Mr. Kato is a sales, marketing, & business development professional with over 40 years of experience in high tech industries. Now he is the CEO at Silicon Valley-Japan Business Consulting and is helping Japanese and American clients to initiate/expand their businesses between the US and Japan. He has worked for HP, Agilent Technologies, and AMD.
John is a retired mechanical and electrical engineer who has worked in several high tech companies. He has visited Cupertino's sister city, Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture in 1998, 2003 and 2008 as a member of the Cupertino Delegation to attend 20th, 25th and 30th Anniversaries of the Cupertino--Toyokawa Sister City Relationship. He is originally from Taiwan and speaks Japanese in addition to English, Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese. John has lived in Cupertino and Sunnyvale for a combined 41 years.
Johney became involved with SSCA after his oldest daughter, Abigail, visited Iizuka and had an amazing experience. Johney practices intellectual property law at Levine Bagade Han LLP in Palo Alto. He was previously General Counsel at a start-up and he has also worked at the law firms of Morrison & Foerster LLP and Skjerven, Morrill, MacPherson LLP. Prior to law, he was a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry. He holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University and a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley.
Ron is a global customer service leader with >30 years experience and has worked with customers of all cultures. Employed by Coherent Inc., a world leader in Photonics based in Silicon Valley, Ron lives in Sunnyvale with his family. He first visited Japan in 1987, has returned there dozens of times and is presently learning Japanese in his free time. Sparked by the positive experience of a student exchange and the opportunity to put his nascent Japanese language skills to use, Ron volunteered to join The Sunnyvale Sister City Association in 2014.
Although raised in Cupertino and attended Cal, Tony spent around 10 years living and working in Fintech in Tokyo. During his time there, he managed to take a sabbatical to go back to school, obtaining a graduate degree in Economics from the Graduate Institute of Policy Studies.
Despite his time in Tokyo, he may just prefer Kansai a little bit more, and especially likes the Nishinomiya area. He loves the culture, people, and the beauty of Japan, and dreams of moving back. Tony currently works as a money manager with a boutique wealth management firm, and is a new father.
Jay Yamanaga has loved Japan and Japanese culture from a young age. He is a member of the Mountain View Buddhist Temple and enjoys taiko, obon festivals, ramen and Japanese pop culture. After college, he was an ALT on the JET program in Motomiya City, Fukushima Prefecture. He counts it as one of the greatest experiences of his life and enjoys maintaining strong friendships.
Now back in the US, he is fighting a desperate battle to prevent his Japanese language from decaying and hopes to pass the JLPT N1 exam one day. He works as a chemist at Nanosys Inc., a Milpitas-based nanotechnology firm.
Nicole Nishimoto is a UX/UI designer for a Silicon Valley eLearning company. Prior to working in tech, she was an English language teacher for three years in Toki City, Gifu Prefecture and has spent several months living in Florence, Italy. Nicole grew up in Sunnyvale where she lived across the street from Jay.
Katherine’s interest in Japan began when she received a copy of “Tonari no Totoro.” Growing up in hot SoCal, she was, and still is fascinated by the lush Japanese countryside!
Katherine studied Japanese in college and interned for a summer in Okayama. She attended Stanford's Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies, where she picked up woodblock printing and experienced the value of a homestay. After working for Google in Mountain View for 3 years, she transferred to Tokyo where she mastered rush hour subways and biking with an umbrella. She dreams of moving to the Japanese countryside working on woodblock printing.
Mami was born and raised in Yamagata, Japan; although from the idyllic countryside, Mami's passion to improve her English and see the world has taken her to many different places. Mami previously studied International Relations in Ohio before going to work for Emirates Airlines as a flight attendant. Most recently, she worked for an American ad-tech company in Tokyo as an executive assistant and a simultaneous interpreter. Mami is currently enjoying her life in California, soaking up the sun and playing tennis as much as she can.
Nao Kondo is a creator of lifelike robots who is working to make real an imaginary picture-book like world using robotics. She has served as leader of the TRYBOTS team known for developing a penguin shaped underwater robot, and proactively works to make robots more casual and familiar. She graduated at the Keio University Faculty of Environment and Information Studies. Her accolades include selection for such lists as Forbes 30 under 30 and the Nikkei Business 100 people creating the next era, as well as the L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science in Japan Special Award.
Sinziana was born in Romania where she experienced her first camp away from home in first grade and, after a short homesickness night, she enjoyed traveling ever after. After graduating Computer Science and working as a software engineer in Bucharest she lived in Haifa, Israel for a few years and Mountain View and Sunnyvale since 1998. She worked for several software companies until she had her second daughter when she started exploring a new world with her daughters, organizing math festivals, volunteering as an art docent and participating in international fairs. After experiencing the magic of S2I and I2S exchange she is very excited to help connect the sister cities through art too!
Andrea's educational background is in geological engineering and planetary sciences, but after 20 years as an aerospace engineer, she recently transitioned to being a full-time artist. She creates abstract custom works for private clients and home stagers. Andrea also loves quilting, crafting, cooking/eating, reading, and traveling. She and her husband are restoring their historic Eichler home. Andrea is currently supporting the Sunnyvale Sister City Association in the capacity of Student Exchange Manager.
Melissa's interest in Japan began years ago after having the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and teach high school in Okinawa after college. She loved the people, language and culture, and ever since has embraced opportunities to learn and be involved with Japanese activities wherever she is. She and her two teenage sons travel annually to Japan, where they spend all her money on convenience store snacks. In her spare time, Melissa is a corporate attorney at O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, working with companies at all stages of their life cycle.
I was born and raised in Kitakyushu (a one hour drive from Iizuka). I completed my studies at the University in Okayama receiving a teachers license in PE. In 1995, I moved to San Jose and have lived in Sunnyvale since 2000. I have worked for Japanese high tech companies including Marubeni and Toray since living in the bay area. My mom lives in Nogata and my brother lives in Iizuka, so that I feel thankful to get involved with SSCA and make a positive impact between Sunnyvale and Fukuoka!!
I have been interested in foreign countries and cultures since young age. So I like traveling very much. When I visited Sunnyvale as an I2S chaperone, the kindness of people living there and SSCA touched my heart. At the same time I’m into Sunnyvale and want to be a bridge between two cities. Currently, I teach English at a junior high school and an elementary school. On my days off, I often enjoy running. I’m looking forward to working with people and for people.
Jenny is a mother of two school-age boys and works as a grants manager at Sequoia Healthcare District (SHD). Prior to joining SHD, she worked in the public schools for over a decade in various teaching positions at the high school, adult school, and middle school levels. Her interest in volunteering for SSCA stems from her experience teaching English in Japan for two years, which she fondly recalls as the best years of her life. Jenny holds a bachelor's degree in English from UCLA, a teaching credential from UCSD, and a master's degree in counseling from San Jose State.
Born in Tokyo and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Kaori moved to the U.S. in 2001. She attended Foothill Community College and transferred to UC Berkeley, where she completed her bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. Kaori's desire and passion for volunteering at SSCA is to help young generations to open up to the world for new and exciting experiences. While being a busy mother of two hyper boys in grade school, Kaori works for a pharmaceutical company as a regulatory affairs professional to help bring new therapies for cancer patients. In her spare time, Kaori likes being active: running, playing tennis, practicing yoga, and of course, loves playing and goofing around with the boys.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Daniele was born and raised in Brittany, France. After studying Computer Science, she moved to the Bay Area where she worked for SanDisk, Samsung, Apple and more recently Google. She had the opportunity to travel to Japan for business and really appreciated the culture and collaboration with her Japanese coworkers.
Daniele has been living in Sunnyvale with her family for over 20 years. Her son was part of the S2I 2022 Student Exchange program. She is supporting the Sunnyvale Sister City Association to enable other families to enjoy this wonderful program.
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