2011 Volunteer Recognition Awards

We have so many dedicated & wonderful volunteers, without who we would not be able to do all that we do here at JANM. Every year, we honor our volunteers at our annual Volunteer Recognition Awards.

Mary Karasawa receives the Program Award from G.W. Kimura, JANM President/CEO. Mary was unable to attend the Volunteer Recognition event, so staff surprised her the following week.

On May 19, 2012, we honored our outstanding volunteers for 2011. All together, Museum Volunteers contributed a total of 33,800 volunteer hours from January through December 2011. Eight individuals even volunteered over 500 hours each!

During the awards program, Volunteer Service Year Pins were awarded. One Year pins went to: George Gonzalez, Sergio Holguin, Kyle Ishii, Nao Magami, MariAnne Nguyen, Pearl Punperk, Kihachiro Tajima, and Joy Takeuchi. Five Year pins went to Wayne Iwahashi, Terri Kishimoto, Carol Miyahira, and Mas Yamashita. Ten Year pins were awarded to Eiko Masuyama, Fred Murakami, Julia Murakami, Larry Oshima, Chieko Sakuno, Carol Takafuji, and Mitsuyo Tanaka. Fifteen Year pins went to Nancee & Roy Iketani, and Marge Wada. Twenty Year pins were presented to Kimiko Oriba, Bill Shishima, and Helen Yasuda.

Carol Miyahara received the 2011 Administration Award

After the service pins were presented, next came the presentation of the various outstanding award winners:

Administration Award: Carol Miyahira

Carol is an active member of the Organizational Support Committee and the Volunteer Leadership Council. She also assists with origami for school tours and with various volunteer activities.

Community Award: Glenn Oshima

Glenn helps out in the Hirasaki National Resource Center assisting visitors with access to the databases and other resources. He is also co-editor of Volunteerly Speaking, the volunteer newsletter, and helps out with the membership table at various events.

Sergio Holguin received the Lois & Elman Padilla Student Award

Program Award: Mary Karasawa

Mary is a long-time volunteer docent who leads tours of our Common Ground exhibition for school groups and other visitors.

Padilla Student Award: Sergio Holguin

Sergio began as a docent while still in high school. He continues to volunteer on weekends now that he’s in college. [Read his article on Discover Nikkei: Nisei? Sansei? No, I’m just a Gakusei]

Museum Family Spirit Award: Roy & Eileen Sakamoto

Roy & Eileen Sakamoto both contribute to the Museum in their own ways. Roy is a docent and a former chair of the Volunteer Leadership Council. He also coaches new docent trainees, and helps out wherever he can. Eileen volunteers in both Visitor Services welcoming guests to the Museum, and also in the Museum Store. [Check out their 30-second volunteer videos on YouTube: Roy Sakamoto – Citizenship PapersEileen Sakamoto – Baseball Team Photo]

Eileen & Roy Sakamoto received the Family Spirit Award


Miki Tanimura Award: Julia Murakami

The Miki Tanimura Award honors outstanding volunteers who have made exceptional contributions to the Museum. It’s always amazing to me that every year we honor someone totally deserving, and yet they are always completely taken by surprise. The twenty volunteers who make up this exclusive club are an incredible group of “all-stars” that have helped the Museum in enumerable ways with such dedication and modesty.

Julia Murakami is a worthy addition to this group. Although she works full-time, she helps out in so many different ways around the Museum. A former member of the Volunteer Leadership Council, she has taken charge of recruiting and mentoring many younger volunteers, especially on the weekends. She helped coordinate the Community Marketplace at the Museum’s 2008 National Conference in Denver; helped to develop guidelines for recruiting off-site volunteers to help with Discover Nikkei; is a regular volunteer in the Hirasaki National Resource Center; assists with entering in data for the Museum’s annual Gala Dinner; helps with administrative tasks for the Volunteer office; is currently assisting with Xploration Lab visitor surveys; and so much more.

Congratulations to all of the winners!…and thanks so much to all of our volunteers!

2011 Miki Tanimura Outstanding Volunteer Award Winner, Julia Murakami with past Tanimura award recipients, Kirby and Terri Tanimura, and G.W. Kimura

Photos by Russell Kitagawa, Richard Murakami, and Vicky Murakami-Tsuda.

Vicky Murakami-Tsuda

Communications Production Manager at the Japanese American National Museum. I coordinate printed publications, manage web-based projects, and lots of other stuff. I also write an occasional column for our DiscoverNikkei.org project.

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