Zonta Club of Hilo Honors Recipients With Rose Award

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Zonta Club of Hilo Rose Awardees Irene Nagao and Sen. Mazie Hirono. Courtesy photo.

Sen.Mazie K. Hirono received the Rose Award of Excellence from the Zonta Club of Hilo at a ceremony on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Presented every two years, the award honors women who have “made a significant impact on the lives of others.”

“I thank the Zonta Club of Hilo for the Rose Award, and for being a hands-on organization,” Sen. Hirono said. “Hilo Zontians don’t just talk about how to create opportunities for women in STEM or fight domestic violence—they are out there in the community doing something about it. These are challenging times, and it’s not just those of us in elected office who need to continue to raise our voices. We all have to keep doing what we’re doing, do more of it, and join hands with other groups and individuals because we need to make America whole again.”


In addition to Sen. Hirono, the Zonta Club of Hilo also presented the Rose Award to community leader Irene Nagao, the president of Going Home Hawaii.

Previous recipients of the award include Jackie Pualani Johnson (2016), Frances Sherrard (2014), Lily Inouye (2012), Helane Hale (2010), Carol Iganacio (2004), Dr. Rose Tseng (2004).

Sen. Hirono is a forceful and consistent advocate for policies that confront domestic violence and that keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of abusers, the Zonta Club of Hilo said in a press release. Last year, she introduced a bill that would close a loophole in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that allows convicted abusers to purchase firearms. Closing this loophole could have helped to prevent the shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas, from accessing the firearm that he used to kill 26 people while they attended church.


In 2016, Sen. Hirono successfully passed Talia’s Law—legislation that requires Department of Defense employees who interact with children to report suspected abuse to civilian State Child Protective Services.

In 2014, Sen. Hirono convened a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing to assess how how to best coordinate and utilize resources and services under the Violence Against Women Act for military families experiencing intimate partner abuse.

Sen. Hirono has continued to advocate for federal funding to support programs that promote a strong STEM pipeline, and earlier this year reintroduced her plan to improve diversity and competitiveness, and broaden participation among women and underrepresented minorities, in the STEM fields.


As part of this effort, she convened a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee field hearing of national and local stakeholders last year at Maui High School, where NSF and others discussed the importance of promoting more women and minorities in the STEM workforce.

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