On April 28, 2018, the Steering Committee of the U.S.-Japan Council’s (USJC) TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) held its first Retreat at Masuda Funai’s Chicago office. The ELP Steering Committee Retreat brought Japanese-American leaders to Chicago from across the U.S. A pre-Retreat dinner and panel discussion on the best way to recognize and continue to build cross-generational opportunities took place on Friday evening, April 27, 2018, with the ELP Steering Committee members and Chicago USJC members. Dayne Kono, Chairman of Masuda Funai and USJC member and former Board member, participated in the panel discussion along with Mike Tanimura (Chicago member), Ellen Kamei (ELP), and Nate Gyotoku (ELP). Marion Friebus-Flaman facilitated the discussion and speakers included Evelyn Tokuyama (ELP) and Bob Kumaki (Chicago member).
The U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) identifies, cultivates, and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. Emerging Leaders participate in leadership education, design and implement original USJC programming, and develop powerful, lifelong personal and professional friendships. A new cohort of leaders aged 24-35 is selected annually to attend the Annual Conference, become USJC Associates, and join program alumni in bridging the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship.