GalswithLEI Forum







Workshops # Open Space # Reception

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

1:00pm - 7:30pm

East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center

Please check back regularly for updates on registration, workshop panelists and other #galswithLEI details!

The East-West Center is excited to present the 5th Annual #galswithLEI Forum on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. It is the Center's intention to benefit and celebrate women innovators and entrepreneurs in our community and throughout the Asia Pacific region by creating a space, which enhances and encourages Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration. As such, #galswithLEI is not your typical event; rather, information sharing is purposeful, collaborative, and dynamic. #galswithLEI offers a keynote panel and six interactive workshops focused on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration followed by an attendee driven open space forum and a networking reception featuring local female chefs. Workshop panelists and special guests include local established women leaders, bold millennials, and the Changing Faces Women - connecting and integrating the experience, ambition, and passion of all those in attendance.


Tentative Agenda

1:00 – 1:30 pm              REGISTRATION

1:30 – 2:15 pm              WELCOME & KEYNOTE PANEL

2:30 – 3:30 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 1

3:30 – 4:00 pm              COFFEE BREAK

4:15 – 5:15 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 2

5:30 – 6:15 pm              OPEN SPACE

6:15 – 7:30 pm              NETWORKING RECEPTION

Share your ideas for workshop topics!

Connect via Twitter or Instagram @EWCSeminars, we'd love to hear from YOU!


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.

Due to limited IMIN parking, the East-West Center is only able to reserve parking for #gals sponsors, speakers, chefs, and host mentors. All other attendees must park in visitor parking available for purchase ($5.00) on the University of Hawaii's Upper Campus at green Pay-to-Park visitor stalls, in one of the two Lower Campus parking structures or the Dole Street parking structure. For a map of all UH visitor parking, please see

For those offered complimentary reserved parking in advance, please park on the grass lawn between IMIN Center and Lincoln Hall (Lot B) or the grass lawn between John Burns Hall and Hale Manoa (Lot D) where you’ll see EWC staff who will direct you toward an open and available parking spot. Please let the staff know your name. Click on this link to view a full-sized map of the East-West Center campus.

If you were not offered reserved parking, you must purchase visitor parking for $5.00 from the University of Hawaii and park in one of their green Pay-to-Park visitor stalls, in one of the two Lower Campus parking structures or the Dole Street parking structure.




Forum - inc. workshops, open space & reception
1:00 - 7:30pm
Forum Group Rate (group code required, contact coordinator)
1:00 - 7:30pm
Forum Student w/ID - inc. workshops, reception & open space
1:00 - 7:30pm
#galswithLEI 2018
1:00 – 1:30 pm              REGISTRATION
1:30 – 2:15 pm              WELCOME & KEYNOTE PANEL

#galswithLEI Keynote:  Women as Storytellers
Stereotypes thrive when one story becomes the only story. However, when we share diverse stories through multiple means of storytelling, we challenge gender, racial, and religious stereotypes and promote understanding. Storytellers have the power to entertain, engage, and educate audiences. Join acclaimed women in journalism, comedy, film, and social media as they discuss how they’re sharing stories of struggle and triumph, the barriers they’ve faced, how storytelling is evolving, and the importance of authenticity in capturing an audience and affecting change.        

Moderator:  Robbie DINGEMAN, Editor at Large, HONOLULU Magazine, Hawaii

  • Lillian CUNNINGHAM, Reporter, The Washington Post, Washington, DC
  • Negin FARSAD, Comedian and Podcast Host, Fake the Nation, New York
  • Heather Haunani GIUGNI, Producer, “Family Ingredients,” Hawaii

2:30 – 3:30 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 1

#galswithLeadership:  Women in Sports
Sport teaches girls and women valuable lessons that can be transferred to life, especially the work place. On the court or in the corner office, the rules are often the same – effort and hard work are necessary, communication with team members is vital, and failure can be learned from – in achieving success. Female athletes also serve as inspirational role models for girls and women. Learn how female athletes and others are promoting women in sports and how athletes channel their passion, perseverance, and communication skills into other areas of their lives.

Moderator: Florence S. VAN DYKE, Triathlete and CEO, Chia Limited, New Zealand

  • Gloria J. KING, Commissioner, Women in Sports Commission, and Director, Kava House Vanuatu Ltd, Vanuatu
  • Dallas MARTINEZ, Sacred Hearts Academy Junior and Student Athlete, Hawaii
  • Shelley OATES-WILDING, Olympian and Co-founder, Ikaika Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Patricia F. SAIKI, Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives, Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  The Future of Work is People

Millennials have been transforming the workplace for the past decade or so, emerging on the scene with new attitudes and striking characteristics that inspired both excitement and resentment from previous generations. As millennials represent nearly half of the working population today and are managing and starting their own companies more frequently, they have just begun to reshape the workplace. Discover how leading companies and non-profits are transforming their workplaces and cultures to be more inclusive, collaborative, flexible, and integrated into the community.

Moderator: Yadharshini SELVARAJ, Director, Tea Leaf Vision Ltd, Sri Lanka

  • Sharon V. LOVEJOY, Director and Attorney, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, Hawaii
  • Anh Thi Nguyet MAI, Corporate Responsibility Associate, Premier Oil, Vietnam
  • Trisha NOMURA, Chief People Officer, ProService, Hawai
  • Kim RANDALL, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Servco Pacific Inc., Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Forget the Ladder, Think Jungle Gym

The jungle gym metaphor was first referenced by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook in her book, Lean In, “A jungle gym scramble is the best description of my career. I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today.” The image this metaphor conjures up resembles not today’s safety-proofed jungle gyms, but the jungle gyms of yesteryear, constructed of solid metal standing atop unforgiving blacktop. While a climber may go up, move laterally or even down a few rungs to reach their desired position, a fall guarantees the displaced climber arises bruised, dazed, and unsure of what to do next. Today, no combination of education, experience, and natural ability ensures obstacle-free navigation through the career jungle gym. Hear local and international women share stories on how they’ve survived the climb.

Moderator: Cherylee FRANCIS, Manager & Owner, CFproductions LLC, Arizona

  • Terri FUNAKOSHI, Director, Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, YWCA of Oahu, Hawaii
  • Baigali OCHKHUU, President, International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry, Mongolia
  • Brigadier General Suzanne P. VARES-LUM, Mobilization Assistant to Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, U.S. Army, Hawaii


3:30 – 4:00 pm              COFFEE BREAK

4:15 – 5:15 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 2

#galswithLeadership:  Bold, Not Bossy

Words matter. Being called bossy — a word that carries a stigma — may keep ambitious women from taking the next step in their careers. Banning these words from our vocabulary, particularly from the way we describe other women, may help to close the confidence gap that hinders girls and women from being assertive and pursuing leadership roles. Hear highly successful women share stories of how they’ve boldly pursued leadership positions by advocating for themselves and rocking the occasional stereotype.

Moderator: Danielle LETAYF, Program Director, NewYork.SG, New York

  • Atchareeya BANSIT, Director of Transformation, Dale Carnegie, Thailand
  • Shari CHANG, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Jessica DEMPSEY, Deputy Director, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, East Asian Observatory, Hawaii
  • Hon. Patricia (Pat) LOUI, Founder & CEO, OmniTrak Group Inc., Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  Retail is Not Dead

While it may make for intriguing headlines, retail is not dead. In fact, 85% of all retail sales in the U.S. last year were still transacted in brick-and-mortar locations despite the rapid growth of online shopping. To be sure, boring, undifferentiated, irrelevant, and unremarkable stores are most definitely dead, dying or moving perilously close to the edge of the precipice. Sharpened focus on store design, inventory, marketing, and customer service has enabled retailers to do a better job of getting to know their customers and continue growing. Explore the best practices and lessons learned of successful retailers here and abroad. 

Moderator: Shiow Giin YONG, Owner, Niig Atelier, Malaysia

  • Brittany HEYD, Founding Partner, Mana Up, Hawaii 
  • Jana LAM, Owner and Designer, Jana Lam, Hawaii
  • Heera S.K. VASANDANI, CEO, Bursa Sajadah, Indonesia
  • Tina YAMAKI, President, Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Starting From Why

In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world author Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate from the inside out. They start with Why rather than with How or What. Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader of a team or an employee, discovering Why injects passion into your work and inspires those around you. Hear local and international women share their stories of Why.

Moderator: Tsering CHOSTSO, CEO, Rewa Food and Beverage Company, Tibet

  • Mina GUSUKUMA, Kalani High School Junior and Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders Ambassador, Hawaii
  • Michelle JAIME, Principle and Creative Director, Vanguard Theory, Hawaii
  • Mona KHANNA, MD, Internal Medicine Specialist, Desert Regional Medical Center, California
  • Doris MASSER, Co-founder, Travel2Change, Hawaii
  • Nuraizah Binti SHAMSUL BAHARIN, Managing Director, Madcat World, Malaysia

5:30 – 6:15 pm              OPEN SPACE

Open Space is chaotic, productive, and fun! There is 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.

 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.

6:15 – 7:30 pm              NETWORKING RECEPTION

Networking reception with hosted bar, light pupus, and desserts prepared by local female chefs and artisans. Join us in sampling their delicious and innovative creations!

  • Casey BURNS, Owner/Chef, HI Pie
  • Anicea CAMPANALE, Owner/Executive Chef, The Nook
  • Alessandra KLEIN & Stacey SCHILLER, Co-owners, Nosh Hawaii
  • Abigail LANGLAS, Owner/Pastry Chef, Cake Works
  • Ashley WATTS, Owner, Local I’a 



#galswithLEI is just one example of East-West Center’s continued efforts to connect our Hawaii community with national and international officials, experts, journalists, artists, and women entrepreneurs. The East-West Center is proud to partner with HONOLULU Magazine and Pacific Business News among many others in this dynamic endeavor to support women's entrepreneurship and leadership. 

Mahalo for joining us 2018 #galswithLEI sponsors:

Honolulu Magazine, Pacific Business News, Under My Umbrella, Sacred Hearts Academy, Pacific Air Cargo, American Savings Bank, Center For Tomorrow's Leader, Hawaiian Airlines, Bishop & Co., Kleenco Group, Hand in Hand India, and Alaska Airlines.

#galswithLEI 2017

The 2017 #galswithLEI Forum took place June 29th at East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center. To view photos from the event, please click here and here.

Missed the 2017 #galswithLEI Keynote and want to hear our panelists' inspiring stories, click here.


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