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Success Secrets of 9 Top Leaders

(page 7 of 10)

Kalei Cadinha-Puaa

Kalei Cadinha-Puaa has been bucking the trends her entire life. At an age when other kids were learning how to ride bikes she was being taught to manage stocks and investments. As the president of Cadinha & Co., an investment counseling firm that manages the assets of high net-worth individuals, her leadership style is defined by her humble demeanor, approachability and willingness to step outside of the box.

Over the years, Cadinha-Puaa has worked her way up from filing papers to being voted by her peers to the top seat in the firm, which her father, Harlan Cadinha, created in 1979.

“I think that’s what makes me approachable,” Cadinha-Puaa says. “People can relate to me because they know I started at the bottom, rolled up my sleeves and know the ins and outs of this company.”

Even as president, she stuffs and licks envelopes if letters need to be mailed out, and knows she isn’t too good for any task. This team approach helped grow Cadinha & Co. into one of Hawaii’s largest investment advisory firms, managing over $600 million in assets.

Cadinha-Puaa is a pro when it comes to stepping up and stepping out of her comfort zone. At 5-foot-7, she played outside hitter on the University of San Diego’s volleyball team — a position normally reserved for players 6-feet and over. Today, even with three young children, the energetic 39-year-old wakes up at 2 a.m. five days a week to monitor the stock markets.

“Not many people can say that they truly love their job, but I can,” she says.

“When you find something that you were born to do, I think it’s your responsibility as a community member to hone your natural skills and make a difference in whatever way you can.”

– SE

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Dec 30, 2008 09:58 am
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