Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) on Wednesday announced that Stephen Kagawa, president and CEO of The Pacific Bridge Companies, Inc., has been named chairman of the Board of Directors of the national Nisei veterans’ educational organization.
He succeeds Bill H. Seki, a partner at Seki Nishimura & Watase LLP, who continues to serve on the center’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Kagawa has actively supported GFBNEC in various capacities since 2002.
David Ono, broadcast journalist and co-anchor of ABC7 Eyewitness News, has been named chairman of GFBNEC’s Board of Governors. He succeeds Chip R.Y. Mamiya, senior account executive with Michigan Mutual, Inc., who has joined the Board of Directors. Ono has produced several documentaries about the Nisei World War II soldiers and supported GFBNEC.
Doug Goto, insurance consultant, has been named vice chairman of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Executive Committee. Alhambra City Councilmember Jeff Maloney has been named Secretary of the Board. Michael Ozawa, managing principal of Enterprise Management Advisors LLC, has rejoined the board and continues to serve as the chief financial officer.
George Tanaka, managing director of Retail Specialized Services for MUFG Union Bank, has joined GFBNEC’s board. In addition to his banking expertise, Tanaka also serves as chairman of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.
Kagawa welcomed the new Board of Directors and Board of Governors members, and recognized Seki for his ongoing contributions to GFBNEC. “Bill continues to bring his insight, passion and leadership to GFBNEC, for which we’re extremely grateful,” Kagawa said. “We extend a special welcome to George Tanaka of MUFG Union Bank and David Ono of KABC7, who are bringing fresh talent and experience to our governing boards at a time of growth and expansion. GFBNEC’s messages are particularly relevant today, and we’re working to reach new audiences with the Nisei soldiers’ stories of loyalty and sacrifice.”
Three additional longtime board members — Cathy Tanaka, secretary/treasurer of Fukui Mortuary; Paul Abe, director, Union Bank; and Art Velarde, retired educator — will lead the newly created Ambassadors’ Circle.
“As GFBNEC grows, we will continue to rely on their expertise and institutional knowledge as they transition to the Ambassadors’ Circle,” Kagawa said. “We also pay tribute to our former board member, the late Christie Ichikawa, who carried on the vision of her husband Robert, 442nd RCT, in honoring the legacy of our World War II Nisei veterans.”
GFBNEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Its goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive “Defining Courage” exhibition in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, visit www.goforbroke.org.