The Goodwill GLAM! Squad

Meet Ken Leung, Director of Retail Sales at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii. He’s been at Goodwill  since August, 2002, and worked as a store manager and has held various positions within the organization leading up to his current title –  Director of Retail Sales.

When he’s not at work he enjoys Karate, traveling with his family and spending time with his dog.

Here is Ken’s article:

Last year, Goodwill Industries of Hawaii held the inaugural public awareness event titled Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! The event was a success and much of that success was due to the volunteers.  Volunteers clocked in more than 3000 hours in support of the event-week. To learn more about the successful results of Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! click here.

You never know where volunteering will lead you. Take for instance Olotania Alalamua.  He’s a student at Honolulu Community College and is part of the Fashion Technology program.  He started with us as a volunteer production worker because he had an eye for identifying brand named and vintage items to support the inventory goals for the GLAM! event.  Because of his good attitute and hard work, his time as a Goodwill GLAM! Squad volunteer has transitioned into a job. He is a part-time worker at Goodwill and he is learning about the production process before items reach the retail stores.

Olotania Alalamua – from Goodwill GLAM! Squad volunteer to Goodwill employee

Here are a few facts about the Goodwill GLAM! Squad and information about how you could join the squad of volunteers: The Goodwill GLAM! Squad provides opportunities for volunteers to showcase their talent while supporting a good cause.

Goodwill GLAM! Squad members modeling at the Discover Kakaako fashion show: Keala Patterson, Uthpala Walpola and Rebecca Lin


Are You A Fan Of Goodwill, Food, Fun and Fashion? if so, consider volunteering at our next event:

Click here to register to volunteer at a future event.

The Goodwill GLAM! Squad shares information about Goodwill’s mission and community impact and also provides event support for the Discover Kakaako activities. 


Career Ready To Wear – Glam Spotlight

Career Ready look: Forever 21 ruffle jacket, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West heels, authentic Coach mini travel tote

Your clothing reflects your attitude, it is yet another form of communication.  Your attire speaks volumes.  It’s not about how much you spend on an outfit, but the thought (or lack of thought) that goes behind it.  First impressions are critical, especially in a job-interview setting.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii empowers people to become job-ready through a number of Human Service programs.  Goodwill’s mission is helping people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.  After becoming job-ready through skill building and education, Goodwill’s retail stores is a great resource for people who are looking for an interview worthy outfit from H2T = head to toe.

Rosemy Shikiko is a fine example of someone who is on the road to becoming job-ready as a result of a Goodwill – she’s part of the Ola I Ka Hana program.  This program provides out-of-school youth-at-risk ages 14 to 21 with education, training and employment services necessary to increase educational skills, social skills, life skills, vocational skills, social responsibility, health competencies, and basic math and reading skills.  Youth program participants learn healthy, productive behaviors which help their transition to adulthood.  Youth are also able to further their educational goals and obtain a high school diploma.  The Dress For Success program has provided valuable services for a number of Goodwill’s participants, helping them with professional dress attire.

Hawai News Now will be featuring a Goodwill Spotlight segment on the Sunrise morning show from March – August 2012.  This month’s segment featured Misti Pali, Assistant Director of Employment Services who talked about the VITA Tax Clinic (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) that offers free tax preparation services for individuals and families making under 50K annually.  Rosemy was featured as a VITA Tax Clinic volunteer and Career Ready make-over recipient.  GLAM! Squad member and fashion expert, Rene Rodriguez did Rosemy’s hair, make-up and styling for the segment and helped to create the compelling before and after make-over for the segment.  Her entire look and the ensemble on the mannequin came from the Goodwill store in Kaimuki and can be found at this summer’s monumental event - Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM!

A before and after transformation on Hawaii News Now

Be sure to tune-in to Hawaii News Now and watch the Goodwill Spotlight each month on Sunrise in the mornings.


Call For Talent – for a Good Cause

If you’ve ever dreamt of being a part of an event that brings together retail, fashion, production, media, promotion and manpower, all for a Good cause, then this Satuday’s CALL FOR TALENT could lead you there.

Jessica Hoffman, Rene Rodriguez, Allie Lee and Kyle Kagamida - Glam Squad members photo by Richard Higashide

You are cordially invited to come and share your talent with Goodwill Industries of Hawaii.  They’re holding a CALL FOR TALENT.  It’s a Volunteer Talent and Recruitment Event that supports this summer’s inaugural event –

Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM!

Talent Showcase & Treasure Marketplace

  • What: Call For Talent Volunteer
  • When: Saturday, February 25, 2012 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Where: Ward Warehouse – 2nd Floor at the Kakaako Conference Room

Volunteers are a very important component of their GLAM event. They could use your talent as a volunteer in these areas; retail: Visual merchandising, production, in-store pulling, fashion: modeling, styling, hair & make-up support, promotion, manpower, social media and more.

This public awareness event will help to further their non-profit mission – helping people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

To officially sign up or learn more about the event visit our website at and click on to Call For Talent Volunteer. Be sure to visit the GoodwillHawaii page on Facebook, then click events and show your support by “joining” this event.

There will also be Special offers for Kamaaina Rewards members at the Call For Talent at Ward Centers:

  • 22 participating shops and restaurants
  • First 100 shoppers who present $76 or more in Ward receipts dated Feb 25th from 10 am to 3 pm will receive one free Screensaver movie ticket. Restrictions may apply.
  • Visit and click on Call For Talent for more information


About Goodwill Goes GLAM! August 23-26, 2012:

The inaugural Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! Talent Showcase & Treasure Marketplace begins with an exclusive Goodwill Goes GLAM! Kick Off including a Gala dinner, Fashion Show and exclusive Pre-sale access.  This will set the stage for an unprecedented marketplace of more than 20,000 square feet of glamour and vintage items donated by retail partners and collected from Goodwill stores to support the nonprofit mission.

This major shopping and fashion event will spotlight Hawaii’s style industry and contribute to job-creation, while empowering attendees to learn more about Goodwill’s educational, employment and training programs. Interactive daily activities will showcase job talent, and “green” career pathways specific to Hawaii’s fashion, retail and style industries.

The Goodwill of Kona

The Goodwill Hunter welcomes guest bloggers – Cathy Thunell and Ken Leung.  Cathy started at Goodwill in October, 2008 as the Senior Store Manager at the Hilo location. She thoroughly enjoys working with all of the Goodwill family members and seeing how they’re impacting the community by providing reasonably priced goods and textiles to all that shop at Goodwill.

Ken joined the Goodwill organization in 2002 as the Store Manager of the Beretania location. In subsequent years, he’s managed the store in Kaimuki, then became the Operations Manager, and Redemption Manager. In 2010, he was promoted to Director of Retail Sales.

Here’s the blog write-up by Cathy Thunell and Ken Leung:

We are excited to have a store in Kona after many years in the planning stage. The Kona Goodwill store is centrally located on Kanalani street, just down the road from Home Depot (next to Tesoro) at 74-4786 Kanalani St. in the Kaloko Industrial Park, near Costco. Store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. With over 5,000 square feet of sales floor space, customers in Kona are now finally able to find great values in one of our Goodwill Stores. With this second store on Hawaii Island, we are able to expand our presence and the money generated will be used to further our mission to help people with employment barriers find jobs and gain financial independence.

So many members of our Goodwill family were involved in opening the Kona Store. Starting with the maintenance team – they did a phenomenal job in a very short period of time.  Next, there was the IT team that worked hard at insuring the Kona store computers and the POS system were up and running on opening day.  A big-shout out to Norine Gasilos, manager of the Pearl Store and Eunice Sim for all of the hard work they did to insure everything was in place and stocked prior to the opening of the store. And we will not forget all of the hard work and planning provided by the newest members of our team, Stirling Conrad, Gerry Colyn and Michelle Germond – the Kona store management team. They worked diligently at preparing the store for the opening.

This store, in combination with our existing Hilo store, will give residents on both sides of the island an opportunity to save money and donate their items. More importantly, the new store will create job opportunities and provide job training to area residents.

Donations help strengthen the community by supporting Goodwill’s job training and placement programs, as well as help to make a healthier planet through recycling and reusing items and reducing what is going into Hawaii’s landfills.

The soft-opening of the store was on November 4, 2011 where we saw a steady stream of excited customers. There were numerous comments made by our customers as to how happy they were that we are in Kona now and that there is such a large need within the community for a store such as ours.  Some of the customers stated that they would no longer need to make the long drive to Hilo to find bargains – they only had to go down the street to shop in Kona now.

President/CEO Laura Robertson Smith (pictured left) and the team including VP of Business Operations, Ryan Kusumoto.

We were honored to have our President/CEO, Laura Robertson Smith and our new VP of Business Operations, Ryan Kusumoto stop by to visit the Kona Store on opening day. They seemed happy with all of the work we had done and were impressed by the amount of customers present while they were at the store. All went well throughout the day and we finished day-one with a very satisfied and proud team.

The public Grand Opening of the Kona Goodwill Store is officially on Saturday, December 3, 2011. located at 74-4786 Kanalani St. in the Kaloko Industrial Park, near Costco. Store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Visit for more information and to subscribe to the Goodwill Works! email newsletter. Information is also available via 836-9675, [email protected], @GoodwillHawaii on Twitter, and Goodwill Industries of Hawaii on Facebook.

We wish to thank everyone involved who helped us with the opening of this new store and we welcome all of you to stop by and check out the Goodwill of Kona.

Hawaii Fashion Incubator Finds a Home

The Hawaii Fashion Incubator (Hifi) is an organization dedicated to promoting Hawaii fashion as art and industry.  Co-founders Toby Portner and Melissa May White envisioned it as a hub where members of the community can interact, collaborate, and collectively drive the local fashion industry forward, drawing inspiration from fashion incubators elsewhere (Toronto, Los Angeles, New Zealand).

Co-Founders Toby Portner and Melissa May White

They’re an all-volunteer organization that has a web-based membership program for fashion professionals and enthusiasts.  Hifi has been active since 2006, and over the years they’ve produced dozens of fashion events and partnered with groups like Neiman Marcus, Ala Moana Center, 8 Inc, Aloha Tower, and Hawaii RED Magazine.  Their biggest event was their pop-up incubator at Ala Moana earlier this year, the spot served as a local design boutique and hosted 25 fashion events over a 10 day period. They had thousands of visitors and extensive press in nearly every major local media outlet.  Most importantly, the pop-up provided a successful test run for a permanent incubator, demonstrating how a physical space can truly bring the community together.

Hifi Pop-up - 2010 - Amanda Ross - Founder of The Bella Project - with a happy mom & daughter - prom ready

Their long-held goal of a permanent fashion incubator (Hawaii’s first) was realized earlier this month when Hifi signed the lease on a space in Ward Warehouse.  Centrally located in a prime retail district, the space will act as a headquarters for all things Hawaii fashion.  Over the coming months, they’ll develop the space into a hub that showcases the work of local designers, provides a place for connection and collaboration, and hosts a wide variety of events, workshops, and classes for all ages.  This physical fashion incubator serves as a key milestone in their vision of resurrecting Made in Hawaii manufacturing and elevating Hawaii’s place on the international fashion map.

Sarah Tenney - Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, V. P. of Marketing, Communications & Development

To create a fashion incubator that recognizes the need for input and engagement from their members and the community, they’ve formed an Advisory Board of business and industry leaders.  One person who has graciously accepted their invitation is Sarah TenneyGoodwill Industries of Hawaii’s VP of Marketing, Communications and Development. The co-founders shared that Sarah will be a great addition to the advisory board.  Goodwill’s mission is helping people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.  Hifi’s mission is to inspire, promote, and sustain an integrated fashion community in Hawai‘i – providing guidance and resources and linking local talent with the global marketplace.

Both organizations align in many ways – empowering talent and stimulating the job market.  Hifi sees Goodwill as an excellent eco-fashion resource to promote environmentally responsible fashion and keep usable materials out of landfills.  Melissa and Toby are excited to work with Sarah as she’s expressed her support for Hifi’s goals to promote a diverse fashion industry, encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship, and share networks and resources.

If the incubator is successful, over the coming years they expect to see greater job opportunities for fashion graduates, a proliferation of successful local designers and fashion businesses, more viable options and skilled labor for Made in Hawaii manufacturing, a stronger and more cohesive sense of community around fashion, and an increased awareness of the “brand” of Hawaii fashion both nationally and internationally.

The Hifi team is thrilled to start playing in their Open Studio!  They encourage everyone to drop by this Saturday to see the space in its raw form. Share your ideas, hear our plans and figure out how you plug-in. They’ll have a few sewing machines set up all day, so feel free to bring Halloween costume components and start making your own. Your kids are welcomed.  Get your costume elements at Goodwill and add your fininshing touches at Hifi.

You know that Goodwill Industries of Hawaii  is sponsoring a Glam & Ghouls Costume Contest this year. If you use at least one item purchased at Goodwill to make your costume, you can submit a picture and perhaps win a year’s supply of shopping at Goodwill!  See details here.

So stop by Goodwill on your way over and let the creative juices flow in Hifi’s Open Studio. The fun is just beginning.