Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) 50


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The ELP 50 Initiative will be a landmark trip that gathers 50 of the top next-generation Japanese American leaders to experience Japan and connect with their Japanese counterparts in a way that only USJC can facilitate. It is a strategic program designed to strengthen the political, cultural, economic, and personal ties between young Japanese American and Japanese leaders.

The initiative has three primary goals:
1. For ELP alumni to learn about Japan more deeply.
2. To increase the visibility of Japanese Americans within Japanese society.
3. To strengthen ties between ELP alumni and Japanese leaders.

Introducing the ELP 50 Delegates

Dana Baba (ELP ’19)
General Dentist, US Navy

David Kenji Chang (ELP ’15)
Investor, AN Capital

Yuga Cohler (ELP ’19)
Engineering Lead, Coinbase

Tyler Fujita (ELP ’21)
Study Tours and Global Engagement Director, Pacific & Asian Affairs Council (PAAC)

Claire Fukuoka (ELP ’18)
Senior Transportation Manager, Austin, Tsutsumi & Associates, Inc.

Naomi Funahashi (ELP ’11)
Manager, Reischauer Scholars Program and Teacher Professional Development, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), Stanford University

Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka (ELP ’20)
Partner, Canaan Partners

Kimberly C. Haruki (ELP ’17)
VP, Director, Brand & Communications, Central Pacific Bank

Dana Fujiko Heatherton (ELP ’11)
Head of Dense Urban Market Operations, Waymo/Google

Danielle Higa (ELP ’17)
Senior Associate, Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group (NPAG)

Nozomu Tim Higashide (ELP ’14)
Director of Business Operations, Sakura Square

Yuki Inoue (ELP ’18)
Reporter, NHK

Craig Ishii (ELP ’13)
Director of Marketing, Inspire

Mari Iwahara (ELP ’21)
Principal, Sibling

Kristin Alm Kamakahi (ELP ’20)
Director, Staffing and Operations, Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Derek Kenmotsu (ELP ’17)
AI/ML Business Development Lead, Defense Innovation Unit

Jessy LeClair (ELP ’21)
Senior Manager, Japan Desk, CIC

Meredith Maimoni (ELP ’20)
MBA/MS Candidate, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Kay Makishi (ELP ’13)
Chief Growth Officer, BeyondTrucks

Kenyon Mayeda (ELP ’12)
VP of Operations, TDW+Co

Zane Miyamoto (ELP ’21)
Partnerships, Stripe

Joshua Morey (ELP ’16)
President, The J. Morey Company, Inc.

Lindsay Nakano (ELP ’20)
News Producer, ABC7 News KGO

Kenji Negi (ELP ’16)
Business Development Manager, Xandr

Erika Ninoyu (ELP ’16)
Senior Legislative Assistant, Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Stephanie Nitahara (ELP ’19)
Senior Program Manager, Community Partners

Niki Robins (ELP ’19)
Co-Founder/Content Director, Spectacle Marketing

Brent Sabati (ELP ’21)
Digital Content Specialist, Ent Credit Union

Jacob Saiki (ELP ’21)
Chief of Staff, MilkRun

Russell Saito (ELP ’16)
Advisor, Editorial Department, Nikkei, Inc.

Steve Sakanashi (ELP ’15)
Director of Marketing & Global Strategy, Matchbox Technologies

Rylan Sekiguchi (ELP ’17)
Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), Stanford University

Ryota Sekine (ELP ’19)
Startup Investor, Radical Investors LLC

Aki Shibuya (ELP ’21)
Director of Business Solutions, Casey Family Programs

Aiko Shimizu (ELP ’20)
Head of Japan Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy, Twitter

Eriko Stronach (ELP ’20)
Analyst, BowerGroupAsia

Andrea Sugano (ELP ’16)
Senior Strategy Analyst, Vanguard

Jaime Sugino (ELP ’17)
Founder and Partner, Bulb Rocket

Lindsey Sugino (ELP ’18)
Software Engineer, Bulb Rocket

Blair Suzuki (ELP ’21)
President and CEO, Koa Restoration & Maintenance

Winston Taira (ELP ’15)
Director, Strategy and New Ventures, Irresistible Foods Group

Courtney Takara (ELP ’20)
Bank Regulatory Compliance Specialist, American Savings Bank

Colby Takeda (ELP ’16)
CEO, Pear Suite

Chris Takeuchi (ELP ’21)
Manager, Strategy and Consulting, Accenture

Staci Toji (ELP ’17)
Attorney, Toji Law, APC

Evelyn Tokuyama (ELP ’15)
Media Relations Officer, UCLA Health

Eiko Tsukamoto (ELP ’20)
Senior Manager, Schmidt Futures

Kenshiro Uki (ELP ’14)
President, Sun Noodle North America

Amy Watanabe (ELP ’18)
Managing Director, Client Services, Nakatomi & Associates

Yuko Watanabe (ELP ’17)
Senior Consultant and Co-Founder, Unify Consulting, Tapestory 

Riki Yoshinaga (ELP ’21)
Managing Partner, BlackShip, Inc.

Amy Yeung (ELP ’12)
Deputy General Counsel, Sallie Mae

Bryan Yonamine (ELP ’20)
Named Account Executive, Gartner Inc