For Immediate Release: 04/16/2024


CEO Takada to Retire after Completion of JASC Forever Home”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS– Twenty years ago, when Michael Takada was a member of the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) Board of Directors, he and others discussed making JASC a destination center for all those with an interest in Japanese American history and culture.

Ten years ago, when he became CEO, he and the Board embarked on that dream, which will come to fruition later this year: JASC will move into its “forever home”, a freshly renovated building at 5700 North Lincoln Avenue in the West Ridge neighborhood in Chicago’s northside. After the completion of this capstone project, Takada will retire from his position as JASC’s CEO.

“Creating a welcoming home for the Japanese American community has been my mission at JASC,” Takada said. “I look forward to that day this fall when the Board of Directors and I will cut the ribbon and welcome the community into JASC’s new Forever Home. That seems to me to be the perfect time for me to retire, and for JASC to expand and grow its programs, services, and community under new leadership. I’m announcing my retirement plans now so our Board has time to do a comprehensive national search for a new chief executive.”

Takada said that he will continue all his duties as CEO until a successor is named, and that after his retirement as JASC’s CEO, he planned to continue to be an active leader and participant in Chicago’s vibrant Japanese American community.

Besides the completion of JASC’s new home, during Takada’s tenure as CEO, JASC has undergone financial and operational growth. JASC’s social service programs doubled in size and now serve more older adults and their families. Cultural programs, such as Tampopo Kai for preschoolers, and Donguri Kai, a new Japanese language program for K-6th graders, have also flourished. The Legacy Center, an archive of materials that reflect the history of Chicago’s Japanese American community, has expanded its collection and outreach. Also under Takada’s leadership, collaborative efforts with other organizations have helped broaden JASC’s reach and definition of “community.”

Takada has helped institute events that engage the larger community in celebration. He co-chaired the first Japan Festival to be held in downtown Chicago, drawing tens of thousands of participants to Millennium Park in 2019. And the annual community picnic was successfully resurrected and renamed the Japanese Community Picnic, bringing together those of recent and historical Japanese descent. For his efforts in bringing together Japanese and Japanese Americans here in Chicago and promoting friendly relations between the United States and Japan, Takada was awarded the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2022, and in 2023, the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold and Silver Rays, conferred by the Emperor of Japan.

“These are indeed exciting times for JASC,” said JASC Board President Stacy Uchida Brown. “Mike has led us steadfastly through economic downturn, a COVID-19 pandemic, and the evolving needs of the community we serve, all while never wavering from JASC’s dream of a new facility. With great support from the community, JASC is moving forward on all fronts – more social service programs, more community activities, renewed momentum for the Legacy Center, and most importantly, plans to move into a new home and begin writing the next chapter of JASC’s future.”

Uchida Brown said that it is quite remarkable what Takada and the JASC staff have accomplished in recent years. “Thanks to Mike and his team, JASC is fiscally healthy and has been on an upward trajectory, and that is the best time to make any leadership change. With Mike’s retirement and unlocking the doors to our new home, we sure have a lot to be proud of and celebrate this year!” she said with excitement.

The Board of Directors has opened a national search for JASC’s next Chief Executive Officer. More information about the position and application process can be found on the JASC website on the opportunities page.

More information about JASC’s new building project can be found on the JASC website on the new building page.


About the Japanese American Service Committee

The Japanese American Service Committee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization in Chicago, Illinois that provides social services, cultural and community programs, and a professional historical archive. Founded in 1946, JASC was formed to help resettle Japanese Americans after leaving World War II incarceration camps. Today, JASC has expanded to serve the broader multicultural community of all backgrounds and ages, from seniors to children. The organization is currently renovating a new facility on the northside of Chicago, set to open in 2024.

For Reference:


Source: The Japanese American Service Committee

PO Box 25380
Chicago, IL  60625


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