Tag Archives: Mele Spencer

D9 Conference Report: Women Leadership

There was something special and inspiring to be at the Zonta International District 9 conference among women of like minds when word came of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to three women.

Even before the announcement, there had been a strong endorsement for Zontians to view “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a documentary film on the Liberian women who brought an end to the civil war there.  Two of the three women Nobel peace winners are involved in the Liberia recovery.  For more information about the film link here.  For information on the Nobel peace prize winners go here.

Standing: Weiland, Neumiller, Hastings. Sitting: Spencer, Foissette

From Hawaii, there were 5 participants at the D9 Conference: Area Director (and Hilo Club member) Mele Spencer, former district Governor Karen Foissette (now a Honolulu Club member), Linda Weiland, president of Honolulu Club, Edie Ignacio Neumiller of Kauai Club and myself. Mele, by the way, has been elected to the D9 nominating committee.  She is well-regarded in D9 Circles.

Our Hawaii group is determined to set up at least-quarterly Club presidents videoconference meetings with Mele.

Snippets from the Conference:

  • Membership remains the biggest issue for Zonta International.
  • What younger members want:  More service projects; service projects that can be completed quickly; social media; exposure of projects on social media.
  • Whatever a Club does should be evaluated against our mission—Advancing the status of women.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take on other efforts for community, particularly children, but those should be in addition to, not in place of projects directed at women.
  • We need to use technology to enhance participation in meetings at all levels.  You don’t always need to be physically present.

Lois Frankel, Ph.D., Corporate Coaching International, was a keynote speaker. She is author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office; Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich; See Jane Lead and other books. Her website: www.drloisfrankel.com Highlights from her talk:

A woman leader must be a leader for your time. The times are changing. “We still think of powerful women as an anomaly.”–she quoted Margaret Atwood

Women lead all the time, Frankel said, they just don’t call themselves leaders. She asked the audience why that’s so.  Reasons that were called out;

  • We don’t what to be seen as arrogant
  • Push back from other women
  • We were not raised to it

Dr. Frankel said “command and control” leadership no longer exists. It will sabotage you. There is a feminization of leadership going on across the globe.

“We’ve reached turning point,” she said. But the numbers don’t show it. Right now, only 9 of 190 countries are run by women, and women make up about 13 % of legislative bodies. (It has been estimated elsewhere that it takes 30% of women in a legislative body before the female impact matters.)

“We (women) have track record,” Dr. Frankel said, we are just too modest to put it out there. We need to elevate ourselves. (Aside: I thought of this when Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in an interview with the New York Times, said she is prepared because she’s been preparing both inside the country and out. She was confident, rather than modest.)

Dr. Frankel said our EQ–emotional intelligence—is more important than  IQ.  Emotional intelligence involves self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. The new brand of leadership is collaborative, networked, personal, teaching, fosters others to speak up, is flexible and reaches out.

Dr. Frankel outlined eight ways to help women be effective leaders:

  1. Articulate your vision.
  2. Develop your strategy.
  3. Resist perfectionism.
  4. Choose the hill you are willing to die on. (Pick your battles.)
  5. Get to the point. (First thing should be most important that you say.)
  6. Practice 7:1 rule.  Seven positive to one negative feedback.
  7. Manage meetings effectively.
  8. Build leadership brand. (That means defining it and selling it.)

I’ll make every effort to post more D9 Conference information as time allows.
Cheers,
Barbara Hastings

5 New Inductees at June Meeting

Excerpts of President’s Report 06/13/2011

Hastings inducts Robin Messenheimer, Elaine Christian, Alison Lee, Tonya Ozone and Ida Ferris.

Barbara A. Hastings

First, I wish to tell you that it is indeed an honor for me to preside over this group.  The mission of Zonta—to me—is the most important mission in the universe today.  I believe it is the vehicle to solving most of the world’s ills.  We can start in our own backyards.

I pulled a small group together to go over our last strategic plan, and selected these objectives to be a primary focus for at least the first year of this biennium.

  1. Foster a positive image of Zonta in our community and a better understanding among current members and prospects.  Iʻm sure that you, like me, talk to friends about Zonta and they just donʻt know anything about it. Yet weʻre nearly 100 years old.  Some secrets should not be kept!
  2. Membership retention at 90%.  Our membership committee and immediate past president did an excellent job. With the induction tonight, we have 40 members.  We began the 2010-11 year with 35 members.  Onward!
  3. Well-informed membership that participates.
  4. Combine service and advocacy at the local level.

I want to thank Tonya Ozone, one of our newest members, who’s agreed to take on public relations tasks of keeping our website and blog updated and helping us keep in touch with each other.  Tonya has prepared a brief questionnaire to find out the best ways to communicate with our membership. We will be hounding each of you until we have all responses.

We will put a lot of emphasis on the Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee—which Zonta International has made one of the three required standing committees, along with Membership and Service.  I’m happy to announce that Pat O’Toole has agreed to chair, and will be ably assisted (and it was how I got her to say yes, by Kathleen Nielsen.)   If you have any interest in this group, contact Pat or me.

Julie Tulang has agreed to continue as Service chair, and to support the concept of small acts of service — little things money-wise or time wise, that two or three of us can do in the name of Zonta.

Karolyn Lundkvist, our new UN committee chair, will give us a 2-minute update at each meeting on status of women and girls in the world.  If you run across some important news, please forward it to Karolyn. We’ll be posting her reports on our blog so if you miss a meeting, you won’t miss the update.

With concurrence of a majority of the board, we’ve nominated Mele Spencer, our area director, as a candidate for the nominating committee for District 9.

Jane M. Klausman Scholarship:Iʻve been asked to announce that Anna Hidano was selected. Thanks to Pat O’Toole and Debbie Shigehara who handled the review and selection. Hidano attended Hilo High School.  She was in the Business Education Partnership program.  She earned first place finishes in 2007 and 2008 High School Market Plan Competition, a statewide competition.  In college she is studying economics  with a double minor in business and Asian studies.  Her goal is to pursue graduate education in an international business field.    She says that eventually she would like to return to Hawaii to live, work and raise a family.

Lastly, Iʻd like to thank each and every one of you IN ADVANCE for saying yes. Saying yes to giving some of your time—we will try to keep it very reasonable—to helping change the lives of women and girls in our world.

Hilo Zontian Elected Area Director

Mele Spencer, Area Director

PRESS RELEASE — (Hilo, Hawaii—June 15, 2010)—Mele Spencer of Hilo was elected to the Zonta International – District 9 Board, covering Arizona, California, Hawaii, one city on the Mexican border, Nevada, and Utah.  Spencer will represent Hawaii’s six Zonta Clubs for 2010-2012.

Kathleen Nielsen, President of the Zonta Club of Hilo said Spencer follows “a long line of Hilo Zontians who have assumed duties at the district level.  Her leadership will insure the direct link between Zonta International, District 9 and the Hawaii Zonta Clubs.”

“In this austere time,” Spencer said,  “women and children are the most likely to be affected by economic turndown.  Zontians must focus resources on those in need and continue to advocate for them.”

Spencer and her spouse, Joseph, operate a plant and tree farm in Pana’ewa Hawaiian Homes Farm Lots.  She is the president of the Keaukaha Pana’ewa Farmers Association, and is a former program manager for USDA, Rural Development.  She has been a member of Zonta Club of Hilo for 12 years.

Zonta International and its local clubs advance the status of women around the world through service and advocacy.  Individual clubs develop local programs and priorities that are consistent with the overall goals of Zonta International.

The Zonta Club of Hilo provides four annual scholarships, participates in a variety of projects including support of robotic programs in our schools, Hale Ohana shelter, Weinberg Friends program and advocates on issues affecting women. This year the Hilo chapter is focusing on a Weinberg project at the Neighborhood Place of Puna, to help women in need.  The club is one of 1,200 clubs with 31,000 members worldwide in 67 countries and areas.

Zonta International is a recognized NGO with United Nation status and supports service projects in Rwanda, Guatemala, El Salvador and Liberia.  The organization raises more than $3 million annually to support international projects.

Membership is available to executives and professionals committed to advancing the status of women through service and advocacy.  Information on Zonta International and the Zonta Club of Hilo can be found on www.zonta.org or www.zontadistrict9.org, or calling Ellen Aoki, membership chair, at 808-959-9098.

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Zonta Hilo program set for Monday, June 14th

Contact your team leaders to sign up.  The new Zonta year will be active, with Membership a priority.  Mele Spencer is the new Area Director, so a spotlight will be on Zonta Hilo.  Congratulations, Mele!

For a printable PDF of the flyer, click here: zonta 0610programflyerF

Zonta Area 7 Workshop Focuses on Sustainability

Hanalei Zontians hosted this year's Area 7 workshop with Clubs from Oahu, Hawaii Island and Kauai participating.

The early March Area Workshop, hosted by The Zonta Club of Hanalei, was based on a sustainability theme.  Six Hilo Zontians attended: Janet Fujioka, Eleanor Hirano, Mele Spencer, Dawn Pung, Wilma Matsumura and Barbara Hastings.

Mele Spencer is the Area Director-Elect.

The Zonta Club of Hanalei website is www.zontaclubofhanalei.com

Well wishers fill Zonta Hilo’s event to honor Helene Hale

About 75 people attended the dinner to honor Helene Hale on United Nations International Women’s Day Monday (March 8, 2010.) For Hilo on a Monday, that’s proof of the fantastic draw that Ms. Hale, who will be 92 later this month, commands.  Zonta Club of Hilo organized the honor.

Hilo Zontians and Zonta District 9 Advocacy Chair Kolua Seiko (left of Hale.)

Mayor Billy Kenoi  spoke of her tireless (actually he said ‘indefatigable’) efforts to make the world a better place;  Elroy Osorio, who served with her as elected county officials,  said there are politicians and there are statesmen, and Helene Hale has always been a statesman.

Members of  the United Nations Association Chapter  that she started in Hawaii were on hand,  with members of the League of Women Voters of which she is a dedicated member.  Each organization, including the YWCA of Hawaii Island, spoke of Ms. Hale’s contributions.  She was the first woman executive in Hawaii government since Queen Liliuokalani; the first African American elected to office in Hawaii; she battled in the state Legislature for her Puna district. She went to Beijing in the ‘90s with the League of Women Voters to participate in the U.N. Forum on Women.

Zontians honored Ms. Hale with the Rose Award for her lifetime of service.  Zonta Club of Hilo is part of Zonta International whose mission is to advance the status of women worldwide.

Kolua Seiko, Zonta International’s District 9 Advocacy Chair, who works on Zonta’s and the UN’s initiatives to reach the world’s women, took part in honoring Ms. Hale.  Seiko was in Hawaii to address Zonta’s Area 7 Workshop on Kauai over the weekend and flew over to attend the Hilo event.

More photos:

Councilmember Dennis 'Fresh' Onishi was among those who spoke at the event.

Mayor Kenoi with Hale and RJ Hampton.

Flanking Hale are Zontians Dawn Pung, Julie Tulang, Jan Higashi, Karolyn Lundkvist, Mele Spencer and in back, Barbara Hastings. Pung is former Zonta Area 7 director, Spencer is director-elect and Tulang is a past district governor. Photos by Bo-Goran Lundkvist.

Helene Hale to receive Zonta Rose Award

Helene Hale, center, with Hilo Zontians Julie Tulang, left, and Mele Spencer, right.

HILO, HI, February 8, 2010 — In recognition of United Nations International Woman’s Day, the Zonta Club of Hilo will present its Rose Award to Helene Hale for her lifetime of service as an elected official representing Hawaii County.

Ms. Hale, 91, will receive the award at a dinner sponsored by the Zontians March 8, 5:30 p.m. at the Naniloa Hotel Sandalwood Room.

“Helene Hale epitomizes both the struggle and achievements we seek to emphasize,” said Hilo Zonta Club president, Kathleen Nielsen. “She holds a history of firsts and proves there are no boundaries for women.”

Ms. Hale came to the Big Island in 1947 and was elected to the Board of Supervisors (predecessor to the County Council) in 1955.  By 1962, she was elected Chairman, which was the equivalent of Mayor.  This made Hale the first woman to hold an executive office in Hawaii government since the reign of Queen Liliuokalani.

She was also the first African-American to hold elected office in Hawaii.

More recently, Ms. Hale is best remembered for her service in the state House of Representatives as a dogged legislator from the Puna district.  She’s been honored with the Pahoa School gymnasium being named after her, since she fought zealously to get it started, some 37 years after the state first promised it.

Ms. Hale is an avowed internationalist; she started the United Nations Association Chapter here and went to Beijing in the ‘90s with the League of Women Voters to participate in the U.N. Forum on Women.

“I’m basically an educator,” she said, and so was instrumental in the Model U.N. here.  While she is a committed Democrat, Ms. Hale gives Gov. Linda Lingle great credit for having an international outlook.

“Hawaii has something to offer the whole world,” she said. “The aloha spirit.  We could teach them an awful lot about how to get along.  That’s because of the Hawaiian culture.”

Ms. Hale said that women still have a long way to go.  “Back in the ‘20s, when we first got the vote, they said things would change;” except for pockets, they really haven’t, she said.

“The U.S. is one of the very few countries in the world” that hasn’t adopted a statement on equality for women, she said.  The U.S. is one of the few that hasn’t ratified the United Nations’ “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”

The dinner to honor Ms. Hale is open to the public, with reservations.  There is a $27 fee for dinner.  For information, contact Julie Tulang at jtulang@hawaii.rr.com or at 969-1601.

The Zonta Club of Hilo is part of Zonta International whose mission is to advance the status of women worldwide.  The Hilo Club does this through service, fundraising and fellowship.

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