LA Next Generation Japanese American Leaders Initiative: "Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges: Japanese American and Japanese Women in Food & Beverage"

On June 15, the Consulate General of Japan and the LA Next Generation Japanese American Leaders Initiative held an event at the Japanese American National Museum – “Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges: Japanese American and Japanese Women in Food & Beverage.” 
The event featured panelists Atsuko Kanai (Vice President, Mutual Trading Co.), Hisae Uki (Vice President of Business Operations, Sun Noodle) and Nami Yamamoto (Chief Executive Officer, Yamamotoyama U.S.A.) who spoke about their experiences as women executives in the food & beverage industry.

The discussion explored a range of topics including the women’s personal journeys and career trajectories. They shared their experiences working in their family businesses and the unique challenges they have faced in carrying on company legacies into successive generations. They also offered their reflections on current efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace and how they have personally supported efforts to advance more minority and women leadership in their companies. They also provided advice to younger generation leaders in their careers and engaged with the audience during the Q&A session.  

The networking reception that followed featured samples from Omiso provided by Founder & CEO Ai Fujimoto. Beverage sponsors included Mutual Trading (sake) and Kimino (fruit beverages).  Sommelier Alice Hama was on hand to provide guests with an appreciation for the special sake served, and guests enjoyed food from Azay along with donated chopsticks provided by Cropsticks – a sustainable bamboo product with a built-in rest.