Tonari Gumi Board of Directors 2017 (Archive)

Returning Directors and Nominations for 2017

Tonari Gumi’s Board of Directors consists of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. The Board’s role is to oversee and manage the organization within the guidelines set out in its Constitution and By-laws on issues such as organization policies, human resources and authorities given to staff to carry out day-to-day operations.

Directors are recruited on any combination of: professional skills, connections to the community, knowledge of Tonari Gumi and community-mindedness. They serve 2 year terms and can serve 3 consecutive terms for a maximum of 6 years total. In 2015-2016, ten Directors served on the Board. For 2016-2017, it is proposed that ten Directors will serve on the Board.

For the upcoming year, there are 6 returning Directors, 4 seeking reelection and 0 seeking nomination.

Other members are welcome to stand for election at the meeting.


New Nominations for a Two Year Term

Patrick Li (2017 – )
Born in Hong Kong but lived in Japan from the age of 9 since his father owned a trading company in Kobe. In 1981, emigrated to Vancouver and joined Mitsui Canada as a steel trader in their Vancouver Steel Department. Patrick’s wife, Tomoko, became involved with Tonari Gumi in 1982 and Patrick would assist whenever he could. Upon retiring from Mitsui in 2010, he agreed to join the TG Board. His Hobbies include playing squash, swimming, roller blading, skiing, listening to music, photography, and traveling.

Mamiko Van Horn (2017 – )
I was born in Yokohama, Japan to a Japanese Canadian Nisei , who was born in Mission , BC. At the age of 8, my family immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where all my father’s family relocated to after the war. In l970, I worked as a Librarian Assistant in York University. Then I managed the first Kite Store in Canada and finally owned and operated a flower shop in Toronto. My volunteer experiences includes, – teaching E.S.L. to the Mexican immigrants when I lived in San Diego – kitchen assisting at the Salvation Army Mission Soup Kitchen in Montreal -assisting with various events at my daughter’s schools in San Diego, Montreal and Vancouver -and recently volunteering with Academy of Life Long Learning (ALL) in Bellingham, Washington – doing various volunteer jobs with the West End Vancouver Food Network Through the inspiration and admiration of Ms. Kikko Tasaka, I became a member of Tonari Gumi and became part of what I fondly call, the “Wonderful Wednesday Lunch Making Ladies !’ I have also offered to be an assistant photographer with the Tonari Gumi Garden Project. I look forward to being able to contribute and working with you all!

David B. Iwaasa (2016 – 17)
Third generation Japanese-Canadian, born in Raymond Alberta. Grandfather emigrated to Canada from Hiroshima-ken in 1898. Ancestors from his mother’s side come from Fukui-ken. Studied international economics at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Kyoto University in Japan and the University of British Columbia. Joined the Canadian federal government in 1975 and has worked in Ottawa; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Tokyo, Japan. Has served as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts, various community associations and for his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He and his wife served as volunteer missionaries for three years in Fukuoka, Japan. After returning to Canada in 2009, he worked as the Executive Director of Tonari Gumi from March 2010 to October 2014. Married to Jane (nee) Kadonaga with four children and ten grandchildren.

Michael Beaty (2016 – 17)
Born and raised in Vancouver, I grew up on Bowen Island. I am a UBC graduated, having majored in Japanese language and culture. During my studies I spent two years on exchange in Japan in Nagoya, and Tokyo, studying at Waseda University in my 4th year. I have worked in the non-profit technology sector for the past 5 years, with a focus on payment processing, CRM, marketing and automation.

Karen Nishi (2016 – 17)
Karen is a Sansei with family roots from Mio or “America-Mura” in Wakayama-ken. With a Marketing and Strategic Planning career spanning 30 years, Karen is a Vice President at Wasserman + Partners Advertising where she helps clients seek the focus and clarity required to transform their brand and business. After graduating from UBC Sauder School of Business, Karen began her Marketing career at Campbell Soup Company in Toronto. Homesick for Vancouver, she moved back home with Molson Canada before making her way into the advertising world. Karen lives in Vancouver with her husband and teenage son who just can’t get enough of his Obachan’s cooking.



Completed Two Year Term and Seeking Re-election

Derek Imai (2013-14, 2015-16, 2017 – )
Raised in Greenwood, BC, Derek grew up in a bi-cultural home with Steveston-born Nisei parents (dad was interned in Greenwood and mom stranded in Japan after Pearl Harbour). Derek was always interested in his Japanese heritage. His first encounter with Japan was at 19 when he spent 18 days at a danjiki dohjoh in the mountains of Nara. After graduating from UBC with a teaching degree he went to Gunma Prefecture to teach English. Enjoy Japanese culture and life he moved to Tokyo to study Japanese and work. After 3years living in the dynamic & energetic city he returned to Canada. Now teaching ESL and students with learning disabilities in Surrey, Derek has become a volunteer with Tonari Gumi to connect with the local Nikkei community.

Chuichi Chris Nakahori (2013-14, 2015-16, 2017 – )
Born and raised in Japan. I moved to Canada in 1968 as a student. Received Immigrant status in 1970 and partnered in many businesses. Since 1999 I have been actively involved in Seaborn Enterprises. One of the hobbies I have been enjoying since 1973 is being part of the chorus group, “Sakura Singers” I was elected as one of their Directors last year.

Michael Sakamoto (2013-14, 2015-16, 2017 – )
Montreal born and raised Sansei. Upon graduation from McGill University, spent 5 wonderful years working in Africa. This was followed by a 32 year career with the federal government which included self-government and treaty negotiations. Now retired and enjoying lots of walking, golf and skiing.



One Year Remaining of Two Year Term


KC Sato (2012-13, 2014-15, 2016 – 17)

KC Sato specializes in marketing research and analytics. He has professional experience in consulting, private sector telecoms, and government. He currently leads the Customer Research department at ICBC. He has been involved with Tonari Gumi since 1998: at various times as a staff, volunteer and Director. A yonsei from Kelowna, he resides in Burnaby with his wife and two daughters.



Lurana KikukoTasaka (2012-13, 2014-15, 2016 – 17)

Lurana Tasaka, or Kikko as she is better known at Tonari Gumi, has been intimately involved with Tonari Gumi both as a staff member and then subsequently as a dedicated volunteer for more than 20 years. She is a third generation sansei but has also experienced the wartime forced evacuation and so has a deep understanding of the Japanese Canadian community. Kikko is a strong supporter of building a community where our seniors can feel “at home” and all members of the community can work together to reach out and help each other.

Sanae Moteki (2014-15, 2016 – 17)

Born in Japan and came to Canada after having worked in Japan for over 20 years. Studied accounting in London, Ontario and Victoria, B. C. moved to Vancouver due to work. Currently on the staff of a local charitable music organization. Having been the beneficiary of the actions of many individuals some of whom whose names I do not know or whom I will never meet, I decided that I needed to give something back to the community. It was when I was thinking in this way that a friend referred me to Tonari Gumi and I agreed to stand as a director.



Retiring Full Term

Heidi Hamano (2011-12, 2013-14, 2015 – 17 )

Immigrated to Canada 25 years ago. First volunteer experience with TG was a family drop in program about seven years ago. Recently, teaching a beginner’s English class on Fridays. Currently working as the only Japanese Accredited Mortgage Professional at TMG The Mortgage Group, the biggest independent mortgage firm in Western Canada. Obtained Executive Sales and Marketing Diploma from UBC Sauder Business School. Resides in Burnaby. Hobbies are exercising and exploring different cuisines.

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