By JOANNE SOOHOO
The Pasadena Nikkei Seniors Board recently announced the 2021 recipient of the Special Recognition for Outstanding Service: the group’s former president, Ron Toshima.
The board has been truly inspired by Ron. His leadership in service roles delivers substantial benefits to the community and he demonstrates, inspires and mobilizes others to work cooperatively and effectively as a team toward the betterment of PNS and the community. Because of his strong work ethic, professionalism, dedication and commitment, he is truly an established leader.
In November 2011, Ron was recommended as a prospective board member. Shortly after attending monthly board meetings and becoming familiar with PNS Board members, schedules, activities and events, he took an active part in volunteering to assist with PNS-related trips and functions.
In December 2012, Ron was asked to take on the task of master of ceremonies for the PNS New Year’s party. In August 2013, he accepted the position of co-president with Kiyoshi Takeda, the existing president. Upon Kiyoshi’s resignation as president, Ron assumed the duties as PNS president in January 2017.
During the past years as president, Ron has always been mindful of the legacy left by Kiyoshi and past board members by continuing to assist PNS activities such as the Flu Shot Clinic, overseeing the PNS Bazaar booths and the monthly Senior Luncheons (prior to the pandemic).
He conducts PNS Board monthly meetings as well as other business-related meetings and disseminates information regarding Keiro no Hi and other community organization activities. Ron has attended other organization meetings, events and luncheons, and takes active charge of the New Year’s party.
Ron has been the editor of the PNS newsletter, providing pertinent PNS news to the membership. He has coordinated various PNS trips through the years, such as shopping trips to Marukai and Farmers Market, visits to Santa Barbara Orchid Show, Santa Anita Race Track, day trips to Pala and other casinos, Lancaster Poppy Fields, Flight Path Museum in Los Angeles and numerous other trips and events.
During the challenging times of COVID-19, Ron supervised the Lunch Delivery Program, enlisting a number of board members as well as volunteers.
In addition to all his PNS duties, Ron also served on board positions for the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute as president, vice president and secretary from 1991 through 2017. For Pasadena Buddhist Temple, he serves as a regular member of the Sons of Gardeners group, who meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays to maintain the inside and outside of the temple landscaping. He is also in charge of temple fundraisers, soliciting and scheduling volunteers, ordering materials and general maintenance.
On another note, Ron is a wonderful grandfather who enjoys attending his grandchildren’s social and school activities as well as assisting them with the distance learning for their schools.
Throughout the years, his leadership and service success has been demonstrated by his willingness to work cooperatively and respectfully with others. He embodies the true meaning of the words: hard work, dedication, commitment and compassion. Ron has continued to bring positivity and determination to see that the Pasadena Nikkei Seniors succeed and grow while inspiring the community along the way.