LTBA to Celebrate 55th Anniversary

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The Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA) marks two major milestones this month, celebrating its 55th year of serving local merchants and 10 years of managing the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District (LTBID).

Members and friends will gather on Thursday, Jan. 30, for LTBA’s annual New Year’s Party and Installation Dinner.

Gil Garcetti wearing his trademark muffler and holding maple and ginkgo leaves from his garden. (JUNKO YOSHIDA/Rafu Shimpo)

Gil Garcetti wearing his trademark muffler and holding maple and ginkgo leaves from his garden. (JUNKO YOSHIDA/Rafu Shimpo)

Author and photographic artist Gil Garcetti will be the keynote speaker, reflecting on his impressions of modern Japan. After 32 years as a prosecutor, including eight years as Los Angeles County district attorney (1992-2000), Garcetti developed his flair for observation and skill with a camera into a new career. To date, he has published six books, capturing insightful images of people and places through photographic essays.

His books have led him to tell his stories through exhibitions and presentations all over the world, including the United Nations in New York, UNESCO in Paris, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Millennium Museum in Beijing.

As D.A., he oversaw 1,100 cases, among them the high-profile Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson trials. Garcetti’s son is L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

See a profile of Gil Garcetti in Rafu’s Japanese section here.

In December, LTBA elected Ellen Endo as its 2014 president. She is a media and development consultant and a contributing writer and former managing editor of The Rafu Shimpo. She succeeds Wilson Liu, who has served as LTBA president for the past six years and in 2004 launched the Little Tokyo BID with businesswoman and community leader Frances Hashimoto, who passed in November 2012.

Added to the LTBA Board of Directors, which also serves as the LTBID Advisory Board, are Sylvia Ena of Keller Williams Realty and Doug Aihara of Aihara & Associates Insurance Services.  New vice presidents are Paul Abe of Union Bank of California and Yuriko Shikai of Neufeld Marks. Other new officers are co-treasurers Megumi McCaffrey of Manufacturer’s Bank and Andrew Lee of Advance Investments.

Other officers are vice presidents Yoshio Lee Aoki (Little Tokyo Service Center);

Tatsuto Hayashi (Miyako Hotel Los Angeles); David Kudo (All Japan News); Robert Yasui (Yasui & Associates); LTBID co-chair Joanne Kumamoto (Kumamoto Associates); auditor Sharon Im (California Bank & Trust);  and assistant auditor Tomoko Omura (Bank of the West).

Rounding out the board are Sadahiro Akimoto (Flying Fish); Joyce Wakano Chinn (Nisei Week Foundation); Angela De Groot (Japanese Village Plaza); Michael Komai (The Rafu Shimpo); Dr. James Kurata (James K. Kurata, OD, Inc.); Rev. Howard Miyoshi (Zenshuji Soto Mission); Rev. Marlon Okazaki (Tenrikyo Church); Ken Ota (Pacific Commerce Bank); William Shin (GTR Consulting, Weller Court); Edwin Takahashi (Kiyohara & Takahashi, LLP); Haru Takehana (Takehana Real Estate Services); Jason Toyoshima (Sushi Gen); and Rebecca Young (DoubleTree by Hilton).

The event will also honor its long-standing advisors: Mitsuru Koyama (Senka International), Tsutomu Maehara (Oregon Hotel), Archie Miyatake (Toyo Miyatake Studio), Tomoko Morishita (Haru Ulala), Masaharu Motoyama (Motoyama Enterprises), Tomohiro Sakata (Kokekokko), Patrick Seki (Miki Seki & Son), Kenji Suzuki (Suehiro Café), James Watamaru (Oiwake), and Hiroshi Yamauchi (Kouraku).

A general meeting at 5:30 p.m. precedes the party and dinner and is open to the public free of charge. For information about the dinner ($65 per person), email [email protected] or call (213) 880-6875. The dinner and program begin at 6:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 120 S. Los Angeles St., downtown L.A.

Gil Garcetti on a bridge in his Japanese garden, which includes camellias and Japanese red pines. (JUNKO YOSHIDA/Rafu Shimpo)

Gil Garcetti on a bridge in his Japanese garden, which includes camellias and Japanese red pines. (JUNKO YOSHIDA/Rafu Shimpo)

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