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2019 #galswithLEI Forum to Feature International and Local Female Leaders

(Sponsored) The fifth annual girl-power event takes place Wednesday, July 17, at the East-West Center at UH Mānoa.


2019 #galswithLEI Forum


Women of all ages and backgrounds are invited to gather at the East-West Center on Wednesday, July 17, for the fifth annual #galswithLEI Forum. The unique afternoon forum—LEI stands for leadership, entrepreneurship and inspiration—informs and celebrates women innovators and entrepreneurs in our local community and throughout the Indo-Pacific region with a keynote panel, interactive workshops, open-space discussion and a special networking reception featuring six local female chefs.


In this year’s keynote panel, acclaimed women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will discuss the kinds of barriers they’ve faced and ways to promote equal access to STEM education and careers.


5th Annual East-West Center #galswithLEI Forum

Wednesday, July 17, 1 to 7:30 pm

East-West Center’s IMIN International Conference Center

1777 East-West Road at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (across from Kennedy Theatre)

Buy Tickets



Keynote Panel: Cracking the Code

Moderator: Victoria Keene: Research fellow, East-West Center, Hawai‘i

  • Linda Furuto: Professor of mathematics education, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hawai‘i

  • 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


#galswithLeadership: Women on Boards

Moderator: Krista Goon: Co-owner, Redbox Studio, Malaysia

  • Fiona Ey: Chair, Apia International School, and partner, Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers, Samoa

  • Crystal K. Rose: Board director, Hawaiian Airlines, and partner, Bays Lung Rose & Holma, Hawai‘i

  • Michele Saito: Board director, Alexander & Baldwin, and president & CEO, DTRIC Insurance Company LTD, Hawai‘i

  • Barbara J. Tanabe: Board director, Bank of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i


#galswithEntrepreneurship: Think Outside the Bank

Moderator: Ha Thu Nguyen: Co-founder and CEO, SLK Company LTD, Vietnam

  • Amy Hennessey: Senior vice president, Communications & Community, Ulupono Initiative, Hawai‘i

  • Meli James: Co-founder, Mana Up, and president, Hawai‘i Venture Capital Association, Hawai‘i

  • Maya Rogers: President and CEO, Blue Planet Software, and co-founder and partner, Blue Startups, Hawai‘i


#galswithInspiration: Activism vs. Slacktivism

Moderator: Tippi Cogen: Founder and executive director, Thrive Global of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i

  • 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, Hawai‘i



#galswithLeadership: Toppling Taboos in Women’s Health

Moderator: Keiko Chida: Director, End-of-Life Care Association of Japan, Japan

  • Nanci Kreidman: CEO, Domestic Violence Action Center, Hawai‘i

  • Olie Body: Founder and managing director, Wa Collective, New Zealand

  • Kathleen Kozak, M.D.: Medical director, UHA Health Insurance, and host, The Body Show on Hawai‘i Public Radio, Hawai‘i

  • Mabel Wong, M.D.: Chief of obstetrics and gynecology and medical director of women’s health, Hawai‘i Permanente Medical Group, Hawai‘i

  • Michelle Yamaguchi: Professional, mom and everywoman, Hawai‘i


#galswithEntrepreneurship: The War for Talent

Moderator: Maricar A. Jaruda: Production manager, Vjandep Bakeshop, Philippines 

  • Megan Jorah: Human resources consultant, Hawai‘i Employers Council, Hawai‘i

  • Judy Bishop: Owner and president, Bishop & Company, Hawai‘i

  • Radha Mohan Durbha: Co-founder and director, Kereses Consulting India Private LTD, India

  • Tami Hamilton: Human resources director, Pacific Whale Foundation, Hawai‘i


#galswithInspiration: Rule Breakers on the Rise

Moderator: Amanda Ellis: Alumni board president, East-West Center, and director of strategic partnerships, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Arizona State University, Hawai‘i

  • Saliza Abdullah: Managing director, BG Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, Malaysia

  • Zhafira Loebis: Co-founder and CMO, Babyloania.com, Indonesia

  • Bernice Parsons: Co-founder and president, Vertaccount, Hawai‘i

  • Lee Anne Wong: Owner and chef, Koko Head Café, Hawai‘i


#galswithLEI: Open Space

Facilitator: Liz A. Dorn: Seminars program coordinator, East-West Center, Hawai‘i

  • Drolma Gadou: Business capacity improvement manager, Creative Associates International, China

  • Jaruza Jayachandran: Co-founder and CEO, ezBooking, Sri Lanka

  • Janet Kose: Nofotane Woman Star Earner, Samoa Victim Support Group, Samoa

  • Norhani Pacasum: CEO, Ziya Inc., Philippines

  • Lexi Chong Tim and Emily Pang: Seminars student assistants, East-West Center, Hawai‘i

  • Emma Newland: Founder, Lalai and Sprout, Fiji

  • Mariana Waqa: Founder, Vunilagi Book Club, Fiji

  • Ann Hartman: Dean of education, East-West Center, Hawai‘i


#galswithLEI:  Networking Reception

Featured female chefs:

  • Lee Anne Wong, Koko Head Café

  • Regina Lapian, Indonesian Cuisine Catering

  • Paula and Cybil Stewart, Blondie’s Plant-Based Food Truck

  • Jesa Simpkins, Butcher & Bird

  • Erin Kanno Uehara, Choco Le‘a

  • April Bullis, private dessert chef


For more information on the 2019 #galswithLEI Forum and to purchase tickets, visit eastwestcenter.org/galswithLEI.


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