Staff and Board

Staff and Board

Staff and Board

If you have any questions or want to know more about any of the programs or services JASC offers, please feel free to contact any of our staff as listed below.

Main: 773-275-0097
Social Services: 773-275-7212

Administrative Staff

Chief Executive Officer: Michael Takada
Mike (he/him) brings a unique combination of private sector and nonprofit experience to lead both the day-to-day operations and long-range planning for JASC. With over 30 years of experience in the financial sector, Mike oversees all strategic planning, project management, financial management, and organizational leadership at JASC, translating JASC’s Mission into active services and programs. Mike’s volunteer experience includes serving as past President and Board Member of JASC, anti-racism and diversity facilitator with the Anti-Defamation League and the Unitarian Universalist Association, past President and Board Trustee at the Unitarian Church of Evanston and Evanston’s Kids Can Dance program. Mike received a BA from Boston University and an MBA from DePaul University. He helped raise three beautiful daughters in Rogers Park and now calls the Uptown neighborhood home.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 230; email:

Director of Operations: Tricia Soo
Tricia is JASC’s Director of Operations, a new position for the organization. Tricia will oversee the office’s day to day operations, administration, programs, planning, and evaluation of the organization. Tricia grew up in Naperville, IL and graduated from Vanderbilt University, majoring in Human & Organizational Development with a track in Community Development. After graduating, she taught elementary school and spent a year teaching abroad in Asia. Before joining JASC, she was the Director of Operations for a charter school in the South Side of Chicago. She is thrilled to join the team and support JASC’s future growth!

Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 225; email:

Programs & Special Events Manager: Jennifer Trautvetter
Jenn is responsible for overseeing the planning and coordination of Programs and Special Events at JASC since December 2021. She brings a passion for community service, a love for people of all ages and cultures, and fluency in the Japanese language cultivated over her entire professional career. Jenn is leveraging her skills from more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, program administration, and fundraising to continue supporting and growing the JASC’s high-quality programs and special events. After earning her B.A. from the University of Iowa in Asian Studies, Japanese Language and Literature, Jenn spent three years living and working in Japan teaching English on the JET Program before becoming a nonprofit leader in Chicago. An avid advocate for excellence in education, she volunteers for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) serving as the chair of Stone Scholastic Academy’s Local School Council as well as other volunteer work. Jenn delights in connecting people and looks forward to strengthening your ties with the JASC.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 228; email:

Legacy Center Director: position vacant

Phone: email:

Cultural & Community Affairs Coordinator: Kay Kawaguchi
Kay has worked in many areas at JASC since 1999, most recently coordinating Cultural & Community Affairs, managing classes, workshops and seminars. A native Japanese speaker, she also assists with translation services, home support programs and Adult Day Care Services for Japanese-speaking clients. Prior to JASC, Kay worked at the Chicago Shimpo newspaper and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce at Chicago.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 226; email:

Coordinator – Tampopo Kai: Naomi Negi
Naomi has been delighting children and their parents at JASC’s Tampopo Kai program for over 35 years. Besides spending time creating engaging lesson plans and updating seasonal displays for the classroom, she keeps busy as a cultural artist visiting schools, libraries and museums running workshops and demonstrations of Japanese cultural arts.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 226; email:

Coordinator – Tampopo Kai: Tomoko Hanna

Coordinator – Donguri Kai: Kaori Tabion

Coordinator – Donguri Kai: Yuri Yatsuda

Teacher – Donguri Kai: Airi Okura

Controller: Harry Rohde

Harry joined the JASC staff in September 2023 following a long career in finance and consulting. With a Masters of Accountancy from DePaul and undergraduate in Speech from Northwestern, Harry is excited to be taking his place at JASC and helping to keep it moving forward. He is married with three adult yonsei and a large, very furry Australian Shepherd. He is the only member of his family to have not yet visited Japan, but hopes to cash in his airline miles soon!
Phone: 773-275-0097 x227 email:

Database Coordinator: Ryan Toguri
Ryan joined JASC in 2011 and is responsible for maintaining JASC’s databases and addressing any technical issues that arise with the office computers. Ryan also coordinates and designs the JASC eblast and Community Calendar newsletters. Ryan graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Music.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 248; email:

Receptionist: Yuki Scroggins
Yuki has been JASC’s receptionist since 2007. The first person you see walking in the door, Yuki is responsible for the “meet & greet” as well as other administrative duties. Bilingual in English and Japanese, Yuki also assists in translating documents for the JASC Legacy Center.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 221; email:

Adult Day Care Services

Manager: Melba Ristow, RN
Melba plans and supervises the Adult Day Care Services to meet the needs of our program participants. With over 30 years of service at JASC, her expert management creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all. Her team conducts meaningful activities and gives compassionate care allowing older adults to remain independent longer. Prior to JASC, Melba worked in several hospital settings, including Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial. Melba earned her nursing degree in the Philippines.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 239; email:

Day Care Nurse: Nanytes Blanca, RN
Nanytes (Tes) has worked as a nurse in the JASC Adult Day Care program since 1996, assessing, planning and directing the total nursing care of clients. She works closely with families, caregivers and other medical professionals ensuring clients receive the best care possible. Tes previously worked in skilled nursing facilities and home health settings and earned her nursing degree in the Philippines.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240; email:

Activity Planner: Katren Mesa Chiong, CNA
Katren has been working in Adult Day Services since 2007, creating, planning and overseeing therapeutic games and activities for JASC clients that meet their social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs. Katren is a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Activity Planner: Joel Villaruel
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Activity Planner: Daniel Alcaria

Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Drivers: Emiliano Espiritu, Hilario Hernandez
Custodian: Aldrin Rey
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 240

Home Support Services

Manager: Sodarlene Khee
Sodarlene joined JASC as a homemaker in January 2016 was quickly promoted to manager in June. She came to JASC after several years working in a doctor’s office and with an undergraduate degree from Royal University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 223; email:

Assistant Manager: Chinh Kim

Phone: 773-275-0097 ext 237; email:

Board of Directors

JASC is directed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, lending their specific professional and community expertise to all aspects of the organization.


Stacy Uchida Brown
Stacy is a Customer Business Lead for a large wholesale customer at the Kraft Heinz Company, representing the fourth largest food and beverage company in the world with iconic brands such as Kraft, Heinz, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, JELL-O and others. She has also led the company’s U.S. Retail and Shopper Marketing organizations. Prior to that, Stacy worked at market intelligence firm Market Track as Director of Operations and created youth field hockey programs in Chicagoland for Windy City Field Hockey. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with Business and Music minors and received her Master’s degree in Sports Marketing & Management at Northwestern University. Stacy has led numerous projects with JASC as well as the U.S.-Japan Council over the past decade and looks forward to continuing to find ways to help build a sustainable future for our community. She lives outside of Austin, TX with her husband Rob and two young daughters.

Vice President & Treasurer

Yasuko Metcalf
Yasuko is an Audit partner in the Japanese practice of KPMG’s Chicago office. She joined the Chicago office KPMG in 1990, and became a partner in 2000. She currently focuses on serving Japanese-owned companies.

Vice President

Glenn Sugiyama
Glenn is an Executive Vice President and Global Practice Leader for DHR International, one of the nation’s largest executive search firms. Glenn’s diverse management experience includes roles at Leo Burnett USA, President of a regional restaurant chain and member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bulls. Glenn has been a member of the JASC Board of Directors for over two decades and serves as our Santa Claus at the annual Holiday Delight and is a graduate of Michigan State University. Glenn lives in Wilmette with his wife, Patti, and has two grown children.


John R. Sasaki
John is Managing Director with The Claro Group, a financial and management consulting firm where he heads the Government Contract Consulting Practice, leading a team of 18 professionals that assist Fortune 500 companies that perform business with the Federal government. John is a CPA and began his career in Arthur Andersen’s Audit practice, eventually being appointed Partner in charge of the Government Contract Consulting Practice for Andersen’s Western Region. John’s non-profit experience includes serving as Board member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Evans Scholarship program, and Board member of JASC since 2005. John is a graduate of Marquette University and lives in Northbrook with his wife Elaine, daughter Nicole and twins Robert and Matthew.


Damon DiCastri
Damon is Associate General Counsel at CIBC Bank USA where he advises the commercial banking business on a wide range of legal issues. Prior to joining the bank, he was a partner at a large Chicago law firm. His not-for-profit experience includes serving as the Chair of the Board of the Chicago Cultural Association and as an advisor to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Damon received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his JD from the Northwestern University School of Law. He lives on the western edge of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood with his wife Tomomi and their three children, Dante, Louis and Hana.

Marion Friebus-Flaman, PhD
Marion is Director of Language Acquisition Services for Naperville Community Unit School District 203. In this role, she oversees the Bilingual/ESL program, the Dual Language program and World and Classical Languages program from pre-kindergarten through high school. Prior to this, she was Principal of Thomas Dooley Elementary School for five years, where she directed all instructional programs and professional staff development at the nation’s only Japanese-English Dual Language Program in a public school. She also lends her expertise in this field by teaching graduate courses in Multicultural Education at Northern Illinois University. Marion is a Council Member of the US-Japan Council and has served on the Illinois English Language Learner Assessment Advisory Committee and the Illinois Governor’s Task Force on Growth Models. Dr. Friebus-Flaman has earned degrees from Southern Illinois University, the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and Capella University. Marion lives in Hoffman Estates with her son, Ben.

Bob Kumaki
Bob is the Managing Principal of the Ronin Group, a marketing consulting firm. With over 30 years of experience, Bob has held management positions at some of the world’s largest marketing communications organizations including Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather. Recognized as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Asian American marketing, he is the author of Many Cultures, One Market: A Guide to Understanding the Asian Pacific American Market, and is a sought-after lecturer on the subject. Bob has served as a Founder, Officer, Director or Member of over a dozen non-profits in the Asian American arena and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bob lives in Wilmette with his wife, Mary, and has a grown daughter.

Sayaka Machizawa, PsyD
Dr. Sayaka Machizawa works as Associate Director of the Community Partnerships at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she coordinates and oversees community engaged scholarship activities. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, she specializes in neuropsychological and fitness-for-duty evaluations as well as psychotherapy. She is actively involved in leadership roles in American Psychological Association (APA). She currently serves as Secretary of APA Division 52 International Psychology and Membership Officer for APA Division 17 Counseling Psychology International Section. She is a graduate of Cornell College and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and lives in Logan Square with her cat, Peter.

Andrew Mine
Andrew has practiced law for the City of Chicago Law Department for over 20 years, specializing in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts. Prior to that he was an associate with a large firm in New York City. He has degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan Law School. He lives in Rogers Park with his wife, Rachel.

Kimberly Robinson
Kim is a partner at the law firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. and is a member of the medical malpractice and birth trauma defense teams. Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois and US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Kim has served on the Cook County Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Alliance of Bar Associations through her involvement with the Illinois Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association. Kim is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Northern Illinois University College of Law and lives in Chicago.