Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) on July 16 announced that George A. Henning has been named chairman of the national nonprofit organization, with Junior Bryant, Craig Ishii and Kimberlee Tachiki-Chin joining the Board of Directors.
Henning is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Global Investment Management Co., a Glendale-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1991. He currently serves as portfolio manager for several of the firm’s investment funds. Previously, he served as senior vice president at Transamerica Life Companies and Chubb LifeAmerica. Henning holds a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College and a master’s degree from Indiana University.
A longtime supporter of GFBNEC, Henning was introduced to the Nisei veterans’ legacy by philanthropist and 522nd Field Artillery Battalion veteran Manabi Hirasaki, a close friend who shared his family history and World War II experiences.
“His humble recollection of events and experiences under such terrible circumstances for any U.S. citizen was painful to comprehend,” Henning said. “We often discussed the importance of passing this legacy forward to future generations. I’m honored to assume this leadership capacity to advance the legacy of ‘Go For Broke.’”
Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s president and chief executive officer, welcomed Henning’s appointment. “We’re fortunate to have George’s extensive professional and business experience to help us expand the legacy of our Nisei WWII veterans and their contributions to our democracy. His leadership will help us attract new supporters and broaden our influence as we reach out to new communities and generations.”
GFBNEC’s new board members represent a range of professions and disciplines. Bryant, an advisor to emerging startup companies, previously served as vice president and national marketing and sales director for Pacific Global Investments. Prior to that, he was co-founder and managing director of Smith & Bryant, Inc., a real estate investment company.
A veteran of the National Football League, Bryant retired from the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 after a 10-year career as a defensive lineman. He is active in philanthropic activities, serving as a board member for the Forever Young Foundation and co-founder of Legends of Sports Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Ishii, integrated marketing communication manager at Beckman Coulter, has dedicated his career to businesses and organizations that support positive social development. He has served in several positions with Japanese American community organizations, including the Japanese American Citizens League and the Little Tokyo Community Council. He was a founding member and executive director of Kizuna, a nonprofit dedicated to educating and engaging the next generations of Japanese Americans.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from UCLA and a master’s degree in public administration with a certificate in nonprofit management from California State University, Northridge.
Tachiki-Chin has served as senior field deputy for U.S. Rep. Lucile Roybal-Allard for more than 20 years. Previously, she served on the staff of Assemblymember Debra Bowen. She has extensive experience with community and nonprofit organizations including the Japanese American Citizens League, The Asian Pacific Women’s Center, and Pacific Asian Counseling Services. In addition, she is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff Network.
She is the daughter of Norman and Yoshie Tachiki, longtime volunteers in the Japanese American community in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. Tachiki-Chin holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education from CSU Northridge.
Henning noted that the new board members bring additional depth to the GFBNEC board. “We honor the Japanese American soldiers who served with loyalty and distinction during WWII, despite the U.S. treating them as a threat to their own country and the incarceration of many of their families. Today, those lessons couldn’t be more relevant, with citizens of other races also facing threats because of their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs. Junior, Craig and Kim bring fresh expertise to our board as we work toward a future that values inclusion, tolerance and mutual respect.”
GFBNEC’s leadership recognized board member Doug Goto and former GFBNEC chairmen Stephen Kagawa and Bill Seki as they completed their service under the board’s term limits.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Doug, Steve and Bill for their extraordinary support over many years,” Maki said. “They have given so generously in every way — from their professional expertise to time, talent, leadership and financial support. We look forward to our ongoing friendship with each of them as we build on the solid foundation they helped to create.”
The leadership team extended GFBNEC’s heartfelt respects to the family of Garfield Finley, Jr. on his recent passing.
“Garfield was the first African American to serve on GFBNEC’s board when he joined us in 2011,” Maki said. “We honor his many contributions to our board, our organization and the broader community.”