As president and owner of American Industrial, Inc., Cheryl Moana-Marie Morales, oversees the administration and is the safety director, planner, scheduler, and jobs monitor for the company, which performs mechanical and industrial installations for the refining power plant in Honolulu and an array of other customers. Enjoying all aspects of her responsibilities, including going above and beyond to show she values her customers and employees, she is keenly aware of being female in a male-dominated industry and intentionally makes her presence known.
Along with running her business since 2010 and being Crowned Mrs. Hawaii America in 2003, Ms. Morales counts her most notable achievements as being the mother of two successful young men, recently starting her own perfume line, and planning the launch of a men’s clothing line to be called Christiano Valentino. Self-described as a woman driven by purpose, the longtime-married grandmother of six children is proud of the successful entrepreneurial strides she has made, especially now as a woman older than 50 and after dropping out of school in the eighth grade and not going back for her high school diploma or earning a college degree. Her personal mission in life has always been to serve people, she says, which she now does every day for her nearly 50 employees allowing them to provide shelter, food, and much more for themselves and their families. Even so, she believes there is more she can give and more ways to be of service to her employees and other people she encounters. Running her own company has its challenges, however, according to Ms. Morales, citing that some employees may not adhere to company standards, and the success of many businesses in Hawaii is based on relationships, some of which can pose conflicts of interest.
Ms. Morales was introduced to her profession when she met her husband, Jose Morales, who was working in and very knowledgeable about the mechanical and industrial industry and often flew from Texas to Hawaii on business. In 2005, he parted ways with the company that would fly him to Hawaii, and he started his own company. In 2009, Ms. Morales was poised to create a sister company alongside her husband’s company. Her company was going to perform union work. Yet they discovered a financial scandal involving a partner at her husband’s company, forcing him to dissolve the business. The couple then founded American Industrial, Inc., where Ms. Morales owns 51 percent, and her husband owns 49 percent.
Ms. Morales plans to expand her business into Las Vegas, Nevada. She also wants to branch out into Texas, increase her real estate portfolio, and become an interior designer. Within the next year, she expects to have completed and published her memoir titled “BOSS,” which stands for “Built on Self Success.” To keep consistent branding, she already has a perfume line in the manufacturing stage and that includes fragrances called “Boss Lady” and “Boss Lady Encore” to be followed by her first cologne. In addition, she is working on writing “How to Become a Boss Lady Planner,” slated for completion by the end of 2023 to educate, empower, and enlighten women and men. Ms. Morales wants to show people that they do not need a college degree to succeed—they need passion, drive, discipline, dedication, and determination to become who they want to be.
Ms. Morales attributes her success to overcoming negative childhood experiences as the youngest of three children, being the only girl raised in a toxic environment, and being moved between multiple relatives’ homes after her parents divorced when she was three years old. As she grew up, she used the pain of her formative years as motivation to create a positive life for herself and her family. Ms. Morales also credits her achievements to her giving spirit as a regular supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and taking time to enjoy life through arts and crafts.