The Board of Directors of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that Chris Aihara, executive director of the JACCC, has decided to retire from her leadership position at the end of the year.
After 25-plus years of service in several management positions, she feels it’s time for the next generation to lead the JACCC to its next phase.
“I am happy to have played a role in the organizational development of the JACCC and sincerely feel it is the appropriate time to transition to the next generation of leadership who can implement the future vision,” she said.
Aihara is very proud of all the accomplishments that were made during her tenure at the JACCC.
“I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to lead the JACCC over the last five years, and I’m proud of my role having renewed our programming, strengthened relationships with our community supporters, restored our award winning James Irvine Japanese Garden, and at the same time, created a new event space to generate income for the JACCC, introducing new audiences to our center,” said Aihara.
Her footprint on the JACCC will always be recognized whenever there are performances, art exhibits, and cultural programs. Aihara is recognized for her community involvement and she has worked hard to preserve the cultural identity and strengthen the brand of Little Tokyo through JACCC’s cultural programming.
During her tenure as executive director, the JACCC brought and toured Bunraku National Puppet Theatre to sell-out crowds, and produced and celebrated its 30th anniversary with Japan’s singing sensation, Jero, just to name a few.
Aihara focused on engaging young people with the JACCC, fostering program collaborations and providing resources to support youth-related organizations and activities.
She will maintain her commitment to Little Tokyo and participate in community activities. She wishes to continue her interest in the arts and Japanese culture through the JACCC, and will assist with the transition of the new leadership.
The JACCC has launched a national search for a new leader to continue its evolution in achieving its vision for the future. Finding the next generation leader and making institutional changes is part of the JACCC’s strategic plan for the future.
“We look forward to making a significant transition with new leadership, organizational sustainability, and ultimately an expansion of programs that will serve a new generation of audiences,” said Sandy Sakamoto, board chair of the JACCC. “We also want to thank Chris for her dedication and commitment to the organization and its cultural and community identity.”
For information about the JACCC, call (213) 628-2725 or visit www.jaccc.org.