Carole Hayashino joined the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii as its president and executive director in 2012. She oversees all operations, programs and development of the Cultural Center. She is also on the board of the United Japanese Society of Hawaii and member of the Hiroshima and Fukuoka Kenjin kai. Prior to joining the JCCH team, Hayashino served as vice president for university advancement at California State University Sacramento where she oversaw the external relations of the university including The University Foundation at Sacramento State, alumni relations, university marketing, and publications. She was elected to two terms to the Board of Trustees of the College of Marin in 2004 and 2008 .
She has also served as associate director of the National Japanese American Citizens League headquartered in San Francisco and was involved in the national legislative effort for redress and reparations for Americans of Japanese ancestry incarcerated during World War II. She served on the advisory board to the California State Library Civil Liberties Public Education Program responsible for awarding grant funds to educational projects to preserve and teach the Japanese American experience.
Hayashino earned her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University and graduate degree in educational administration at the University of San Francisco.
Nate Gyotoku joined JCCH in September 2015. Gyotoku brings a unique blend of professional and volunteer experience to JCCH.
Gyotoku’s previous work experience includes project management at Heide & Cook and PacXa, where he supervised capital projects and technology. He also volunteers with the U.S. Japan Council and the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce.
He is a long-time member of the JCCH and has been involved with JCCH events including the New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival, Day of Remembrance and the annual fundraising gala.
Gyotoku is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in English Literature, has taught in Hawaii and is a certified Department of Education substitute teacher.
Caroline Okihara joined the Cultural Center in April 2008 as its Director of Finance and Administration. Prior to working at the Cultural Center, Okihara was a senior staff accountant at KMH LLP, a CPA firm that provides accounting and consulting services to for- and non-profit organizations.
Okihara is fluent in Japanese, has more than 15 years experience in the Japanese travel industry and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in business economics and statistics and a bachelor’s of arts in Japanese from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Denise Tagomori Park joined the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i in 2010. She oversees the communications and development department including the Cultural Center’s internal and external communications and membership program. She also assists the president & executive director on development.
Park previously worked at Pang Communications as a Senior Account Executive. Prior to that, she was an Account Executive at McNeil Wilson Communications. She was also a News Producer at KGMB9 News. Park is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in Journalism.
Michelle Miyashiro came aboard the Cultural Center staff in 2005. Miyashiro is responsible for providing support to the president & executive director, managing all procedures and maintenance for the administrative office, as well as provide administrative support for all board activities and meetings.
Miyashiro is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa who majored in Japanese.
Leianne Fujimura joined the Cultural Center staff in 2005 and manages accounts payable and prepares the staff payroll.
Fujimura previously held secretarial positions at Dick Pacific, Luana Hills Country Club and Pacific Guardian Life. Fujimura graduated from Brigham Young University – Hawai‘i with a major in Japanese and minor in secretarial science.
Janna Lau joined the Cultural Center in February 2012 as the Membership Coordinator. Lau handles all administrative duties for the membership program.
She is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with an Asian History degree. Lau brings with her a wealth of knowledge about the center as she worked as a volunteer in the Gallery and Gift Shop since 2010.
Jonathan Lum joined the staff July 2013 as a part-time Membership Assistant. Jonathan assists the membership and development department in processing memberships and donations.
Jonathan previously served as a volunteer in the JCCH Gift Shop and at JCCH special events for the past two years.
Jonathan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese language from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is a graduate of Punahou School. He is proficient in the Japanese language.
Derrick Iwata started as a volunteer at the Cultural Center in 2000, and was promoted to a full-time position four years later. As the organization’s Education Specialist, Iwata helps to educate people, especially teachers and students, interested in learning about the Japanese American experience in Hawai‘i and the Japanese culture.
A graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa college of education, Derrick is an avid bon dancer with a certificate in Japanese dance from Otaki Minbu Kai.
Marcia Kemble joined the JCCH ‘ohana as the new Resource Center Manager in September 2012 and coordinates all daily operations of the JCCH Resource Center.
Prior to joining the team, Kemble held the position of Office Manager of Barbara Pope Book Design and previously served as Library Director at Mid-Pacific Institute, where she oversaw all library operations. She also has a background in elementary education.
Kemble received her Master of Library & Information Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, a Masters of Education in Elementary Education from Lesley College, and a Bachelor of Arts with a distinction in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is a graduate of Punahou School.
Audrey Kaneko is responsible for planning the majority of the public programs for the Cultural Center throughout the year.
She collaborated on the exhibition: Celebrate!: The Evolution of Japanese Celebration in Hawai‘i.
Prior to joining the Cultural Center in 2010 Kaneko worked in Los Angeles for 10 years at the Japanese American National Museum as a project manager and most recently coordinated the exhibition Textured Lives: Japanese Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawai`i and is the producer for the documentary, Barbara Kawakami: A Textured Life, which made its Hawai`i premiere at the 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival.
She is a graduate of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies.
Jane Kurahara is a retired school librarian and dedicates much of her free time in the Resource Center. She was the co-manager of the Resource Center as a volunteer from 2001 to 2006.
Kurahara has co-chaired the Hawaii Confinement Sites Committee since it inception in 2005. She has taken the lead on the planning, coordination, and discourse on outreach presentations, archaeological surveys, spearheaded acquisition of key archival collection manuscripts and photographs relating to internment, was key in creating the original and traveling Dark Clouds Over Paradise exhibits, and the development of the Hawaii internment curriculum of materials being taught in schools today.
Betsy Young is an award-winning public school teacher, social studies curriculum specialist and school librarian, who has kept education as her main focus by helping to develop curriculum on Japanese American internment in Hawaii being taught in our schools today.
She has conducted countless outreach presentations to community groups and schools, and chaired and coordinated the successful Day of Remembrance on February 21, 2010 which highlighted the Honouliuli internment camp. She also co-managed the Resource Center as a volunteer from 2001-2006.