Hawaii Business Taking the Lead

August, 2016

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The 3rd annual Hawaii Business Leadership Conference was an epic learning and networking opportunity for established and emerging leaders on Wednesday, July 27. With nine workshops, a “Merging Visions” panel discussion and a presentation of “The Genius Method” by its creator, Yolanda Quiroz Soto, this event was great opportunity for professional development. There was also a chance for personal development as well, many of the panelists opened up and shared candid stories of success and failure in business. Our goal was to help attendees become smart, confident and authentic leaders and we truly hope everybody left the Hilton Hawaiian Village that day informed and inspired.

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Yolanda Quiroz Soto created the “Genius Method,” a model of the creative process that combines time-honored mind/body principles and techniques, contemporary management and leadership strategies, design thinking and the latest research in neuroscience. We have to give mad amounts of respect and gratitude to our partners who supported this full-day of skill building workshops, speakers and networking: First Hawaiian Bank, Alaska Airlines, Argosy University, Hawaiian Telcom, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Matson Navigation, UHA Health Insurance, Honolulu Club and Pro Service Hawaii. Without their support Hawaii Business would not be able to put on the only leadership conference in Hawaii.


“I think it is important for First Hawaiian Bank to continue its sponsorship and our commitment in leadership development – it’s important because we have so many complex problems here in the state and in the nation,” says Sherri Okinaga, First Hawaiian Bank vice president of corporate training and development. “We need to really shore-up our leadership capacity so that together in a collaborative fashion we are able to ensure that we solve problems so that we can have a vibrant economy in a land we call home.”

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Hawaii Business Editor, Steve Petranik, knows that the value of #HBLeadership conference is learning from local people, especially because of the cultural nuances in Hawaii.

“We got about 30 local leaders plus some national people coming in and they are talking about what it means to be a leader, how to become a leader so you are learning from local people about how that’s done and about how to lead in a community that is different from the mainland community,” says Petranik.

In addition to the opportunities to hear Hawaii’s leaders share information at the Leadership Conference,  this event is also an extremely valuable chance to network explains Petranik.

“Networking is vital because the current leaders, they know each other; they’ve built this network in Hawaii and that’s so vital as to how they succeed as leaders,” he says. “Imagine all of these emerging leaders meeting each other for the first time and they are building their network, they are starting their own relationships. And, as they move up in their organizations – as they grow older – they are going to have this solid network that may have started here  […] this is a great place to start that network or nurture the network you already have.”

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Hawaii Home + Remodeling Advertising Director Jill Hamasaki, Alaska Airlines Sales and Community Marketing Regional Manager Daniel Chun and Hawaii Business Vice President and Publisher Bobby Senaha take some time for a photo before the “Communicating at a Higher Level” workshop. Chun was apart of the panel and Senaha was the moderator. This workshop focused on developing the interpersonal skills necessary to harness the power of your network as well as teaching active listening, body language and other techniques to take your professional relationships to the next level.


Miss Hawaii USA 2015 Emma Wo is home on summer vacation from her graduate program in marketing at New York University. Wo, who is also known as “The Aloha Babe” on the blogosphere, was a panelist on the “Champion Your Personal Brand” alongside Judy Bishop, Dennis Christianson and Zak Noyle; moderated by Lori Teranishi.

“I just think it is important to learn from other leaders, I think that you can take all of the courses you want in leadership but there is nothing like hands on practical experience and life stories,” says Wo when asked about the importance of Hawaii Business’ Leadership Conference. “These are the greatest leaders in Hawaii so to be able to pick their brains, ask them questions and learn from it is so invaluable to up and coming leaders.”

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Hawaii Business Associate Advertising Director David Sur and the ladies of Argosy University are all smiles when it came to the quality networking that was had by all at the Leadership Conference.

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We hope to see you next year at the only leadership conference in the state!


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