Stories & articles of our work & our people
Published in Samoa Observer
By Ivamere Nataro, 23 November 2018
Reconnecting Samoan women leaders to their core values and culture was the focus of a one-day Indigenous Women in Leadership workshop.
Organised by the RISE2025 team, the event was held at the Taumeasina Island Resort.
RISE2025 was led by its founder, Maori businesswoman Rachel Petero and facilitated by Apulu Tu’u’u Mary Kalala Autagavaia.
The workshop focused on three key areas: setting up for success, understanding the value of values, and planning for success.
“Culture is from God,” said Apulu.
“Being Samoan and not being apologetic about it means finding that space in business and in leadership to bring our culture into it.
Remembering the strong women in our lineage, who were the paramount leaders of Samoa, was the first step towards framing leadership through an indigenous lens that is unique to Samoan culture.
“One of things that our colonial experience has done is that it has made us not remember the things that we ought to remember, and to remember women like Nafanua,” she said.
“We have to remember the Salamasinas, we have to remember the Lupefofoaivaoeses. We have to remember Nafanua, who collected the power but then also re-distributed the power. Think about your mothers, think about your grandmothers.”
President and C.E.O. of Samoa Stationery and Books, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, delivered a speech about honour and faith based leadership.
For Tofilau, being the sole shareholder and director of a company is not for the faint hearted, as she had to step up and not be wavered from her core principles and values, despite the challenges.
In this respect, Tofilau told the gathering of five leadership principles she applies to her life and work as well as the common pitfalls that leaders should avoid.
“The famous American football coach Vince Lombardi once said that ‘Leaders are made, they are not born’. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
Tofilau said she is unapologetic about her faith-based leadership, which places God at the top followed by her uncompromised view that true leadership begins by honouring authority.
“Another reason you need to honour authority is so that when you are ready to be a full-fledged leader; you will then receive all God’s blessings. Why? Because God saw that you honoured his appointed leader.”
The workshop concluded with presentations of certificates for the women who participated followed by a dinner featuring guest speaker from United Nations Women, Papalii Mele Mauala.
The workshop was held in partnership with the Samoa Business Network.
Published by Samoa Observer
By Ivamere Nataro, 18 November 2018
Put Samoa first.
That’s the message from the Samoa Business Network (S.B.N.) Samoa chairperson, Afamasaga Jackie Curry.
She was speaking during the closing of the S.B.N. Business trip at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on Thursday, where she challenged local businesses and government officials—to extend the same enthusiasm they give to foreign investors, funders and partnerships—to Samoans here and overseas.
“Lay out the red carpet for our people,” Afamasaga said.
“For so long growing up in Samoa I’ve seen the way that sometimes out of respect we lay out the red carpet for others like our foreign investors, foreign partners and funders that come in. Why can’t we lay out the red carpet for our people when they come home?
“I have seen and heard stories especially from young professionals who return home that say they have come across barriers from our own people.
“Many of our people in business and leadership roles here, already have preconceived ideas of our returning Samoans, they think ‘they know it all, they have everything over there, who are they to come over here and start something’.”
Afamasaga challenged S.B.N. members and non-members to open their doors to the plethora of highly educated, skilled and experienced Samoans who want to come home.
“We have so many skilled Samoan consultants, academics, all over the world who want to come home and contribute. They can deliver projects that are currently being developed here in Samoa.
“When a young passionate Samoan person comes home and knocks on your door because they want to invest and collaborate in business or want to make a difference in Samoa, please give them the same opportunity given to foreign investors and businesses because you know what, those passionate Samoans returning home with a vision to contribute to the motherland will go above and beyond for our country.”
Prior to the closing dinner, a mini expo was held at the hotel featuring local products and services from government ministries, businesses, and N.G.Os. It was followed by a series of site visits where the New Zealand delegation visited the Samoa Research Organisation of Samoa, the Cable Depot, Sleepwell and Samoa Stationery and Books.
Day 2: Mini showcase, workshop with Sione Faumuina & site visits
Published by Samoa Observer
By Ivamere Nataro , 16 November 2018
Small medium enterprises (S.M.E) in Samoa represent 88.27 per cent of all enterprises, which indicates the vital role such businesses play in developing Samoa’s economy.
This is according to Samoa Business Network (S.B.N.) New Zealand Chairperson, Laura Keil-Hall, who was in Samoa for the S.B.N. Business Trip earlier this week.
Ms. Keil-Hall acknowledged the vital role micro, small and medium businesses play in a healthy economy.
Referring to the S.B.N. Business awards held earlier in September, Ms. Keil-Hall reminded the gathering the importance of acknowledging the resilience, perseverance, creativity and ingenuity of Samoan businesses owners in Samoa and across the globe.
“We all appreciate the fundamental role small businesses play in supporting a vibrant and strong economy. In New Zealand, small medium enterprises represent 97 per cent of all enterprises,” she said.
“Here in Samoa the figure is 88.27 per cent, which reaffirms a few things for many of us. One is the vital role of S.M.E. to our ongoing economic development. Secondly is the need for our peoples to work together to celebrate and support Samoan entrepreneurial excellence.”
The emphasis on having strong relationships between Government and the private sector were highlighted in the first session of the Business Mission.
Representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade came to the table with presentations focused on government policies that enable investment environments that are conducive to business and trade.
The potential of the Tui Samoa Cable was widely discussed and what it meant for businesses present in providing reliable and efficient access to businesses wishing to promote/sell their products.
Co-founder of WE Accounting and Business Services, Eli Tagi shared their vision for growing authentic businesses, and explicitly stated their company’s intentions of setting up business in Samoa, with an eye on forming partnerships and participating in community development.
The event closed on Thursday with a dinner at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. On Friday, members of the New Zealand business delegation had one on one business meetings with stakeholders and local business leaders which were facilitated by the Samoa Business Network.
Day 1: Business Forum & Welcome Cocktail function
11/14/2018 0 Comments
Vice Chairwoman for American Samoa Chamber of Commerce
Luisa is the newly appointed Vice Chairwoman of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce.
Professional Expertise and Consulting Experience
Louise “Luisa” Kuaea, MBA is a highly skilled professional with 25 successful years of global management, marketing, and business development experience. Her expertise in building and profitably growing franchises while balancing the interests of shareholders is what makes her a tremendously valuable consultant in the business and non-profit communities.
Luisa is a connector. She has the extraordinary ability to elicit trust from people of disparate backgrounds, to collaborate effectively, and to bring out their best for the betterment of the organization.
As the daughter of emigrant parents (Nora Letuligasenoa of ili’ili, American Samoa, and Aomalo Fatu Su’esu’e of Utulei and Aua, American Samoa), Luisa cherishes her distinct but complementary Samoan, American, and Christian heritages. Luisa was born in Oakland, CA (USA) but grew up with her eight siblings primarily in the housing projects of Alameda, CA. Luisa’s family life and neighborhood experiences led to the development of her adept interpersonal skills. Her happy childhood/youth allowed her to excel in academics and athletics. Her strong support system gave her the confidence and courage to pursue her interests.
In addition to her years of experience as a business professional, Luisa also worked as a Corrections Officer for the City of Hayward, CA (1997) and later a Police Officer for the City of Alameda (2007), where she also shouldered the responsibilities of a School Resource Officer and the Alameda Housing Liaison Officer. After several years of professional work across multiple careers, Luisa returned to college as a non-traditional student to pursue higher education. She graduated with Honors from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a B.S. in Family Studies (2013) and an M.B.A. from BYU’s Marriott School of Business (2015). Of all the responsibilities Luisa has fulfilled, she considers her roles as a wife and mother to be the most important and gratifying. Luisa views her 25 years of marriage to her husband Kenneth as the most soul-satisfying experience of her life. Together they have raised a precocious and beautiful daughter and enjoy living in American Samoa.
Sr. Marketing Manager, Target Corporation; Hayward, CA; 1999—2004
Brigham Young University • MBA 2015
Brigham Young University • BS Family Studies 2013
UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education • Product Manager Certificate 2006 Alameda County Sheriff’s Office • POST Certification 2007
Chairman • BYU Alumni American Samoa 2017
UC Chairman • Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition 2015
Board Member • Utah Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Coalition 2014 Patient Ambassador • Dialysis Patient Citizens Education Center 2014 Board Member • SLC Pacific Islander Business Alliance 2014
Youth Mentor • Utah State Hospital 2012-2013
Stake Young Women President • San Leandro Stake LDS Church 2007-2010 Stake Relief Society Counselor • San Leandro Stake LDS Church 2003-2004 Primary President • Oakland 8th Ward LDS Church 1999-2002
Retailer of the Year 2003 by License Magazine
Above and Beyond Marketing Award 2004 by Target Corporation Guidon 2008 by Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Police 140th Academy Marketing Excellence 2016 by CR BARD
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