Greg Tokuyama is a volunteer Board member of Japan Society to help improve US-Japanese relations within the New Orleans metro area through culture and the arts. Greg is of Japanese heritage born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He obtained a BS/BA from Hawaii Pacific College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix in LA. After retiring as a U.S. Navy Supply Office, Greg became a Financial Claims Reviewer for a law firm in CBD. He has affiliations with a variety of organizations including the APAS, and participates in many other organizations including: Japan Club of New Orleans as the current president, Japan Fest as an organizer, Sushi Fest as a consultant to Renaissance Publishing, and PAWS as an event coordinator.
Jennifer Torres is a native of the New Orleans area. She began taking an interest in Japan when she was in middle school through the Japanese pop culture such as anime, manga, and Japanese pop music. As she got into high school she started researching the country as a whole and became interested in its traditional culture. Once she reached college at the University of New Orleans she began studying the language and even got to study abroad in Japan with UNO for their study abroad program in the summer of 2010. Once she came back from the study abroad experience she quickly gave all of her time into the Japanese culture and wanted to do more to teach people about Japan. She helped organize clubs related to Japan at UNO, but once she graduated in December of 2013, she moved to joining Japan Society of New Orleans and continuing her passion there. She runs two programs for Japanese Society: Nihongo Bin and Nihongo Renshuu. She has been elected as the Secretary for JSNO for the 2017 session.
Other than JSNO, she travels to Japan for fun every two years and has her own blog about Japan called JapanTherapy where she discusses everything and anything about Japan. She loves teaching people about Japanese culture, hoping it'll shine some light for people who may know nothing about the country.
In April 1957 I was married in Japan to Lieutenant Bill Turner, USA. Our son, Mike Turner, was born in Japan. Thirty years later Bill and I celebrated our anniversary in Japan to find a new and vibrant country. The Foreign Ministry of Japan selected me as a delegate to visit Japan when I worked for the Foreign Relations Association of New Orleans. I served as president of the Japan Society of New Orleans and the Japanese Garden Society, now the Japanese Garden Foundation.
While living and working in Japan in the late 1980s, Mark founded the KAISHA Society, an association of foreign employees working for Japanese companies. He was previously an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and the Japan America Society of Southern California. Mark also served for several years on the board of the Santa Barbara-Toba Sister City Organization in Santa Barbara, CA.
I first became involved with Japan Society when I agreed to host one of the exchange participants from Matsue. This was a wonderful and rewarding experience and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Naoko as well as the local members of Japan Society. My daughter and I spent a week in Tokyo in 2012 when we were headed to Truk Lagoon for a dive trip. Tokyo is the cleanest and most polite large city I have ever visited. I am a new Board member and I look forward to becoming active in promoting friendships and understanding of the culture and opportunities in Japan.