Meet the Speakers
Sherman Gillums Jr.
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Sherman Gillums Jr. currently serves as Chief Strategy and Impact Officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where he leads the organization’s efforts to universalize timely access to appropriate mental healthcare for underserved communities and the destigmatization of mental illness.
Sherman has testified before Congress as an expert witness and appeared on national networks, such as CNN, Fox News, and C-SPAN, as one of the most influential voices on military/veteran issues, mental health, and suicide prevention. Sherman served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 12 years, including 3 years at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.
General Partner, MPower Partners
Kathy is the former Vice-Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan and Chief Japan Equity Strategist.
Her groundbreaking ʻWomenomicsʼ research spurred the Japanese government to promote gender diversity, and she has advised corporations on governance and diversity best practices. She has an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an AB from Harvard.
Principal and Managing Director of Gensler Tokyo
As Representative in Japan for Gensler’s Tokyo office, Sarah leads local and global teams as they create design solutions that meet the aesthetic requirements, business needs, and employee engagement for clients around the world.
Previously, she spent three years as a Co-Managing Director of the firm’s Chicago office. Sarah’s strengths include analyzing strategic business goals and leading teams in the creation of world-class programming, space planning, conceptual development, and design development with a focus on the health wellbeing of those experiencing the spaces her teams create.
Founder and CEO of Job Rainbow
Kento is a graduate of the Tokyo University Graduate School of Informatics Education Department. Selected for Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia/Japan. First-generation of Masason Foundation Supporting Youth who will Create the Future. He is a member of the Itabashi Ward Gender Equality Council. Evaluator of Educational Stakeholders for Ochanomizu College of Art. Published a book that releases anxiety about LGBTs job hunting/job transfer (March 2020 Shoeisha). Forbes Japan “35 of Japan’s Impact Entrepreneurs”. He has appeared in various media.
"Regarding “Highlighting our Differences,” as a gay individual, I have LGBT friends who have had problems in their job search. So during my student years, I launched a job information website geared towards LGBTQ+ people called Job Rainbow. Currently, there are 650,000 people and 600 companies who use the website, which is Japan’s largest diversity-focused human resource service. The service offers DE&I consulting to companies, a sexuality diagnosis tool, and LGBTQ+ matching application development, and conducts the social experiment of promoting people’s differences not as 'deficiencies' but as 'highlights'."
Director, Group Marketing, Sun Frontier Fudousan, Co. Ltd. . Member of the Board of Overseers, Temple University Japan.
Midori has worked for global companies in the last 25 years as an executive member of each organization in the field of corporate branding, advertising, reputation management, media relations, executive communication, employee engagement as well as diversity, equity & inclusion.
Midori worked at the leading organizations in various industries that include; Nestle (Food & Beverage), Citi (Financial Services), GE (Energy, Healthcare, Aviation), and Amazon (IT / E-commerce) for Japan and APAC (GE).
She has been active with various organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and has served as its board member as well as a chairperson of committees.
Midori currently serves on other boards of NPOs, Fruits in Suits on LGBTQ advocacy and Unleash Potential on empowering Challenged Children in the last 15 years.
ACCJ President Board of Governors
Chief Executive Northrop Grumman Japan
Om Prakash is chief executive, Japan, for Northrop Grumman Corporation. Om is responsible for leading the development of the Northrop Grumman business in Japan by supporting current programs and developing strategies for growth. He reports to the company’s chief global business officer.
Before assuming his current role, Om was a director in the corporate strategy group at Northrop Grumman, responsible for conducting strategic planning and analysis of business initiatives. He oversaw the annual and long-range strategic planning process. His first role with Northrop Grumman was in international business development for the heritage Electronic Systems sector. Before joining Northrop
Grumman, Om led international business development for Aurora Flight Sciences.
Om served more than 25 years in the U.S. Air Force and held leadership positions at various levels in operations, training, and developmental test. He also worked directly for the Secretary and Chief of Staff
of the Air Force developing strategy and policy. He served as the principal military advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy covering all matters relating to the defense industrial base defense industry mergers and acquisitions, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and preservation of essential industries and technologies.
Om also served as the Chief of Air Force Legislative Plans and Programs as the principal interface to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees on a portfolio that spanned personnel policy, force structure, basing, and military justice.
Om is a former instructor of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He has flown, tested, or instructed in more than 60 different aircraft for more than 3,000 hours and has more than 300 combat hours in the F15E. Om earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy as the top graduate in engineering sciences, with a minor in Japanese. He was selected as a Draper Fellow, earning a master’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also earned a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College.
Gail Palmer (RMFT, MSW)
Founding Member of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute, chair of the ICEEFT Education Committee
Gail is one of the Founding Members of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute and Co-Director of the International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.
She holds a Masters degree in Social Work and is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist in Canada. Over the past 30 years, Gail has worked closely with Dr Sue Johnson, creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy, and is an experienced supervisor and trainer in EFT.
Gail currently offers workshops, externships and core skills training to mental health professionals in a variety of settings across the world. Gail has a particular interest in applying the model with work with families. For the past decade, she has been one of the lead EFT trainers who have developed and expanded on Sue Johnson’s EFFT method and has presented extensively on EFFT and also contributed substantially to the literature.
Founder of Heart-Data
She has a passion for brands and the role they play in people’s lives. Her career has seen her work in insights and strategy teams, marketing and general management roles in Japan for some of the world's most recognizable brands; Coca-Cola, Philip Morris, Nike, and Starbucks. She has had her own struggles with being a working, foreign female executive, but she reflects that she has built her career on the belief that understanding of each other and communication of your own needs is at the core of success.
She is the founder of heart data inc, a marketing strategy company focused on putting the consumer at the heart of the data, creating strategies that are future-forward and resonate with the consumer across emotional and functional needs.
TELL Joint Chairman and Treasurer; PwC Partner
Shannon is a Partner at PwC on secondment in their Tokyo office. He previously worked for PwC in their Los Angeles, Charlotte and Memphis offices.
Over his 20+ year career at PwC, Shannon has focused primarily on the financial statement audits of global financial institutions. Shannon and his family have lived in Japan for 5+ years, including a previous secondment to Tokyo. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.
Founder & CEO of SHeStands.
Certified Career Consultant
Experienced Marketing Management at a global sportswear company. Specialized in Brand Marketing for women’s lines and Retail Marketing for the global flagship store opening, Keiko was awarded the Employee of the year in 2018 for contributing to the company.
‘Women empowerment’ had always been her “Ikigai”, however after returning from her maternity leave, experiencing difficulty in developing the career, she realized that she had to change the environment for other women in Japan. Keiko flew to NYC, resonating with the vision and mission of the Non-Profit Organization in NYC, which empowers women to achieve economic independence, and that determined her to take a serious step toward progressing gender equality in Japan.
She founded SHeStands, Inc., a social enterprise offering women’s career consulting and DE & I consulting service, aiming to create a sustainable social giving system in Japan,
Certified Public Psychologist
Ms. Sonoda is a Certified Public Psychologist in Japan bilingual in English and Japanese. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the state of New Mexico, USA, and is also a USA National Certified Counselor.
She has experience working with children, adolescents, adult individuals, divorced/separated parents, and families at outpatient mental health clinics and crime survivor support non-profit agencies, all in multi-cultural environments. Her clinical interests include parenting, co-parenting for divorced/separated parents, trauma issues, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, cultural adjustment/acculturation issues, identity issues, behavioral issues, and especially child abuse prevention and early intervention. She provides group parenting or co-parenting training at any approved location by appointment.
TELL Executive Director
Giles Duke is TELL’s new Executive Director effective July 1st, 2021. Originally from the UK, and schooled in Japan and England, Giles first came to Japan when he was six years old, and has spent most of his adult life working in Japanese companies and possesses native-level fluency in the language.
Spending the last 25 years working in the major labels of the music industry – in business strategy, legal affairs, merchandising, label operations, and for a total of six years (three as VP) in Human Resources – one of his priorities was ensuring the physical and mental well-being of more than 650 employees, particularly during the ‘new normal’ period of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He also has extensive experience in direct marketing and real estate.
Professional Certified Coach, Lecturer at Temple University, and Author
Mete is a tri-lingual professional living and working in Japan since 1995. His actual industry experience of 22 years was built in Japan. In his last corporate job, Mete was the Head of Local Product Development and a Corporate Officer in LexisNexis Japan. In 2019, he established his own company to focus on coaching and training activities.
Mete is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) as certified by the International Coach Federation, and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) by the Co-Active Training Institute. He has a B.Sc. in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, an M.B.A from the International University of Japan, an M.Sc. in Psychology from California Southern University. He is expected to become a Doctor of Psychology from California Southern University by 2023. Mete is also a part-time lecturer at Temple University Japan, Continuing Education Program, and Rikkyo University. He is the co-author of a book in Japanese on Social Business and Leadership, which was published in May 2020.
Niaya Harper Igarashi
Resident Director, International Studies AbroadPhD Candidate, School of International Health, University of Tokyo
Niaya Harper Igarashi was born and raised in the United States and has resided in Japan since 2009. Niaya graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in International Business at Webster University’s London, UK campus.
After graduating she worked in business development for the renewable energy sector with the UK Department of Trade and Industry at the British Consulate in New York prior to moving to Japan.
In Japan, she has been involved in the development and management of Japanese academic programs for US universities for over 8 years. In addition, she has been working as a program specialist for the Health and Global Policy Institute over the past year and is simultaneously studying as a Ph.D. candidate in the School of International Health at the University of Tokyo. Her current research focuses on migrants’ health.
Representative Officer and President, Discovery Japan
Born in Canada and raised in Germany, David has called Japan home since 1995. He’s been in the front rank of the 21st-century digital media revolution and has extensive experience in cross-cultural management, diversity, and inclusion.
As Representative Officer and President of Discovery Japan since 2018, he has led the transformation of a company from a highly recommended pay-TV business to one with new content genres distributed through new platforms, including free-TV and, of course, digital.
David started his business career in 1999 with NTT DoCoMo, the year of the launch of the mega-hit service i-mode. At DoCoMo, he worked on domestic content development and later partner development overseas. Moving to Disney, David managed the early Internet business across Asia. From 2009 he took on successive roles at YouTube in Asia, developing the “YouTuber” ecosystem and managing studios in Tokyo and Mumbai.
A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, David was commissioned as a
military intelligence officer. He also earned a Master’s of Science in East Asian
Business from Sheffield. From 1995 he spent 3 years in rural Aomori prefecture
teaching English and participating in grassroots international relations on the JET Program. Today he lives in Urayasu, in the outskirts of Tokyo, with his wife, daughter, and toy poodle.
Minako Abe, MD
Health and Wellness Coach of the Tokyo Cancer Clinic Vice-President of Tokyo Cancer Clinic
Minako Abe, MD is a Health and Wellness Coach of the Tokyo Cancer Clinic and Vice-President of the Tokyo Cancer Clinic. She attended UC Berkeley and earned her M.D. at SUNY Stony Brook, and has dual U.S. board certifications in Emergency Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. Practicing in NY/NJ for
over 15 years, she found that nearly 80% of her Emergency Room patients were suffering from conditions due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Realizing that to best serve her patients, a more upstream approach was necessary and began incorporating lifestyle medicine interventions.
She then had the opportunity to move to Tokyo, Japan to work in cancer immunotherapy, and now helps patients thrive and not just survive with not only cutting edge immunotherapy treatments but lifestyle interventions and mindset.
Taeko Yamada (MSW)
As a social worker and therapist, Taeko previously worked in a variety of fields such as suicide intervention, sexual health and HIV/AIDS counseling, family violence, and human trafficking. She has also worked with and advocated for specific target groups such as youth, women of color, and LGBTIQ+ clients.
Her clinical interests include adolescent mental health, trauma, anxiety and depression, family/intimate partner violence, grief and loss, chronic pain and stress management, cultural adjustment, and identity issues.
Taeko Yamada obtained her Master of Social Work from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in 2007, and also completed a Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy in 2012. Taeko is a bilingual (English/Japanese) social worker who has more than 12 years of experience working in Australia and in Japan. She is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder. Most recently, she worked for Monash Health Gender Clinic in Australia until 2019 and is keen to continue supporting trans and gender diverse individuals and families as well as the LGBTIQ+ community in Japan.
Ashly Schanback Ishii (MS, CCP)
The heart of Ashly’s approach is experiencing the healing power of emotion while simultaneously feeling safe and empowered.
Her approach has its roots in psychodrama, but recently includes elements of Internal Family Systems Therapy and Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy as she continues to deepen her studies and practice.
Ashly works with adults, couples, children, and families facing power struggles, school refusal, family-of-origin issues, depression, anxiety, identity issues, cultural adjustment, co-dependency, and self-reliance.
Ashly is a certified clinical psychologist in Japan who practices therapy in both English and Japanese. She studied clinical psychology at the Tokyo University of Social Welfare, where she learned and practiced a wide range of psychological testing, ongoing assessment techniques, and an emotionally-focused therapeutic approach.
Vice President of Coca-Cola Asia Pacific
Patrick was Acting Head of People for National Australia Bank. Patrick served as Vice President Human Resources, Coca-Cola Japan at Coca-Cola.
Patrick Jordan is currently Vice President Human Resources, Japan and Korea at Coca-Cola Asia Pacific
Partner, Asia Pacific Future of Work Leader for Deloitte
Nic is an Executive Advisor on the Future of Work, passionate about making work better for humans and humans better at work. With more than twenty years' cross-industry experience in Information
Technology Services, Total Talent Management, Human Capital Advisory
and Mergers & Acquisitions, Nic works with businesses and governments to embed future work vision into the enterprise, business, technology, and workforce strategies.
Nic regularly speaks at events and authors material for publication on the future of work topic. Most recently she co-authored The Shift from Survive to Thrive in the Accelerated Future of Work and Deloitte’s
Global Human Capital Trends Special Report on The Worker-Employer Relationship Disrupted: If We’re Not a Family, What Are We?
John W. Carlson III
New Commercial Partnerships Lead and Senior Strategic Assistant to Pharma Japan Head
John currently manages strategic initiatives of the President’s Office at Novartis Japan as New Commercial Partnerships Lead and Senior Strategic Assistant. He started his career in Washington, DC, and moved to Asia in 2014, has since worked across corporate strategy, marketing, government affairs, and market access and policy in the biopharmaceutical industry. John serves as a Governor at the ACCJ, while also Co-Chairing the Healthcare Committee and Young Professionals Forum. Before joining Novartis he worked in increasing roles of responsibility for the Japan affiliate of AbbVie and Merck KGaA.
Having studied abroad at a young age, John continues to support exchanges between the U.S. and Japan, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Fremont-Yahaba Friendship City Program. John holds an MS in Regulatory Science from the University of Southern California and has a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures.
Project Management Professional
Andrew first came to Japan as an exchange student at International Christian University. Since then, he has lived and worked in Japan off and on for nearly 40 years. Celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary this year, Andrew and his wife, Anne, are the very proud parents of their 16-year-old son, Yoshinori, whom they adopted at age 8. Andrew and his family have made Tokyo their home since 2015.
Alejandra Reyes (M.A., LCP)
Alejandra Reyes is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience working in diverse clinical settings and schools.
She has an integrated approach that may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), play therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and mind-body practices such as mindfulness, including trauma-informed mindfulness and somatic experiencing.
She earned her degree in clinical psychology at the Universidad Iberoamericana and has a national certified license from Mexico. She completed her thesis on suicide survivors and bereavement.
Besides working for TELL, she collaborates with the British School in Tokyo, the Mexican Embassy in Tokyo, the Loyola Center of Sophia University, the Educational Network for Spanish speakers in Japan and co-facilitates the Parent-Child Learning Support Group for families with school-aged children with learning differences.
Ridho Ahmad Pratama
“It’s Okay!' Project Leader
Student at Toyo University
Ridho Ahmad Pratama is an aspiring graphic designer, as well as the leader of the “It’s Okay!” project. He is currently an undergraduate student at Toyo University, studying design. Other than that, he also does some part-time and freelance work outside school hours.
As a minority in Japan, he had to adapt to a lot of aspects of my life, and it could be lonely and difficult at times. However, he also often stumbles upon moments with people around me that remind him that he was not alone and that despite the differences, he could belong here. Through the “It’s Okay!” project, he hoped that everyone who ever felt the same way as he did would realize that It's Okay! to feel that way and that they are not alone in this.
Pham Thu Thao
“It’s Okay!' Project Team Member
Student at Toyo University
Pham Thu Thao is one of the team members of the “It’s Okay!” project, a collaborative story-sharing project that also acts as a fundraising project for TELL JP. She is a third-year student at Toyo University studying business who wishes to work in data science in the future.
Having stayed in Japan for three years as an international student, she was exposed to various cultural values. Through meeting new friends, she has come to understand the hardships and mental burdens that everyone had to go through, and she wished to contribute to the cause through the “It’s Okay!” project so that everyone who is going through a hard time would have the courage to talk about their issues and seek help.
Francesco Pantò, M.D.
EU and Japan licensed Medical Doctor
Born in Sicily, Italy, he graduated from the Medical University, Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Gemelli General Hospital (Rome), and obtained his medical license in Italy before coming to Japan. He enrolled at Tsukuba Graduate School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Saito Tamaki. After obtaining his medical license in Japan, he completed his initial clinical internship at Keio University Hospital and is currently working as a psychiatrist at Keio Hospital and other hospitals and psychiatric clinics in Japan.
His expertise includes cultural, social psychiatry, and anthropology. A book on Japan's unique emotional communication, including how different cultures express their psychiatric symptoms, based on a comparative cultural analysis, will be published by Fukumura Publishing Co. (Scheduled this spring ). The "Anime Therapy" Book, a new form of therapy he is proposing, will be published by Kobunsha this fall. In order to use otaku culture as a tool to support the mental health of young people, He is trying to develop an original intervention that aims to revolutionize our entertainment vision.
Executive and Team Coach
Karin is a Founding-Partner and executive and team coach at Kay Group K.K. Japan, a Tokyo-based executive leadership development firm.
She has over 25 years of international work experience as a management consultant and coach in Europe, North America, East, and Southeast Asia primarily serving life sciences clients and
professional services firms. She has worked for Deloitte in progressive roles for over 17 years before joining Kay Group in 2017. She gained extensive international consulting experience in the strategy
and operations-related space which she now leverages for organizational design, culture change, and accelerated people development.
Karin’s coaching and organizational consulting is based on real-world leadership and in-depth global
management consulting experience combined with education from Europe, North America, the East, and Southeast Asia. Her work coaching women at various stages in their careers has led to her recent research to uncover how to build more purpose-driven and diverse executive teams in MNCs in Japan.
To pay forward to the next generation, Karin coaches leaders of various NGOs, such as the Global Shapers (World Economic Forum) and Hands-on-Tokyo.
Karin holds degrees in business and international relations from the University of Tubingen, Germany, and the University of Southern California together with various coaching certifications.
Dr. Nancy Snow
Nancy Snow is a native-born GRITS (Gal Raised In The South) who views the world as her campus. She holds the title of Emerita Professor of Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She has taught at this and a number of top-ranked universities with highly diverse student bodies, including the University of Southern California and the University of California-Los Angeles. Other faculty appointments include Syracuse University’s Newhouse and Maxwell Schools, and Reichman University’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy. This fall, after six years of serving as Japan’s first public diplomacy professor at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Snow will be Distinguished Visiting Professor and Advisor in the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University where she will teach, “China’s Strategic Communication to the World.”
Snow holds a doctorate in international relations from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. She was a refugee and migration analyst and Capitol Hill liaison at the U.S. Department of State and Educational Exchange and Cultural Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Information Agency. A two-time Fulbright scholar (Germany, Japan) and Abe Fellow at Keio University, she is recognized for her speaking and scholarship in public diplomacy and propaganda studies, including how to tell one’s story to the world. Snow has published fourteen books in five languages, including three in Japanese translation.
Senior Advisor for EY Japan’s Wavespace Innovation Center; President of In The Moment
Chris Wells is a Senior Advisor for EY Japan’s wavespace innovation center, and president of in the moment, ltd., a company providing training and workshops for multinational companies in Japan and abroad.
Over the last five years he has traveled to four continents to teach “Punching Up”, his workshop on diversity and inclusion, about the representation of minorities in the theatre, both ethnic and in life experience, and how they fit into society in terms of empowerment or disempowerment.
A resident of Tokyo for over 25 years, he also moderates technology conferences internationally, directs the Improvazilla Show at the Tokyo Comedy Store, and is the narrator for multiple NHK World television programs, as well as the voice you hear on the JR East train platforms.
Day 1 - Emcee
TELL Board Member
Day 1 - Emcee
TELL Board Member
Dr. Nancy Snow
TELL Board Member
TELL Board Member
TELL Board Member
Day 1 and Day 2
TELL Board Member
TELL Board Member