GalswithLEI Forum







Workshops # Open Space # Reception

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

1:00pm - 7:30pm

East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center

It is the East-West 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. The 5th Annual #galswithLEI Forum took place on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, offering 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 included local established women leaders, bold millennials, and the Changing Faces Women - blending the experience, ambition, and passion of all those in attendance.

For photos of the 2019 #galswithLEI Forum, please visit the @EWCSeminars on Instagram or check out our Flickr album.



1:00 – 1:30 pm              REGISTRATION


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

#galswithLEI Keynote:  Cracking the Code
Only 17 women have won a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or medicine since Marie Curie in 1903, compared to 572 men. Today, 26% of technology and computing jobs are held by women, 28% of the world’s researchers are women, and only 35% of all students enrolled globally in STEM-related fields of study are women. Such huge disparities do not happen by chance. Join acclaimed women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as they discuss the systemic, societal, and individual barriers they’ve faced, their significant mentors, and how they’re ensuring women have equal access to and success in STEM education and careers. 

Moderator: Victoria KEENER, Research Fellow, East-West Center

  • Linda FURUTO, Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii
  • Lisa GODWIN, Creative Technologist, The New York Times and Founder, You Are Tech, New York
  • Holly LIU, Visiting Partner Y Combinator and Founder @Kabam, California


2:30 – 3:30 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 1

#galswithLeadership:  Women on Boards
A 2017 Deloitte analysis of nearly 7,000 companies in 60 countries found that women held only 15% of all board seats globally. This gender imbalance is important because corporate and non-profit boards make decisions that impact you and your community. Boards of directors hire and set compensation for executive leadership; determine how much priority a company gives to such issues as social responsibility; advocates for a non-profits mission; and assists in fundraising efforts. Learn from female board members on how they developed their professional and executive skills to position themselves for board appointments, how they chose which board to join, and the challenges and opportunities board membership offers.

Moderator:  Krista GOON, Co-owner, Redbox Studio, Malaysia
  • Fiona EY, Chair, Apia International Schools and Partner, Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers, Samoa
  • Crystal K. ROSE, Board Director, Hawaiian Airlines and Partner, Bays Lung Rose & Holma, Hawaii
  • Michele SAITO, Board Director, Alexander & Baldwin, and President, DTRIC Insurance Company, Hawaii
  • Barbara J. TANABE, Board Director, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  Think Outside the Bank
In today’s mutable funding environment business and social entrepreneurs must think smarter and work harder to identify funding opportunities, leverage partnerships, attract capital, and return investment. Discover how to unlock alternative capital through sources like pitch competitions, microlending, crowdfunding, grants, and impact investing. Learn from our experts how investors are redefining return on investment and uncovering great startup potential, from under-represented groups to overlooked sectors.

Moderator:  Ha Thu NGUYEN, Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, SLK Company Ltd., Vietnam
  • Amy HENNESSEY, Senior Vice President, Communications & Community, Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii
  • Meli JAMES, Cofounder, Mana Up and President, Hawaii Venture Capital Association, Hawaii
  • Maya ROGERS,  President & CEO, Blue Planet Software and Partner & Co-founder, Blue Startups, Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Activism vs Slacktivism
Slacktivism – a term that combines slacker and activism – refers to the online support of political or social causes and groups via the “clicking”, ‘tweeting”, “liking” or “sharing” of relevant messaging and is an increasingly important tool in promoting awareness. Awareness, however, is only one component necessary to affect sustained change. Be inspired by women who are taking action to affect change in human trafficking, immigration reform, gender equity policies, and environmental preservation.

Moderator:  Tippi COGEN, Executive Director & Founder, Thrive Global of Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Shihoko FUJIWARA, Founder, Lighthouse Center for Human Trafficking Victims, Japan 
  • Liza RYAN GILL, Director of Organizing, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Boston
  • Christina SABLAN, Representative, 21st Northern Marianas Legislature, Saipan
  • ‘Aulani WILHELM, Senior Vice President, Center for Oceans, Conservation International, Hawaii


3:30 – 4:00 pm              COFFEE BREAK


4:15 – 5:15 pm              WORKSHOP SESSION 2

#galswithLeadership:  Toppling Taboos in Women's Health
Taboos and stigmas concerning women’s health remain pervasive in most societies. Their effects have serious negative consequences and can put lives at risk. Taboos around menstruation, for example, can lead to a lack of access to hygiene products, missed school attendance, and infections. Additional taboos surround postpartum depression, miscarriage, sexual assault, and menopause – leaving unspoken some of life’s most difficult moments and women without a network of support. Learn from health experts, entrepreneurs, and activists who are challenging taboos and leading efforts to galvanize further progress on women’s health issues.

Moderator:  Keiko CHIDA, Director, End-of-Life Care Association of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Olie BODY, Managing Director & Founder, Wa Collective, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Nanci KREIDMAN, CEO, Domestic Violence Action Center, Hawaii
  • Kathleen KOZAK, MD, Medical Director, UHA Health Insurance and Host of The Body Show, Hawaii Public Radio, Hawaii
  • Mabel WONG, MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of Women’s Health, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Hawaii
  • Michelle YAMAGUCHI, Professional, Mom & Everywoman, Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  The War for Talent
A recent McKinsey Global Institute study suggests that a whopping 82 percent of Fortune 500 companies believe they don’t recruit highly talented people and only 23 percent believe their current acquisition and retention strategies work. These leaders aren’t being humble – most companies just aren’t good at this stuff. Attracting and retaining talent matters, because of its high value and scarcity, and getting it right creates huge opportunities for companies. Hear from innovative employers about best practices and different models for attracting and retaining talent in today's competitive market.

Moderator:  Maricar A. JARUDA, Production Manager, Vjandep Bakeshop, Philippines 

  • Megan JORAH, Human Resources Consultant, Hawaii Employers Council, Hawaii
  • Judy BISHOP, President & Owner, Bishop & Company, Hawaii
  • Radha Mohan DURBHA, Director & Co-founder, Kereses Consulting India Private Ltd., India
  • Tami HAMILTON, Human Resources Director, Pacific Whale Foundation, Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Rule Breakers on the Rise
The Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar has been building the capacity of female business and social entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. and the Asia Pacific for 10 years. #galswithLEI has not only augmented the skills acquisition, community outreach, and networking opportunities of the Changing Faces Seminar for the past 5 years, but has also directly benefited female leaders and entrepreneurs here in Hawaii. Celebrate our 10 and 5 year anniversaries with a panel of successful Changing Faces Seminar and #galswithLEI alumni as they share their career trajectories, including the risks they took, the rules they didn’t follow, what drove their advancement along, what slowed them down, and how they are continuing to positively impact their communities.

Moderator:  Amanda ELLIS, Alumni Board President, East-West Center and Director of Strategic Partnerships, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Hawaii

  • Saliza ABDULLAH, Managing Director, BG Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • Zhafira LOEBIS, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer,, Indonesia
  • Bernice PARSONS, President & Co-founder, Vertaccount, Hawaii
  • Lee Anne WONG, Chef Owner, Koko Head Café, Hawaii


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 the delicious and innovative creations of these featured chefs:

  • Regina LAPIAN, Indonesian Cuisine Catering
  • Jesa SIMPKINS, Butcher & Bird
  • Paula & Cybil STEWART, Blondie’s Plant-Based Food Truck
  • Lee Anne WONG, Koko Head Cafe
  • April BULLIS, Private Dessert Chef
  • Erin KANNO UEHARA, Choco le`a



Mahalo to HONOLULU Magazine, Pacific Business News, Under My Umbrella, Sacred Hearts Academy, Fish Family Foundation, Center For Tomorrow's Leader, Pacific Air Cargo, Kleenco Group, and Alaska Airlines for partnering in this dynamic endeavor to support women's entrepreneurship and leadership.


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