The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Each year, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) honors members who have shown extraordinary dedication. ACCJ President Peter Fitzgerald presented certificates to those selected as Leaders and Volunteers of the Year on January 27 at Tokyo American Club.

Volunteer of the Year (Chubu)
Ben Eichhorn

Recognizing the significant appetite for discussions about next-generation issues, Eichhorn has led the Young Professionals Forum Mentorship Series and cultivated a network of speakers to engage in discussions on pressing challenges in industries such as cybersecurity and defense. These discussions allowed members to delve deeper into issues of interests while furthering member and community engagement.

Leader of the Year (Kansai)
Yuka Nakamura

As chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee and lead for the fifth Kansai Women in Business (WIB) Summit, Nakamura successfully organized and executed one of the ACCJ-Kansai’s flagship events. Her strategic thinking, team-oriented mindset, and tenacity over the course of six months—across three main teams and numerous stakeholders—helped deliver a smooth conference with a cohesive, timely theme.

Leader of the Year (Tokyo)
Kevin Naylor

As a long-standing vice-chair of the Charity Ball Committee, Naylor has, over the past 10 years, devoted immense resources and contributed enormous efforts to ensure that the annual ACCJ Charity Ball is a resounding success. His relentless work ethic, networking prowess, and creative thinking allowed the chamber’s primary philanthropic effort to continually increase its donations.

Leader of the Year (Tokyo)
Frank Packard

In 2015, Packard established the Alternative Investment Subcommittee and has served as chair through its transition to a standalone com­mittee—one that is among the ACCJ’s most active. The cross-sector nature of alternative investments has attracted members from across the chamber and spurred numerous collaborative activities that address the breadth of current and future investment challenges.

Volunteer of the Year (Kansai)
Tomoko Tagami

As a member of the ACCJ-Kansai Women in Business Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee, Tagami was critical to the success of the Kansai WIB Summit. An effective communicator with superb organizational skills, she helped devise logistics and resourcing plans that resulted in the event’s smooth execution. Her continued engagement within and outside the ACCJ ensured an impressive panel of speakers and robust attendance.

Volunteer of the Year (Tokyo)
Tsugu Watanabe

Through devoted engagement with the Internal Affairs Advisory Council (IAAC), as well as the Membership, Nominations, Energy, Constitutional, Alternative Investment, Sustainability, and Legal Services Committees, Watanabe contributed endless energy and expertise that were essential to the IAAC’s efforts to amend the ACCJ Constitution and Bylaws for the first time in more than a decade.

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-Chief of The ACCJ Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.