galswithLEI Forum


Workshops # Open Space # Reception

Thursday, June 29, 2017

1:30pm - 7:30pm

East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center


The East-West Center is excited to once again provide an opportunity for business and social entreprenuers in Hawaii to exchange Entrepreneurial best practices, build Leadership skills, and Inspire one another. To ensure that the Forum is informative and dynamic, the East-West Center welcomes community input. If you would like to suggest a workshop topic or speaker for the #galswithLEI Forum 2017, please drop us a note.

2017 Sponsorship

The East-West Center is proud to partner with Pacific Business News in support of women's entrepreneurship and leadership. Please consider sponsoring the #galswithLEI Forum 2017 with ad placement in a special section of the Pacific Business News' June 9th publication. A discounted rate is available to recognize your company's commitment to generating jobs and building community in Hawaii. Click here for sponsorship package information or contact Liz A. Dorn at  808-944-73638,

To read about how #galswithLEI impacts our community and our Changing Faces alumni are generating jobs and creating change, click here.



The 2016 #galswithLEI Forum took place June 30th at East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center and celebrated the Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration of female business and social entrepreneurs in generating jobs and strengthening communities. #galswithLEI was not your typical event. Rather, information sharing was purposeful, collaborative, and dynamic. #galswithLEI offered six interactive workshops focused on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration followed by an attendee driven open space and a networking reception, which featured local female chefs. Workshop panelists and special guests included local established women leaders, bold millennials, and the international Changing Faces women – blending experience, ambition, and passion.

To view photos from the event, please click on the following links:  Honolulu Magazine, event sponsor; and East-West Center's Flickr album

2:00pm – 2:45pm              REGISTRATION & WELCOME REMARKS

2:45pm – 3:45pm              SESSION ONE WORKSHOPS

#galswithLeadership:  Employment that Empowers
Securing a job for our communities’ most at-risk citizens is a crucial, yet difficult, step in ensuring financial success and reducing poverty. For employers, hiring individuals with limited work experience or an unstable living situation carries with it a new set of challenges. Employers willing to invest in these individuals, however, have an opportunity to dramatically improve peoples' lives and strengthen their communities. Learn from innovative employers about best practices and different models for expanding the workforce and the amazing power a job can have in changing a life.

  • Moderator: Sonia TIATIA, Founder & Manager, DINE Academy, New Zealand
  • Judy BISHOP, President & Owner, Bishop & Company, Hawaii
  • Kehaulani COLEMAN, Director of Economic Advancement Programs, YWCA of Oahu, Hawaii
  • Julianna RAPU LEONG, Co-founder, Kupu, Hawaii
  • Hong TANG, Founder & CEO, Coins for Change, Vietnam


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  The Renaissance of Craftsmanship
In the U.S. and other developed countries we are seeing a turning away from mass-produced items towards handcrafted, well-made goods. This renaissance of craftsmanship is, in part, a result of consumer desire to know where an item is from, who is making or growing it, and what’s being used to make or grow it. It is also a result of “buy local” campaigns aimed at supporting small, local businesses. Learn about the renaissance of craftsmanship and hear how entrepreneurs have entered into this growing marketplace.

  • Moderator: Priyanka WIJETUNGA, Business Development Officer, Ministry of Industries Central Province, Sri Lanka
  • Nicole A. VELASCO, Executive Director, Office of Economic Development at City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Page CHANG, Owner & Hawaiian Kapa Maker, Pukoa Studios, Hawaii
  • Erin KANNO UEHARA, Artisan Chocolatier & Co-owner, Choco le`a LLL, Hawaii
  • Jodie S.Y. LIM, Chief Marketing Officer, Nurture Enterprise, Brunei
  • Dana ROBERTS, Co-founder & Owner, Malie Organics, Hawaii

#GalswithLEI: "The Renaissance of Craftsmanship" from East-West Center on Vimeo.


#galswithInspiration:  Not Your Grandma’s Definition of Balance
Now, more than ever, employees, especially millennials, are insisting on purpose-driven work, creative and collaborative office cultures, and career paths that balance advancement with community impact as well as life interests and family values. This intertwining of the professional and the personal is redefining workplaces as well as work life balance. Hear from millennials and other inspiring women about how they’ve reimagined 9 to 5 and be inspired by their candid thoughts on balancing community impact with a successful career and thriving personal life.

  • Moderator: Priscilla KEVIN, Founder & CEO, IN4NET, Ltd, Papua New Guinea
  • Jean HAMAKAWA, Executive Vice President & Director of Human Resources, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Amanda CORBY NOGUCHI, Creative Director & Owner, Under My Umbrella Inc. and Co-founder, Pili Group LLC, Hawaii
  • Kimberly LAU, Senior Manager, Spire Hawaii LLP, Hawaii
  • Aliza NAPARTIVAUMNUAY, Co-founder & COO, Socialgiver, Thailand 
4:15pm – 5:15pm              SESSION TWO WORKSHOPS

#galswithLeadership:  Authentic Storytelling & Engaged Communities
Authentic storytelling can bring awareness and understanding to complex issues, start or direct public dialogue, and move people to action. Learn the fundamentals of authentic storytelling and how to creatively use multimedia and social networks to elevate your mission and create an engaged community, both real and virtual.

  • Moderator: Yang ZHANG, President, Dalian Star Foundation, China
  • Robbie DINGEMAN, Editor, HONOLULU Magazine, Hawaii
  • Stephine POSTON, Owner & CEO, Poston & Associates, New Mexico
  • Kellie SCHMIDTKE, Director of Communications & Client Engagement, Hawaii Human Resources, Hawaii
  • Diane SEO, Vice President, aio Digital, Hawaii
  • Janice-Renee YOSHIOKA, Senior Manager, Conservation International Hawaii, Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  Sustainopreneurship
Sustainopreneurship is a business model with a cause, which consciously aims to solve problems related to the ubiquitous model of “take-make-dispose” while creating social and environmental sustainability. Learn how local and international women harnessed their creativity and innovation to reimagine product inputs, design, and packaging and turned community problems into successful business opportunities.

  • Moderator: Zhafira LEOBIS, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer,, Indonesia
  • Jennifer HOMCY, Owner & Designer, Found Wood, Hawaii
  • Kelly Takaya KING, Vice President & Co-founder, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC, Hawaii
  • Doorae SHIN, Waste Reduction Coordinator, The Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, Hawaii
  • Brianne WEST, Founder & Managing Director, Ethique, New Zealand
  • Ku’ulei WILLIAMS, Executive Director, Aloha Harvest, Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Overcoming the Glass Ceiling & Sticky Floor 
While attitudinal or organizational biases may create a glass ceiling preventing qualified women from advancing into executive level positions, self-limiting beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors may also hinder our ability to break the middle-management bottlenecks that can keep women stuck near the floor. Learn best practices for improving the retention and promotion of women and be inspired by women who have shattered a hole in the ceiling and are helping others follow suit. 

  • Moderator: Qingli WANG, Founder & Managing Director, H&J Group Limited, China
  • Katherine HAYCOCK, Founder & Director, Optimiss Consulting, Australia
  • Amanda ELLIS, Former New Zealand Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Special Adviser, East-West Center, Hawaii
  • Constance H. LAU, President & CEO, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. and Chairman, American Savings Bank, Hawaii
  • Sabrina S. MCKENNA, Associate Justice, Hawaii Supreme Court, Hawaii

#GalswithLEI: "Overcoming the Glass Ceiling" from East-West Center on Vimeo.

5:15pm - 6:10pm              OPEN SPACE

Ever thought the coffee breaks and informal moments of a conference were more professionally and personally rewarding than the formal presentations? Then join us for the #galswithLEI Open Space!

Open Space has no keynote speaker, no set schedule of workshops, no panel discussions, and no exhibit booths. Instead, anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on an issue of common concern and interest to women entreprenuers, writes it down on "The Marketplace of Ideas" during either registration or the coffee break. #galswithLEI facilitators will curate suggested topics and combine similar ideas to create several discussion groups. You will then self-organize into the discussion group of interest to you. And if, after being in a group you are no longer interested, you are free to wander over to another.

Open Space is chaotic, productive, and fun! A whirlwind of activity is guided by a handful of simple Open Space principles:

  • Whoever comes are the right people.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • When it is over it is over.
6:10pm – 7:30pm              NETWORKING RECEPTION

The reception featured a signature drink donated by Young's Market Company and light pupus prepared by three of Hawaii's esteemed female chefs, Puaokalani Barquis of MISSION Social Hall & Café, Robynne Maii of Fête Hawaii, and Kristene “Banchan” Moon of The Pig & the Lady. Artisan desserts prepared by Erin Kanno Uehara of Choco le`a and  Suad LaCalamito of In the Jar by Suad also delighted. It was a chance to network with Hawaii's established women leaders, bold millennials including dozens of Sacred Hearts students, and the East-West Center's Changing Faces women. Participants also had a chance to win several unique giveaway prizes!

From left: Puaokalani Barquis, Robynne Maii, Kristene “Banchan” Moon, Erin Kanno Uehara, and Suad LaCalamito

Thank you to all our 2016 #galswithLEI sponsors:

Honolulu Magazine, Under My Umbrella, Kleenco Group, Shidler College of Business, Sacred Hearts Academy, Taming Tech for Good, Aloha Designs, SuperCW, Whole Foods, Kahala Fresh, Social Wahines, and Young's Market Company.

Directions and Parking

The Hawaii Imin International Conference Center is located at 1777 East West Road on the East-West Center campus. From Dole Street, turn left on East West Road, and the IMIN Conference Center will be on the right. For driving instructions to the East-West Center, use this map.

Pre-paid reserved parking for the first 35 registrants is available for $5.00 on the grass lawns between  IMIN Center and Lincoln Hall. Click on this link to view a full-sized map of the East-West Center campus. Volunteers will be directing traffic toward open and available parking.

If you do not purchase pre-paid parking, you may pay to park in UH vistor parking on the day of the event. Visitor parking is available for $5.00 on the University of Hawaii's Upper Campus at green Pay-to-Park visitor stalls and in the two Lower Campus parking structures. Parking at the East-West Center is administered by the University of Hawaii Parking Office.

For information on the 2015 #galswithLEI forum, click here.

Contact Information
Liz A. Dorn
Program Coordinator, Seminars
East-West Center
1601 East West Road
Honolulu, HI  96848  USA
Phone: 1-808-944-7368
Fax: 1-808-944-7600