galswithLEI Forum


Workshops # Open Space # Reception

Thursday, June 29, 2017

1:30pm - 7:30pm

East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center

Thank you to all our sponsors, panelists, and attendees for the making the 2017 #galswithLEI Forum a success!

The #galswithLEI Forum celebrates the Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration of female business and social entrepreneurs in generating jobs and strengthening communities. #galswithLEI is not your typical event. Rather, information sharing is purposeful, collaborative, and dynamic. #galswithLEI offers six interactive workshops focused on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration followed by an attendee driven open space and a networking reception, featuring local female chefs. Workshop panelists and special guests include local established women leaders, bold millennials, and the international 2017 Changing Faces women – blending experience, ambition, and passion.

For photos of the 2017 #galswithLEI Forum, click here and here.

1:30 – 2:00pm              REGISTRATION
2:00 – 2:35pm              WELCOME & KEYNOTE PANEL

#galswithLEI Keynote:  Capitol Women
Long muted, the voices of women around the world have found an important medium for expression – participation in politics and public decision-making as elected officials. While women remain woefully underrepresented at the highest levels of government, the panelists of “Capitol Women” are leading their nations and reinventing the face of political leadership for the next generation. Hear the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, the first female President of the Marshall Islands, the second female elected to the U.S. Congress from Hawaii, and one of the youngest Hawaii state legislators discuss their journeys to elected office, the barriers they’ve faced, their significant mentors, and how they’re helping other women follow in their footsteps.

Moderator:  Amanda ELLIS, Special Adviser, East-West Center and Former New Zealand Head of Mission and Ambassador to the United Nations, Hawaii

  • Jenny SHIPLEY, 36th Prime Minister, New Zealand
  • Hilda C. HEINE, President, Marshall Islands
  • Patricia F. SAIKI, Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District
  • Beth FUKUMOTO, Representative, 36th District, Hawaii House of Representatives  

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

2:45 – 3:45pm              SESSION ONE WORKSHOPS

#galswithLeadership:  Mobilizing & Sustaining a Movement
Ignited by voluntary grassroots action, a movement builds and unites a coalition of likeminded individuals and organizations to challenge social values, norms, and trends. Learn how local and international women have successfully mobilized communities, both real and virtual, to create social change or introduce trends and learn how to best sustain a movement.

Moderator: Huong Linh DANG, Operations Manager, TRAFFIC Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Hannah BERNARD, Director, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Hawaii
  • Sherry CAMPAGNA, Commissioner, Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women, Hawaii
  • Irina Sofia MOHAMAD, Business Manager, Makanlahse Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia
  • Zhenxi ZHONG, Executive Director, Shanghai Roots & Shoots, China


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  Funding Hacks
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. Explore the differences among grant and impact investing, microfinancing, crowdfunding, and angel investment; understand which funding strategy might be right for you; and learn how investors are redefining return on investment. 

Moderator:  Christina LEEF, Administrative Officer, Maori Women’s Development Inc., New Zealand

  • Amy HENNESSEY, Director of Communications, Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii
  • Kalpana SANKAR, Chair, Hand in Hand International, India
  • Anna GUENTHER, CEO, PledgeMe Limited, New Zealand  
  • Melialani JAMES, President, Hawaii Venture Capital Association, Hawaii


#galswithInspiration:  Fail Forward
For entrepreneurial mavericks such as Thomas Edison, Henry Heinz, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey, failure served as powerful impetus to later innovation and success. Hear local and international serial entrepreneurs share their failure stories and be inspired by how they’ve developed the skills to reframe failure as opportunity and “fail forward.”

Moderator: Nidhi PAREKH, Director, Ninos Out-of-School Club, India

  • Judy BISHOP, President & Owner, Bishop & Company, Hawaii
  • Virginia PRESSLER, Director of Health, Hawaii Department of Health, Hawaii
  • Radziah MOHD RADZI, Founder, Good Hijab and President, Sisterhood Alliance, Malaysia
  • Brianne WEST, Founder & Managing Director, Ethique, New Zealand
3:45 – 4:15pm              COFFEE BREAK
4:25 – 5:25pm              SESSION TWO WORKSHOPS

#galswithLeadership:  Trailblazing the Road Less Traveled
While women are moving into historically male-dominated fields, these jobs often demand longer and less flexible hours, penalizing workers with family responsibilities and personal interests outside of work. Learn from trailblazing women who have established inroads into industries and job titles traditionally dominated by men. Hear their candid assessment of “gender neutrality” in the workplace, and be inspired by their efforts to make workplaces more flexible.

Moderator: Ginger K. VAUGHN, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Content, SET Media and Communications Faculty, Akita International University, Japan

  • Laura LISWOOD, Secretary-General, Council of Women World Leaders, Washington, DC
  • Hillary DARBY, Commander, Chopper Pilot, U.S. Navy, Hawaii
  • Emily Reber PORTER, Executive Vice President, Operations and Strategy, The MacNaughton Group, Hawaii
  • Beti WARD, President, Pacific Air Cargo, Hawaii


#galswithEntrepreneurship:  People, Planet, Profit
The creation of a more sustainable and inclusive economy is often a mentioned goal of business, nonprofits, and governments, yet discerning and conveying sustainability can be difficult. Discover how leading organizations create competitive advantages by successfully incorporating people, planet, and profits into their everyday operations through fostering the growth and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized communities, sustainable supply chains, reduced waste, and sharing these stories to sell products and/or services.

Moderator:  Lissa PIERCY, Co-founder & Director, Strength of Doves, Washington, DC

  • Viola CHENG, Chief Executive Officer, Good Food Enterprises Co., Ltd., Taipei
  • Samantha R. JONES, Founder & CEO, Little Yellow Bird, New Zealand
  • Kelly Takaya KING, Vice President & Co-founder, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC, Hawaii
  • Taryn RODIGHIERO, Founder & Designer, KaiKini Bikinis, Hawaii
  • Elizabeth A. VAZQUEZ, President, CEO and Co-founder, WEConnect International, Washington, DC


#galswithInspiration:  Forget Balance, Make Choices
For most, juggling the demands of a career and a personal life, whether that involves a relationship, parenting, community activism or creative/athletic interests, is an ongoing challenge. Achieving “work-life balance” is elusive at best and mythical at worst. But by making deliberate choices and prioritizing which opportunities and activities to pursue and which to decline, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community. Hear women leaders share advice that includes defining success for yourself, leveraging technology and hired services, and building support networks at work and at home.

Moderator:  Giang Ngan TRAN VU, Executive Director, LIN Center for Community Development, Vietnam

  • Christine CAMP, President & CEO, Avalon Group, Hawaii
  • Kim GENNAULA, Executive Director of Advancement, Iolani School, Hawaii
  • Lori MCCARNEY, CEO, Bike Share Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Nisansala W.K. RAJAPAKSA, Head of Publications, Cancer Care Association of Sri Lanka, and Owner, Casa Serena Art Gallery, Sri Lanka
5:30 – 6:15pm              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.
6:15 – 7:30pm              NETWORKING RECEPTION

Featured Female Chefs: 

  • Anicea CAMPANALE, Owner/Executive Chef, The Nook
  • Jennifer & Christina HEE, Co-owners, Juicy Brew
  • Emily Layman PERKINS, Chef Assistant, Pili Group
  • Alessandra KLEIN & Stacey SCHILLER, Co-owners, Nosh Hawaii
  • Erin KANNO UEHARA, Artisan Chocolatier, Choco le`a
Networking reception with hosted bar, light pupus, and desserts prepared by local esteemed female chefs and artisans.


Mahalo to all our 2017 #galswithLEI sponsors:

Honolulu Magazine, Under My Umbrella, Sacred Hearts Academy,  Social Wahines, Pacific Business News, Aloha Waste, EY, Bishop & Co., Ulupono Initiative, Pacific Air Cargo, Kleenco Group, Breadshop, Local I'a, Kahumana, Kahala Fresh, Shaka Tea, and 'Umeke Market.

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

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. 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.


2016 #galswithLEI Forum

The 2016 #galswithLEI Forum took place June 30th at East-West Center's IMIN Conference Center. To view photos from the event, please click on the following links:  Honolulu Magazine, event sponsor; and East-West Center's Flickr album


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