HOUSTON, TX — Since 2008, Houston Woman Magazine has published a special edition each year featuring Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of the Year.
Fil-Am Carla Kuaiwa was named as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016, and the only Filipino to make the list.
Each of the honorees were nominated for inclusion on the “50 Women” list by subscribers, and then selected by the staff of the publication.
A festive afternoon tea party to honor and connect the “50 Women” has marked the annual celebration since it began. This year’s event, attended by more 225 invited guests, was co-hosted by Houston Woman Magazine and Chevron.
“You don’t think about awards when you do community service, and for me, it’s just really good to give back to the community. And to be recognized for that is really such an honor,” said Kuaiwa.
Carla is currently the director of hospital operations, community relations, community benefits and volunteer programs for Memorial Hermann Health System.
Prior to working at Memorial Hermann Hospital, she served in the United States Air Force for 13 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in social psychology, as well as multiple master’s degrees in Business Administration, Organization Development, and Human Resources.
In her role, Carla manages over 300 volunteers, ensuring patients and guests of the hospital are taken care of and feel welcome.
“My success is not based on my position. It’s really based on how my loved ones see me. It’s not about the title that I hold. It’s how my kids see me as an inspiration,” she shared.
Carla also says that the key to success was her unstoppable persistence to improve her life for herself and her family.
“I wanted to be educated. I was in school four nights a week, while working full time, with two children at home. For four years, I slept three to four hours a night. But every time I looked at my kids, it was so worth it.”
“She’s very helpful and very energetic. In fact, we are both military. We get along just fine,” said hospital volunteer Mr. Ken.
Carla hopes to inspire other young women to follow their dreams as well.
“Do not let anybody or anything to get in your way. Stay true to your talent, stay true to your instincts, and stay true to the values that you hold.”