Monday, March 14, 2005


Tami Hashimoto has been applying her retail experience to help the Girl Scouts in Hawaii sell their famous cookies. Above, Madeleine Sherman, a Girl Scout for three years, on Wednesday helped Hashimoto carry a box of cookies for inventory.

Never too late to
be a Girl Scout

Tami Hashimoto joined up eight
months ago and enjoys making
a difference

Tami Hashimoto's first job out of college was handling reservations for people who wanted to stay at the Diamond Head and Lagoon towers at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The University of Hawaii psychology major went on to work for a variety of retailers before hooking up with the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii, for which she is the big wheel in the cookie department. A graduate of Baldwin High School on Maui, Hashimoto is enthusiastic about applying her retail experience to the annual cookie sales effort and working with an organization that aims to build character in young women. Hashimoto, 30, is single and lives in Kaimuki.

Who: Tami Hashimoto

Title: Products and retail manager for the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii

Job: Coordinates the annual Girl Scout cookie sales drive and manages the nonprofit group's small retail shop

Question: So what's your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?

Answer: I like the Dosidos.

Q: What kind of cookies are those?

A: They are oatmeal cookies and they have peanut butter in the middle.

Q: Do you think the Girl Scout cookies have maintained their quality over the years?

A: I think so. I think their quality is excellent. This actually was my first year in cookies, and we got a lot of comments. Everyone has their favorite flavor.

Q: This is your first year in cookies? What does that mean?

A: I actually started in June. I started as the assistant buyer, and then my title changed to products and retail manager.

Q: How long have you been with the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii?

A: For eight months.

Q: And what were you doing before that?

A: Before I was working for different retail places. I worked for Cinnamon Girl, Chanel and Salon Essentials, a distribution center for Paul Mitchell products.

Q: Why did you join the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii?

A: I saw an opportunity here to make a difference in a girl's life. I could use my background in retail and help girls reach their potential.

Q: Were you ever a Girl Scout yourself?

A: I'm a Girl Scout now as an adult. (Laughter) And you could be one, too, if you're 18 years or older.

Q: Me, a guy?

A: Definitely, if you want to be a volunteer and help the Girl Scouts.

Q:: But you weren't one as a kid?

A: No, I wasn't one as a kid, but I am one now.

Q: How many people work full-time for the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii?

A: Right now we have 25 staff, throughout the islands.

Tami Hashimoto, products and retail manager for the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii, was moving boxes of Girl Scout cookies on Wednesday at the council's headquarters in Nuuanu. Lining up to help her in the "Beehive" were, from the front, Girl Scouts Michelle Thompson, Chascity Sarmiento and Leighan Funakoshi.

Q: What kinds of things do you work on each day?

A: My job is two parts. The first part is cookies. I help with the cookies behind the scenes. We'll come up with training for the adults and training for the girls. We train the volunteers. And then I help coordinate the booth sites, in front of the stores. We work with over a hundred different members statewide. The volunteers are awesome. We're so lucky because they help keep the girls safe, and we couldn't do it without them.

And then when all the paperwork comes in, I go through it all and make sure it's all correct.

Q: What takes up most of your time at work in general, when the cookie selling is done?

A: I'm also in charge of the Beehive. The Beehive is a resale store that sells uniforms and program material, such as the books and patches for the girls. And so these are things that help support the Girl Scouts. We have four of them statewide -- one on Maui, one on the Big Island, Kauai and Oahu.

Q: You sound like you're doing a lot of accounting or bookkeeping.

A: I do everything, pretty much. (Laughter.) I don't necessarily do bookkeeping. But for the cookies I just keep track of what's coming in and make sure it balances out. I'm not an accountant.

Q: What's your normal workday?

A: It's 8 to 5, but when it's cookie time, it depends. We'll be here on the weekends for that, but most of the time it's 8 to 5.

Q: Who sold the most Girl Scout cookies this year?

A: Actually, we have 24 girls that sold over 700 boxes of cookies. And we also had 22 girls that sold over 500 cookies. Those are our Priceless Award winners, for girls who sell more than 700 boxes. We even had eight girls that sold over a thousand boxes this year. All the islands were represented, so we're excited about that.

Q: When did the sales effort end?

A: The sales ended Feb. 6.

Q: How many boxes did they sell all together?

A: We don't have a specific number yet. We're still actually in the process of collecting all the paperwork.

But we also had a thing called Operation Girl Scout, in which the girls collected money to buy the cookies and send them to Hawaii-based troops overseas. They raised enough to send 6,900 boxes.

Q: Who's your boss?

A: Liz Camat. She's a director of sales and marketing.

Q: Who else do you work with?

A: I have someone under me. Her name is Natalie Dillingham. She is our front office coordinator. She handles the sales when the customers come in. That's the first person you see when you come in through the door, that smiling face.

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