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Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch 2012

20 emerging leaders in local businesses, nonprofits, government, education and law

(page 6 of 21)

Photo: David Croxford

DEE OSWALD  age 38

Project manager, Kiewit Building Group Hawaii

Dee oswald has a lot on her plate. Besides work, which puts her both in the office and out with a crew, she serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii and also volunteers for the Hawaii Foodbank and other agencies. To keep all those commitments organized and in perspective, she has a plan.

“My approach to work is the same as my approach to my personal life,” Oswald says. “I believe you have to be balanced and present.”

She balances her time between work, friends and family, the community and herself. “Each is equally important to me and they are all needed to support one another,” says Oswald, who grew up in Nebraska and has lived in Hawaii for five years, since transferring with Kiewit.

Her projects include the Hale Pawaa medical office building on Beretania Street and renovations of the Hale Koa Waikiki and the Sheraton Maui Resort. She just received her 15-year service award from Kiewit.

John Komeiji, senior VP and general counsel for Hawaiian Telcom, serves on the Boys & Girls Club board’s executive committee with Oswald.

“Dee is a doer,” he says. “She recognizes and understands the needs of our organization. Rather than just standing on the sidelines or waiting for others, she will actively engage and drive to a solution.”

Oswald has served as the board’s development committee chairman, chaired its annual fundraiser campaign for two years and played many other roles.

Despite the tough economy, “Under her leadership, we surpassed our goals,” Komeiji says. “I believe that her compassion and commitment to the children of Hawaii motivate her.”

Oswald also cites her family as a source of inspiration. She has seven sisters; Oswald and two of those sisters are triplets.

“People always ask me how I came to envision taking a path to such a non-traditional career. Because of my sisters’ successes and support, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t.”

She originally enrolled in college as an industrial engineer, but then looked into a major she had never heard of before: construction management.

“I love that my career combines both the office and field,” she says.

“My sisters think it’s great that in my car I always have a pair of boots and a pair of heels.”


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