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Zonta International is a leading global organization of individuals working together to build a better world for women and girls.


Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.

In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.

In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

Zonta Club of Hilo

The Zonta Club of Hilo envisions our island community as a place where women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.  Zonta Club of Hilo was founded on August 8, 1950 and is part of Area 1 (Hawai’i) in District 9 (which includes Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Nevada, and Utah) of Zonta International (founded in 1919).

We are proud to be part of Zonta International’s efforts to promote the health and welfare of women and girls across the globe.  Locally, we support programs and services that advance women and children.  We do this through direct service projects, advocacy, and contributions to local and global causes.  For our members, Zonta Club of Hilo provides opportunities to serve our community, broaden our knowledge base, and network among colleagues and friends through monthly membership meetings.  Guests are welcome!

President (to 5/31/25)
Julie Tulang

1st Vice President (to 5/31/25)
Laurie Higashi (Program Chair)

2nd Vice President (to 5/31/26)
Gabriella Cabanas (Membership Chair)

Secretary (to 5/31/25)
Ivory Quintal

Treasurer (to 5/31/26)
Julie Mitchell (Finance Chair)

Director (to 5/31/25)
Erlinda Bourcier (Service Chair)

Director (to 5/31/25)
Elena Cabatu (Advocacy Chair)

Director (to 5/31/26)
Katherine Yano (Scholarship Chair)


Advocacy Committee
Elena Cabatu, Chair
Barbara Hastings
Charlene Iboshi
D. Michiko Fried
Elyse Stevens
Heather Kimball
Jacquelyn Pualani Johnson
Liz Sump
Sonia Juvik
Sylvia Dolena

Finance Committee
Julie Mitchell, Chair
Julie Tulang
Wilma Matsumura

Fundraising Committee (Foundation)
Julie Tulang, Chair
Erlinda Bourcier
Janet Fujioka
Julie Mitchell

Membership Committee
Gabriella Cabanas, Chair
Camille Bourcier
Ivory Quintal
Jan Higashi
Marge Kanemitsu
Mele Spencer
Sonia Juvik

Nominating Committee
Jan Higashi (to 5/31/25), 2023-2024 Chair (chair elected annually by committee)
Jessica Gauthier (to 5/31/25)
Micki O’Brien (to 5/31/26)

Program Committee
Laurie Higashi, Chair
Charlene Iboshi
Jan Higashi
Mele Spencer
Micki O’Brien
Nina Buchanan
Wendy Botelho

Scholarship Committee
Katherine Yano, Chair
Nina Buchanan
Janet Fujioka
Laurie Higashi
Wilma Matsumura
Syleste Williams

Service Committee
Erlinda Bourcier, Chair
Amy Iwamoto
Beth Timbal
Charlene Iboshi
Deb Lewis
Eleanor Hirano
Elyse Robinson
Gayle Lingua
Ivory Quintal
Jan Haraguchi-Abundo
Janet Fujioka
Jessica Gauthier
Julie Mitchell
Julie Tulang
Kimi Palacio
Malvene Lewis
May Richard
Nina Buchanan
Susan Collins
Sylvia Dolena
Trillium Simington


Bylaws Committee
Julie Tulang, Chair
Julie Mitchell
Wilma Matsumura

Pay It Forward Committee
Susan Collins, Chair
Jan Higashi
Jessica Gauthier
Laurie Higashi
Wilma Matsumura

1950-1951 Wilma Breland
1951-1952 Elizabeth Frendo
1952-1953 Eunice Graham
1953-1954 Pearl Hageman Welsh
1954-1955 Harriet Slater
1955-1957 Miriam Kemmerer
1957-1958 Jo Edwards
1958-1959 Frances DeSilva
1959-1960 Emma Yamada
1960-1961 Dorothy Hill
1961-1962 Muriel Isherwood
1962-1963 Evelyn Burke / Myrtle Ward
1963-1965 Gladys Bowell
1965-1966 Dorothy Hill
1966-1967 Dorothy Sawyer
1967-1969 Betty Jo Thompson
1969-1971 Frances Sherrard
1971-1975 Sets Yokoyama
1975-1977 Janet Fujioka
1977-1979 Ethel Yoshimasu
1979-1981 Lily Chow
1981-1983 Sharon Scheele
1983-1985 Amy Iwamoto
1985-1987 Sue Iwashita
1987-1989 Juliette Tulang
1989-1991 Joann McCabe
1991-1993 Ethel Yoshimasu
1993-1995 Wilma Matsumura
1995-1997 Sandra Collins
1997-1999 Elaine Sugai
1999-2003 Lily Inouye
2003-2005 Dawn Pung
2005-2007 Mele Spencer
2007-2009 Patricia O’Toole
2009-2011 Kathleen Nielsen
2011-2013 Barbara A. Hastings
2013-2017 Tonya Ozone
2017-2019 Ashley Kierkeirwicz
2019-2021 Elyse Robinson
2021-2023 Julie Engelhardt

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