Elvis movie sweetheart earns YWCA Leader Award in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Elvis movie sweetheart earns YWCA Leader Award in Hawaii

By Tannya Joaquin - bio | email 

HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) - Today's YWCA leader honoree is well-known in Hawaii.  She's a former first lady, the president of a booming laundry business and a role model to young women statewide.  However, that's just part of Vicky Cayetano's story.

"I always wanted to be a business person, even as a kid", Cayetano admits.

Vicky Cayetano was a born leader.  From an early age, she'd rope her brothers & sisters into projects like painting the house. 

"I'd always tell them this is a real easy project", she said.  "You can do it. Then they'd find themselves a week into it. What did we sign up for?"

No hard feelings, though.  One of Vicky's sisters nominated her for the YWCA leader award.  Vicky met her match in Governor Ben Cayetano.

Listen to his family's description of a young Ben:  "They said he was never the tall kid, but he was always the bossy one telling us what to do", Vicky Cayetano related.

Long before Vicky was Hawaii's first lady, she was leading lady to "The King".  She was Elvis Presley's co-star in the movie "It Happened at the World's Fair".

Cayetano explains, "That experience about 3 months being away from family really taught me a lot about discipline. Had to get up early and learn my lines".

Even at 6 and ½ years old, she was a scene stealer.

But acting was not her true calling. 

"I missed my family.  I didn't see myself doing this forever", she elaborated.  "So I'm doing laundry.  Lots of it."

United Laundry processes 19-thousand pounds of laundry an hour.  That's 60 million pounds of laundry per year.

The Stanford graduate credits her upbringing for her success.  It's interesting growing up in a big family.  I think you learn a lot of interesting skill sets such as negotiating for everything. Even to get to use the bathroom.  I always say the oldest child commands respect. The youngest demands it and me, the middle, we have to earn the respect.

Vicky has earned respect as a hands on boss with a heart.

"Oh, she definitely digs in wherever help is needed. Wherever things need to get done.  She doesn't always put the bottom line as the priority."

"I believe in candor, compassion and giving them a sense of pride in everything that they do", Cayetano stated.

For Vicky, the YWCA leader award is an honor because it's a symbol of sisterhood.

While laundry is a long way away from her glamorous gig with Elvis, she would have it no other way.

All 5 nominees will be recognized on Wednesday – June 8th, 2011 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.


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