The Nisei Week Foundation’s Nisei Week Japanese Festival Grand Parade will make its way through the streets of Little Tokyo on Sunday, Aug. 10, starting at 4 p.m.
The parade will be led by the 2014 grand marshal, Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, Medal of Honor recipient and World War II and Korean War veteran, and parade marshal, Hello Kitty, the beloved icon recognized worldwide who celebrates her 40th anniversary this year.
The procession will start at Central Avenue and head east on Second Street, turning north on San Pedro Street, turning east on First Street, then turning south and ending on Central Avenue.
Among the Grand Parade VIP participants is William T Fujioka, chief executive officer of the County of Los Angeles, who will be retiring in the fall. Other dignitaries include Alhambra Mayor Gary Yamauchi and L.A. Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
“The Nisei Week Foundation is honored to have Bill Fujioka participate in our Grand Parade,” said Masao “Mike” Okamoto, 2014 Nisei Week president. “We want to thank him for his many years of public service and having him ride in the parade will enable the community to also pay tribute to his work in the County and City of Los Angeles.”
Fujioka was born and raised in Los Angeles County. He is a public administrator with 40 years of experience in local government and has served since July 2007 as county CEO, implementing the new governance structure whereby the CEO exercises executive authority over most county departments and operations. The CEO is responsible for managing the largest county in the nation (over 10 million residents), with a budget of approximately $26 billion and over 100,000 employees, and is responsible for countywide policy and program leadership — from health and social services to public safety, community and municipal services to recreation/culture and the arts.
Fujioka first came to work for the county in 1978, holding various positions. He was an examinations analyst, Civil Service appeals analyst, personnel officer, and administrator in the Department of Health Services, including chief executive officer of High Desert Hospital/Antelope Valley Cluster.
He left the county in 1997 to become general manager of the Personnel Department for the City of Los Angeles, serving in this capacity for two years. In August 1999, he was named Los Angeles’ city administrative officer and served for eight years before retiring. After a brief retirement, he was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to his current post. He was the first minority to have served in both of these executive roles.
Fujioka holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology (social research) from UC Santa Cruz, and graduated Cum Laude. He has one son, and is married to Darlene Kuba, who was the Nisei Week general chairperson in 1984.