JETAANC is a member (Chapter US-13) of the JET Alumni Association of the United States of America (JETAA USA), as well as a registered nonprofit organization in the state of California. We also partner frequently with the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco to help promote the JET Program and support outbound and recently returned JET alumni in our region. To learn more about JETAANC’s activities, join the chapter as a JET alumni or Friend of JET and receive email updates.
JETAANC’s organizational leadership has two tiers: the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
JETAANC Executive Committee
The JETAANC Executive Committee (EC) consists of the current officers handling the day-to-day operations of the chapter, reporting to the chapter’s Board of Directors (see below) to draft the chapter’s annual budget, plan and host events, and communicate with JET alumni in our region and throughout the country. The EC members run most chapter meetings and events, and work closely with the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco to support the mission and recruitment of the JET Program. EC members consist of JET alumni living in our region, from recent returnees to those who have been back for 10 or more years.
2019 Executive Committee Members
- President: Amy Russo (Gunma, 2010-2015)
- Vice President: Cameron Joe (Chiba, 2012-2016)
- Treasurer: Anna Fung (Iwate, 2011-2014)
- Secretary: Melissa Golden (Hokkaido, 2007-2012)
Recent returnees and those who have been back from JET for a few (or many!) years are welcome to join the Executive Committee and help plan chapter events, support partnerships with external organizations, organize social activities to bring JET alumni and friends together, or build skills that may help in a current or future job search!
JETAANC Board of Directors
As a California Public Benefit Corporation / 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for nearly 30 years, JETAANC relies on our Board of Directors to guide our chapter’s mission and oversee the Executive Committee members. The Board of Directors consists of distinguished JET alumni and members of the community who have contributed to the success of our chapter throughout its history—in some cases, from before we were even officially formed! The Board of Directors also organizes the JETAANC Scholarship project each year.
2019 Board of Directors
- Jennifer Hale (Osaka, 1994-1996)
- Hajime Matsukata (Friend of JET)
- Ryan Moore (Shikoku, 1997-2000)
- Arisa Takahashi (Nara, 1991-1994)
- Peter Weber
- Johanna Wee (Nara, 2000-2001)
Get Involved with JETAANC!
Make new friends, build your resume, and have fun by volunteering in one or more JETAANC areas of activity:
Programs – help plan and host JETAANC events and activities throughout the region and year, or volunteer at an event to learn more about what we do and how you can get more involved!
Communications – help gather information to produce our email newsletter and update our website and Facebook page and group.
Finance – help manage our chapter’s finances, including budgeting for events and tracking expenditures, especially if you’re interested in becoming a chapter Treasurer one day!
Membership – help us grow and manage our membership by staying in touch with outbound JETs as well as welcoming recent returnees and alumni who have relocated to our region.
Webmaster / IT – help manage our chapter’s IT infrastructure, including our WordPress website and technology tools (Slack and Gmail administration). This is a great way to get involved from anywhere in our region or build your technical skills.
Community Outreach – help us coordinate with local Japan-related community groups to get our alumni involved and find ways to connect our organizations via joint event planning and more.
Subchapters – help bring together alumni in communities through Northern California and Nevada, especially those outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Chapter and subchapter leaders are here to help bring JET alumni activities to your area, wherever you may be.
JETAANC Scholarship – help the JETAANC Board of Directors promote our scholarship for college-bound high school students with an interest in Japan. Great for high school teachers and school personnel!
Disaster Recovery Fundraising – help us continue to support disaster recovery efforts in Japan.
Amy Russo was a JET in Maebashi, Gunma from 2010 to 2015. She taught at two senior high schools and the School for the Blind. While in Japan, Amy was active in her local Japanese community: she earned her shodan in kyūdō and took part in many local traditional dances. Over the last nine years, she has led workshops about linguistics, language teaching, and JET, including Gunma JET Orientation (2013), the JET Skill Development Conference (2010-2015), the California TESOL Conference (2016-2019), and the UC Davis Linguistic Conference (2016-2018).
In 2017, Amy earned her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey. While at MIIS, Amy co-founded the Monterey Bay Subchapter (JETAAMB). She helped run events, such as Nihongo Dake Dinners and a screening and discussion of the documentary Hafu. From 2017 to 2019, Amy created and ran a one-day workshop for new outbound JETs about lesson planning, material design, and teaching theory.
She currently works at the Writing Center of San Jose State University (SJSU) as the Coordinator of Multilingual Writing Support. She is developing relationships with local JET alumni and organizations, such as the SJSU Japanese Society and the Martin Luther King Library.
Amy is grateful for the chance to continue to build bridges between Japan and America centered around language, culture, and understanding as President of JETAANC.
Cameron Koichi was a JET in Chiba Prefecture from 2012-2016, teaching as an ALT at 12 elementary schools and three junior high schools. While in Japan, he was an active member of the LGBTQ community, facilitating international exchange while serving as Vice President of Stonewall Japan for two years, building relationships with the US Embassy and local Japanese LGBTQ organizations developing educational programming and community outreach. He continued his international LGBTQ and international exchange advocacy with a one-year tenure on Peace Boat, developing global programming for their onboard university program and facilitating seminars on LGBTQ rights for more than 300 passengers traveling the world to build peace.
Currently, Cameron works at the intersection of Japan, the US, and the LGBTQ community, facilitating workshops and talks at conferences (NQAPIA, Okaeri, COPANI) and singing with the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Chorus, who recently completed a tour in Japan to sing with fellow LGBTQ API choruses from around Asia. He is excited to continue his work at the crossroads of so many global communities as Vice President of JETAANC.
Anna Fung was an ALT in Morioka, Iwate from 2011-2014, working at Morioka Third High School. Since returning, she has served as JETAANC’s Vice President and now Treasurer, and she loves to be one of the Executive Committee’s “ninja” because she likes to take on various jobs and learn new skills.
Anna has volunteered with JETAANC since returning from Japan, including organizing disaster relief fundraising events for the Tohoku region, career development programs, chapter meetings, picnics, and networking events. She loves to travel, go on hikes, play board games with her fellow JETAANC committee members, and eat!
Melissa was a Hokkaido JET from 2007-2012. She taught at two junior high schools and five elementary schools as the sole ALT in Akabira. Melissa caught the travel bug early, after visiting Ireland with a family friend while in high school. The experience made her realize the importance of pushing her own mental, cultural, and geographical boundaries to develop a better understanding of the world and herself. Melissa went on to participate in two undergraduate exchange programs in Europe through Linfield College and graduated with a BA in History. After returning from JET, she earned her MA in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
In her current role as Director of Operations at VIA Programs, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, Melissa utilizes her international experience and organizational management expertise to further sustainable development and operations of VIA’s cultural exchange programs in the US and Asia. She calls Monterey home and enjoys working 90% remotely while also having frequent opportunities to travel to east and southeast Asia. As a member of the leadership team, Melissa hopes to enhance JETAANC’s engagement and support of the JET and Japan-connected communities in the Bay Area.
Arisa was a one-shot ALT with the Nara Prefecture Board of Education from 1991 to 1992, at over a dozen junior high schools. From 1992-
1994, she served as a CIR with the Nara International Foundation Commemorating the Silk Road Exposition (NIFS). Since returning, she has served as JETAANC’s treasurer, on JET interview panels, and as a speech contest judge.
Arisa is a resource to alumni for:
– Accounting and financial reporting
– Non-profit reporting compliance
Arisa is a CPA currently employed by Robert Half Management Resources. She is placed in companies that need senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals on an interim basis.
Haj is a native-born Japanese, who moved to the United States when he was young.
Haj is a resource to alumni for:
– Japanese culture
– Technology-related topics
Haj is a Boston College graduate with a degree in software engineering. He also has an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He is currently working at Udemy, which produces an online education-based platform.
Ryan served the Chubu Education Office, in Kochi Prefecture as a one-shot ALT from 1997-2000. His service area included 40 schools, both elementary and junior high. Upon returning, he has served as an interviewer for the JET program and was also JETAANC’s newsletter editor for two years. Ryan coordinates the JETAANC High School Scholarship program.
Ryan is a resource to alumni for:
– Education-related topics
After teaching 5th grade for 14 years at Longfellow Elementary School in San Francisco, Ryan has recently changed grades to work with kindergartners.
Johanna was an ALT in Haibara, Nara Prefecture from 2000-2003, working in the city’s junior high and elementary schools. In addition, she conducted English classes for adults at the community center. Johanna served as a JET interviewer from 2006-2007 and has volunteered at several JETAANC sponsored events.
Johanna is a resource to alumni for:
– Web design and development
– Marketing communication collateral
Johanna is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education at Stanford University.
Jennifer served as an ALT at Izumi High School in Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture from 1994-1996. During her tenure, she also sang lead vocals in 2 bands, played o-koto with a local community group and won a kendama contest on a TV variety show. Jennifer joined the Board in 2018 and co-chaired the JETAANC Career Webinar in May 2019. Having worked in the tech and travel industries since earning her MBA in 1999, Jennifer is a resource to alumni for:
Tech startup-related topics in the Bay Area
Travel industry-related topics, particularly for Japan
Jennifer is currently an Account Executive at AdvisoryCloud, a recruiting company based in Novato, California.