HONOLULU (July 18, 2014) — The Japan-America Society of Hawaii announced that Lenny Yajima was named the organization’s next president.
Yajima will become President effective Oct. 1, 2014. She succeeds Ed Hawkins who is retiring after serving for eight years with JASH.
Yajima previously served as President and Executive Director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii from 2007 to 2012. She held a variety of sales and marketing positions in Hawaii.
Yajima, a graduate of Punahou School and Harvard University, brings marketing and public relations experience spanning 25 years. Her service with Hawaii’s Japanese-American community includes chairmanship of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce’s 40th Cherry Blossom Festival and representing Hawaii’s Americans of Japanese ancestry community nationally and internationally as queen of the 34th Cherry Blossom Festival. She was also spokesperson for the Honolulu Festival Foundation for several years.
“Lenny’s communication and marketing skills will serve JASH well as we begin to implement a strategic plan which supports our mission to promote understanding and friendship between the peoples of Japan and the United States through the special and unique perspective of Hawaiʻi,” said JASH Board Chair Daniel Dinell.
“Ed brought us more effective programs and greatly enriched our relationships in Japan and in Hawaii. We are thankful for his outstanding tenure and myriad contributions to JASH,” added Dinell.
Yajima will be working closely with Hawkins to effect a smooth transition over the next two months including working together on the JASH Annual Dinner on Sept. 25, 2014 during which Hawaiian Airlines will be recognized with the JASH Bridge Award for its role in promoting understanding and friendship between Hawaiʻi and Japan.