TCDS Board of Directors


Hans Eberhard, Chairman of the Board
Nancy Oda, President
Kanji Sahara, Vice President
Donna Sugimoto, Secretary
Kay Oda, Treasurer
Denise Tanaka, SFVJACC Representative

Board of Directors

June Aochi Berk

Volunteer Japanese American National Museum, Sakura Gardens Retirement Home, and Koreisha Nutrition Service. Board member: Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition;
Chair: Santa Anita Assembly Center Committee; Co-chair: Minoru Yasui Civil Rights Committee; Former Executive Assistant to Irene Hirano-Inouye, former CEO/President JANM

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

Attorney working in the areas of land use law, environmental law, airport law, and all other areas of municipal law.

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.

Russell Endo
Descendant of Heigoro Endo
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Washington

Retired professor of sociology and Asian American studies, University of Colorado; descendant of Tuna Canyon detainee.

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
Graphic and web developer. Former computer lab instructor for Torrance Unified School District.

H Ernie Nishii

Descendant of Guzei Nishii
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

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
Born in Poston Concentration Camp, Arizona

Nancy Oda
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
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
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University.

Santa Anita Assembly Center and Jerome and Rohwer WRA camp survivor;
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
Governor, Pacific Southwest JACL
President, San Fernando Japanese American Citizens League
Descendant of Masamitsu Iwaoka

Project Director, San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center
Past President: San Fernando Valley Japanese American Citizens League (SFV JACL). Current Board Member: 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.