Leadership &Board (Eng)

Megumi Ijiri Haskin,  Founder & President 

After studying abroad for three years during high school and college, she proudly graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo. 

Her professional journey began at Hakuhodo Creative Agency, and in 1996, she made Seattle her home due to her American husband’s job. From being a full-time homemaker to serving as the vice president of a venture company, her diverse experiences led to the founding of IJIRIYA USA with the powerful motto of ‘changing the world.’ 

She is involved in consulting for Japanese companies, a writer, and the driving force behind Go Feisty!, a platform empowering women to lead strong, bright, and resilient lives. 

Inspired by her consulting work for a senior care organization established by Japanese Americans, she recognized the essential need to address the well-being of Japanese individuals living in the US. This realization fueled her commitment to establishing the JIA Foundation, a testament to her dedication to making a lasting impact in the community. 

Manami T Honda,  Vice President 

Coming to the U.S. from Japan for university studies, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Health Education & Promotion from Oregon State University. Subsequently, she developed an interest in nursing alongside preventive education and public health. After completing her associate degree, she became a licensed registered nurse (RN) in Washington state. Following this, she pursued advanced education at the University of Washington, earning a Doctor in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and becoming certified as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). Throughout her career, she has worked as both an RN and ARNP, providing care for patients of diverse ages and medical backgrounds. While in her graduate program, she also served as a Teaching Assistant, contributing to the education of nursing students. 

Since her university days, she has actively participated in volunteer activities related to Public Health, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence (DV), and more. Currently, she serves as the representative of “Heart of WA,” engaging in activities that provide information on welfare, healthcare, and legal matters to the Japanese community in the U.S. To contribute to the Japanese community using her knowledge and experience more, she has joined the JIA Foundation, which shares a similar mission. 

Yoko Moriyama, Secretary 

Originally from Kurashiki and raised in Yokohama, she embarked on her career in the United States right after high school. With a foundation in healthcare management from Nichii Gakkan Co. in Japan, she pursued higher education at Bastyr University, specializing in organizational development and coaching, ultimately earning a Master’s in Applied Behavioral Science. 

Her professional journey in the US includes designing and implementing leadership development programs for esteemed Japanese organizations such as TEPCO. In 2011, she founded Wise Leadership, LLC, a platform dedicated to providing coaching and training services, with a sharp focus on leadership development and achieving success. 

Active in the Japanese community, she shares insights through columns in Japanese community newspapers and assumes leadership roles in various organizations, including Heart of WA. 

Currently, she takes pride in her contribution to the JIA Foundation, passionately working towards empowering individuals to lead truly fulfilling lives.  

Akiko Tojo,  Treasure  

Originally from Iwate Prefecture, she has navigated through various regions in the Tohoku area, and settled in Sendai.
After three years as a registered nurse in Japan, she embarked on a Working Holiday adventure in Vancouver, Canada, where she felt challenges of language acquisition. This experience led her to pursue further studies in the US. She obtained her CPA qualification, completed her junior college education, and fulfilled the educational requirements for a CPA license, earning her bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University-Lynnwood Campus.
In 2010, she secured her CPA license in WA, and she gained valuable experience in accounting and taxation in the private sector, followed by her transition to a certified public accounting firm in 2015. She capped her educational journey with a Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University in 2016. Currently, she serves as a Senior Accountant at a CPA firm in Everett, contributing her expertise to individual and corporate tax filings.

HIkojiro Katsuhiko 

A graduate from the Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo, He has been a resident of Seattle since 1997. His active involvement spans various global activities, including roles in the Forestry Agency (Kasumigaseki, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Indonesia), Nishi-machi International School (Tokyo), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome), and the Seattle office of the Japan Lumber Reports. 

Apart from his professional endeavors, he serves as the Director at the Seattle Go Center, indulges in golf, enjoys choir singing, and finds solace in the great outdoors through hiking. 

He expresses his philosophy about the JIA Foundation: “While most JIA members may lead tranquil lives, maintaining close relationships with a relatively small number of friends, let’s come together to think about what we can do for the community and for ourselves. Let’s collaborate and take action.” 

Yuko Okamoto 

Coming Soon!

Taro Kusunose 

Born in Tokyo, he embarked on a unique educational journey due to his father’s job. He received primary education in Seattle, attended a Japanese supplementary school under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education in Japan, and spent summers attending school in Japan, growing up as a fully bilingual individual. His educational foundation culminated in a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, followed by law school at the University of California, Davis, where he earned his J.D. in 1999. She further expanded his legal knowledge with a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) from the University of Washington School of Law. 

He is a distinguished member of the legal community, recognized for excellence. He obtained a Washington State lawyer license and has been consistently awarded the Rising Star by ‘Washington Law & Politics’ from 2005 to 2011, an honor given annually to the top 3% of young lawyers in Washington state. In 2018, he received the Washington State Best Lawyer award in real estate law. 

His expertise lies in business law, corporate counseling, real estate law, and trademark registration. With a wealth of knowledge and a commitment to legal excellence, he is a trusted advisor in navigating complex legal landscapes. 

Valuing community support, he considers volunteering at JIA as a crucial means of giving back to the community.  

Izumi Mitsuoka 

Graduated from the Department of Geophysics at the Tokyo University, earning a Master of Science with a focus on seawater density. Initially interested in research, she later developed a passion for teaching. Her career began as a geology teacher in Tokyo. 

In 1981, she moved to Los Angeles with her husband, where she taught middle school science for three years. Following the birth of her first daughter, she started involved with La Leche League, became a volunteer leader after her first son’s birth. Currently, she provides breastfeeding support for the Japanese community at Overlake Hospital. 

Since 1995, she has dedicated 24 years to teaching science at the Seattle Japanese Supplementary School. Joining JIA Foundation in 2019, she joined as a board member in February 2020. Through JIA’s activities, she aims to share experiences of raising children in a foreign country, cultural heritage education from the supplementary school, and struggles related to her own identity with many people. 

Her hobbies include playing the piano, ballet (including modern dance), and studying mushrooms. 

Kyoko Maruyama 

Coming Soon!

Yoshimichi Okada 

Born in Kyoto and raised in the Greater Seattle Area, he grew up with Japanese parents and attended the Seattle Japanese School from elementary through high school, which made his Japanese “Made in America.” After graduating high school, he went to Tenri in Nara Prefecture, where he was immersed in learning about Japanese hierarchical relationships and discipline. Upon returning to the States, he attended community college and later transferred to the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting and Information Systems. Currently, he is working in the accounting department of an event management company and studying to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

At the JIA Foundation, he leverages his accounting expertise and also serves to lower the average age of the board. His hobbies include sampling various beans to find the ultimate coffee experience, bouldering, walking, and journaling before bed. He is also considering taking up the tea ceremony in 2024.