Meet The Women Of Hope 2018 Award Nominees
The Women of Hope Awards celebrate the work of women who strive to improve the lives of women, children and the community at large and Hong Kong Tatler is proud to be the official media partner.
The award includes eight categories of nominees across various industries, and each winner will be honoured at the fifth annual Women of Hope Fundraiser Luncheon on May 18, 2018.
Check out the gallery below to learn more about this year’s nominees and vote online at hkahf.org.hk
Art & Culture: Catherine Kwai
Why you should vote for her: Catherine Kwai is the founder of Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery and one of the pioneering gallerists who promotes Asian contemporary art in Hong Kong. As a member of the board of directors for Le French May—the annual festival that celebrates French arts and culture—Kwai is also heavily involved in heritage preservation efforts throughout the city.
Art & Culture: Daphne King-Yao
Why you should vote for her: Daphne King-Yao is the director of Alisan Fine Arts, one of Hong Kong’s first contemporary Chinese art galleries. King is currently a trustee of the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art charity and is a keen supporter of the development of art and culture in Hong Kong.
Art & Culture: Inna Rodchenko-Highfield
Why you should vote for her: Inna Rodchenko-Highfield is the head of business development for Art Central. The popular annual art fair features over 100 contemporary galleries, from Hong Kong and around the world, and is known for its dynamic mix of artworks. Rodchenko-Highfield is an avid art collector and believes that public art is a critical part of society.
Art & Culture: Rona Hu
Why you should vote for her: Rona Hu is a Hong Kong-based artist whose surreal paintings explore socio-political issues. Hu attributes her penchant for these themes to her upbringing in 1960s China where she witnessed the country’s social and political upheaval. Hu has been described as “among the recent crop of female artists who have gained both prominence and significant promise in the artistic world”.
Champion for a better life: Anne Wang Liu
Why you should vote for her: Anne Wang Liu is an avid philanthropist who dedicates most of her time to NGOs in Hong Kong and the US. She currently serves on the board of governors for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, a non-profit organisation that provides practical, emotional, and psychological support free of charge for anyone affected by cancer.
Champion for a better life: Melissa Mowbray d’Arbela
Why you should vote for her: Melissa Mowbray d’Arbela is the co-founder of Equalizers, an NGO that assists those isolated by intractable mental health situations that are considered extremely complex or dangerous. She is also the co-founder of PathFinders, a local charity that serves dispossessed children and their migrant mothers.
Mowbray d’Arbela has established herself as an advocate for society’s most vulnerable in the past 20 years. Influenced by her upbringing as one of four children to a single mother, she is determined to help marginalised individuals navigate pathways to success with dignity and compassion.
Champion for a better life: Minal Mahtani
Why you should vote for her: Minal Mahtani is the CEO and founder of OCD & Anxiety Support Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting, educating, and coaching individuals and their families affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders (AD). She also initiated the Green Ribbon and Stamp Out Stigma campaigns in Hong Kong, which run in October every year during World Mental Health Month.
Champion for a better life: Winnie H.L. Cheung
Why you should vote for her: Winnie H.L. Cheung is the founder and chief visionary of UpPotential.com, an educational website and self-help wellness platform that offers low-cost and easy-to-access services to help people cope with anxiety, stress, and other life pressures.
The research- and knowledge-backed website offers assessments, tutorials, effective methods and strategies for self-help, and “tele-tea” parties as a user-friendly way to address the stigma of mental illness.
Children’s advocate: Emily Ngan
Why you should vote for her: With 22 years of experience in the education field, Emily Ngan is the founder and CEO of Kingston Children’s Centre, Kingston International Kindergarten, and Kingston International School. Her passion for educating and empowering children extends into philanthropy as she led a project for the construction of a school for underprivileged students in Guangxi, China.
Children’s advocate: Kelly Yang
Why you should vote for her: Kelly Yang is the founder of the Kelly Yang Project, an after-school centre for writing and debating. Having debated senior politicians on live TV, Yang has taught thousands of kids and given them the tools to become excellent writers, eloquent speakers, and creative thinkers.
Children’s advocate: Linda Wu
Why you should vote for her: Linda Wu is the founder of Gowell Software, an education company that develops online language learning platforms and has since expanded into providing international education opportunities to students in Asia.
Gowell also works with the US ACT on its university preparation programme, as well as study abroad opportunities at the University of California campuses. The company is currently expanding into student accommodations for international students in the US.
Children’s advocate: Renée Boey
Why you should vote for her: Renée Boey is the founder and educational director of Baker & Bloom, an education centre that empowers students through programmes that foster creative confidence. Boey’s passion for teaching came from the realisation of the life-changing impact education can have, which ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in education.
Eco-warrior: Annoushka Ducas
Why you should vote for her: Annoushka Ducas MBE is a jewellery designer who co-founded British jewellery companies Links of London and her own fine jewellery label, Annoushka. In 2013, Ducas was awarded an MBE for her contribution to the jewellery industry. Ducas’ jewellery brand has a loyal following of prominent figures and celebrities including the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Eco-warrior: Justine Kwok
Why you should vote for her: Justine Kwok is the founder and creative of director of BK Atelier, a brand that sells ethical, vegan pet products; and the Flow Nature & Animal Experience, a sanctuary in Zhongshan, China, that offers nature-based experiential programmes to raise awareness of animal welfare and ensure a good quality of life for animals.
Eco-warrior: Kayla Wong
Why you should vote for her: An avid LGBTQ activist and founder of Basics for Basics, Kayla Wong is an entrepreneur and a sustainable fashion advocate. Her brand Basics for Basics offers high-quality wardrobe essentials made with all-natural organic materials.
With a mission to encourage fair trade practices, promote sustainability, and educate the next generation, Wong has embarked on a journey to make Basics for Basics an online destination for like-minded fashionistas to share ideas about fashion and social responsibility.
Eco-warrior: Melita Koulmandas Hunter
Why you should vote for her: Melita Koulmandas Hunter is the chief creative officer and co-founder of Song Saa Collective, a group of enterprises that combines ethics-led business practices and needs-based activism to build a sustainable future in Southeast Asia and beyond.
Some of the notable projects include the award-winning Song Saa private island, which facilitated conservation-based luxury tourism in Cambodia; and the Song Saa Reserve, a bio-reserve in Siem Reap that is currently being developed into a resort that will also feature conservation initiatives, as well as a solar project that will supply power to rural communities.
Entrepreneur: Ariane Zagury
Why you should vote for her: Ariane Zagury is the founder of Rue Madame Fashion Group (RMFG). After relocating to Hong Kong from London, Zagury noticed there was a lack of fashionable, feminine, and wearable designer brands in hong Kong and she wanted to provide a “true Parisian-style shopping experience” to women in the city. RMFG operates 16 points-of-sale in Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, as well as an online store.
Entrepreneur: Corina Larpin
Why you should vote for her: Corina Larpin is the owner and designer of Stefere, a French jewellery brand that boasts an A-list following that includes Elton John, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, and Penelope Cruz. Larpin is inspired by the many cultures, people, and landscapes that she's encountered during her adventures abroad. Over the past years, Larpin’s brand has extended its reach, building a global presence in New York, Paris, and Hong Kong.
Entrepreneur: Karena Belin
Why you should vote for her: Karena Belin is the co-founder of WHub, one of Hong Kong’s largest startup platforms that connects entrepreneurs with like-minded talent and resources. An active member in the startup scene in Hong Kong, Belin regularly takes on speaking engagements and mentors budding entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur: Victoria Tang-Owen
Why you should vote for her: The photographer daughter of the late David Tang, Victoria Tang-Owen has long been an active member of the city’s creative crowd. As co-founder of creative studio Thirty30 Creative, Tang-Owen oversees the company’s creative collaborations with a host of local and international brands. Tang-Owen is also the president of the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association.
Global Champion: Celina Jade
Why you should vote for her: A Chinese-American actress, model, singer-songwriter, and martial artist, the Hong Kong-born and raised Celina Jade is a jill of all trades. She is known for her role as Shado in the CW series, Arrow, which she played for three years from 2013 to 2016. She is set to appear next in the upcoming action movie Triple Threat, and she hopes to use her fame to advocate causes she deeply cares about.
Global Champion: Cindy Chao
Why you should vote for her: As an internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist, Cindy Chao started Cindy Chao The Art Jewel in 2004 with a desire to break boundaries and redefine fine jewellery by integrating 18th century wax sculpting techniques with modern jewellery-setting craftsmanship.
Chao is known for creating sculptural, gem-encrusted pieces that are considered to be miniature works of art. She is the first Asian jeweller to have a piece inducted as part of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s permanent collection in Washington, D.C. In 2013, her Burmese ruby ring sold at Sotheby's for US$3.84 million, setting a new record for a piece of Asian contemporary jewellery sold at auction.
Global Champion: Joanne Kan
Why you should vote for her: Born and raised in Hong Kong, Joanne Kan is an international speaker, natural health educator, and entrepreneur. Kan is the leader of the largest global Chinese team in Young Living Essential Oils that is 50,000 members strong. Since 2012, she's worked tirelessly to share her passion for nutrition, natural health modalities and chemical free living.
Global Champion: Olga Roh
Why you should vote for her: Olga Roh is the owner and creative director of ROHMIR, a luxury fashion brand with stores in London, Berlin, and Zurich, and a showroom in Hong Kong. Roh has collaborated with brands such as Cartier and Piaget, and her brand has also drawn the attention of the likes of Theresa May and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Health Advocate: Anna Serafinas Luk and Heather Thomas Shalabi
Why you should vote for them: Anna Serfinas Luk and Heather Thomas Shalabi are the co-founders of wellness and fitness group, Flex Studio, where they offer Pilates, Xtend Barre, and cardiovascular training.
Health Advocate: Dr. Ava Kwong
Why you should vote for her: Dr. Ava Kwong founded the Women’s Surgical Chapter at the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong and was elected to be the first chairlady. She was the first woman to attain a clinical associate professor position in surgery in Hong Kong, and is currently the chief of breast surgery division of the Tung Wah Hospital Breast Centre. She is also the director of the Breast Centre of the University of Hong Kong—Shenzhen Hospital.
Health Advocate : Kavita Khosa
Why you should vote for her: Kavita Khosa founded the ethical skincare and wellness brand PUREARTH, a social venture founded on Khosa’s desire to bring about positive social change to women in India. PUREEARTH empowers and supports the livelihood of marginalised women through fair trade rather than aid. Through partnerships with the brand, producers are able to connect with urban markets on fair terms.
Health Advocate: Utah Lee
Why you should vote for her: Utah Lee is one of the most recognisable personal trainers in Hong Kong. She is also a dance choreographer, business consultant, model and Nike Master Trainer. With over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, she has taught an array of fitness programmes including Zumba, kickboxing and Nike Training Club.
Power & Influence: Esther Ma
Why you should vote for her: As the founder of PR company Prestique and sports education company Harvest Sky, Esther Ma is also a philanthropist who supports charities including the Chi Heng Foundation, Academy for Performing Arts and the Changing Young Lives Foundation. She is the director of the Zonta Club of Hong Kong and co-founding executive of the Golden Bauhinia Women Entrepreneur Association.
Power & Influence: Katherine Yip
Why you should vote for her: Katherine Yip is the founding partner of Pacific Alliance Group and VinaCapital Group, the former being one of the largest alternative investment firms in Asia and the latter the world’s largest foreign direct investment company in Vietnam.
Yip is a global business person with over two decades of experience in founding and investing in companies. During her career, she has taken companies public, formed joint ventures, incubated startups and has been involved in management buy-outs and mergers and acquisitions.
Power & Influence: Michelle Cheng-Chan
Why you should vote for her: Michelle Cheng-Chan is the co-founder and CEO of Mazarine Asia Pacific and an executive committee member of the Society of the Academy for Performing Arts.
As an investment banker turned entrepreneur, Cheng-Chan has spearheaded the corporate development and a number of merger and acquisition deals to grow Mazarine Asia Pacific—one of the first PR agencies in luxury lifestyle and consumer marketing in Hong Kong—from an independent PR boutique to an international integrated communication agency.
Power & Influence: Shalini Mahtani
Why you should vote for her: Shalini Mahtani is the founder of The Zubin Foundation, a charity she founded in memory of her son Zubin, who tragically passed away at an early age. The Zubin Foundation supports research, policy recommendations and interventions targeting important issues in Hong Kong relating to racial integration.
In 2009, she was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She was also recognised by the HKSAR Government for her contribution to the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.