Leadership

Arisa Takahashi
Board of Directors

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.

Hajime Matsukata
Board of Directors

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 Moore
Scholarship Coordinator

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 Wee
Board of Directors

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 Hale
Board of Directors

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.

Amy Russo
President

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 Joe
Vice President

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
Treasurer

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 Golden
Secretary

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.