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Women Helping Women Succeed

Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance Announces Fifth Cohort of Hawaii Women Leaders

The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, the only program in Hawai‘i designed to enable mid-career women to advance their management and leadership skills, has named 15 women leaders to its fifth cohort, starting on August 21.

“We are thrilled to announce the final selection for the 5th Anniversary cohort of the Leadership Alliance,” said Colleen McAluney, Director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership. “It is especially important to continue lifting our emerging women leaders and we are so grateful to our generous supporters who trust in the Mink Leader program.”

The following women have been selected for the 2020-2021 Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance:

Gail Abrena-Agas (Commercial Property Manager, Alexander & Baldwin)

Elizabeth Carlson (Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer, VP, Bank of Hawaii)

Chrystal Dart (Co-Founder, Navigate Consulting LLC)

Deanna D'Olier (Associate Director, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools)

Nadia Fairlamb (Professional Artist, Nadia Fairlamb Art)

Claire Fukuoka (Project Manager, Austin, Tsutsumi & Associates, Inc.)

Kristi Hatanaka (Controller, HEMIC)

Shelly Kamakura (AVP, Relationship Banking Program Manager, Central Pacific Bank)

Liane Khim (VP, Commercial Banking Officer, American Savings Bank)

Kolia Moua (Operations Leader, Honeywell)

Gwen Navarrete Klapperich (Chief Learning Consultant/Owner, Klapperich International Training Associates)

Carolina Rivadeneyra-Enriquez (Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton)

Angeline Smith (AVP, Branch Manager, First Hawaiian Bank)

Thao Tran (Sr. Associate General Counsel, Legal Division, Hawaiian Electric Company)

women leaders in Hawaii

To date, 76 Mink Leaders from diverse fields and industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, law, education, construction, small business and nonprofit, have graduated from the program. This year’s group of Mink Leaders is eager to take part in learning more about topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Design Thinking, Principles of Negotiation, and Strategic Planning. Participants will benefit from valuable expertise offered throughout the program by prominent women leaders and facilitators. The curriculum also includes a community project that allows the cohort to contribute to YWCA O‘ahu’s mission of empowering women.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to support the work of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance,” said Maria Borje-Bonkowski, regional compliance officer of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Providing training develops leadership and business acumen for the women selected and creates economic opportunity for our entire community.”

The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance began in September 2016 and is a 10-month program designed for emerging women leaders who are committed to personal growth, professional impact, and community change. This program further develops management and leadership skills in an effort to increase the representation of women executives in Hawai‘i. Through almost 100 hours of facilitated sessions, the cohort will have the opportunity to engage directly with established business professionals and build alliances with fellow Mink Leaders. Participants are chosen through a competitive application process and are required to attend 18 out of the 21 program sessions in order to graduate in May 2021. The program is offered by the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership, a department of YWCA O‘ahu.

The program was named in honor of the late Patsy T. Mink, who was both the first Asian-American woman and the first woman from Hawai‘i to serve in the U.S. Congress. She was renowned for her commitment to proactive leadership and women’s advocacy.

For more information about the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, visit

About the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership

The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) was established by YWCA O‘ahu, the U.S. Small Business Administration and a community of partners to become the only Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Hawai‘i. WBCs are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, and seek to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs who still face unique obstacles in the business world. MCBL is named in honor of Patsy T. Mink for her dedication to helping women through legislative reforms. She was a transformative leader and a national voice for gender equality, education and peace. MCBL is based in YWCA Laniākea in downtown Honolulu, 1040 Richards Street. To learn more, visit

About YWCA O‘ahu

Founded in 1900, YWCA O‘ahu is the oldest and largest women’s membership organization in Hawai‘i supporting women and girls through health and wellness, economic self-sufficiency, professional development and housing. YWCA O‘ahu has more than 1,800 members and three unique facilities: the flagship YWCA Laniākea in downtown Honolulu, YWCA Fernhurst residence in Makiki, and YWCA Kokokahi recreational site in Kaneohe.

More than two million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 locations across the U.S. YWCA serves about 25 million women and girls in 125 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit


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