American Business Women’s Association ~ Ulupono Charter Chapter rebuilds

Pictured: Sherry Goode, ABWA Imua Chapter President and Amanda Zamora-Matsuura, Vice President.

This evening held a memorable turn of events for me.

In August ’11, I was installed as president of the Ulupono Charter Chapter for the American Business Woman’s Assoc. (ABWA).  The membership had steadily dwindled over the years and I was left with a group of woman who were either burnt out or too busy to be active members (with the exception of a few, supportive members!).  I was without a Vice President and a Secretary.

For the past few months I have tried to encourage, persuade, entice, almost bribe the members back into action, but without much luck.  My steam was running out, without support I wasn’t moving forward.  I was ready to throw in the towel.

There are seven ABWA Chapters in Hawaii, Ulupono Chapter is now the smallest (on the Windward side of the island, based in Kaneohe), the second smallest is the Imua Chapter in Honolulu.  The Imua Chapter’s president, Sherry Goode, and I decided to join forces for this month’s chapter meeting.

It was held at the Kapa Café, 2810 Pa’a Street, St. 1A, Honolulu, HI 96819.  Not only does this little café have great food, but it also is full of interesting items to purchase, shelves full of bulk teas and an atmosphere of aloha spirit.  The prices were reasonable, the food quality is exceptional and you will feel like part of the family.  (I had tuna salad on taro rolls ~ for those people that aren’t familiar with taro ~  it is made with poi, a local food. (food)).   The Kapa Café rents their space for small business functions at affordable prices, thus the reason we were there.

I was asked to be the guest speaker… on marketing.  Well, I am not a marketing professional, but through many mistakes, I have learned some lessons, so I thought, why not, I will share my blunders and learning experience.  It also gave me a platform to promote my photography business, address some ABWA issues and suggest ways that could help the members by establishing a stronger networking system.

As I spoke, my worries about public speaking were forgotten.  (All that fretting and worrying for nothing.) I was just talking to a group of women about things I cared about, my photography, my marketing ideas and about the American Business Women’s Association.  Although I was standing in front of the group and everyone was listening to me, I was okay.  I felt confident.  (Well, there was just one moment after I finished a topic when I wasn’t sure how to continue, but it was only for a few moments that I said to myself; think, think, continue with…)  Honestly, I am so proud of myself.  Silly to most people, but an accomplishment to myself, nevertheless.

The women applauded, asked me questions and seemed pleased with my ‘performance’. Yes!

But, the best part of the evening was when two members of the Ulupono Charter Chapter offered their commitment to join the officer’s board.  I now have a Vice President and a Secretary!  I now have a team of players all on the same page, ready to move forward, ready to make changes, ready to put in the time and effort to rebuild, reshape, and reestablish the groundwork for the Ulupono Charter Chapter.  This is fantastic news.

The Ulupono Charter Chapter is ready to move forward with the mission statement of the national headquarters.   We will live up to the national standards, actually go beyond expectations, because it will benefit us as a group, but also individually, as we grow; personally and professionally.  Yes. I believe in this.  We are women, after all!  We can do anything we set our minds to, especially in group force!

This is going to be fun!  The possibilities are endless as to what we can achieve.  I invite you… women, (you don’t have to be a business owner), to join our team as we create a strong foundation.  Give me a call if you would like to talk more about… ABWA, my photography or my marketing strategies or the lack thereof.

Who knows, I may consider becoming a professional guest speaker, ha, now that would be an unbelievable role for me!

The Mission of the American Business Women’s Association is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.

Ulupono Charter Chapter, PO Box 419, Kaneohe, Hawaii  ~  Donna Welch, President, 2011/2012

If you would like more information about the national organization for the American Business Women’s Assoc. the website is:

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for listening to the events of my evening.


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