HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The YWCA is once again honoring women leaders in Hawaii at their annual luncheon next week.
Catherine Ngo is one of the four being recognized.
Ngo is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Central Pacific Bank.
She came to Hawaii with her husband in 2010, to work with Chief Executive Officer, John Dean. They previously worked together at a bank in California.
At that time, Central Pacific Bank was in a deep financial crisis, with losses close to $300M.
With the duo at the helm, Hawaii's fourth largest bank climbed it's way back.
"For any organization, the rough times, those challenging times, are actually the times that bring the team together," Ngo says.
Ngo took over as CEO when John Dean moved to executive chair.
She didn't have much banking experience, Ngo was a lawyer for financial institutions so actually running a bank came with a learning curve.
"She rolls up her sleeves and absorbs everything of the operation. Banking is a very complex business and she has no problem getting involved at the working level to really understand what's going on," says Wayne Kirihara, the Chief Marketing Officer of CPB and the one who nominated Ngo for the YWCA honor.
Kirihara has been with CPB for 28 years. He says in the tumultuous years, Ngo was able to pull the team together...
"During the good times, you tend to take those things for granted but you really saw the strength of those relationships when times were tough," Kirihara says.
Ngo says the team is stronger because of the battle back from hardship.
When she's not managing the staff of almost 900 employees, Ngo is on the water, paddle boarding at Ala Moana with friends.