OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOB
CREATION AND INNOVATION AMONGST YOUTHS
Russell R. Miller, is President of ZenPlay. A native of San Francisco, Russell founded an international specialty investment bank to the insurance industry. He created several institutional investment funds headquartered in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta. He served as a trustee and executive committee member of the College of Insurance, St. John’s University in New York, and was a co-founder of the Insurance Industry Charitable Fund. He has served on the board of directors of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, the California Historical Society, the Board of Regents of St. Ignatius College Preparatory, and in many civic, political, and charitable organizations. He is co-founder of the Spirit of Enterprise, a non-profit Institute of Public Character which honors and inspires entrepreneurism; founded in Singapore, it is now in Mauritius, Vietnam and China. He is the author of several books including Spring, Engaging in nature’s renewal in rural Japan.
Mr. Miller worked for three years in the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. and won a contested nomination for a U.S. Congressional seat, although losing the general election. He was chief negotiator for California Governor Jerry Brown‘s Presidential campaign. His papers for that period are found in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, a principal repository library for California History.
Mr. Miller acted as a Patron Board member of the National University of Singapore’s Start-Up@Singapore, a program to encourage new business formations. He served in Singapore as a Prime Minister’s Office appointee to The Enterprise Challenge Panel, a public service initiative to develop and trial-test innovative ideas. He was awarded Pingat Bakti Masyarakat, the Public Service Medal by the Republic of Singapore.
At the invitation of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, Mr. Miller started Spirit of Enterprise China. In addition, he was mentor to the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trades national student competition. He has been a speaker at various universities including Tsinghua University, East China Normal, China Europe International Business School, and EMLyon Business School in China.
Mr. Miller is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and has a Master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He lives in San Francisco.
Mari Kawawa isTreasurer of ZenPlay. Mari is Chief Financial Officer of Belvedere Advisors, a SEC-registered investment advisor using cutting-edge computer algorithms in seperately managed accounts. Mari also runs a financial technology business, Emotomy, providing robo-advisor platforms to other investment advisory firms. Mari serves as advisors to several private firms, and is co-founder of In a Pinch, a local peer-help group in Marin county.
Mari holds a B.A. in English from Sophia University in Japan, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mari is a proud mother of five children, and is a firm believer that the future of this planet depends on the wellbeing and education of our youths.
Amy Yamashiro is Secretary of ZenPlay. Amy is a Certified Equity Professional, working as an independent consultant providing stock plan administration services.
Amy’s myriad volunteer efforts include serving as president of an elementary school PTA; chair of the board of trustees of the East Bay Asian Youth Center; co-director of Daruma no Gakko summer school; treasurer of a middle school PTA; and co-founder of the Joyful Learning Network, a nonprofit organization focused on shifting current education paradigms.
Amy received her BA in English and Japan Studies from Wellesley College and her CEP from Santa Clara University. She, with her husband and their three children, is a lifelong resident of the East Bay Area.
Ayako Nagano is a Board Member of ZenPlay. Ayako is also an attorney and principal at Midori Law Group, advising clients on estate planning matters who have family or property in Japan. Ayako has also advised Japanese corporate clients on immigration, corporate, and employment matters since 2001.
Ayako has been involved in mutiple charitable organizations. She currently serves on the Board of the NorCal Community Resilience Network, a permaculture-based network of grassroots groups who are actively building resilient, locally-oriented and regenerative communities in preparation for the environmental challenges of our day.
Ayako has also served on the boards of other charitable organizations such as: Nobiru-kai, Hopalong Animal Rescue, Transition Berkeley, and Kimochi.
Ayako holds a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and an L.L.M. in Tax from Golden Gate University School of Law.
Ayako is licensed to practice in California and New York.