League summer intern success

Posted by Laurie Okawa-Moore
on "September 05, 2018 2:29 pm"

Hawaii Credit Union League was privileged to participate in the Kapili ‘Oihana Internship Program (KOIP). In its 10th year, KOIP aims to fulfill Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s legacy of developing industrious men and women through collaboration with employers in the community. (Bernice Pauahi Bishop founded Kamehameha Schools and believed education would offer her people hope and a promising future.)

Collaborators in KOIP are committed to providing interns with experiences to develop essential skills needed to achieve postsecondary educational success through informed career choices.

KOIP interns work alongside industry professionals who provide invaluable experiences, support, and guidance. The League’s summer intern was Whitney Lafferty, a University at California-Irvine student of economics and political science. She was supervised and mentored by League Governmental Affairs Director Paula Sumimoto-Matsushima with assistance from Regulatory Officer Dorie Fitchett and Engagement Manager Tracy Aiwohi.

In her first weeks at the League, Lafferty discovered an interest in regulatory compliance and was able to research and update several sections of the League’s Technical Advisory Guide and added to the Records Retention Channel of League InfoSight.

“Whitney could listen and absorb instruction and did such a great job in updating five of our TAG sections,” Dorie Fitchett explained. “With no previous experience in researching federal regulations or the Hawaii Revised Statues, she kept good notes for me to review before updating the documents. She was also able to locate citations and link them in the documents.”

Lafferty expressed an interest in law and was able to meet with Hawaii State FCU’s legal counsel Mary Wong and Ashford & Wriston attorneys Kevin Herring and Sarah Simmons. Meetings with Hawaiian Electric EFCU Manager Pam Sumimoto and Hawaiian Financial FCU (fka Hawaiian Tel FCU) Compliance Officer Sheri Higa gave Lafferty insight on career paths within the credit union industry and how compliance fits in the operations of a credit union. She also met with Hawaiian Financial FCU CEO Norman Okimoto who encouraged her to open a credit union account and explained the convenience of shared branching.

A hō`ike (show or exhibit), held on August 1 at the Dole Cannery Ballrooms, gave interns a chance to share what they learned through displays and networking with site supervisors from participating organizations. Paula Sumimoto-Matsushima and Tracy Aiwohi represented the League at the hō`ike.

“Tracy and I were thoroughly impressed with the caliber of talent within this program,” noted Sumimoto-Matsushima. “Hawaii has a bright future!”

Whitney Lafferty gains insights from
Hawaiian Financial FCU's Sheri Higa.

Accepting her award at the hō`ike.


Paula, Whitney, and Sheri lunching at Harbor Restaurant.


Whitney's display at the hō`ike.