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4 Successful Women’s Roads to the Top

(page 3 of 4)

Photos: David Croxford, Courtesy of Crystal Rose

Crystal Rose

Chairwoman, Central Pacific Bank; attorney and partner, Bays Lung Rose & Holma

On money

For me, money is not a motivator. It doesn’t make my heart sing. What makes my heart sing is doing things that have the greatest impact on the community. I think other women feel the same way.”

On making it work

“The real challenge is not about women’s ability but how to make it all work when we want to have kids. There are lots of different ways to do it – a nanny, parents, grandparents – but you do need help.”

On independence

“I came to Kamehameha Schools as a boarder in seventh grade, when I was 11 years old. If there was anything that made me independent and changed my life, it was that. … I was very homesick – everyone has a rough couple of months – but you end up having an incredible support group of classmates and lifelong friends. They’re like my sisters.”


On challenges

“When you’re a young lawyer you want to master the ability to make a good motion, or do a good deposition. You can’t do the strategic part (of future planning) until you know how to be a good lawyer. But now what I enjoy the most is strategic thinking, and the challenge of a really complicated commercial dispute and how I’m going to solve this for my clients.”

On family

“Without my parents’ and husband’s help with the kids it would have been very difficult to do what I do. My dad would pick them up, my mother would feed and bathe them, and I’d arrive after 7 to take them home. The goal was to try and keep their routine as normal as possible.”

On values

“What I carry with me is a strong value base. If it’s not right, you don’t do it.”


On the old boys’ network

“The issue of the old boys’ network will only come into play if they’re trying to provide a favor or something. If you push for the right decision, at the end of the day that will rule the day. It’s not about overcoming the old boys’ network, it’s about doing the right thing.”

On the glass ceiling
“I’ve never felt there was a glass ceiling. As I look around I hope we’re at a point in our community and society where it’s no longer men vs. women but the most capable person and the question, ‘Am I adding value to the boardroom?’ ”

On motivation

“Back in 1999, I was in court for six months. We were involved in putting Broken Trust together and we brought the case against Lokelani Lindsey for Oz Stender. Being a Kamehameha Schools graduate was one of the things motivating me. It was my turn to step up and make that institution a better place. It was a calling.”


1957 Born, Hilo, Hawaii.
1975 Graduated, Kamehameha School for Girls.
1979 Graduated, Willamette University, Salem, Ore., B.S., double major, psychology and sociology.
1982 Graduated, University of California, Hastings College of Law
1982-1985 Carlsmith, Ball, Associate, commercial and construction litigation.
1986 to today Bays Lung Rose & Holma, partner since 1989.
1986 Married Rick Towill
1988 Birth of first child, Mark Towill.
1988 Law salary reached six figures.
1991 Birth of second child, Ian Towill.
2004-present Board, Central Pacific Bank; lead director; a year later also joined board of Central Pacific Financial Corp.
2006-present Board, Hawaiian Holdings Inc./Hawaiian Airlines.
2007-present Board, Gentry Homes.
2005-present Co-chair, YWCA Capital Campaign.
2002-2003 Commissioner, Hawaiian Homes Commission.
2001-present Board of Advisors, Kamehameha Schools.
2001-present Board, Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

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