordinated and supervised the Immigrant Nurses Review classes and taught English and Ilocano to adults. A very religious person, Cayaban was an active participant at Aldersgate Church. She served as lay speaker and was a delegate to many conventions including the First Asian-American Convention Council of the United Methodist Church.
Her occupation and training have brought her into personal contact with literally thousands of people over the years. In this day of rapid social change, family instability and discrimination against underrepresented minorities, many have sought her out for advice, counseling and financial help. She has served the community through the Adult Community School, TV programs and radio announcements on health in the Ilocano dialect.
Ines was honored as the mother role model in the Filipino Model Family in 1961. She later attended the White House Conference on Aging and was listed in “Who’s Who of American Women” and the “Biographical Directory of Noteworthy Men and Women of Hawaii.”
marye deming - 1989
As warden of the Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC), Marye Deming was responsible for the care and custody of more than 100 inmates, almost all of whom were men. She supervised more than 50 employees of MCCC, over 80 percent of those are Adult Corrections Officers, again, mostly men.
Marye was the first woman warden in the history of Hawaii and the only woman to head a men’s correctional institution in Hawaii. She is one of only a handful of women in the country to head a men’s institution. She was nominated for Warden
of the Year, awarded annually by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents.
Serving in a challenging and difficult position in a male dominated profession, Marye proved, since her appointment as administrator in 1987, to be a firm, sensitive and astute manager. She gained the respect of her subordinates, her peers and the inmates of MCCC. She proved that a woman can run a men’s jail!
lisa n. hashimoto - 1989
Lisa Hashimoto was the first teenager to be honored by the YWCA LeaderLuncheon, joining the academy in 1989. At that time, she was an exemplary student and class president at Mililani High School.
Lisa was recognized as a model student and school citizen. She consistently excelled in all her classes, ranked in the top three percent of her class. She was a member of many service clubs, holding an officer’s position in nearly all of them, and participated actively in several community service projects, including hospital visits to the elderly and handicapped, and the Muscular Dystrophy Wheel-A-Thon. Lisa worked with her peers as a tutor and counselor, and was active in the Youth Group of her church, Mililani Hope Chapel.
In 2003, the YWCA began offering its Young LeaderLuncheon as a way to recognize and celebrate today’s young leaders, just like Lisa. The event is unique because it is planned and run by members of the all-teen YWCA Youth Advisory Board. In three years, the Youth Advisory Board has raised and distributed $9,000 in scholarships to 12 young honorees.
bette takahashi - 1989
Founder of YWCA of O'ahu's LeaderLuncheon
“We started by going to presidents of the Big 5 companies and asking them to participate to sponsor. We published a little flyer, which is how we started.”
In 1977, Bette brought the idea of LeaderLuncheon to Hawaii after attending a YWCA meeting in Chicago. What fired Bette’s imagination about LeaderLuncheon was the recognition of women and their leadership abilities and potential in all different fields and professions. Whether a woman was a checker in the supermarket or a corporate head, Bette felt strongly about the dignity and sense of purpose of one’s position.
The YWCA LeaderLuncheon now celebrates over 30 years and is the largest women’s leadership event in the state. The Academy of former honorees is considered a “who’s who” in women’s history in Hawaii. LeaderLuncheon is Bette’s legacy in its public recognition of women and organizations for their outstanding achievements in service to our community. Bette joined the LeaderLuncheon Academy as an honoree in 1989.
Bette’s involvement with the YWCA began when she was lived at the New York City YWCA. Years later, living in Hawaii, she together with her husband and children were participants at the Honolulu YWCA Beach Club. In the 1970s she served on the Board of Directors and was President from 1973-1976. Bette was elected to serve on the National Board of the YWCA of the USA from 1976-1986. In the late 1980s she was a member of the World Service Council of the World YWCA, eventually serving on the Executive Committee. In 1995, Bette was elected as an Honorary Nation Board Member of the YWCA USA.
Bette’s commitment to community service has been widely recognized. In 2000, she was the initial awardee of the Planned Parenthood of Hawaii Bette Takahashi Service Award. She was also recognized by the National Society of Fundraising Executives as a distinguished volunteer of the Honolulu Academy of the Arts.
Bette’s commitment to the YWCA is motivated by the mission statement and her belief in the development of leadership and empowerment of women within that context. Bette has been at the heart of change for women in Hawaii and has witnessed amazing milestones. She explains, “In my day, remember I’m 83 years old, but back in those days women didn’t contribute or even participate.”
Honorees 1977 - 1979
Honorees 1980 - 1989
Honorees 1990 - 1999
Honorees 2000 - 2011
Honorees - Organizations