Go For Broke National Education Center Names New Chairman, Board Members

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National nonprofit names George A. Henning Chairman; Junior Bryant, Craig Ishii and Kimberlee Tachiki-Chin Join Board of Directors

George A. Henning, Chairman, Go For Broke National Education Center

"Junior, Craig and Kim bring fresh expertise to our board as we work toward a future that values inclusion, tolerance and mutual respect.”

Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) today announced that George A. Henning has been named Chairman of the national nonprofit organization, with Junior Bryant, Craig Ishii and Kimberlee Tachiki-Chin joining the board of directors.

Henning is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Global Investment Management Co., a Glendale, Calif.-based investment advisory firm he founded in 1991. He currently serves as portfolio manager for several of the firm’s investment funds. Previously, Henning served as Senior Vice President at Transamerica Life Companies and Chubb LifeAmerica. Henning holds a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College and a master’s degree from Indiana University.

A longtime supporter of GFBNEC, Henning was introduced to the Nisei veterans’ legacy by philanthropist and 522nd Field Artillery Battalion veteran Manabi Hirasaki, a close friend who shared his family history and World War II experiences with Henning. “His humble recollection of events and experiences under such terrible circumstances for any U.S. citizen was painful to comprehend,” Henning said. “We often discussed the importance of passing this legacy forward to future generations. I’m honored to assume this leadership capacity to advance the legacy of ‘Go For Broke.’”

Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, welcomed Henning’s appointment to the chairman’s role. “We’re fortunate to have George’s extensive professional and business experience to help us expand the legacy of our Nisei WWII veterans and their contributions to our democracy,” Maki said. “His leadership will help us attract new supporters and broaden our influence as we reach out to new communities and generations.”

GFBNEC’s new board members represent a range of professions and disciplines. Junior Bryant, an advisor to emerging startup companies, previously served as Vice President and National Marketing and Sales Director for Pacific Global Investments. Prior to that, he was co-founder and Managing Director of Smith & Bryant, Inc., a real estate investment company. A veteran of the National Football League, Bryant retired from the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 after a 10-year career as a defensive lineman. He is active in philanthropic activities, serving as a board member for the Forever Young Foundation and co-founder of Legends of Sports Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Craig Ishii, Integrated Marketing Communication Manager at Beckman Coulter, has dedicated his career to businesses and organizations that support positive social development. He has served in several positions with Japanese American community organizations, including the Japanese American Citizens League and the Little Tokyo Community Council. He was a founding member and Executive Director of Kizuna, a nonprofit dedicated to educating and engaging the next generations of Japanese Americans. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in public administration with a certificate in nonprofit management from California State University, Northridge.

Kimberlee Tachiki-Chin has served as Senior Field Deputy for U.S. Congresswoman Lucile Roybal-Allard for more than 20 years. Previously, she served on the staff of the Hon. Debra Bowen in the California State Assembly. She has extensive experience with community and nonprofit organizations including the Japanese American Citizens League, The Asian Pacific Women’s Center, and Pacific Asian Counseling Services. In addition, she is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff Network. She is the daughter of Norman and Yoshie Tachiki, longtime volunteers in the Japanese American community in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. Tachiki-Chin holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education from California State University, Northridge.

Henning noted that the new board members bring additional depth to the GFBNEC board. “We honor the Japanese American soldiers who served with loyalty and distinction during WWII, despite the U.S. treating them as a threat to their own country and the incarceration of many of their families,” Henning said. “Today, those lessons couldn’t be more relevant, with citizens of other races also facing threats because of their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs. Junior, Craig and Kim bring fresh expertise to our board as we work toward a future that values inclusion, tolerance and mutual respect.”

GFBNEC’s leadership recognized board member Doug Goto and former GFBNEC chairmen Stephen Kagawa and Bill Seki as they completed their service under the board’s term limits. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Doug, Steve and Bill for their extraordinary support over many years,” Maki said. “They have given so generously in every way—from their professional expertise to time, talent, leadership and financial support. We look forward to our ongoing friendship with each of them as we build on the solid foundation they helped to create.”

The leadership team extended GFBNEC’s heartfelt respects to the family of Garfield Finley, Jr. on his recent passing. “Garfield was the first African American to serve on GFBNEC’s board when he joined us in 2011,” Maki said. “We honor his many contributions to our board, our organization and the broader community.”

About Go For Broke National Education Center
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Our goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive “GFBNEC’s Defining Courage Exhibition” in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, please visit http://www.goforbroke.org.

Media Contact:
Pauline Yoshihashi
Strategic Communications
For GFBNEC
323/683-8191 Direct
pyoshihashi(at)earthlink.net

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