Board of Directors


Kyoko Nancy Oda


Claudia Culling

Vice President

Donna Sugimoto


Kay Oda


Nancy Takayama

Assistant Treasurer

Denise Tanaka

SFVJACC Representative

Board of Directors

June Aochi Berk

Detained at Rohwer Concentration Camp
Volunteer Japanese American National Museum 2001-Present
Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition Legacy Project Director
Co-chair Santa Anita Assembly Center Committee;
Co-chair: Minoru Yasui Civil Rights Committee;
Former Executive Assistant to Irene Hirano-Inouye, former CEO/President JANM 1996-2001
Former Executive Assistant Rebuild LA; and Bel Air Presbyterian Church 1978-1990


Conrad Caspari

Son of Fritz Caspari
M.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics, MSc. Agricultural Economics, Oxford University
Born Chicago and based in London, UK
Consultant on food and agriculture worldwide

Claudia Culling

J.D., Loyola Law School
Retired attorney who specialized in the areas of land use law, environmental law, airport law, and all other areas of municipal law.

Russell Endo

Ph.D. Sociology, University of Washington
Retired professor of sociology and Asian American studies, University of Colorado. Descendant of Tuna Canyon detainee Heigoro Endo.

Nancy Hayata

B.A., Japanese, University of California, Los Angeles
A. A., Fashion Design, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Classic Japanese dancer: choreographs, performs, and teaches.
Owner, South Bay Online – Marketing, Graphic & Web Development.
Owner, Tierra Murra by Ecommshipments – Japanese influenced handcrafted items.
President, WWII Camp Wall.
Substitute with Torrance Unified School District.

Shawn Iwaoka

Descendant of Masamitsu Iwaoka
Assistant Collections Manager, Japanese American National Museum
B.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles
Volunteer, San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center
Member, Little Tokyo Historical Society

H Ernie Nishii

Descendant of Guzei Nishii who was held at Santa Fe, NM, and Crystal City, Texas
ABCUSD board of trustees
Southeast Gakuen and community center Board of Directors
Member Tule Lake Docent Committee
Historic Wintersburg counsel
Santa Fe, N.M., Crystal City, Texas

Kay Susumu Oda

Detained at Poston III Concentration Camp, Arizona
Past San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center President
Member of the SFVJACC Future Planning Committee
Active as basketball coach since 1975
Attended UCR and Cal Poly Pomona
Retired Manager of Keyes Motors Body Shop

Kyoko Nancy Oda

Born at Tule Lake Segregation Center
M.A., Education Administration, California State University, Los Angeles.
Former President San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center; current President Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition; retired teacher and principal, Los Angeles Unified School District; born in Tule Lake Segregation Center.
Decorated by the emperor of Japan
Order of the Rising Sun Gold and Silver Rays
Published Tule Lake Stockade Diary written by
Tatsuo Ryusei Inouye

James Okazaki

M.S. Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
Board Member of: Asian American Architects and Engineers Association of Southern California, Little Tokyo Community Council, and Nisei Week Foundation.

Kanji Sahara

Detained at Santa Anita Assembly Center and Jerome and Rohwer Concentration Camps
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University.
Member NCRR and Manzanar Committee; Japanese American National Museum docent.

Bill Skiles

M.A. English, San Diego State University
Photo archivist for the Little Landers Historical Society; curating a collection of over 30,000 images in the Society’s photographic collection.

Jeanette Stirdivant

M. S., Counseling, California State University Los Angeles
Retired Dean of Students, Glendale Community College; Glendale resident and community activist.

Donna Sugimoto

Descendant of Shinsuke Sugimoto
Family historian, preserving Sugimoto family artifacts in permanent collections and exhibitions of national museums and educational non-profits.
Co-author, YA novel The Gate; focused on young teens overcoming racial prejudice.
Owner, SOLSISS; creating designs to inspire world harmony. Planning committee, Annual West Coast 5K SCADaddle; raising awareness and funds for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection research.

Nancy Takayama

Descendant of Masamitsu Iwaoka

Vice Governor, Pacific Southwest JACL
Past president,San Fernando Japanese American Citizens League

Day of Remembrance Los Angeles

Current Board Member: San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, Grateful Crane Ensemble, Little Tokyo Business Association, Little Tokyo Towers, Pacoima Historical Society, SFV JACL Historical Preservation Chair.

Sigrid Banzhaf Toye

Daughter of Eugene Banzhaf
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Educational & Behavior Therapist, private practice. Former Special Education teacher, LAUSD. Board member of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, The Cecilia Fund, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Women’s Board. Formerly Harvard-Westlake and Viewpoint School trustee and USC’s Coordinating Council. Only child of a Tuna Canyon detainee.

Legal Counsel

Gregory Culling, J.D.


Claudia Culling
James Okazaki
Jeanette Stirdivant


Jean Paul DeGuzman, Pd.D.
Tomo Hattori, Pd.D.
Ariel Imamoto
Keith Matsushita
Rebecca Patchett
Grace Shimizu, J.D.
Kara Tanaka
Kaitlyn Tang

Honorary Board Members

Sharlene and Glenn Miyagishima
Terry Takeda and Lou Slimp

Past Board Members

Marc Stirdivant

M.A., Cinema, University of Southern California
Writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker; City of Glendale Representative to the Advisory Committee, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Lloyd Hitt

Ph.D., University of Southern California.
Retired Pharmacist for over forty years in Sunland-Tujunga; Past President of Little Landers Historical Society (Bolton Hall Museum) in Tujunga for over ten years; active in preservation of seven local historic properties as LA Historic Cultural Monuments and the Stonehurst Community of rock homes as an LA Historic Preservation Overlay Zone community.

Hans W. Eberhard

German American Community Leader
Past President, German American Business Association (GABA) over 25 years State Chairman, California Republican Heritage Groups Council and board member of NRHGC. Nominated as Reagan Associate Member. Recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. Co-Founder and Chairman of the Tricentennial Foundation.