Assets Vice President of Institutional Advancement was featured in the Pacific Edge Women in Business 2023 issue. Click here for the article. It is also shared here.
Institutional Advancement Assets School
What are some of your recent career achievements?
I am proud of Assets School’s Transforming Lives Center which opened to the community in June. It is Hawai‘i’s first private school-based full resource center for K-12 students who are homeschooling or attending a public, private, or charter school. Our Clinical Director assesses struggling students for dyslexia, and other language-based learning differences. The Center was funded by a grant and annual operations are funded by new grants. It took a year to build it out from start to finish, which was fast given we were in the height of the pandemic. Once completed, we held a blessing and grand opening.
We have been impressed by the number of parents and grandparents who are noticing their children or grandchildren are not where they should be and seeking answers. We were concerned hundreds of students fell behind academically during the pandemic. We wanted to be part of the solution. Once a family has insight into their child’s learning profile it becomes a tool for them and the child’s teachers. One style of teaching does not fit all children. It’s important for families to find the right environment and education for their children.
I am also proud of Assets School’s 65th Anniversary one-hour television show I wrote, produced and directed to educate the community about learning differences. We are grateful to The Queen’s Health Systems for underwriting the cost of the show.
Did your career in the news help you to decide to create the show?
Yes, I was a news producer for many years before becoming an anchorwoman and news reporter in California and Hawai‘i. I really enjoy producing and being behind the scenes but every aspect of being in a newsroom is exciting.
How did you transition from news to philanthropy?
I transitioned from news into a career in corporate communications, community relations, and business development for a technology firm. I was blessed to be part of two exciting cutting-edge companies when the tech sector was just taking off in Hawai‘i. First, I had the honor of being part of the Science & Technology International – U.S. Navy Airship Program. I traveled with the airship as it performed eye-in-the-sky operations and managed all the community relations, public relations, and official visits from Virginia to San Diego. The second firm was Trex Enterprises Corporation which specializes in millimeter-wave imaging. As the Vice President of Business, I negotiated projects and product sales with government agencies and defense firms which required a lot of travelling.
A friend shared with me information about a position at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children. I thought it would be great to put my skills in business development toward a not-for-profit organization and rally behind helping children. It was a fantastic new chapter—philanthropy. As the Senior Director of Development, I was fortunate to be part of a dynamic team raising $35 million for Kapi‘olani’s new Diamond Head Tower. It is an amazing place where miracles take place every day.
What drives you?
I have always been driven to make a difference. It was rewarding reporting on historical events, to promoting technologies that saved lives or protected our nation, to now helping families afford Assets School by raising millions of dollars for tuition assistance and capital improvements.
What advice would you give a young person?
Follow your dreams and do not give up. It takes a lot of work but if you love what you do, it will not feel like work. Introduce yourself to people you admire or are in the position you desire to be in. Ask them to mentor you. Keep learning by reading, listening, and observing. Do not be afraid of change because with change comes growth and opportunities. Volunteer in your community or for your favorite charitable causes. You will meet wonderful people all striving to make a difference. There is a wonderful poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash.” I highly recommend reading it from time to time.
Overall, it is important to stay balanced with your career goals, your family, and your health. You perform best when you are rested, eat healthily, and have exercised daily. Book your time to exercise as if it was an important meeting. When you find your career path and are balancing your family, you are a role model for your children. It might not feel like it at the time, but you are!
Lastly, always smile, share your gratitude daily, and read this quote:
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson