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About JACCC

Our Vision

To joyfully and mindfully use arts and culture to engage with our diverse community.

Our Values

Our values are inspired by the Japanese concepts of BI, WA, and SHIN. Consequently, we strive to do our work in a way that is wholeheartedly reflective and harmonious with these values.
BI (美)
To see the beauty in the world
WA (和)
The state of peace, balance, and unity amongst ourselves and others
SHIN (心)
The heart, mind, and spirit

Our Mission

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center weaves Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture into the fabric of our communities. JACCC remains firmly rooted in Little Tokyo, providing a vital place to build connections between people and cultures, locally and internationally. Through inclusive programs and authentic experiences, we continue our living traditions and nurture the next generation of innovative artists, culture-bearers, and thinkers.

Our History

JACCC’s 2.2-acre campus features an outdoor sculpture and plaza designed by world-renowned artist and Los Angeles native, Isamu Noguchi.

The volcanic basalt sculpture is Noguchi’s only publicly-accessible sculpture in his hometown. Its title, “To the Issei,” refers to the Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) who made great sacrifices to support their families and the Japanese American community.

Working closely with our founders, Noguchi understood that the Issei and Nisei (second generation) envisioned JACCC as a permanent home for Japanese and Japanese American art and culture to flourish in the United States. Thanks to the efforts and support of many, JACCC is now one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States. We are located in Little Tokyo, the historic heart of Southern California’s Japanese American community, the second oldest neighborhood in Los Angeles, an inaugural California Cultural District, and one of just three remaining historic Japantowns in the United States.

Our campus opened to the public in 1980 and centers around the Noguchi sculpture and one-acre plaza. Flanking the plaza is the 880-seat Aratani Theatre and the JACCC Center Building, which houses the George J. Doizaki Gallery, the Japanese Cultural Room, conference and meeting rooms, office space for more than 20 nonprofit tenant organizations, the Toshizo Watanabe Exhibition Center, and the state-of-the-art Toshizo Watanabe Culinary Cultural Center, which opens onto the award-winning James Irvine Japanese Garden. Throughout our campus, we host programs, performances, and exhibitions, as well as a myriad of community-produced events, projects, productions, and meetings.

It is our hope that the work of preserving Japanese and Japanese American traditions will bolster the spirits of subsequent generations of Japanese Americans, allowing them to connect to our ancestors and weave their identities into the urban fabric of contemporary Los Angeles, and into the world beyond.


Team

Board of Directors



1st Row: L-R ): Noriyoshi Tachibana, Patricia Wyatt (JACCC President & CEO), Mathew Estrada (JACCC Chief Operating Officer), Thomas Iino, Sandra Sakamoto, Bette Hiramatsu, Russel Tsuda, Johnny Mori and Timothy Manaka, Jr. (2nd Row: L-R): Linda Taira, Jan Perry, Lauren Ohata-Chang, Stacy Toyota, Jessica Kikuchi, John Murillo, George Tanaka, Craig Tomiyoshi, Nancy Matsui, Susan Sasaki, and David Yamahata. (Not Present): Bruce Daly, Gerald Fukui, Glenn Inanaga, Nikki Kodama, Dolly Oishi, and Kira Teshima Conlon.

Officers

Bette Hiramatsu

S.O. Tech/Special Operations Technologies, Inc.
Chair of the Board of Directors

Bette Hiramatsu

S.O. Tech/Special Operations Technologies, Inc.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Bette Hiramatsu is a seasoned turnaround and restructuring consultant who has focused primarily on mid-sized businesses which are underperforming or facing financial and/or operational challenges. Since 1991, Hiramatsu has guided the owners and senior managers of mid-sized manufacturers, wholesalers, retail chains and service companies on finding the path to profitability and positive cash flow through creative problem solving, strategic planning, financial forecasting, current asset management, process improvement, cost cutting and strengthened balance sheet management. Additional areas of expertise include the restructuring of unsecured debt and the re-negotiation of leases. www.bhiramatsu.com Hiramatsu is also the Director of Finance (reporting to the President) for S.O. Tech/Special Operations Technologies Inc., a former client, whom she successfully turned around. A manufacturer of tactical gear for the military and law enforcement, Hiramatsu has served in this position since 2015. www.sotechtactical.com Prior to becoming a management consultant, for ten years Hiramatsu was a commercial lender and Vice President with Union Bank and Chemical Bank. Hiramatsu earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. Hiramatsu also participated in a one year undergraduate study abroad program at Waseda University, International Division in Tokyo, Japan. She is also a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) and a Certified Turnaround Consultant (CTP). In 2011, Hiramatsu authored two chapters to “The Book on Business From A to Z” published by Build It Backwards Publishing. Her chapter contributions are entitled Turnaround and Underperformance Issues. A member of the Turnaround Management Association and the Association for Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, Hiramatsu serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center (jaccc.org) where she has served on the board since 2016. She has previously served on the board of the local chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants, the Executive Committee of the Apparel Industries for the City of Hope which supports the City of Hope National Medical Center, the board of the Executive MBA Alumni Association at UCLA and on the advisory board of a privately-held, educational service company.

Glenn Inanaga

Cherng Family Trust
Treasurer & Immediate Past Chair

Glenn Inanaga

Cherng Family Trust
Treasurer & Immediate Past Chair
Glenn T. Inanaga, Esq. is Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel of the Cherng Family Trust (CFT). He is accountable for the leadership and operations of one of the larger family offices in Southern California, leveraging a team of 100 associates with offices in Summerlin, Nevada, and Pasadena, California. CFT manages the investments, philanthropy, and family governance of Andrew & Peggy Cherng, the founders of Panda Express / Panda Restaurant Group (PRG). CFT’s primary mandate is the investment, acquisition and development of real estate, with a portfolio of 1,500+ properties in the restaurant, retail, office, and residential sectors in more than 45+ states and internationally. CFT also invests in partnerships and private equity from various industry sectors including consumer retail, real estate, restaurant, and hospitality. Glenn is also responsible for managing relationships with business partners in Japan for PRG. Prior to leading CFT, Glenn served as the Vice President of Corporate Legal at PRG. During this time, Glenn established the Corporate Legal group and formed a team of attorneys and paralegals to manage the corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, international franchise and joint ventures, intellectual property, workplace and employment, commercial contracting, as well as the litigation matters for PRG. Glenn started as real estate counsel and was later responsible for leading PRG’s Property Management group managing a portfolio (at that time) of more than 1,000 stores and its Due Diligence group resolving legal, title, environmental and survey issues for more than 100 new stores per year. PRG is an international restaurant company that owns and operates several restaurant brands, including Panda Express, Panda Inn, Hibachi-San, Yakiya, and operates restaurants in partnership with Raising Cane’s and Uncle Tetsu, among others. PRG has approximately 2,500 restaurant locations worldwide with more than 50,000 associates. Glenn graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles with a dual major in Business Economics & Political Science, and a law degree from the University of Southern California. He is also a member of the California Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA). With a passion for community service and leadership, Glenn serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim Finance Committee Chair for the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit organizations in the Japanese-American community in Southern California. He is also a Vice-President and Director-at-Large of the Buddhist Churches of America, headquartered in San Francisco, a board member of the Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim, as well as a board member of JABA in Los Angeles. Glenn is married with 3 children.

Gerald Fukui

Fukui Mortuary, Inc.
Vice Chair

Gerald Fukui

Fukui Mortuary, Inc.
Vice Chair
Gerald, the great-grandson of founder Soji Fukui, graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences in 1975. Active in the funeral industry since 1970, he is a member of the California Funeral Director's Association and the National Funeral Director's Association. As a licensed funeral director since 1980, Gerald has carried on Soji's legacy by providing a needed service and supporting the community and its many organizations.

Dolly Oishi

Japan Airlines
Secretary

Dolly Oishi

Japan Airlines
Secretary
Coming soon

Russel Tsuda

Boeing, Inc.
Vice Chair

Russel Tsuda

Boeing, Inc.
Vice Chair
Coming soon

Members

Bruce B. Daly

Deloitte (Retired)

Bruce B. Daly

Deloitte (Retired)
Prior to retiring in late 2020, Bruce spent 23 years with Deloitte in both Los Angeles and Tokyo. He has served as a senior partner in Deloitte’s Risk & Financial Advisory practice with deep experience in leading AI and leadingedge technologies, cyber, and risk & internal control services for a diverse set of clients. With extensive national and Asia-Pacific experiences, Bruce has held P&L and operational management roles overseeing several Deloitte practices. Beyond Audit Committee and financial statement strengths, Bruce brings both strategic breadth in his global executive experience and functional depth in working over the years with many Board’s Audit, Risk, and Cyber/Technology Committees. Bruce most recently served as Deloitte’s national leader for the Digital Risk Management practice. Across multiple industries, his work in AI, Cyber, RPA/automation and other disruptive technologies has helped organizations formulate and meet their strategic transformational goals. Inherent in his digital work, Bruce led assorted cyber risk projects to help position organizations to be more secure, vigilant and resilient, e.g. Bruce led Deloitte’s largest-ever Life Sciences Healthcare Cyber Assessment prior to retirement. Bruce concurrently led the Internal Audit practice for Southern California, overseeing many projects with Deloitte’s latest innovations around SOX including the Automation of Internal Controls and testing, Agile Internal Audit, and development of robust Analytics use-cases with aligned data governance. Bruce and his team’s work were frequently the basis for Board education initiatives. Bruce also led the Risk & Financial Advisory practice for Deloitte’s Los Angeles office from 2011 to mid-2017, overseeing all risk and financial advisory service lines (M&A, Regulatory, Cyber, Financial Audit Support, etc.). Project work included leading and assembling appropriate Due Diligence and transaction teams for potential acquisitions, bringing full-service capabilities that range from valuation to compliance through to security expertise. His leadership over the years helped the LA practice routinely exceed KPI’s for growth and profitability. Working from a base in Tokyo, Bruce led Deloitte’s thennamed Enterprise Risk Service’s International practice in Japan from 2003 to 2011. His P&L and operational role in managing this global practice resulted in sustained double-digit CAGR in Japan, and extensive work across the AP region. His proficiency in Japanese and deep familiarity with Asia dating back to childhood years enabled this success. Though Bruce began his career with Deloitte in Los Angeles in 1996 he left in late 2000 to spend two years with two leading-edge technology start-ups as an executive and Corporate Officer, driving national and cross-border JV and Alliance programs. He rejoined Deloitte at the start of 2003 in a strategic role in Japan. Bruce’s community engagement and leadership on nonprofit Boards is extensive. Currently, he is Chairman Emeritus of the Board for the large American Red Cross – Los Angeles region and chairing the Board’s Governance & Nominating Committee. Bruce also served on the Board/Adv. Council of The Asia Society Southern California, an educational and think-thank organization founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1956. Bruce has also served as a founding Board member on behalf of Deloitte for the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC), a leading Cyber advisory agency. Bruce held numerous credentials during his time at Deloitte, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). He’s been a frequent speaker on risk topics. Bruce was an active member with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). He has recently obtained an ESG certification from the Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) in anticipation of Board needs in this maturing initiative. His academic background includes an MBA degree from the University of California–Irvine, with undergraduate years spent at Boston College and the University of California–Santa Cruz, where he received a BA degree in Philosophy. Married with two university-aged children, Bruce and his wife reside in the LA area.

Thomas Iino

Pacific Commerce Bank (Retired)

Thomas Iino

Pacific Commerce Bank (Retired)
Mr. Iino is the Former Chairman of the Board of Los Angeles-based Pacific Commerce Bank, the only bank in the nation formed by Japanese American shareholders. Mr. Iino was also a former Board member of Southwest Water Company. He also served as Chairman of the US-Japan Council, the largest national network of Japanese-Americans addressing US/Japan matters. He was and remains deeply committed to community service, lending his leadership currently to such organizations as the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, the Japanese American National Museum, Keiro Services, and the Mayor’s Trade Advisory Board. Mr. Iino was with Deloitte & Touche from 1983 until 2005, during which time he developed an outstanding reputation for personal and professional leadership. He was Partner-in-Charge of Deloitte’s International Practice in the West Region. In addition, he was the past President of both the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the California State Board of Accountancy. He was awarded the William H. van Renssalaer award, given by NASBA for his dedication to improving the regulation of accountancy and leadership. Additionally, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the California Society of CPA’s. Mr. Iino holds a degree in Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Jessica Kikuchi

USC Health Sciences Advancement

Jessica Kikuchi

USC Health Sciences Advancement
Jessica Kikuchi is a development executive with over 15 years of experience in nonprofit and higher education fundraising. She is currently the Executive Director of Health Initiatives for USC Advancement, where she works with alumni, parents, and friends to connect their philanthropic goals with the university’s strategic priorities. Prior to joining USC, Jessica served as the Senior Executive Director of Development at the RAND Corporation, building resources for the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Before RAND, Jessica was part of the leadership team at UCLA Samueli Engineering, working as Senior Director of Development, where she led the major gifts program during the University's Centennial Campaign. Jessica returns to the JACCC as a Board member after beginning her career at the organization nearly 20 years ago. Her work at the JACCC also led her to serving on the JACL Pacific Southwest District Board and as a founding Board member of Kizuna. A fifth-generation Japanese American, Jessica and her husband are raising their two young children immersed in the Little Tokyo and Japanese American Community. She earned her B.A. in ethnic studies from University of California, San Diego and her M.P.A., with a focus on nonprofit management, from California State University-Northridge.

Nikki Kodama

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Nikki Kodama

Northrop Grumman Corporation
Coming soon

Tim Manaka, Jr.

FIA Insurance Services, Inc.

Tim Manaka, Jr.

FIA Insurance Services, Inc.
Coming soon

Nancy Matsui

American Airlines (Retired)

Nancy Matsui

American Airlines (Retired)
Nancy recently retired from American Airlines after celebrating 40 years of service. Her last position at American was National Account Sales Manager, which represented $41MM annual revenue to American. She was also responsible for global marketing and community representation on behalf of American Airlines. Currently she is an instructor at Cypress College teaching Travel Sales and Marketing. Nancy was recognized as Alumna of the year 2021- the first Asian woman to receive this award at Cypress College. Nancy has been on the JACCC Board of Governors for 20+ years. She has enjoyed working alongside many community leaders, donors, sponsors, and volunteers. She hopes to continue to support and expand the JACCC as the hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture.

Johnny Mori

Kinnara Taiko/Gagaku

Johnny Mori

Kinnara Taiko/Gagaku
A life long resident of the City of Los Angeles and the 10th District, he grew up in the Seinan area of Southwest L.A., participated in Judo, took Japanese language classes at the Daiichi Gakuen (Kyodo System) and continues to attend Senshin Buddhist Temple to this day. He also participated in the Japanese American Youth sports culture, baseball and basketball with the Community Youth Council (CYC) and the Nisei Athletic Union (NAU). His formal education was from the L.A. Unified School District and graduated from Los Angeles High School and latter attended Los Angels City College and was able to attend a special cultural class at UCLA, which invited 30 of Japan’s top cultural performers, some who were considered Living National Treasures or who were later given the designation. It was during his classes at Los Angeles City College did he realize the lack of written and oral history about the Japanese American experience, the contributions and sacrifices they had to make to be considered citizens of the United States. This lead to his participation with members of the community in 1971 to establish the Amerasia Bookstore in Little Tokyo, considered the first bookstore dedicated to Asian Pacific Islanders history and literature. All of the cultural and sports activities attributed to his interest in Taiko (Japanese drumming) and Gagaku (Imperial Court Music). Although he grew up listening to the Taiko at Obons, it was not until 1969 that he was given the opportunity to play the Taiko and help develop what is today considered a Japanese American Cultural heritage. Rev. Masao Kodani at the Senshin Buddhist Temple started Kinnara Taiko. Kinnara Taiko is consider to be the second taiko group established in North American and was credited with developing the use of the oak wine barrel for making taikos in the US. In 1973 he was asked by June Kuramoto to come by a club in the Seinan area to “Jam” with a group of musicians that were reforming a group call Hiroshima. That Jam session lead to a 30 year career in the music business, recording contracts, International and National performances and numerous awards and a play about their lives entitled, “Sansei” at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles County Music Center. Other performance venues and performances included the Greek Theatre, Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Lincoln Center in New York. He also performed on many motion picture sound tracks such as, Karate Kid II, Pearl Harbor, Mission Impossible II, Star Trek IV and Thin Red Line. Through all of the recoding and touring in 1980, Johnny was asked by the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) to give taiko demonstrations to school kids when they came to Little Tokyo. From those demonstrations came a relationship that continues to today. He was one of the first Artist in Residence at the JACCC, which lead to his involvement with the California Arts Council’s first Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee, National Endowment for the Arts, Los Angels County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the California Foundation. From those demonstrations came Japanese Festival Sounds, an educational performing group. Johnny is the director of the group that has been giving demonstrations and performances in schools through out the Southern California area since 1984. The group is on the roster of the Los Angeles Music Center’s “Music Center on Tour” program and was also on the roster of the “Art Teach” program of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which serves the Orange County area. In 1998, Johnny was asked to join the Board of Directors of the JACCC. His participation with the Board was cut short due to the passing of Duane Ebata, Artist Director in May of 2000. He was asked to join the Staff of the JACCC in December 2000 and with that came his resignation from the Board. He was given the title of Producing Director of Performing Arts and was responsible for developing, producing and directing programs, which took place in the Aratani Japan America Theatre and the Noguchi Plaza. Some of the programs that he produced were, Sadao Watanabe, KODO, Jake Shimabukuro, Third World Drum Festival, and The Sounds and Voices of J-Town. In 2007 he was asked to take on the responsibility of General Manager of the Aratani Japan America Theatre to which he did until February of 2010. Johnny remained involved in helping the community when in March of 2010 disaster struck Japan’s Tohoku region by helping to produce and perform in fundraisers in support of the on going rebuilding efforts. Johnny continues to be connected to the entertainment industry with helping with talent featured on The X Factor and production support for a fundraising concert honoring songwriter, singer Carole King. He is married to Wendy Mori and has two grown daughters, Misako and Chiemi Mori.

John Murillo

Enterprise Bank & Trust

John Murillo

Enterprise Bank & Trust
John Murillo is the Market President for Enterprise Bank & Trust in Los Angeles. He has more than 30 years of accomplishment laden experience in the banking industry, having worked his way from a part-time teller all the way through multiple executive positions. John prides himself on using a consultative and collaborative approach to help his clients in reaching their financial objectives. He has an extensive background in managing and developing diverse and inclusive teams and a thorough understanding of establishing and growing customer relationships. Leveraging an ever-expanding portfolio of qualifications covering sales, relationship management, and general management core competencies, John has proved time and again his flexibility in responding to challenging market conditions and his ability to “wear many hats” in an effort to meet and exceed corporate goals and challenges. Beginning his career in the banking industry, John developed an interest in helping people achieve their financial goals and parlayed this interest into a sales position with a leading national bank (Wells Fargo Bank). Demonstrating initiative from the start, John’s passion and commitment to understanding and helping people, delivering superior customer service along with his flexibility, adaptability and dedication to learning, earned him numerous opportunities for growth within the company. He quickly distinguished himself as a leader that afforded him a continuous career growth over his 18 years at Wells Fargo Bank. John then served as a director of sales at privately held CalNational Bank managing the business sales team and business sales activities. His work in this area was instrumental in growing business banking relationships for the region and developing a positive reputation of business and commercial banking throughout the branch network and peer groups. John is also credited for designing and organizing the structure for branch cluster business development days and calling efforts within regions that was used as the Bank wide standard. John’s talent and vision led him to ProAmérica Bank, which at the time had one branch location. This marked a big change in his career toward more community-oriented banking. Soon after he was promoted to Commercial Division Manager and as A Division of Pacific Commerce Bank to an Executive Vice President role. Three acquisitions later, he continues that work now in his role with Enterprise, which recently acquired First Choice Bank. Demonstrating initiative from the start, John’s passion and commitment to understanding and helping people, delivering superior customer service, along with his flexibility, adaptability and dedication to learning, earned him numerous opportunities. He has used this as a means to establish a strong network of contacts in diverse communities with his experience spanning virtually all aspects of banking, as well as team building and leadership, and relationship building. John’s passion and commitment to helping people has led him to have been active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, Westside Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, Junior Achievement; AIDS project Los Angeles, and Habitat for Humanity. Outside of professional interest, he reads, cooks, bicycles and enjoys attending church, spiritual well-being, spending time with family and listening to Mariachi music. An important aspect of his life is family – his wife, three sons (one is a Professor at a university, the second studying kinesiology & sports medicine, the third with a Masters in Psychology – high school counselor).

Lauren Ohata-Chang

Health Management Associates

Lauren Ohata-Chang

Health Management Associates
Lauren Ohata is a highly versatile and strategic leader with experience implementing and supporting policy development and execution of publicly funded health care programs across the public and private sectors. She is passionate about public policy that provides Americans increased access to affordable, quality health care services, and serving her community. As a Principal Consultant at Health Management Associates (HMA), she leads Affordable Care Act (ACA), Exchange, and Medicaid program implementation nationwide, including the design and launch of new coverage and integrated complex care programs. She currently leads the implementation of California’s multi-year Medicaid (Medi-Cal) transformation (“CalAIM”) to improve care and outcomes for millions of Medi-Cal enrollees in Los Angeles County and statewide. Ms. Ohata has been at the forefront of leading Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Exchange program implementation nationwide since the start of the first open enrollment period. Ms. Ohata’s leadership within CMS included serving as the chief of staff to the director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), where she facilitated an understanding of policy issues with top-level leadership and acted on behalf of the director. Ms. Ohata was integral to the HealthCare.gov recovery efforts and at HMA has assisted several states in implementing and operating their State-based Exchanges working closely with their Medicaid counterpart agencies. Ms. Ohata is skilled at stakeholder engagement and cross-sector collaboration. She has worked with partners and the public to provide communication and education to providers, ACA navigators, health plans, and states. As a regulatory consultant at Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Ohata was the driving force behind the implementation of ACA requirements for millions of members. Her leadership at Kaiser Permanente included serving as liaison to each of its regional plans to integrate national and regional plan strategy and operations. Ms. Ohata earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Claremont McKenna College and serves on the board of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the country. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles Next Generation Japanese American Leaders Initiative hosted by the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles. She is an alumnus of the 2014 U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and served as Inaugural Chair of the USJC ELP Steering Committee.

Jan Perry

Shelter Partnership, Inc.

Jan Perry

Shelter Partnership, Inc.
Mayor Eric Garcetti tapped the best and the brightest to head up the City’s new Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) beginning July 1, 2013. Jan Perry possesses the energy, enthusiasm and dedication and a record of accomplishments that make her a standout as Interim General Manager of the new department. As the former Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 9th District, which includes Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles, she was a lightning rod for major changes in the district’s infrastructure. This resulted in quality job development and training, and the development of housing at all income levels. Over the past decade, Perry supported major redevelopment projects in Downtown Los Angeles that represented more than $15 billion in investment along with $40 million in City tax revenue, and the creation of more than 90,000 full-time jobs. From catalytic developments like LA Live to iconic developments like Our Lady of Angeles Cathedral to major public buildings like the new Police Administrative Building—Perry was at the forefront of ensuring that downtown moved forward to meet its potential as the economic engine for the entire region. Her record of success led Mayor Garcetti to appoint Ms. Perry for the new role of leading an economic development rebirth of Los Angeles. Perry, along with the Mayor, shares a passion for revitalizing neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for all Angelenos. In her new position, Ms. Perry will lead a department of approximately 175 individuals, some of whom are well entrenched in economic development, charged with brokering city loans, and bonds. On the workforce side, the Department oversees 18 WorkSource Centers that offer specialized training, resume development, a job bank and a number of career development services. Her success will build on the notion that economic development and employment stimulates growth in a city, a solid tax base, a demand for better housing, goods and services and better schools, parks and solid neighborhoods. This is the type of community where businesses want to locate. It is the cycle of community improvement rather than community despair. Looking back on her accomplishments, Ms. Perry was all too familiar with the despair of the homeless because high poverty and homelessness made up large swaths of her former Council District. She understood that tackling the challenges of homelessness was an essential part of creating a healthy city for everyone. A champion for the homeless, she successfully kept the city’s emergency shelter program open on a year-round basis and was a strong advocate for the development of affordable housing with supportive services to house chronically homeless individuals, many who had been homeless for decades. The unwavering political will that she exhibited on the issue of housing the homeless resulted in the development of more than 1,000 units of housing with support services on-site, and more were in the pipeline when she left office on June 30, 2013. Mayor Garcetti has said that Ms. Perry will temporarily oversee the department that is being created to spur business activity. Whether this new assignment is temporary or long term it is a sure bet that it will be a success with Jan Perry at the helm. Perry earned her bachelor’s degree from the USC School of Journalism, cum laude, and her master’s degree from USC in public administration.

Sandra Sakamoto

LimNexus LLP (Retired)

Sandra Sakamoto

LimNexus LLP (Retired)
Sandy Sakamoto is a community leader who champions the arts, culture and social justice causes. In addition to serving as the Chair of the Board Governance Committee and previously serving as Board Chair of the JACCC, Ms. Sakamoto serves as the Board Chair of PACE (Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment), and General Counsel and Director of Creative Development at The Asian American Education Project. In the past, she served on the Board of Asian Americans Advancing Justice where she was a former Board Chair. She has spent decades supporting organizations and causes that seek to strengthen communities and advance equity. Ms. Sakamoto recently retired as a partner at LimNexus LLP where her practice included real estate and business transactions and civil litigation. Previously, she was General Attorney and Assistant General Counsel for AT&T where she worked for over 23 years.

Susan Sasaki

Community Volunteer

Susan Sasaki

Community Volunteer
I was trained as a dental hygienist and later managed my husband's medical offices until our retirement in 2018. I have served on the board of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles and co-chaired AutumnFest for 20 years from 1988-2008. I have been president and treasurer of the Japanese American Medical Assn. auxiliary and served 10 years as a trustee at the Webb Schools in Claremont, a local boarding/day school. The American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona is my current board affiliation. With the unprecedented events that have happened recently, it is clear that we must all work together to face the future with renewed determination as we look back as well as move forward. I have always believed in the mission of the founders of the JACCC to present, perpetuate, transmit and promote Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture to audiences of all backgrounds. This most recent AutumnFest reminded me of the transformative experiences and special relationships that I had formed at this unique institution and look forward to working with the board and staff.

Noriyoshi Tachibana

Tachibana & Ochiai Professional Corporation (Retired)

Noriyoshi Tachibana

Tachibana & Ochiai Professional Corporation (Retired)
Born and raised in Japan, moved to the U.S. at the age of 15, and graduated from the University of Southern California, Noriyoshi Tachibana has worked in New York and Los Angeles and has seen the international intricacies and customs of American and Asian businesses and finance. During his career, Noriyoshi worked with the BIG FOUR Accounting firms for over 20 years before he founded one of Los Angeles’ larger boutique accounting firms. As chief executive officer, his company served over 200 international companies, many of which are traded on the stock exchange in Japan, and also many Japanese major league baseball players until his retirement in 2012.
During and after his career, Noriyoshi has served on the board of directors for non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. He has provided his numerous years of experience and knowledge to help implement proper accounting and financial standards within these organizations, as well as improve their organizational structure.
Noriyoshi is married with three grown children and a grandson. Since his retirement, he has been seeking opportunities to be involved in the community and feels immensely privileged to have found such a worthy organization as the JACCC, which promotes both Japanese and American culture.

Linda Taira

Taira-Welch Communications

Linda Taira

Taira-Welch Communications
Linda Taira is the founder and principal of Taira-Welch Communications, offering strategic, executive communications counsel and support for corporate and non-profit clients, drawing on Linda’s experience in journalism, public broadcasting, public relations and corporate communications. Linda has worked as a journalist in Honolulu, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and New York City. At CNN and CBS News, she reported on Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. She covered major breaking news, presidential campaigns and international events, including the final U.S.-U.S.S.R. summit meeting in Moscow, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal and the confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Capitol Hill, she was elected by her peers as chair of the Radio-Television Correspondents Association. Following her journalism career, she served as senior vice president of media relations at Ketchum Public Relations in Washington, D.C., and as a senior vice president at Hill & Knowlton in D.C., where she led the latter’s national media training practice. At H&K, she managed cross-functional teams for a wide range of clients and initiatives, including the historic merger of The Boeing Company and McDonnell Douglas. Later, at the national headquarters of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Linda was vice president of station relations -- the official executive liaison to 350 member stations across the U.S. She produced the PBS annual meeting, drawing 1100+ producers, station representatives and other public broadcasting stakeholders, and held the position of PBS corporate secretary on an interim basis. Linda subsequently worked at Boeing, where she supported CEO and internal communications; managed the news bureau, responsible for reviewing news releases and media interactions; and coordinated Asia-Pacific communications for Boeing’s global defense and space business. Other key assignments during her 14 years at the company were leading employee communications for Boeing’s centennial; co-leading the planning and communications team for delivery of the first next-generation refueling aircraft to the U.S. Air Force; leading the planning and communications for annual executive strategy meetings; and participating on the leadership team and managing communications for Boeing’s global military and commercial satellite manufacturing business headquartered in Southern California. In 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs selected Linda for its annual Japanese American Leadership Delegation program. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Los Angeles. Linda received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Hawaii and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University. She has lectured at several colleges, including Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University, and has taught public relations at the Media School of Indiana University.

George Tanaka

US Bank

George Tanaka

US Bank
George Tanaka is a managing director of U.S. Bank and leads their Japan Practice. With more than 25 years of banking experience, Mr. Tanaka is responsible for delivering programs that provide U.S. based banking solutions for globally mobile clients. He also collaborates closely with MUFG Bank in Japan and is responsible for developing and introducing new products and services tailored to the Asian consumer market. In this position, he is involved in coordinating marketing and outreach to the Japanese & Japanese American community. Prior to his current position, Mr. Tanaka worked as a senior vice president and Japanese Market Segment manager and has also held positions within the bank in Consumer Banking, Asian Corporate Banking, and Business Banking. Mr. Tanaka is an active member of the community and serves on the boards of Go For Broke National Education Center, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce in Sacramento. Mr. Tanaka has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Boston University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.

Kira Teshima Conlon

Somos Law Group LLP

Kira Teshima Conlon

Somos Law Group LLP
Coming soon

Craig Tomiyoshi

Covered California

Craig Tomiyoshi

Covered California
Coming soon

Stacy Toyota

Starbucks Coffee Company

Stacy Toyota

Starbucks Coffee Company
Stacy Toyota is a Human Resources executive at Starbucks Coffee Company, where she supports retail leaders in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and Hawaii in 180 stores with about 4,000 employees. Stacy also serves as the Executive Sponsor for Starbucks’ Los Angeles/Central California region’s employee resource group, the Pan Asian Partner Network. Prior to Starbucks, Stacy spent eight years at NBCUniversal in various HR roles. A co-founder of Kizuna, Stacy was a board member for eight years and served as Board Chair from 2016-2017. She previously worked at the JACL Pacific Southwest District and the JACCC in programs and development. Stacy graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Human Development.

David Yamahata

Los Angeles Fire Department (Retired)

David Yamahata

Los Angeles Fire Department (Retired)
Coming soon

Staff

In Progress

Rani de Leon

Executive Creative Director

Rani de Leon

Executive Creative Director

Rani de Leon has 20 years in events involving music, film, theater, and cultural arts. His passions in life are driven by the belief that arts & culture have a unique power in bringing people together for transformative and unifying experiences. This inspires him to find new ways to engage audiences and approach the convergence of performing arts and public/digital space. He hosts a monthly radio show for dublab called Tizita Radio, highlighting music of nostalgia.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: a sense of ‘urban serenity’ and space for quiet moments amidst the bustle of downtown

Mathew Estrada

Chief Operating Officer

Mathew Estrada

Chief Operating Officer

Mathew brings over 20 years of experience in organizational leadership with a strong orientation in operations and finance. He has had success leading operational initiatives focused on infrastructure design, process reengineering, automation, turnaround management, reorganization, and corporate culture building. Mathew has an impassioned focus on strategy, innovation, and fostering team cohesiveness to drive optimal results. He has an extensive background in process assessment/improvement across a wide range of industries, including: Manufacturing, Transportation, SaaS, Marketing, Business Services, Public Relations, Non-Profit.

Mathew places heavy emphasis on respecting and leveraging human capital potential through empowerment and accountability. He is always looking to motivate, mentor and lead talented professionals for their individual and the organization's long-term success.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the James Irvine Japanese Garden!

Pedro Gutierrez

Operations Assistant

Pedro Gutierrez

Operations Assistant

Pedro Gutierrez is an Operations Assistant at the JACCC. He has been working for the JACCC for 7 years.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: all the restaurants.

Amy Honjiyo

Sustainable Little Tokyo Cycle of Food Coordinator

Amy Honjiyo

Sustainable Little Tokyo Cycle of Food Coordinator

day jobs pushing pencils then tapping keyboards// homeschooled a kodomo and learned the best lessons start from the heart// retired and recycled as a bokashi composting advocate in little tokyo

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: old people/young people/new people

Chester Ikei

Senior Advisor

Chester Ikei

Senior Advisor

Muneyuki Chester Ikei, Senior Advisor, is a seasoned multi-national Hospitality Executive with 23+ years of experience as a general manager and advisor, having worked at Hotel New Otani, Hokuriku Gakuen Culinary College, and for the City of Nagaoka. He has dedicated time to engaging with local organizations to promote Japanese culture, such as Japan Business Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Japan America Society, Little Tokyo Business Association, and Little Tokyo Community Council.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: community spirit with young leadership!

Hirokazu Kosaka

Master Artist in Residence

Hirokazu Kosaka

Master Artist in Residence

Hirokazu Kosaka is an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest, a master of the art of Japanese Kyudo (archery). After graduating from the Chouinard Art Institute in 1970, he continued to study the traditional and contemporary arts. He has received awards from the NEA, Rockefeller, New England foundation, Creative Capital, and USArtist Fellow. He has been actively advocating Japanese culture and art at the JACCC since 1983.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: talking trees and stones of JACCC

Kenji Liu

Program Manager, Cultural & Visual Arts

Kenji Liu

Program Manager, Cultural & Visual Arts

Kenji Liu is a Mellon Community Curatorial Fellow at JACCC. He has worked in community arts, non-profits, marketing, and higher education for over 20 years and wears multiple hats as a book designer, university lecturer, and writer. He has presented his creative work in the US, Mexico, and Japan, and received numerous artist residencies, fellowships, and grants. Entiende español y japonés and he holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the matcha latte at Tea Master.

Jane Matsumoto

Executive Culinary Arts Director

Jane Matsumoto

Executive Culinary Arts Director

Jane Shohara Matsumoto is the Director of Culinary Arts. She has worked in the public sector for 25 years, primarily in public transportation implementing the TAP smart card, but her passion is in the culinary arts — the history, science, and preparation of many different types of cuisines, especially traditional Japanese foods, known as Washoku. When she is not working, she is buried in food blogs, cookbooks, or simply cooking in her kitchen. She is an avid traveler and also loves to hike.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: its legacy and the people who are committed to this community.

Aric Nakamoto

Operations Assistant

Aric Nakamoto

Operations Assistant

Aric Nakamoto is an Operations Assistant at the JACCC. He was been working for the JACCC for 28 years.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the friendly community.

Allyson Nakamoto

Director of Foundation Relations

Allyson Nakamoto

Director of Foundation Relations

A California native with roots in northern Okinawa and southern China, Allyson is passionate about finding resources that strengthen communities and elevate culture. Prior to joining JACCC, she worked at the Japanese American National Museum and Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. Allyson graduated from Claremont McKenna College and also studied at the Okinawa Prefectural University of the Arts. She now lives in Hawai‘i and each year eagerly awaits mango season.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the resilience of the community

EJ Orlando

Associate Director, Production & Rentals

EJ Orlando

Associate Director, Production & Rentals

Edward J. Orlando is a concert and live event professional. He has worked with live entertainment and presentations for over 20 years. His early experience includes a long tenure at The House of Blues, Lake Buena Vista as a full time Production Coordinator in addition to filling multiple roles encompassing audio, lights, video, and stage management. A love of music brought him to work with concerts and over the course of his career, has worked among many of the most loved musicians in the world in a variety of locations and roles. Edward came to work with the JACCC in 2009 and continues to be dedicated to serving the artists and community of Little Tokyo.

Pronouns: I, Me, Mine

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the kind people and the breeze.

Emi Osaki

Sustainable Little Tokyo & Community Arts Manager

Emi Osaki

Sustainable Little Tokyo & Community Arts Manager

Emi Osaki joins JACCC as the new Community Arts/Sustainable Little Tokyo Manager. Emi is a second-generation Japanese-Korean American with a BS in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems from UC Berkeley. Growing up in the restaurant industry, Emi realized from a young age that food is one of the major ways we keep our culture alive. With a background in education, urban agriculture, and food justice work, Emi hopes to preserve and push forward ancestral foodways, creating intergenerational spaces for individuals to reconnect with their cultural identity and local ecosystems.

Maria Magdalena Rodriguez

Operations Assistant

Maria Magdalena Rodriguez

Operations Assistant

Maria Rodriguez is an Operations Assistant at the JACCC. She has been working for the JACCC for 21 years.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: all the friendly people.

Stephanie Romero

Sr. Executive Assistant to President & CEO

Stephanie Romero

Sr. Executive Assistant to President & CEO

Carolina Roque

Executive Development & Marketing Director

Carolina Roque

Executive Development & Marketing Director

Carolina Roque is a Los Angeles native who blends creative ingenuity with strategic finesse as Executive Development & Marketing Director at JACCC. With a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree specializing in Chicanx Art, her publication "Chicanx Art: Social Theories and Cultural Identities" underscores her profound grasp of culture and design, drawing life parallels with Japanese arts and culture. Since joining JACCC in 2017, Carolina's adeptness in design, project management, implementation, and organization has redefined operational standards. Fluent in English, Spanish, and conversational Japanese, Carolina's passion for espresso fuels her diligence and efficiency, positioning her as a dynamic leader in development, fundraising, and design strategy.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: all the coffee shops! ☕

George Royal

Operations Assistant

George Royal

Operations Assistant

George Royal is an Operations Assistant at JACCC. Since working for JACCC, he has learned so much about Japanese and Japanese American history and his learnings have made him proud to be part of the community. He also loves the food and thinks Little Tokyo has some of the best in the L.A. area. 

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the community LOVE.

Ernesto Rubio

Operations Manager

Ernesto Rubio

Operations Manager

Celeste Shimoura Goedert

Director of Sustainable Little Tokyo & Community Arts

Celeste Shimoura Goedert

Director of Sustainable Little Tokyo & Community Arts

Francisco Soc Sut

Operations Assistant

Francisco Soc Sut

Operations Assistant

Francisco Soc Sut is an Operations Assistant at the JACCC. He has been working for the JACCC for 5 years.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: working for the JACCC.

Derek Takeda

VP of Operations

Derek Takeda

VP of Operations

Yuki Uehara

Manager, Production & Rentals

Yuki Uehara

Manager, Production & Rentals

Patricia M. Wyatt

President & CEO

Patricia M. Wyatt

President & CEO

Patricia M. Wyatt brings more than 30 years of executive management experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, across a multitude of industries. Most recently, Pat was the founder and CEO of MayaCo & Associates, Inc., a brand and media consultancy focused on social impact. Her work for nonprofit organizations includes The Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, and the Koret Israel Economic Development Fund (KIEDF), Tel Aviv. In addition, she served as President for WorkingNation and Innovation: Africa, and also held the post of Chief Development Officer, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she led a team of 550 individuals who together raised a record-setting $1B in one year.

Her past corporate leadership experience includes President of the Licensing and Home Entertainment companies at Twentieth Century Fox and Executive Vice President of Brand Marketing at Mattel. Pat has served on numerous boards, including Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Machine Project, California/International Arts Foundation, Professional Advisory Panel of the School of Integrated Media at CalArts, Digital Advisory Network at Pearson Education, and she also serves as a Mentor for The Unreasonable Group.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: how much the community loves to help our seniors.

Julie Zhu

Mellon Community Curatorial Fellow

Julie Zhu

Mellon Community Curatorial Fellow

Julie Zhu is Mellon Community Curatorial Fellow at JACCC. Influenced by family, she has received professional training in painting and calligraphy since childhood. Having lived in three different countries - China, Japan and the United States, she has been exposed to a wide variety of cultures, this diversity reflects her unlimited possibilities and personality. She graduated from the China Academy of Art, majoring in Archaeology and Museology, and received a Master of Fine Arts in Art History.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Favorite thing about Little Tokyo: the interesting history hidden behind the small stores.

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