May 21 2010

Raising a Glass to Support the Women’s Fund of Hawaii

Published by under Hawaii

Artwork: Pegge Hopper

Artwork: Ms. Pegge Hopper

The Women’s Fund of Hawaii held their annual “Tea & Champagne” fundraising event yesterday at the newly renovated Plaza Club in downtown Honolulu. It was a festive evening lead by Ms. Rosemarie Savino who was the mistress of ceremonies. Over one hundred people enjoyed a silent and live auction and there were many familiar faces.

I became familiar with the Women’s Fund of Hawaii last year and have been impressed by this dynamic group of women working to make a positive impact in our community. The mission of the Women’s Fund of Hawaii is to provide resources to organizations that help women and girls become safe, financially secure and empowered. They accomplish their goal by educating, fundraising, and making grants.  Their

Toasting the Women's Fund of Hawaii

Toasting the Women's Fund of Hawaii

educational program includes raising awareness about important issues affecting women and girls in Hawaii. The Women’s Fund believes that when women thrive, communities prosper.

While the Barefoot Wine and Bubbly was a lovely feature, the real stars were the 2009-2010 Grantees. These organizations represent a wide range of programs that support the empowerment of women and girls in Hawaii. Without the support of the Women’s Fund, many of these programs would not be funded and are sometimes over looked by larger funding sources. Grantee recipient Ms. Venus Rosette-Hill of the Neighborhood Place Maui, and Ms. Xavia Ellisor of the Prison Writing Project, addressed the audience recognizing the Women’s Fund’s support while sharing personal testimony about their life experiences and work.

Board Member Tyrie Lee Jenkins, MD and Guests

Board Member Tyrie Lee Jenkins, MD and Guests

Below is a list of all the grantees. For more information on their innovative and impactful programs please CLICK THIS LINK to learn more.

Grantees: Fall 2009

Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation: SISTA – Awarded $3,000

Ka Hale Pomaika’i: Helping Women Get to Treatment – Awarded $3,000

Kokua Kalihi Valley Women’s Sewing Project – Awarded $2,500

Po’o No’ono’o Foundation, Inc.: Building Resiliency in Girls at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility – Awarded $3,000

Waimanalo Health Center: Teen Clinic – Awarded $1,000

Grantees: Spring 2010

Adult Friends for Youth: Re-Directing Bullying Behavior – Awarded $5,000

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Daysha Aiona Aka Fly to Freedom Fund – Awarded $5,000

Learning for a Lifetime – Awarded $4,880

Neighborhood Place: No Na Wahine – Awarded $5,000

Prison Writing Project: Prison Monologues – Awarded $3,000

TJ Mahoney/Ka Hale Ho’āla Hou No Nā Wāhines – Awarded $7,620

Board Members and Ms. Xavia Ellisor

Board Members and Guests With Ms. Xavia Ellisor

I encourage you to visit the Women’s Fund of Hawaii’s website to find out how you can support these worthwhile programs that are making a real difference in the lives and status of women and girls in Hawaii. Thank you to the Tea & Champagne committee and event volunteers, the Board of Directors, Executive Director Ms. Barbara Watanabe and Ms. Michelle Gray for all their amazing work.

Click this PHOTO GALLERY LINK if you are interested in seeing the images from the evening. Once in the Flickr gallery you can click the upper right tab to launch the slide show.  (Photos: Cara Mazzei)

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May 20 2010

A Warm Welcome for Planned Parenthood Hawaii’s New CEO – Ms. Andrea Anderson

Published by under Hawaii,People

PPHI CEO Andrea Anderson

PPHI CEO Andrea Anderson

Last evening Ms. Myrna Murdock graciously opened her beautiful, historic home, Greystones Mansion in Honolulu to host an enjoyable meet and greet for Planned Parenthood Hawaii’s new CEO Ms. Andrea Anderson.

Greystones Mansion was built over a hundred years ago in 1903 by industrialist and founder of Honolulu Brewery & Malting Co. Alfred Hocking and is listed on the Hawaii and National Register of Historic Places.

Planned Parenthood Hawaii's Staff

Planned Parenthood Hawaii's Staff

As the new CEO, Andrea met with invited supporters, donors and staff on the lovely grounds. Andrea has been involved with Planned Parenthood in many capacities over the years, as a patient, a health educator and now as Hawaii’s CEO.

After a brief introduction from medical director Dr. Rahall, Andrea took questions from the attendees and shared her vision for Planned Parenthood Hawaii. In particular, her commitment to age appropriate and medically accurate sex education and the long term goal of expanding services to more islands. I encourage you to read Andrea’s latest interview in the Star Bulletin addressing the need for comprehensive sex education.

Making the night even more special was the attendance of Andrea’s mother Anne who was in town from Michigan. It was the perfect setting for a perfect evening. Click this PHOTO GALLERY LINK to see all the images from the event. (Photos: Cara Mazzei)

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May 19 2010

PBN’s Top 40 Under 40 – Simone Perez

Published by under Hawaii,People

PBN Has Spoken

PBN Has Spoken

I always knew she was top notch but now everyone else will too! I am happy to share and brag that my friend Simone Perez was selected among hundreds of applicants as one of forty exceptional, local business professionals in Hawaii for Pacific Business News’ Top 40 Under 40 Class.

This annual event recognizes individuals who are leaders in their respective industries. Simone, President of Abbott Communications, is outstanding at cultivating successful partnerships for her clients. And above all is a fantastic friend and mother.

Simone and Nico

Simone and Nico

I encourage you to read the Pacific Business News as they will be profiling the full list of the nominees or better yet attend the reception when they announce the winner. For complete details on the upcoming event June 17th at the Hawaii Convention Center follow this link. Congratulations to all the forty individuals selected.

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May 19 2010

Kia Kaha Canoes & Paddles Affected By Warehouse Fire on Kauai

Published by under Hawaii,People

Kia Kaha Paddle

Custom Crafted Kia Kaha Paddle

Last week there was some sad news when friends of mine were hit by that large warehouse fire. Kia Kaha Canoes and Paddles was one of the three businesses completely wiped-out in the blaze that destroyed a 13,000-square-foot warehouse in Puhi, Kauai. Kia Kaha’s production and design workshop was located in the warehouse. Kauai County officials estimated the damage to the building and the businesses to be in the millions. Ron Mizutani of KHON Fox2 television did a follow up story profiling all the businesses.

Photo: Kauai Fire Department Prevention Bureau

Photo: Kauai Fire Department Prevention Bureau

Kia Kaha owner, Maui Kjeldsen unfortunately lost two canoe molds and all his custom Kia Kaha paddle molds in the fire along with his production materials for future orders and twenty completed paddles that were about to be shipped. Kjeldsen hopes to secure a new location for his warehouse and have Kia Kaha’s capacity to accept new paddle orders secured as soon as possible. The Kjeldsens were also featured in a Garden Island Newspaper story by Paul Curtis further discussing the fire details.

Paddling in Hanalei

Paddling in Hanalei

Kjeldsen apologizes to all his customers that have been patiently waiting for their paddles. “Obviously these are circumstances beyond our control. I will work hard to get the paddles back into production hopefully before the end of the paddling season.” He is asking customers to please visit his website www.kiakahacanoesandpaddles.com for the latest status on the paddle production.

The only bright spot is that Kjeldsen had just returned from a trip to his OC-1 canoe manufacturer in China. He had delivered his Wainui and new Hiko OC-1 canoe molds for production so they were not destroyed in the fire. Therefore the production of both the Wainui and the Hiko OC-1 canoes will not be interrupted and Kia Kaha is currently accepting orders. To place an order or for more information, please email info@kiakahacanoesandpaddles.com

Kjeldsen Family

Kjeldsen Family

On a personal note, Kjeldsen who is a Kauai fireman and expecting his second baby with his wife Jody wanted to express his sincere gratitude and appreciation to his customers, all the firefighters who tackled the blaze and to his family, friends and the community for all their support. “I was two weeks away from taking some time off with the new baby’s arrival and was working hard to complete my outstanding paddle orders. This fire has changed everything. The important thing is that no one was hurt”.

I think I speak for everyone, as we wish Maui and Jody all the best during this time of trial. The community support they are experiencing is a true testament to their stellar reputations and integrity. To read the latest update on the Kjeldsens check out Ron Mizutani’s “Currents” column in this week’s Midweek.

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May 10 2010

Honolulu Elks Club – Mother’s Day Brunch

Published by under Hawaii

Mother's Day Brunch Elks

Mother's Day Brunch Elks

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and at the Honolulu Elks Lodge 616 in Waikiki there was a wonderful celebration recognizing how mothers enrich our lives.

There was music and a prayer remembering all the mothers who could not be with us. It was wonderful to see the generations coming together to celebrate mom and Grammy.

All mothers were asked to stand and then given a single red rose. There

Roses for All Mothers

Roses for All Mothers

were two full brunch services that kept the staff very busy all day.

It was a fantastic day for all the families. The pool was jammed full of frolicking kids and the ocean was cool and refreshing. There was even a tiny bit of surf. It was a fun day for all. This link will take you to the full PHOTO GALLERY.

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May 07 2010

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Published by under Global View,Hawaii

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Help End Hunger

Saturday May 8th, the National Association of Letter Carriers will be collecting non-perishable food to help families in our communities. People are turning to food banks and distribution agencies for the first time due to the economic climate.  Many face hard choices, having to choose between food and rent or medical needs. It is estimated that the demand for emergency food assistance has increased 30%.

I have seen an increase in the number of people living on Oahu’s beaches, bus shelters and parks. My heart goes out to them. The Hawaii Foodbank food network is critical to preventing hunger in Hawaii serving 131,862 people each year.

You can help people in your area by placing your food donation at your mailbox on May 8th before your letter carrier arrives with the day’s mail. All donations will be collected and then delivered to local food banks or pantries. Please do not include expired or glass items. For more information click here. I would also encourage you to visit a blog I wrote posted on President Obama’s national Serve.gov website on a creative birthday I had last year where I asked people to bring cans of food instead of gifts.

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May 03 2010

May 1st – Lei Day in Hawaii

Published by under Hawaii

Girls Performing Hula

Girls Performing Hula Lei Day 2010

The longer I live in Hawaii, the more I appreciate the flower lei. When I first moved here, receiving a lei was a novelty – I loved it. Over the years, I have grown to appreciate the great care and time it takes to create a lei. So this Saturday was the perfect opportunity to explore Hawaiian Lei making methods at the 83rd Annual Lei Day Celebration at the Queen Kapiolani Bandstand.  I took my mom who is visiting and friend Andrea who just moved to Hawaii three months ago to gain a deeper understanding of this international symbol of aloha.

In many parts of the world, “May Day” is celebrated; here in Hawaii we celebrate “Lei Day”. The history is more complicated, but the story goes that poet Don Blanding felt Hawaii should have a day commemorating the custom of giving and receiving a lei.

Lei Made From Fruit of the Hala Tree

Mr. Benham Making Lei From Fruit of the Hala Tree

The first Lei Day was May 1st 1927 in downtown Honolulu. Over the years a lei exhibit and pageant were added along with music and dance. Each of the eight Hawaiian Islands were represented with a lei princess and lei of a particular color and flower that represented each respective island.

The island of Hawaii was represented by the color red and the Ohi a Lehua flower. Maui the color pink and the Lokelani flower. Oahu the color yellow and the Ilima flower.  Lanai the color orange and the Kaunaoa flower.  Molokai the color green and the Kukui. The island of Kahoolawe with the color silver grey and the Hinahina flower. Kauai with the color purple and the Mokihana flower and the island of Niihau the color white and the pupu shell. (Please forgive me not using the proper Hawaiian Okina).

Performance of Hawaiian Chant

Performance of Hawaiian Chant

Today the festivities still honor the Lei Queen and her court with children and adult lei making contests and Hula.  There is live Hawaiian music, chants and tents set up to learn lei making.  There was so much to see and take in. Food, retail vendors and women dressed in lovely costumes performing to the crowds along the bandstand. Mark Lei Day on your calendar for next year, visit this link to the City and County of Honolulu for details.  Lei day is a free, must-do weekend experience for friends, family and anyone seeking a better understanding of the Hawaiian culture and aloha. (Text References: Professor Gerald Carr and H. St. John, Photos: Cara Mazzei)

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Mar 24 2010

Heiva I Honolulu 2010 Celebration of Tahitian Culture

Published by under Global View,Hawaii

A Japanese Halau from Okinawa

Last year I took one Tahitian dance class with my friend Simone.  She told me it was a beginner class “no experience necessary”.  Without a doubt, our skills were shocking as we horrified the teachers and other students.  It was so much harder than I thought.  I have such respect for anyone who can make something so hard look so easy and beautiful.  It truly is an art. So when Simone invited me to watch a Tahitian dance competition on Friday, I jumped at the opportunity.

Young Performers from Okinawa

In its eighth year, Heiva I Honolulu is a three day festival showcasing more than twenty-eight groups and 150 solo competitors at the Waikiki Shell Amphitheatre. The participant’s ranged in ages from four to thirty-six years plus.

The growing international interest in Tahitian dance and music was evident as there were groups from Asia, Canada, North America and Hawaii. In fact, event producer, Raymond Mariteragi, President of Tahiti Nui International stated, “this year we are hosting the largest number of groups in the festival.”

The night I attended I watched two groups from Japan who were excellent. Who knew these amazing Japanese ladies had such great Tahitian moves? The music and drums were energizing and the dance costumes  beautiful.

With the exciting drumming, live music performances and Tahitian arts and crafts there was something for everyone. I highly recommend attending this event next year. It is family friendly and a fantastic opportunity to experience the unique and wonderful aspects of Tahitian culture. (Photos and Video: Cara Mazzei)

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Mar 18 2010

The Lost Art of Mentorship

My 1st Mentor Ms. Doreen Corrente

All of us can remember back to a special teacher or coach that we admired. An adult who helped guide us as we grew in our professional development. I remember my first mentor was my high school marketing teacher Ms. Doreen Corrente. She was my DECA advisor for three years and served as my chaperone as I competed in academic conferences in San Francisco, Atlanta and New Orleans. Ms. Corrente was more than that to me. She encouraged me to try new things, to improve my self confidence and she was instrumental in helping me develop my leadership skills. I remember when we traveled she would encourage me to try new foods. To this day, every time I eat a Caesar salad I think of Ms. Corrente.
I have been lucky to have a few terrific mentors in my life but I see the art of mentoring not as common. There is an article in Hawaii Business Magazine; “Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders” citing the decline of mentorships to the detriment of the next generation of leaders. In fact a competitive mentoring program called Pacific Century Fellows was developed out of this shortage of in-house mentoring.

My Friend & Mentee Kelly Park

On Monday March 22nd at the Hawaii Convention Center I will again be a judge for the Hawaii State DECA Competition. I along with other volunteers will be working with public high school students from Molokai, Kauai, Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. This is the same club I was in many years ago as a student.
As a DECA Alumni I get a great sense of joy seeing the students. The experience reminds me of all the great mentors I have had in my life at different stages and how vital they have been. Now, it is my responsibility to pay it forward. The word “mentor” was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer’s literary work the Odyssey. In many ways my mentoring odyssey has come full circle. Or maybe I am just getting old?

2009 HI State DECA Students Heading to Nationals

I encourage you to reach out and make a difference in your community. Mentor someone at your job, your church or neighborhood. Volunteer at a public school or with a youth group and become a positive role model to the next generation of leaders. It is truly amazing how the smallest act can make the biggest impact in the life of another.

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Mar 06 2010

An Unlikely Presidential Reunion

Cast of Video

Whatever side of the aisle you are on, Republican or Democrat, I recommend you click this link to watch a humorous short video from www.funnyordie.com featuring past presidents giving President Obama a surprise visit. I don’t want to give too much away. It was directed by Ron Howard, shot in 15 hours and highlights the current debate on the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) in the United States. You are thinking how can that be funny? The video showcases Will Farrell as George W. Bush, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, Jim Carey as Ronald Reagan, and Saturday Night Live regular Fred Armisen as President Obama. Dan Aykroyd as President Jimmy Carter and Chevy Chase as President Gerald Ford were a bit of a stretch. For me Dana Carvey stole the show reprising his role as H.W. Bush. According to the New York Daily News, it is believed to be the first time this many comedic heavy hitters have united for a sketch. Ron Howard was quoted as saying, “I felt like I was coaching an All-Star game.” Have a look and tell me who your favorite president was. (Photo: New York Times)

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