Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sacred Hearts Academy 2014 Scholarship Fund Gala

This annual gala is the main source of funding for the Sacred Hearts Academy. The event takes place at the Sheraton Waikiki on Friday, October 17, 2014. Guests will begin arriving at 5:30 PM and will have the opportunity to view and bid on silent auction items. There will also be a raffle with multiple prizes. Dinner is served at 6:30 PM along with entertainment and a program that will feature this year's Distinguished Alumnae: Geri-Ann Baptista, ’86; Paula Hee Ng, ’78; Faith Rivera, ’89; Alethea Au Seto, ’80; Margaret Mary Kula Stafford, ’52 and Mona Chang Vierra, ’62. 

The Distinguished Alumnae

Geri-Ann Baptista, '86 
Geri-Ann Baptista began her professional life working in various Honolulu media outlets before moving to Seattle in 1991 to study for a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law. Already holding a Bachelor's Degree in American Studies and Journalism from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM), Baptista practiced corporate litigation and was a trial attorney in both Washington and Hawai'i for 10 years. She now provides strategic public relations counsel to top corporations and non-profit organizations. Baptista is especially devoted to developing and managing social responsibility and citizenship initiatives. 

Baptista and her husband Jason Allan have three sons, Carter, Jace and Mateo, and the family continues to reside in Seattle.

Paula Hee Ng, '78 
Growing up with parents who believed in the value of a Catholic education, it was only natural that Paula Hee Ng and her two younger sisters, Diane, '79, and Theresa, '81, attended the Academy. And, the family's Academy tradition continued with Ng's daughter, Amanda, who graduated in 2012, and her nieces, Candace Nakanishi, '04, and Victoria Hee, '11. Ng attended Creighton University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy, and working as a retail pharmacist and is currently employed at Pharmacare Hawai'i.

Ng and her husband, Dennis, who is a doctor of pharmacy, also have two sons, Daniel and Loren.

Alethea Au Seto, '80 
With 12 years of Catholic education "roots," it was only natural that Alethea Au Seto, '80, would send her daughters Alexandra, '15, and Samantha, '18, to the Academy.

After graduating from the Academy, Seto began her 30-plus year career in the financial industry with First Interstate Bank (FIB) of Hawai'i in the mid-1980's. Her experience includes tenures with FIB in California and Wells Fargo before she joined First Hawaiian Bank (FHB), where she currently works.  At FHB, Seto has worked in numerous departments and currently is senior vice president and division manager of the bank's Sales, Service and Retail Training Division.

Seto resides in Hawai'i Kai with her husband Scott and their two daughters and son Jacob; her oldest son Joshua lives on the mainland.

Faith Rivera, '89 
Born on Kauai, Faith Rivera, '89, enrolled at the Academy in 1976, and it was during her high school years that she began to inspire others through her music. Rivera is an Emmy Award-winning composer and owns her own record label and publishing company, Lil' Girl Creations. In addition to her own high-energy performances, her music has been featured on numerous television shows, including Hawai'i 5-0, ER and Scrubs, and she has had the honor of performing with other prominent artists, including Luther Vandross and Neil Young. 

Rivera, who resides in Long Beach with her husband Nolan Hee and son Kai, is also active with various community entities and earned a Community Service Award from the City and County of Los Angeles and the California State Senate and Assembly.

Margaret Mary Kula Stafford, ‘52
After graduating from the Academy, Margaret Mary Kula Stafford traveled to Guam where she began a 36 year career with the Federal Government and worked for the United States Army.

She was an active member of Lehua Toastmistress Club and the Waikiki Business and Professional Women’s Club, and served as President of Ahahui Kaahumanu, a benevolent society of Hawaiian women.  She is actively involved in her parish, St. Augustine by the Sea.

Margaret Mary has enjoyed traveling the world and met her husband, Lewis, while working in Saudi Arabia.

Mona Chang Vierra, ‘62
Mona Chang Vierra distinguished herself as a Hawaii Department of  Education (DOE) school, district , and state administrator.  After earning undergraduate degrees at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Southern California.

She was responsible for creating and implementing the original laptop program, “Laptops for Learning” and designing “Community Entrepreneurs” where schools created businesses within schools and marketed their products.

Since her retirement from the Department of Education, Vierra has published a Cantonese cookbook and is the co-owner of Grand Café & Bakery where her son Anthony is the Executive Chef.

Mona is a parishioner at St. Pius X Church.

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