Melissa Pavlicek

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - September 07, 2005
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Melissa Pavlicek had a change of attitude and a change of life inspired in part by last year’s two-day International Women’s Leadership Conference.

Pavlicek was so moved by the conference that she’s volunteering 10 hours a week on the planning and marketing committees for the 2005 International Women’s Leadership Conference taking place Sept. 14-15 at the Sheraton Waikiki.

That’s an interesting turnaround in attitude, especially since the Baldwin High School grad pushed last year’s flier around on her desk thinking, “I’ve been to these women’s events before, this one’s no different,” before reluctantly attending.

“And within 15 minutes, I changed my attitude,” exudes the UH Richardson School of Law grad. “I was sitting there wishing I could start my own business. And I heard a Palestinian woman talk about how she couldn’t go to college because she was married. I thought to myself, ‘What am I worried about, when these women have overcome some incredible obstacles?’”

Pavlicek has since left the established law firm she worked for to open her own law firm, Hawaii Public Policy. She was having so much fun running her own show, her husband, attorney Stephen Teves, quit his job and joined her. Now they have more time with their children, 2-year-old Charla and 3-year-old Christopher.

One of the things the Nuuanu resident found different about this conference was that after the speakers presented, they ate lunch with the attendees and “opened up their lives to us.”

“You realize how much we have in common with people no matter where they are from,” adds Pavlicek. Besides the international speakers, Pavlicek also enjoyed local speakers that included Dee Jay Mailer of Kamehameha Schools.

Pavlicek also makes time to volunteer as vice president of the Legal Aid Society, chair of the Aloha Tower Development Corporation, chair of the diversity committee for the Hawaii State Bar Association, and a board member of the Hawaii Justice Foundation.

This year’s featured speakers from around the globe include Ae Sil Kim, chairwoman of the Women’s Affairs Committee in the Republic of Korea, and Jinan Liu, president of Communications University of China. Local speakers include filmmaker Edgy Lee and Kona Paradise Candy owner Wendy Loh.

The registration fee is $295; $195 for government employees and military, $150 for students. For a more complete list of speakers, log onto


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