TAMUNING Guam – Anna Wang Kao founder and president of Genghis Khan Furniture Co. was named the 2010 First Hawaiian Guam Business Businesswoman of the Year at the fifth annual Businesswoman Maga’haga Awards Gala on April 24 at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
Kao was selected from nine nominees in this year’s program which recognizes businesswomen who have made significant contributions to their industries and have demonstrated a strong commitment to their community. She is featured in a commissioned photo study on the cover of the Guam Business May-June issue which was released at the gala concurrently with the announcement of her name as the awardee. About 360 people attended the black-tie affair.
Proceeds from the gala are to fund scholarships at the University of Guam Guam Community College and Northern Marianas College. During the gala $22 000 was presented to the colleges. Since the 2006 inception of the Businesswoman of the Year award program First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business have awarded 24 scholarships totaling $66 200 to students from the three tertiary institutions.
Kao was recognized for her accomplishments in business on Guam following her arrival from Taiwan in 1970 at age 25 as a contract employee for a furniture concession – Taiwan Furniture – at the Andersen Air Force Base Exchange. Today she operates nine furniture stores – on Guam in San Diego and in Honan province China. Her flagship store is the 42 000-square-foot Genghis Khan Furniture store on Illipog Drive in Harmon Industrial Park which opened in 1995.
She is an active member and was a past vice president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam. She served a two-term presidency of the Chinese School Foundation. Kao is a supporter of various nonprofit civic organizations such as the American Red Cross Sanctuary Inc. Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple Guma Mami Girl Scouts of America and Guam International Women’s Club. She is a member of the Chinese Ladies Association of Guam and International Women’s Club of Guam.
She has a bachelor’s in accounting and statistics from Min Chuan College in Taipei. She and her husband Robert have two children Michael and Heidi both of whom reside in California.
Past recipients of the Businesswoman of the Year award include Katherine Calvo Sgro executive vice president and chairwoman of the board for Pay-Less Markets Inc. 2006; Christine Won Pat Baleto general manager of Market Wholesale Distributors 2007; Julienne Rose Perez Duenas physical therapist owner and clinical director of Sports Orthopedic and Active Rehabilitation Inc 2008; and Lorraine S. Okada executive manager of Carlsmith Ball LLP and president and owner of Managing Consulting Services 2009.
The other eight 2010 Businesswoman of the Year nominees were: Marcia "Ruri" Erra Ayuyu general manager of JCA Inc. which does business as McDonald’s of Saipan; Marie E. Mesa executive vice president of people of GTA TeleGuam; Mary A.Y. Okada president and chief executive officer of Guam Community College; Ana Liza C.W. Reed owner of LA Painting and Construction Co.; Tes C. Reyes assistant general manager and marketing director of the Agana Shopping Center; AnnMarie "Rhea" C. Rios assistant general manager of Market Wholesale Distributors Inc.; Rowena T. Subijano president/insurance broker of MCMV Insurance Services and realtor with Century 21 Realty Management; and Mary L.G. Paulino Torre president of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association and president MARQ Consulting Services.