By P.C. Staff
Despite the monumental business of preparing itself for the next biennium cycle, which includes presenting a proposed new budget for 2019-20 to the National Council at July’s National Convention in Philadelphia, the JACL National Board took the time on April 28 to recognize the efforts and dedication of Associate Executive Director Stephanie Nitahara, who announced her resignation effective May 4.
During the organization’s quarterly meeting at its national headquarters office in San Francisco, the National Board thanked Nitahara for her more than five years of service.
“Stephanie Nitahara has tendered her resignation,” announced Executive Director David Inoue. “We are grateful for her leadership and the work she has done for JACL both as a volunteer and as staff and hopefully continuing as a volunteer for the future.”
In a statement given to the organization, Nitahara praised JACL for the opportunities given to her, in particular, her role in working with the National Youth/Student Council.
“The NY/SC has always brought to life my work with JACL,” she said. “This is where I got my start with the organization, and I hope that the NY/SC will continue to receive support from the organization for years to come.”
Nitahara also wished for a smooth transition to the National Board and staff as it prepares for its next phase and new biennium.
“It has been an honor to work for JACL and to have the opportunity to meet leaders of all generations. … I feel a deep sense of gratitude to this community that has given me so much and am looking forward to continuing to learn, grow and fight for social justice with you all in a different capacity.”
In other business, Inoue highlighted several areas of involvement for the organization, including continuing support of the DACA and DREAM initiatives, as well as advocacy efforts to garner support of the recently submitted Senate letter regarding the Japanese American Confinement Sites Program.
Secretary/Treasurer Alan Nishi presented his financial report, saying that investment income and public support saved JACL in 2017; he also urged caution moving forward.
“In reality, it looks great going into 2018, but we can’t make assumptions that what happened last year would carry over into this year. We’re going to be monitoring that pretty closely between now and convention,” he said.
Fiscal year 2017 revenue over expenses were $559,000 in the black; year-to-date revenue exceeded the budget by $554,000.
Chief areas needing financial improvement include fundraising, P.C. revenue, public support (bequests) and membership.
Conversation then centered around the importance of communication across all levels of the organization.
Said National President Gary Mayeda, “How do we as a national board better communicate to [our chapters]? If it’s something that we need to do a better job of explaining and understanding, then we need to do it at convention. We need to be able to make it understandable to our rank-and-file membership.”