Bruce Brenn serves as Chairman of the Center for Japanese Studies Advisory Board. Bruce's career in international business spanned nearly 30 years including senior management positions with Citibank, Nike Japan, Continental Bank, and Smith New Court plc, working in Hong Kong, India, Taipei, and Tokyo before finally retiring back in the US. He currently serves as a board member the Japan-America Society of Oregon and the Portland Japanese Garden. He is a member of the Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club, Tokyo American Club, and Multnomah Athletic Club. He holds a B.A. degree from University of Oregon and M.A. degrees in Japanese Studies and Economics from the University of Michigan.
Dean Alterman, a lifelong Portlander, is a partner in the Portland law firm of Folawn Alterman & Richardson, where he practices real estate and business law. He is a board member of the Japan-America Society of Oregon and of the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, where he was the president from 2011 to 2013. His past civic involvements include service as a trustee of The Catlin Gabel School, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, and Portland Civic Theatre, and three terms as chairman of the Multnomah County Planning Commission. Dean is a graduate of Harvard University and Lewis & Clark Law School.
Mark Frandsen served as CEO and owner of New Season Foods, Inc. in Forest Grove, Oregon, a supplier of vegetable powders and ingredients to food manufacturers in Japan and Asia. In 2007, he sold the company to Ajinomoto Co., Inc., and continued as CEO until 2010. He now owns industrial real estate offering manufacturing, cold storage, warehousing and distribution facilities to food processing and technology related firms. Mr. Frandsen serves on the boards of the Portland Art Museum, Pacific University and Arlington Club. He previously served as chairman of the Northwest Food Processors Association and on the boards of the American Frozen Food Institute, Timber Operators Council, and the Association for Corporate Growth. Mr. Frandsen attended Nyenrode University (The Netherlands), earned a BS in International Business from the University of Oregon and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Robert Innes retired to the Portland area in 2007 after a Foreign Service career that included nine years in the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo. A Portland native, he received a B.A. from Oregon State, an M.A. in Asian Studies from Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Japanese and Southeast Asian history from Michigan. He attended Waseda University's International Division as an undergraduate, and did dissertation research at Tokyo University's Historiographical Institute. In the Army, he completed basic and advanced Vietnamese language courses before going to Vietnam in 1971-72.
Leonard Lynn lived in Japan a total of about seven years, including stints as a Fulbright Fellow at Tokyo University and as Japanese Ministry of Education Visiting Professor at Hitotsubashi University. He is Professor Emeritus of International Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where he was Chair of the Department of Marketing and Policy Studies for twelve years. He is a past president of the Association of Japanese Business Studies and served on the American Advisory Committee of the Japan Foundation for eight years. He has written or co-written three books with a large Japanese content and several dozen research articles. In 2010 Leonard returned to Portland, where he was born and raised. He is currently involved in research projects funded by the National Bureau of Economic Research and Sloan foundation on the globalization of engineering.
Verne Naito is a vice president in Naito Corporation, a family owned and managed business. He oversees property management, real estate investments, financial management, and new business development. In its 92-year history, the company has been an importer, distributor, retailer, and real estate developer. Mr. Naito’s father’s family immigrated to America in 1917. His mother’s family immigrated in 1906 and farmed in the Los Angeles area until WWII. Mr. Naito has held board and advisory board positions in numerous nonprofit and business organizations including: the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce; the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Oregon; the University of Portland, Center for Entrepreneurship; the Japanese American Citizens League Portland Chapter; and the Portland Japanese Garden Society. Mr. Naito received his BA from Pomona College and MBA from Harvard Business School.
Yoshio Oda is Executive Director of Epson Portland Inc. (EPI) in Hillsboro, Oregon, which makes Epson ink cartridges for North and South America. Before EPI, he worked in Japan for Seiko Epson Corporation (parent company of EPI) and in Singapore for Singapore Epson Precision Ltd., a manufacturing affiliate of Seiko Epson. He is a board member of the Japanese Business Association (Shokokai) of Portland and the Japan-America Society of Oregon. Yoshio has a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology and has worked for 20 years in the mechanical engineering field.
Lisa Okada has been an educator for nearly 40 years, much of that time in Japan and/or in the field of Japan and intercultural education. She taught at the American School in Tokyo, Japan before moving to the Washington, D.C. area. For several years, she served as associate director of the National Intercultural Education Institute at the University of Maryland, while also working with the Mid-Atlantic Region Japan-in-the-Schools program. She served as president of the Washington-Tokyo Women's Club, taught within the Fairfax County Public School System in Virginia, and volunteered at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Arts. Lisa has a degree in anthropology from Miami University (Ohio), a MAT in history/education from Duquesne University and a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Studies from the Oceanographic Center at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Lisa speaks Japanese, as do her two children -- Michael who is a student at PSU and Annie, a student at the University of Oregon.
Gabe Rosen is an owner of Biwa, a Japanese restaurant in southeast Portland specializing in izakaya-style dining. He has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for 20 years as a chef, butcher and restaurateur in Iowa, Oregon and California. He holds a Certificate of Culinary Arts from Western Culinary Institute and a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from Portland State University, where he conducted much of his research for Biwa while studying under Pat Wetzel and Ken Ruoff, and in Japan as a Monbukagakusho scholar at Hokkaido University.
Doug Smith is a founding partner of InSpec International LLC in Lake Oswego, OR. Doug's primary experience is in international project development and strategic management consulting, including site selection, market entry strategy, feasibility analyses and business process reengineering. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Japan-America Society of Oregon. Doug has a degree in international studies from Cornell University and worked with the Oregon Economic Development Department as Manager of International Business Development.
Honorary Board Members
Tim and Martha McGinnis
Ambassador Tadash Nagai
Ex-Officio Members - PSU
Ken Ruoff, Director, Professor of History
Larry Kominz, Professor of Japanese
Patricia Wetzel, Professor of Japanese
Hiro Ito, Professor of Economics
Suwako Watanabe, Professor of Japanese
Masami Nishishiba, Professor of Public Administration
Jon Holt, Professor of Japanese
Emiko Konomi, Professor of Japanese
Wynn Kiyama, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology