JACL Names New District Governors


SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) announces two new district governors.

David Unruhe

David Unruhe was elected governor of the Northern California Western Nevada Pacific (NCWNP) District after serving on the District Executive Board for two years.  He has been a member of the Placer County JACL Chapter since 1992 and has been on the chapter board since 2001.

He first became active at the district level when he attended the Tri-District conference in Reno in 2006.  He attended the JACL/OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2010.

Unruhe is currently involved in the effort to erect a statue honoring Nisei World War II veterans in Roseville (see www.placerjacl.org for details). He is the secretary of the Gold Hill Wakamatsu Colony Foundation, teaches at Tomodachi Gakko in Cortez-Livingston each summer, and serves as a docent at the “Uprooted” exhibit at the California State Museum. He is also vice president of Placer Buddhist Church and a member of the Auburn Kiwanis. He and his wife Vicki have two adult children.

Stephanie Nitahara

Stephanie Nitahara will serve as governor of the Midwest District. She is replacing Michio Murakishi, who began a term as governor this year but resigned for personal reasons.

Nitahara graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in community health, administration and planning and minored in chemistry. In 2007 she joined the Executive Board of the Jayou Initiative, where she served as the secretary and a program manager.

The same year, she attended the JACL Youth Conference held at Santa Clara University, and has been involved with the JACL ever since. Starting off as the Midwest District Council youth representative, she has participated in multiple National Youth/Student Council activities, such as endorsing a resolution for North Korean human rights, managing social events during the 2009 National Youth Conference, maintaining the NY/SC treasury, and planning regional leadership summits for the youth and young professionals of JACL.

Through her undergraduate courses, campus activities and various NY/SC events, Nitahara has discovered an affinity for program planning and decided to further her involvement with JACL by developing young professionals events with the Chicago Chapter as well as sitting on the National Board as the Midwest District governor.

National JACL President David Kawamoto said, “I have known David Unruhe through his JACL work for his chapter and district. Also, I’ve known him through his active involvement with the Buddhist Churches of America. I’m very pleased to see him volunteering to serve on the National JACL Board. Stephanie Nitahara has been an active member of JACL’s Youth Council. It is wonderful to see such qualified young people take on leadership roles within our organization.”

Floyd Mori, JACL national executive director, stated, “The role of district governor is often difficult in requiring a balance of local issues with national priorities. I congratulate David and Stephanie for their commitment in moving the JACL into a functioning and fiscally viable organization to meet the needs of the Asian American community of today. Their talents and insight will contribute to an effective national board.”

The JACL has seven districts. Other governors serving are:  Chip Larouche of the Pacific Northwest District, Marcia Chung of the Central California District, Kerry Kaneichi of the Pacific Southwest District, Brian Morishita of the Intermountain District, and Toshi Abe of the Eastern District.


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