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Heart of America

Japan-America Society About Us

HAJAS 2023 Board Members

President  - Pegeen Blank

1st Vice-President - Meghan May

2nd Vice-President - Lisa Maione

Secretary -

Interim Treasurer - Mark Saito

Director - Carole Owsley

Director - Steve Woodsmall

Director - Neil Segal

Immediate Past President - John Lytton

2023 Board (l to r): Neil Segal, Pegeen Blank, Meghan May, Steve Woodsmall, Mark Saito, John Lytton, Lisa Maione

Carole Owsley

The Heart of America Japan-America Society was founded in May of 1962. 

Our mission is to further understanding between the peoples of Japan and the Greater Kansas City area by promoting social, cultural and educational exchanges. It is a non-profit, non-political 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. This JAS has no paid staff. All of the work of the Society is done through volunteers.

Our organization serves the counties of Wyandotte, Douglas and Leavenworth in Kansas, and the counties of Jackson, Cass, Clay, and Platte in Missouri. But we also encourage friends from anywhere to be a part of our events and mission. We often send newsletters to members out of town including residents in Japan and former Kansas Citians.

The Heart of America Japan-America Society is a member of the National Association of Japan-America Societies

In July 2012, the Heart of America Japan-America was awarded a Certificate of Commendations from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Koichiro Gemba, in recognition of our organization’s contributions to Japan-U.S. relations. Then Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki presented the award to the Society on behalf of Minister Gemba.    

Board Meetings

Board meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of each month. There are nine officers and board members -- President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three board members. The Immediate Past President is also optionally an active board member. Any member is welcome to attend Board meetings and provide input and ask questions. Some votes are made by the Board, others are put to the entire Society at general meetings.

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