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JASH NexGen Movers & ShakersLet’s Talk Story Series with Barbara Tanabe

L-R: Dan Dinell, Izumi Kinney, Sandra Fujiyama, Barbara Tanabe, Michelle Hirose

On November 13, 2019 the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) hosted the second of a three part “talk story” series with local community leaders and JASH NexGen members. These sessions are small group discussions on leadership, and the path to leadership for the NexGen of leaders in Hawaii. This program featured Ms. Barbara Tanabe, JASH Board Director, Bank of Hawaii Director and Owner of Hoakea Communications. The program was held at the Bank of Hawaii board room in downtown Honolulu.

Ms. Tanabe opened the discussion by sharing her story about growing up as a Japanese American woman and how from a very early age she learned the importance of being self-confident and to be able to stand up for what you believe in. The NexGeners in attendance brought up thoughts and questions such as when they are advised by senior leaders to “lead” and they try to exert their style of leadership, how confusing it is when they meet resistance. Ms. Tanabe’s advice to the group about “acceptance” in taking ownership and responsibility as a leader is to think about how their actions will affect the community and not just oneself. What is the end result that you want? Listening and being open to other perspectives while maintaining your beliefs is an important skill in leading.

If you would like to be a part of the next talk story session, join JASH now by contacting Lila Frisbie, Director of Membership and Programs, at, or 808-524-4450. Talk story sessions are by invitation and the next session is on December 17, 2019 with Mr. Bob Harrison, Chairman & CEO of First Hawaiian Bank!

Lynn Lethin discusses being a minority Asian American while living in Alaska and some of the challenges she has had to adapt to and overcome and how her experiences helps her to teach her students.

L-R: Christianne Ono, Lynn Lethin, Katie Mettler, Delle Tanioka

Ms. Kaneko discusses with some of the attendees the challenges that women face in balancing their careers and being a mother.

L-R: Reyna Kaneko, Staci Yoshihara, Nate Gyotoku

Thank you to our sponsor!

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