A Great Event; Trophy Time Again

Don Chapman
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July 21, 2010
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For the third year, MidWeek will again be involved in the Hawaii International Women’s Leadership Conference, which happens Sept. 21 at the Sheraton Waikiki. And I’m such a believer in the value of the conference, I’d like to encourage both individuals and companies to get involved too.

Our former staffer Linda Dela Cruz was the first to mention the conference to me several years ago - this will be the seventh annual - and when I attended the ‘08 conference it took about two minutes to realize what a fantastic event it is. I regard it as one of the most important annual events in Hawaii. Every year more than a thousand attendees get to hear presentations from an remarkable cast of women, and get to meet and mingle with them later. This year’s speakers include Li Xiaolin, vice chair of China’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (essentially secretary of state); Jin Kyu Robertson, who left a factory job in Korea and moved to the U.S. with $20 and very little English, and through hard work and determination became a U.S. Army major and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard; Dr. Connie Mariano, the first Filipino-American to become a Rear Admiral in the Navy and first military woman to serve as White House physician, caring for George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Sister Rosemary of Uganda, a nun who set up a tailoring school for former child soldiers, orphans and women forced into sexual slavery by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Lindsay Phillips, a successful business woman who received her first patent while still in high school. That’s just a brief sampling.


Our involvement will be to again judge the essay contest. I’m always amazed at the inspiring stories written by women about the women who inspired them. It’s tough to pick a winner with so much chicken skin going on.

Conference organizers hope - and I would encourage - individuals and companies to buy seats or tables for their employees or to sponsor high school and college students. Every year women return to the conference with stories of how they were inspired by speakers, and moved to work harder or try new approaches, and came away more successful and more fulfilled. The theme this year is “Business UNusual: Women Changing the Paradigm.”

For more details on the conference and the essay contest, and to register, go to: hawaiiwomensconference.com.

I’m pleased to report that MidWeek recently brought home some more awards and trophies. First, Amy Alkon, the “Advice Goddess,” won several awards at the Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards, including a first place award in the “commentary” category and an honorable mention for “Journalist of the Year.”


Here at home, Dick Adair’s editorial cartoon “North Korea” took top honors in the local Society of Professional Journalists awards competition. Dick’s says-it-all toon shows a crying, hungry baby in front of a woman with nuclear bombs for breasts.

And - blush - yers truly’s account of The Eddie surf contest at Waimea Bay last December took first in the SPJ’s sports reporting category. As I replied to a nice e-mail from Dave Reardon of the Star-Advertiser, who took second in sports columns, with guys riding 40- to 50-foot waves on a gorgeous day and 30,000 people lining the bay, I was just trying not to screw it up.

Whew ...

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