Staff & Board

If you have any questions or want to know more about any of the programs or services JASC offers, please feel free to contact any of our staff as listed below.

Main: 773-275-0097
Social Services: 773-275-7212

Administrative Staff

Chief Executive Officer: Michael Takada
Mike brings a unique combination of private sector and nonprofit experience to lead both the day-to-day operations and long-range planning for JASC. With over 30 years of experience in the financial sector, Mike oversees all strategic planning, project management, financial management, and organizational leadership at JASC, translating JASC’s Mission into active services and programs. Mike’s volunteer experience includes serving as past President and Board Member of JASC, anti-racism and diversity facilitator with the Anti-Defamation League and the Unitarian Universalist Association, past President and Board Trustee at the Unitarian Church of Evanston and Evanston’s Kids Can Dance program. Mike received a BA from Boston University and a MBA from DePaul University. He helped raise three beautiful daughters in Rogers Park and now calls the Uptown neighborhood home.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 230; email: mtakada@jasc-chicago.org

Program & Special Events Manager: Joan Ambo
Joan joined the staff in August 2018 and does planning and coordinating Programs and Special Events at JASC.  Joan has been an active volunteer in the community for many years, and has a teaching background in Montessori. A Chicago native, she grew up in Uptown and currently resides in the Rogers Park neighborhood.  Joan is a graduate of UIC and the Inter-University Center in Yokohama, Japan.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 228; email: jambo@jasc-chicago.org

Legacy Center Director: Emma Saito Lincoln

Emma joined the JASC staff in September 2020, bringing a wealth of experience in libraries and archives and a deep commitment to preserving Japanese American heritage.  She manages the Legacy Center archives and library, working behind the scenes to ensure the collections are properly organized and protected while also thinking creatively about how to maximize accessibility to our incredible holdings.  Emma holds both a Master of Science in Information Studies degree and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Preservation Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  Her undergraduate degree is from Amherst College, where she majored in Asian Languages and Civilizations.  Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Maryland, Illinois has been her adopted home since 2007.  Together with her husband, Emma spent six years running a small farm using sustainable, pasture-based methods in central Illinois.  Her menagerie once included sheep, pigs, cattle, chickens, and ducks, but has now been reduced to one very large dog and three cats.
Phone: 773 275-0097, ext 222; email: eslincoln@jasc-chicago.org

Cultural & Community Affairs Coordinator: Kay Kawaguchi
Kay has worked in many areas at JASC since 1999, most recently coordinating Cultural & Community Affairs, managing  classes, workshops and seminars. A native Japanese speaker, she also assists with translation services, home support programs and Adult Day Care Services for Japanese-speaking clients. Prior to JASC, Kay worked at the Chicago Shimpo newspaper and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce at Chicago.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 226; email: classes@jasc-chicago.org

Coordinator – Tampopo Kai: Naomi Negi
Naomi has been delighting children and their parents at JASC’s Tampopo Kai program for over 25 years. Besides spending time creating engaging lesson plans and updating seasonal displays for the classroom, she keeps busy as a cultural artist visiting schools, libraries and museums running workshops and demonstrations of Japanese cultural arts.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 226; email: tampopo@jasc-chicago.org

Coordinator – Tampopo Kai: Tomoko Hanna

Coordinator – Donguri Kai: Kaori Tabion

Coordinator – Donguri Kai: Yuri Yatsuda

Digitization Coordinator: Kioto Aoki
Kioto is part of the Bridging Voices Project team and has been at JASC since 2018. She is responsible for cataloguing and preparing the 16mm film collection and other audio/video media archives for digitization to help facilitate online public accessibility of JASC’s archives. Kioto is a visual artist and musician, specializing in the analogue image and image-making process. She received her BFA and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Email: Kaoki@jasc-chicago.org

Community Engagement Coordinator: JJ Ueunten
JJ (they/them)  is a queer yonsei Japanese and Okinawan, who was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, before moving to the Chicago area almost 20 years ago. They have a massage practice called Blue Turtle Bodywork. They have done community building work in Asian and wider queer and trans people of color communities. In the past few years, they have gotten more involved with the Nikkei community, and been at JASC since 2019.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 225; email:jueunten@jasc-chicago.org

Controller: Bryan Robson
email: account@jasc-chicago.org

Database Coordinator: Ryan Toguri
Ryan joined JASC in 2011 and is responsible for maintaining JASC’s databases and addressing any technical issues that arise with the office computers. Ryan also coordinates and designs the JASC eblast and Community Calendar newsletters. Ryan graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Music.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 221; email: rtoguri@jasc-chicago.org

Receptionist: Yuki Scroggins
Yuki has been JASC’s receptionist since 2007. The first person you see walking in the door, Yuki is responsible for the “meet & greet” as well as other administrative duties. Bilingual in English and Japanese, Yuki also assists in translating documents for the JASC Legacy Center.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 221; email: yscroggins@jasc-chicago.org

Adult Day Care Services 

Manager: Melba Ristow, RN
Melba plans and supervises the Adult Day Care Services to meet the needs of our senior guests. With over 20 years of service at JASC, her team conducts meaningful activities and care allowing seniors to remain independent longer. Prior to JASC, Melba worked in several hospital settings, including Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial. Melba earned her nursing degree in the Philippines.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 239; email: seniors@jasc-chicago.org

Day Care Nurse: Nanytes Blanca, RN
Nanytes (Tess) has worked as a nurse in JASC Adult Day Care program since 1996, assessing, planning and directing the total nursing care of clients, working with families, caregivers and other medical professionals. Tess previously worked in skilled nursing facilities and home health settings and earned her degree in the Philippines.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240; email: adsnurse@jasc-chicago.org

Activity Planner: Katren Mesa Chiong, CNA
Katren has been working in Adult Day Services since 2007, creating, planning and overseeing therapeutic games and activities for JASC clients that meet their social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs. Katren is a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Activity Planner: Joel Villaruel
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Driver: Ruben Alcantara
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Driver: Tyroam McGhee
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Driver: Douglas Peterson
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Home Support Services

Manager: Sodarlene Khee
Sodarlene joined JASC as a homemaker in January 2016 was quickly promoted to manager in June. She came to JASC after several years working in a doctor’s office and with an undergraduate degree from Royal University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Reach out to Sodarlene if you or someone you know could use some extra help around the house.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 223; email: skhee@jasc-chicago.org 

Board of Directors

JASC is directed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, lending their specific professional and community expertise to all aspects of the organization.

Stacy Uchida Brown

Stacy is a Customer Business Lead for a large wholesale customer at the Kraft Heinz Company, representing the fourth largest food and beverage company in the world with iconic brands such as Kraft, Heinz, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, JELL-O and others. She has also led the company’s U.S. Retail and Shopper Marketing organizations. Prior to that, Stacy worked at market intelligence firm Market Track as Director of Operations and created youth field hockey programs in Chicagoland for Windy City Field Hockey. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with Business and Music minors and received her Master’s degree in Sports Marketing & Management at Northwestern University. Stacy has led numerous projects with JASC as well as the U.S.-Japan Council over the past decade and looks forward to continuing to find ways to help build a sustainable future for our community. She lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband Rob.

Vice President & Treasurer
Yasuko Metcalf

Yasuko is an Audit partner in the Japanese practice of KPMG’s Chicago office. She joined the Chicago office KPMG in 1990, and became a partner in 2000. She currently focuses on serving Japanese-owned companies.

Vice President
Bob Kumaki

Bob is the Managing Principal of the Ronin Group, a marketing consulting firm. With over 30 years of experience, Bob has held management positions at some of the world’s largest marketing communications organizations including Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather. Recognized as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Asian American marketing, he is the author of Many Cultures, One Market: A Guide to Understanding the Asian Pacific American Market, and is a sought-after lecturer on the subject. Bob has served as a Founder, Officer, Director or Member of over a dozen non-profits in the Asian American arena and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bob lives in Wilmette with his wife, Mary, and has a grown daughter.

Vice President
Glenn Sugiyama

Glenn is an Executive Vice President and Global Practice Leader for DHR International, one of the nation’s largest executive search firms. Glenn’s diverse management experience includes roles at Leo Burnett USA, President of a regional restaurant chain and member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bulls. Glenn has been a member of the JASC Board of Directors for over two decades and serves as our Santa Claus at the annual Holiday Delight and is a graduate of Michigan State University. Glenn lives in Wilmette with his wife, Patti, and has two grown children.

John R. Sasaki

John is Managing Director with The Claro Group, a financial and management consulting firm where he heads the Government Contract Consulting Practice, leading a team of 18 professionals that assist Fortune 500 companies that perform business with the Federal government. John is a CPA and began his career in Arthur Andersen’s Audit practice, eventually being appointed Partner in charge of the Government Contract Consulting Practice for Andersen’s Western Region. John’s non-profit experience includes serving as Board member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Evans Scholarship program, and Board member of JASC since 2005. John is a graduate of Marquette University and lives in Northbrook with his wife Elaine, daughter Nicole and twins Robert and Matthew.


Damon DiCastri

Damon is Associate General Counsel at CIBC Bank USA where he advises the commercial banking business on a wide range of legal issues.  Prior to joining the bank, he was a partner at a large Chicago law firm.  His not-for-profit experience includes serving as the Chair of the Board of the Chicago Cultural Association and as an advisor to the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  Damon received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his JD from the Northwestern University School of Law.  He lives on the western edge of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood with his wife Tomomi and their three children, Dante, Louis and Hana.

Marion Friebus-Flaman, PhD

Marion is Director of Language Acquisition Services for Naperville Community Unit School District 203. In this role, she oversees the Bilingual/ESL program, the Dual Language program and World and Classical Languages program from pre-kindergarten through high school. Prior to this, she was Principal of Thomas Dooley Elementary School for five years, where she directed all instructional programs and professional staff development at the nation’s only Japanese-English Dual Language Program in a public school. She also lends her expertise in this field by teaching graduate courses in Multicultural Education at Northern Illinois University. Marion is a Council Member of the US-Japan Council and has served on the Illinois English Language Learner Assessment Advisory Committee and the Illinois Governor’s Task Force on Growth Models. Dr. Friebus-Flaman has earned degrees from Southern Illinois University, the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and Capella University. Marion lives in Hoffman Estates with her son, Ben.

Sayaka Machizawa, PsyD

Dr. Sayaka Machizawa works as Associate Director of the Community Partnerships at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she coordinates and oversees community engaged scholarship activities. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, she specializes in neuropsychological and fitness-for-duty evaluations as well as psychotherapy. She is actively involved in leadership roles in American Psychological Association (APA). She currently serves as Secretary of APA Division 52 International Psychology and Membership Officer for APA Division 17 Counseling Psychology International Section. She is a graduate of Cornell College and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and lives in Logan Square with her cat, Peter.

Andrew Mine

Andres has practiced law for the City of Chicago Law Department for over 20 years, specializing in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.  Prior to that he was an associate with a large firm in New York City.  He has degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan Law School.  He lives in Rogers Park with his wife, Rachel.

Kimberly Robinson

Kim is a partner at the law firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. and is a member of the medical malpractice and birth trauma defense teams. Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois and US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Kim has served on the Cook County Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Alliance of Bar Associations through her involvement with the Illinois Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association. Kim is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Northern Illinois University College of Law and lives in Chicago.

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