Council Member Curtiss Rooks speaks at JACL Event

Dr. Rooks (second from right), along with (L-R) Ms. kato-kiriyama, Mr. Tomiyama and Ms. Kodama, shares his experience navigating diverse professional fields as a Japanese American

On April 25, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) National Youth/Student Council hosted a summit on the topic of networking and business as a Japanese American, featuring our very own Curtiss T. Rooks as one of the distinguished panelists.

Dr. Rooks shared the insight he has gained from serving on the Gate Millennium Scholars Program Advisory Council, among other organizations, and shed light on the importance of balancing family, community involvement, and professional career in academia.

Other speakers discussed the following topics: Mr. David Lin, National President of JACL, reiterated the importance of youth engagement within the Japanese American community; Ms. Vanna Novak, a nationally recognized trainer, consultant and coach, shared with the crowd of over 40 young professionals and community volunteers the importance of happiness, cultural roots, and confidence in effective presentation and networking; Ms. traci kato-kiriyama, a writer, actor, and multi-platform artist, spoke on how acknowledging her cultural identity has influenced her work; Mr. Craig Tomiyoshi, who works at IW Group, said that marketing that acknowledges diversity in America will be key in the growing trend of multiculturalism in marketing and communications; and Ms. Nikki Kodama, Manager of Systems Engineering and Integration at Northrup Grumman Corporation, shared her experience as a minority both ethnically and by gender.

The panelists, including Dr. Rooks (second from right), with event co-coordinators Ryan Taketomo (JANM YPN Board Member; third from left) and Kristy Ishii (JACL Pacific Southwest District Youth Representative; right)

The connection that panelists made with participants and one another was palpable. Attendees walked away with stronger networking abilities, a strong sense of community, and not only new connections, but new friends.