Board Nominees

This year, Portland Japanese Garden is nominating two individuals to join the Board of Trustees. Board Members are active for three-year terms and confirmed by member vote during the Annual Membership Meeting.

Additionally, the Garden is nominating Dr. Cal Tanabe to be an Emeritus Trustee. Emeritus Trustees are individuals who have demonstrated exceptionally long and dedicated service to the Garden. These Emeritus Trustees are also confirmed by member vote during the Annual Membership Meeting.

Candidates to be nominated for first three-year term:

Portrait on white background of Takeshi Ted HommaTakeshi (Ted) Homma, is the Founder and CEO of HOMMA Group.  He was born into a family with fifteen generations of experience in the building trades in Japan, specializing in carpentry in the construction of shrines and temples. He attended Chuo University in Tokyo where he founded an internet startup called Yellnet which he sold in 2002. Following the sale, he joined Sony Corporation that resulted in a relocation to California in 2008. After four years with Sony, Ted joined Rakuten Corporation as the Executive Officer for Global Digital Content. He left Rakuten in 2016 to found HOMMA. with the vision to bring innovation to the residential home construction and smart technology industry. Ted’s decades of entrepreneurial experience and significant depth in technology and international business drive Homma’s goal to revolutionize the residential smart home market.

Portrait on wooden background of Mari WatanabeMari Watanabe has lived in the Portland Metro region for 23+ years moving from Seattle in 2000.  She brought her desire and commitment to make a difference in her community while working in the corporate and nonprofit sectors until her recent retirement in November 2023.  In October 2023, Mari was appointed by the Portland Community College Board of Trustees to serve as the Zone 4 representative which includes the Rock Creek Campus in Washington County.  After 25 years in the apparel industry working for national manufacturers such as Nike, Nordstrom, and Union Bay Sportswear, Mari made a shift to the nonprofit sector in 2008.  At that time, she began working for the Oregon Japanese Museum of Oregon as its first Executive Director and then moved to the Portland Business Alliance serving as both the Director of Leadership Portland, a civic engagement program for business leaders, and as the Executive Director of Partners In Diversity (PID) in 2012.  Mari became the fulltime PID Executive Director in 2019 where she oversaw all aspects of the organization, whose mission is to help employers recruit, support, and retain professionals of color in Oregon and southwest Washington. They accomplished this through numerous diversity, equity, and inclusion educational programs for employers and through programs that connect our multicultural community.  She grew the organization from 40 employer members to 400, and increased staff over the years.  She has served on national and local boards and commissions including the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, the Beaverton Diversity Advisory Board, the City Club of Portland, the National Veterans Network which worked to win the Congressional Gold Medal for Japanese American veterans of WWII, the Center for Women’s Leadership, World Oregon Advisory Board, Japan-America Society of Oregon, plus others.  Mari was awarded the 2023 FBI Community Service award, the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oregon Commission for Women, the Community Service Award by the NAACP, and the Ted Yamamura Leadership Award by Executive Development Institute, plus others.

Trustees to be nominated for Emeritus Status:

Dr. Calvin Tanabe is a philanthropist, military veteran, and retired neurosurgeon who has served on Portland Japanese Garden’s Board of Trustees since 2014. Born in Portland, Tanabe and his family were among those of Japanese ancestry that were wrongfully incarcerated during WWII. After spending the rest of his youth in Eastern Oregon, Tanabe returned to the area to study medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. After residencies in Missouri and California, Tanabe returned to OHSU for his neurosurgery residency, where he met his wife and partner in philanthropic efforts, Dr. Mayho Tanabe. After returning from his service during the Vietnam War, Tanabe returned to OHSU to become an assistant professor in 1972. In 1981 he opened his own private neurosurgery practice in Portland. By the time he retired in 2008, his practice was among the largest and most respected in the Pacific Northwest. Today, he and his wife’s names adorn two Portland Japanese Garden spaces: the Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Welcome Center and Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery. This reflects but just a part of the generosity and spirit they have provided the organization for more than a decade.

Emeritus Trustee

Per the bylaws of the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, doing business as “Portland Japanese Garden,” members of its Board of Trustees can be nominated for the title of “Emeritus Trustee.” This title is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional and dedicated service to the organization over the course of several years. Those who are nominated have their titles confirmed by member vote during the Annual Membership Meeting.

Portland Japanese Garden is proud to nominate Dr. Calvin Tanabe as Emeritus Trustee. His generosity, wise guidance, and kind spirit have helped the organization maintain and elevate its status as a world-class public Japanese garden, renowned Japanese cultural institution, and deftly managed nonprofit organization.