J-Sei Board President Hironaka Passes the Torch

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BERKELEY — After five-plus years of serving as the president of the J-Sei Board of Directors, Bruce Hironaka is passing the torch to new Board President Ned Isokawa.

Under Hironaka’s leadership, J-Sei has been revitalized with new board members, key staff hires, an expanded mission, the re-branding of the agency, the opening of J-Sei Home and the implementation of new services that continue to further the agency’s goals to promote Nikkei values, and to serve a multigenerational and multicultural community.

Ned Isokawa

During Hironka’s tenure, he twice served as the interim volunteer executive director and committed countless hours working with staff, volunteers and donors. It was not unusual to see him drive the J-Sei van taking older adults to the senior center or to see him lead a strategic planning discussion.

“I firmly believe that an organization can only sustain itself by continuing to bring in new leadership. With that in mind, it is time for me to go,” explained Hironaka. “That renewal brings new energy and new ideas that will continue to make J-Sei relevant to the community. I would like to thank all of my colleagues on the board, Diane Wong and the staff, and the community for all of their support.  Without them, we could not have accomplished as much as we did.”

J-Sei’s next phase will be led by Isokawa, who started his two-year presidential term on July 1. He is a lawyer by training and is in the process of retiring. He grew up in the East Bay and has immersed himself into J-Sei since joining the board.

“I am very excited to be leading the J-Sei Board for the next two years. I look forward to continuing the important work of the agency and expanding our reach to our broader multicultural and multigenerational community,” said Isokawa.

For Executive Director Diane Wong, this period marks a transition and a natural progression. “When I first arrived almost two years ago, Bruce was an essential resource to me and the agency. Bruce was a terrific at generating ideas and different approaches. Now I look forward to Ned’s vision and how that will build upon the existing foundation.”

J-Sei Inc., former Japanese American Services of the East bay, has its roots in Nikkei values and culture. It is proud of its rich history of providing care and assistance to seniors and now to families and younger generations. For more information, visit www.j-sei.org.

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