Japan America Society of Southern California

   Building Japan-America Relationships Since 1909

The Japan America Society of Southern California Presents

7th Annual Women's Leadership Counts

Virtual Conference

Activating your Kaizen Mindset

From the Japanese words of “kai-” meaning change, and “-zen” meaning good, kaizen has been widely utilized in corporate settings for the past +70 years as a systematic approach towards on-going, business improvements. However, this simple concept can also be applied to leadership and our everyday lives, enabling us to achieve & view transformative change as the continuous process of gradual, incremental improvements.  Kaizen, therefore, is not just a tool and technique for obtaining successful results - it is a mindset-change. Strategic leaders, both women and men, must adopt the kaizen-way of thinking and doing, in order to survive, thrive, and facilitate meaningful, positive changes in this era’s new “norm.”  Gain insights into your strengths, be inspired by the experiences of others, and activate your Kaizen Mindset to maximize your professional and personal growth.

Thursday, November 5, 2020 (U.S. Time) / Friday, November 6, 2020 (Japan Time)*
3:00-5:00pm (US)/ 8:00-10:00am (JST)  Main Program
5:00-5:30pm (US)/ 10:00-10:30am  Virtual Happy Hour & Networking

*This is a virtual conference which will utilize a digital conference system

Admission to Virtual Conference 

Members - $50 

Non-members - $75

New Member Bundle - $125  Admission plus new 1 year Individual JASSC Membership ($75 value)

Students - Free w/ valid ID

Click Here to Register to Attend

Click Here to Download the Event Flyer

Keynote Speaker

Mitsuru Claire Chino
Managing Executive Officer,
ITOCHU Corporation
President & CEO,
ITOCHU International Inc.

Ms. Chino is Managing Executive Officer of ITOCHU Corporation (“Itochu”), a Fortune Global 500 company headquartered in Japan, and President & CEO of ITOCHU International Inc., a subsidiary of Itochu in NewYork, overseeing North America. In 2013, she became the first female executive officer of any major trading company in Japan. Before assuming her position in New York, she was General Counsel of Itochu, and prior to that, a partner with an international law firm. Ms. Chino has received several recognitions, including from the World Economic Forum (Young Global Leader), Yale University (Yale World Fellow), Asia Society (Asia 21) and the U.S. Japan Foundation (USJLP Fellow).

Jags Burhm
SVP Global Aero Mobility,

Jags Burhm is the Senior Vice President for Global Aero Mobility and is currently responsible for leading Eutelsat, the world’s 3rd largest Satellite Communication (SATCOM) operation as their global strategist in the mobility space. With over 20 years of international consulting and corporate experience, he has architected international expansions and operations from the ground up, and curated successful global delivery teams for complex aviation programs worldwide. He is also a certified professional coach and Energy Leadership™ Index  Master Practitioner who incorporates coach centricity through Kaizen Mindset and energy leadership practices. Jags uses coaching to create transformative and highly effective senior leadership teams across a variety of organization types.

Christine Simmons
Chief Operating Officer,
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Born and raised in Southern California, Christine Simmons is a true California girl. In January of 2019, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Christine Simmons to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Simmons is responsible for the day-to-day management and enhancement of the Academy’s internal organization and infrastructure, and is leading the Academy’s first Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity. She has joined leadership in collaborative efforts to fulfill and further the Academy mission, that is to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures. Most recently Simmons was a key member of the team that created Aperture 2025, an Academy initiative designed to expand diversity and inclusion standards within the organization.

Nancy Yamaguchi
Morgan Lewis

Nancy Yamaguchi advises technology companies across the world on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, strategic and venture capital investments, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and technology transactions. She also counsels clients, especially those in Asia, on US regulatory compliance related to technology investments and transfers.  Her expertise includes latest US legislative developments regarding Hong Kong related economic sanctions.  Her clients include companies in the semiconductor, automotive, banking, IT, and software industries, among others. She also advises clients on operations of technology businesses and technology assets around the world, including intellectual property, labor/employment and litigation matters, collaborating with specialists in these areas.


Jackie F. Steele, Ph.D.


enjoi Diversity & Innovation Consulting

Dr. Steele is a trilingual political scientist, author and international speaker. A long-time Japan resident, she brings deep expertise in intersectional diversity and women's empowerment strategy achieved through evidence-based policy, processes and decision-making structures. As CEO of enjoi D&I, Dr. Steele is guiding stakeholders in the co-creation of policies and practices that place innovation and creative competitive edge at the core of business strategy and inclusive leadership culture. Dr. Steele’s approach empowers organizations with D&I mechanisms and metrics informed by international best practices, legal expertise, and two decades of research on strategies fostering equity for diverse men, women and gender non-binary individuals in Japan and North America. Dr. Steele serves as a Governor for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, is Vice Preseident of FEW Japan, and teaches "Democracy/Disaster Risk Governance" for the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Sophia University.

"Activating your Kaizen Mindset Webinars" - Free

In preparation for the very first virtual Women’s Leadership Counts Conference on November 5, the WLC committee will offer webinars in August and October featuring various topics and themes ranging from leadership development, mindset, diversity, inclusion and much more. Stay tuned for more details to come!

Webinar 1

"Surviving to Thriving Mindsets in the Workplace and at Home"

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

4:00-5:00PM (PDT)

Click Here for Event Details

Click Here to Register Now

Webinar 2

"Move the Needle on Female Equity in the Workplace"

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

4:00-5:00PM (PDT)

Click Here for Event Details

Click Here to Register Now

About Women's Leadership Counts Initiative

In 2014, the Japan America Society of Southern California's Women's Leadership Counts Initiative (WLCI) was created as a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide a platform for women in business on both sides of the Pacific to engage in professional and leadership development. 

Together with our partner organizations, business executives and community leaders, the WLCI will create a network that inspires action and moves the needle on women's leadership.

WLCI's Mission Statement:

To provide an inclusive and diverse platform for women in business to engage in professional and global leadership development

Who Should Attend

Current and future corporate, business, academic, non-profit and entrepreneurial women and men leaders who value the U.S-Japan collaboration and wish to expand their networks.

Why You Should Attend

  • LEARN from global leaders - Understanding the culture of the parent company, management, or client from Japan or overseas is key to having a successful career
  • DISCOVER your potential - Build leadership and management skills and navigate through unique corporate culture in a professional environment
  • INVEST in yourself – Exchange ideas as well as challenges you are facing with peers and mentors, and learn tactics to advance your career
  • BUILD your professional network – Meet a diverse group of women and men representing a wide variety of industries

Follow our official Facebook group page to stay up to date

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors










        Living and Learning Academy        



2020 Cooperating Organizations


The Nisei Week Foundation

Friend of the Women's Leadership Counts Conference

©2020 Japan America Society of Southern California
1411 W. 190th Street, Suite 380, Gardena, CA 90248

tel (310) 965-9050    fax (310) 965-9010   email info@jas-socal.org

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