Tonari Gumi’s New Executive Director and Director of Development

As a busy 2015 draws to a close, we say farewell and happy retirement to David Iwaasa. We deeply thank David for his six years of tremendous hard work and wish him well in his next adventure. Finding a successor for such a key person is not easy, but Tonari Gumi has been fortunate to find a new leader who has the right experience and most importantly, the passion for Tonari Gumi, to take us to the next level.

Les Fugeta

Les Fugeta

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Les Fugeta will join us as the new Executive Director, starting November 1. And, we are equally excited to welcome Josh Coward as the Director of Fundraising, a new role that will help us create a strategy and structure to the critical area of fundraising.

This new structure is possible only because both of these fine candidates are working part time with specific responsibilities. Les will use his management skills to modernize how Tonari Gumi operates so that we can maximize our wonderful centre. You may remember him as a previous Director or from when he helped with the building renovations.

Josh Coward

Josh Coward

Josh will bring his expertise and experience in the Nikkei community to establish a set of fundraising programs that will boost Tonari Gumi towards financial independence.

This organizational structure is new for Tonari Gumi, but we feel it is the right arrangement for this point in time. In its 40 year history, Tonari Gumi has always demonstrated its adaptability and resilience. Indeed, Tonari Gumi has become a pioneer in providing innovative programs to address a wider range of needs for a wider range of people. With the skills that Les and Josh each bring, we are excited about the potential for Tonari Gumi to become even stronger. We are confident that Tonari Gumi’s evolution is on the right path, and we look forward to the exciting things to come.

I hope all of our members and supporters will join us in warmly welcoming Les and Josh to the team. They are eager to meet everyone and excited to help Tonari Gumi in its mission to help the community. If you have questions or suggestions for Les or Josh, or for the Board, please contact Tonari Gumi at any time.

On behalf of the Tonari Gumi Board of Directors,

K.C. Sato

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