Wednesday, May 30, 2007

CJS Board of Directors 2007

Ken Bole, President
Ken first went to Japan as an ESL teacher in 1984 on a one-way ticket out of Vancouver, and a large part of him never left. He's still affiliated with the same educational services company that hired him over 20 years ago, and has been operating his own Canada-Japan educational company for almost fifteen years. Ken, a Board member since 1998, is a collector of Beat literature, as well as a photographer. His latest passion is podcasting.

John Le Blanc, Vice-President
John has been involved with the CJS since 1995, when he was seconded to Mitsubishi Corporation from his law firm. Working in a Japanese environment rekindled his interest in Japan, where he resided from 1988 to 1991 as an English teacher. John became a Board member in 1996, and served as President from 1999 to 2002. He continues to be active on the Board as Vice-President. John currently works as senior in-house legal counsel for a bank. For fun, he finds ways to get out of the city and either sip beer on the dock in Muskoka, or ride the hills of Collingwood on his snowboard - the seasons decide.

Lisa Houston, Treasurer
Lisa's connection to Japan started in primary school when her father accepted a teaching position at a Kansai university. She attended the same school as an exchange student while doing her B.A. at the University of Toronto, but strangely, did not pick up much Kansai-ben. From 1997 to 1999, Lisa participated in U of T's Work in Japan Program, working at a Tokyo law firm then known as Hamada & Matsumoto. A long-time member of CJS, Lisa works as a lawyer at a downtown firm. She enjoys travelling, photography, karaoke and home renovation projects. Her favourite food is okonomiyaki, prepared just the way she likes it.

Linda Adachi, Communications Director
Roko, born in Saitama-ken, moved to Canada with her family and renamed herself Linda (embarrassingly, after the singer Yamamoto Linda). She first encountered the CJS in 2000 when she wrote an article about the organization in The New Canadian; she started editing the CJS newsletter soon afterwards, and is now also responsible for emailing members, as well as overseeing the website and sitting on the Film Committee. Linda works in policy and communications for a large pension fund. In her spare time she listens to sad-bastard music, tries to quit smoking, and practices the faster forms of yoga. Her cooking skills are better than her karaoke skills.

Sonia Cardillo, Membership Director
Sonia was just another unsuspecting gaijin, minding her own business, when former Board member Annette Goulin started inviting her to CJS events. Before she knew it, Sonia found herself elected to the Board in 2005 as Membership Director. She is an active supporter of CJS events, especially IMK and Movie Night. Sonia works as a senior corporate law clerk for the Asia Pacific group of a top-tier law firm. In her spare time, she likes spinning to cool music, skiing, and travelling.

Jeff Harju, Social Director
Jeff joined the CJS in 1999, and is the current Ichimoku-kai (IMK) Director, as well as Chair of the Film Committee. He spent his four years in Japan in both Kawasaki and Yokohama, developing a taste for kaiten-sushi, sake, shochu, and mahjong. Jeff is a marketing specialist, and devotes most of his spare time to his love of music, movies, and bettering Canada-Japan relations.

Eiko Shaul, Business Director
Eiko is a lapsed member of CJS - she was a member when the organization was known as CJST. She took time off to concentrate on running her own business for a while, but she missed the people and the camaraderie enjoyed among them and came back to the organization. Coincidentally, she has discovered Haruki Murakami and has become a fan of his novels. She has also discovered the joy of discovering Japanese movies that are mostly not mainstream in North America at the once a month CJS movie night. By joining the board, Eiko is hoping to plan some business events that would be of interest to Canadian and Japanese businesses.

Chi Diep, Secretary
Chi, a Board member since 2003, is responsible for ordering all the wonderful food for CJS events; she is also a member of the Film Committee. Chi spent two years in Japan as a JET teacher, and learned to love natto. She's a power-shopper who can tell you where to get the best deals on everything from Japanese thermal reconditioning to designer socks. Chi works as a student services officer at a college, and is currently studying sign language in her spare time.

Don Waters, Director
Don Waters began his connection with Japan in 1993 working in Ibaraki-ken as an English teacher. He returned to Tokyo in 1996 to do a legal clerkship at a Japanese law firm. Don is currently a lawyer specializing in corporate finance, and is a member of his firm's Japan practice group. He joined the CJS in 2000 as a member of the Business Committee, and joined the Board in 2003. Don is an avid hockey player in the winter, and enjoys spending the summer months in his garden.

Fumiko Shiba, Director
Fumiko was born in Wakayama-ken, raised in Bangkok, and spent four years in Tokyo at Sophia University. She is currently trying to retire from her day job at a bank. Fumiko enjoys reading detective stories, and she's an ardent supporter of the arts (particularly the symphony and ballet). She is a member of Seicho-No-Ie. Fumiko joined the CJS 15 years ago. She hopes that more Japanese people will become actively involved in making CJS the important and wonderful organization that it is.

Atiq Ahmed, Director
Atiq worked in Japan from 1995 to 2002 as a JET teacher, living in Tottori-ken, Osaka, and Yokohama. Since his return to Canada he has been an active member of the Japanese Canadian community, through his participation with the Japanese Visitors Association (JAVA), Toronto Japanese Language School, and JET Alumni Association. Atiq has been a CJS member since 2002, and joined the Board in 2004. Atiq currently works for a training and development firm. Much of his spare time is spent at ice hockey rinks, soccer pitches or the karate dojo.

2005 Board of Directors