YWCA of Oahu Honoree: Donna Tanoue

YWCA of Oahu Honoree: Donna Tanoue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Many think of her as "the mayor's wife," but after you hear about Donna Tanoue's accomplishments, you'll realize she is so much more.

Bank of Hawaii Foundation president Donna Tanoue has helped to raise millions of dollars for local nonprofits.

She says the key is having fun.

"Our team is much more engaged when things are fun. we can work really hard and have fun at the same time," Tanoue said. "And there's greater collegiality, comradery and a greater outcome ultimately."

Tanoue helped launch the live kokua community walk and the employee giving campaign, which has been wildly successful.

She is also a vice chair at the Bank of Hawaii, but doesn't forget her humble beginnings at Dole Cannery.

"I think I was 16 and it was my first job," Tanoue said. "I was working in the cafeteria making food and serving it."

After graduating from UH and then Georgetown Law, she worked her way up to a huge, national job: Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which required Senate confirmation.

Despite the intimidating hearing, she got a confidence boost with the backing of a political powerhouse, Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka.

Her husband, current Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, was also at the hearing with her 3-year-old daughter Maya.

As FDIC chair, Tanoue navigated the country through 'Y2K,' the fear that computers would crash in the year 2000.

President of PBS Hawaii, Leslie Wilcox says Tanoue is the perfect person for a crisis.

"I'm sure she had very high level financial questions and then crazy conspiracy questions and she's that calm temperament that treats everyone with respect," Wilcox said.

Tanoue herself has gained the respect of this community and now, the title of one of YWCA's Women Leaders of the Year.

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