What if you thought you heard your name being called as the winner of an award---but when you stepped up to receive it, it turned out you'd heard wrong?
Fortunately, that did not happen! But it did cross my mind at the Pacific Business News Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Emcee Kim Gennaula speaks clearly and that was my name, all right.
My fellow PBS Hawaii staffers and Board members in attendance said I looked quite stunned. You bet. There were nine other finalists, all strong leaders whom I personally admire. My award was in the nonprofit sector. The general manager of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Kelly Hoen, won in the for-profit division.
It was a fun evening, beginning with the ride there. I'd never driven a huge van, but found myself doing just that in heavy traffic with a half-dozen co-workers. They lost no time in imitating the annoying pig passenger in the TV commercial: "Weeeeeee....weeeeee." It was pretty funny, including the end of the ride when we pulled up to the elegant Royal Hawaiian valet station among all of the gleaming Lexuses and Mercedes coupes and handed over the key to our big scuffed workhorse. The Monarch Room was sold out, with more than 450 people attending.
Another fun thing was hearing short bios of finalists in all three categories, including 25 top women-owned businesses, and being amazed at the achievement levels. Gerri Hayes of Oahu parlaying office furniture to a $37 million a year biz? Wow! Maui women also were doing especially well. It was a whole evening of feeling proud that women are contributing to the economy and to good causes, helping to create and sustain jobs and forward movement. Thank you to PBN and the executive women judges, and congratulations to all of the finalists and their supporters!