2020 Election Nominees

Candidate Profiles for CCCJ Board of Governors 2020-2022 Term

The following 14 candidates have been nominated for election as Governor, for a total of 6 openings.

The list below has been randomly generated using Electionrunner, and will be re-generated every Friday until the 2020 election ends.


Marc Bolduc

I have recently returned to live in Japan and I am very pleased to have rejoined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ).  As some will remember, I was previously on the CCCJ board of Governors from 2011-2015 (Vice-Chair from 2012-2014). So, it is with great pride that I have seen the CCCJ grow over the years and would be honored to serve again as a Governor. With your help, some of the things that I would like to further work on are the following:

  • Memberships: I would like to further work with our committee on diversifying our membership profile by promoting our organization to the new industries in the Canada-Japan economy. Sectors such as AI, Creative Cultural Industries, Clean Tech, and Foreign Direct Investments are a reflection of this diversity. In addition to this, I would also like to increase the number of corporate sustaining memberships from both Japanese and Canadian companies.

  • Events: I will work with our committee to further add events that reflect the interest of our Canada-Japan business community. In particular under the new reality of this Covid-19 world, we will need to urgently bring more on-line events that will bring a unique addition to our more traditional face-to-face events.  We can look at new on-line content that would bring our members closer together in furthering both commerce and other topics of interest. 

  • Canada-Japan associations: As a previous board member of the Forum Quebec-Japon and the Canada-Japan Society of British Columbia, I would like to leverage this experience to further synergies between our organizations.

Finally, I would like to invite you to visit my LinkedIn page to learn about my work experience and to further discuss about the future of the CCCJ in these challenging times. Thank you for your support!

Ai Nakagawa

Born in Japan and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, I graduated from the University of British Columbia and arrived to Japan in 2002.

I remember as a university student wandering through the beautiful Nitobe Memorial Gardens (in memory of Dr. Inazo Nitobe) at the UBC campus and pledging that one day I would become a “Kakehashi” (bridge) that connects Canadian, Japanese, international people, cultures and businesses together. With both my Japanese roots and Canadian upbringing, I look forward to further strengthening and adding value to the Canadian and Japanese relationship and the members of the CCCJ.

Three initiatives I hope to drive forward are;

  1. Creating business development opportunities by actively linking members and companies together for mutual success.
  2. Helping corporations perceive value to increase membership and sponsorship.
  3. Collaborating with other chambers and businesses to bring practical and timely business information and connections to the CCCJ members.

I have been working in Japan for over 16 years in the hospitality, technology, and real estate sectors with the focus on sales, marketing and management. With over 10 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, I have helped hundreds of firms, from start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies, with advisory services for office space requirements in Japan and overseas. As part of the Tenant Representation team at Colliers International, I advise international and domestic companies with occupier services, and the acute understanding of clients’ needs is the foundation to the successful relationships.

It’s this client-centric approach and real estate acumen that I bring to this role to facilitate bridges in these times of uncertainty.

Nino Popa

I’m a Canadian Citizen (of Romanian background) and a Permanent Resident of Japan.I’ve been living in Tokyo since 2007. I call both Tokyo and Vancouver, home.

My education includes a Degree in Engineering from Polytechnic University of Bucharest and a Diploma in Computer Information Systems from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver.

My career includes working in software, business and leadership roles at multinational organizations in Vancouver and Tokyo, such as:

  • Business Objects (SAP) – Vancouver
  • Sophos – Vancouver
  • The British School in Tokyo (still working there)

I’m also an entrepreneur, having released apps on the App Store, and currently running my business - a Recruitment Management software called TeachApply for International Schools. This month I started a new project in e-commerce.

I’m married and have two children, and a dog. My family lives in Hiroshima - therefore one week per month I work remotely from Hiroshima. (Always available for Zoom meeting.) My hobbies include: lifelong learning, personal finance and working out.

Yukari Horiguchi

My first overseas experience was in Bangkok where I attend an international kindergarten for 3 years. We later moved to Toronto where I spent 6 years attending school in Canada. This was pivotal to becoming bilingual and bi-cultural. I actually saw myself as a Canadian who had a Japanese passport. We later returned to Japan and I pursued a Law degree from Seijo University, after which time I worked as a foreign exchange currency trader for a Japanese Mega Bank. My work took me abroad to an M&A project with Weathernews Inc. based me in Silicon Valley, and later to San Francisco to drive Gap’s development and expansion of stores throughout Japan, which I then repeated Godiva Chocolatier’s expansion into Japan.

For the last 18 years I have built a Communication Training Company called Communication Psychology International (CPI). I have been CEO for the last 6 years. We offer communications training for executives and corporate managers in both English and Japanese, including training projects for Google executives, a Leadership Summit for the largest Toyota Dealership in Canada, an NEC interview of Angela Merkel, and training for leading YouTubers (100,000+ followers). I have taught cross-cultural communications at Tsukuba University in support of programs interfacing with the Tokyo Olympics.

I am a triathlete and completed the Ironman twice. My love for cooking has evolved into hosting home parties throughout the year. I still consider Toronto to be my hometown because my time in Canada truly formed me into who I am today. If given the opportunity to serve as Governor, I wish to strengthen the Japan-Canada trade relationship by supporting Canadian and Japanese companies building new markets in the other country. As CEO of CPI, I would wish to contribute to the Wellness Committee and Global Diversity Management Committee to raise the Chamber’s profile on these issues.

Philip O'Neill

I would like to ask for your vote for the position of Governor in the 2020 board election.

I am fortunate to have over two decades of experience in Japan. I was able to help lead the program of a Canadian educational institution, and I am now working to make a new business to build the market in Japan for Canadian companies devoted to medical and healthcare technologies.

I have the privilege of being past President and former CCCJ Governor. I was able to help grow the overall size of the chamber by bringing in new sources of membership, including young members and larger numbers of women members. I helped guide the chamber through economic and physical crises in the past. Along with other chamber members, I strengthened our connections with the governmental agencies in Japan and Canada. I was a leader in the Chamber’s move to call for a Japan-Canada free trade agreement.

As we enter a post-crisis era, we will all face a number of short term challenges to re-invigorate and strengthen Japan-Canada commercial and interpersonal relations. Japan and Canada are in a unique position as we enter a changed world, and I hope that I can help Chamber members make the most of new opportunities.

I am presently located in Kyoto, in the Kansai region. I also hope that I can help to increase Canadian activity in this part of the country while on the CCCJ board.

Aaron Reist

It is an honour to be nominated for the second year in a row to serve as governor to the CCCJ.

From Brampton, Ontario I have been in Japan over 15 years. Vice President at Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, I have an educational background in Computer Science and Business Analysis.

Needless to say, the past 12 months have been a rollercoaster with a pandemic, lockdowns and economic uncertainty never before seen in history. Despite this, it is exciting to see communities come together, support each other and innovate at breakneck speeds to ensure we come out on the other side of this with a new and improved “normal.” The CCCJ community has been no exception.

As chair of the Investing in Innovation Committee (formally the Investment Opportunities committee) it has been a humbling experience to lead such a determined group of individuals through this environment and successfully release the 2020 version of the investment guide.

The committee’s mission has not wavered: we strive to connect businesses, investors and most importantly, people. Actively engaging our membership base, we give them the inside edge; while seeking/creating opportunities to drive growth and innovation.

For the CCCJ the return is two-fold:

  1. Empower all members (not just committees) to further enhance The Chamber’s greatest asset, her network, and
  2. Give members - especially those in higher tiers - better tools to tap our network and unlock further value.

These are extraordinary times and I believe the Chamber and her community is more important than ever and will be key in strengthening Japan-Canada relations and commerce as we make it through this pandemic and rebuild the economy.

David Brulotte

Hi, I’m David Brulotte, Delegate General of Quebec in Tokyo. I was appointed in June 2019 and prior to my nomination, I was the APAC Director for Invest-Quebec, the Province’s economic development agency and investment arm. I’ve been based in Tokyo for the last 2 years and my experience and passion about Japan goes back 20 years! 

In my 10 months as a newly elected Governor, I’ve been actively involved and promoting the CCCJ’s key mandates. A few examples: 

  • I’ve contributed to The Canadian Magazine, discussing the Japan-Canada video games and for a feature on Quebec in the winter 2020 edition.   
  • As a major CCCJ event in December 2019, we’ve organised a luncheon with Quebec’s Minister of Economy, with over 120 participants, CCCJ members and friends of the Canada-Japan business community.  
  • I’ve hosted BOG meeting and actively participated our Hackathons over the last year 

I seek re-election to further work on various aspects of the Chamber’s activities: 

  • Events and Gala: bring new type of events to the members, to reach a wider audience as well position the CCCJ as a key actor and a go-to partner in the Canada-Japan business relationship. From established expertsto new, up and coming start-ups, invite thought provoking experts, across sectors, to interact with the members and provide insights into the Canada-Japan relationship. 
  • Membership: increase and diversify our corporate membership but also reach out to our existing members to increase participation and awareness about the CCCJ 
  • Investment: coming from one of Canada’s most important institutional investor, I want to bring my knowledge to the investment committee 

I lived in Japan for a year in 2000 as an exchange student in beautiful Nikko, with 3 wonderful host families. I’ve been back to Japan several times over 2 decades to work and I lived abroad on various assignments. Throughout my postings, I’ve been actively involved in the local chambers of commerce, promoting trade and investment with Canada. While in Montreal, I was also on the board of directors of the Quebec-Japan Business Forum for 2 years.

I believe I bring to the team board experience, new opportunities, as well as a personal and professional long-standing connection with Japan and the Japan-Canada business community.

Dwayne Grech

As founder and Director of the experience design startup, Hello xLAB, I believe design and innovation are tools to help bring about meaningful change, a sense of purpose and improve our daily lives.

For over a decade, I have been collaborating with international brands from tourist destinations to automotive companies, providing insightful and pragmatic design solutions, agnostic of technology.

As a global citizen, my career and design sense has evolved by the places and people I have encountered, but with a special interest in the Japanese culture, I have married many of their sensibilities with my craft to provide a fresh and diverse perspective to any situation.

Being a new member of the CCCJ, my contributions to the chamber, so far, has been limited by time, geography and the current health crisis, I am, however, eager to get involved with my fellow members to apply my craft and experience to causes and needs within the chamber and throughout various committees.

I joined the CCCJ to integrate into Japanese society better through meaningful connections, as well as, an avenue to help grow my business. As a Canadian, I, too, want to nurture the healthy relationship between our two countries and getting involved with the CCCJ is one of the best ways of doing that.

It’s an extraordinary time for Japan as it grapples with a health crisis, a volatile economy and a labor and cultural dilemma, there are opportunities to embrace a new diverse, inclusive and innovative future. To navigate these rough waters, Japan needs to employ the right tools and resources to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future.

I hope that my time with the CCCJ amounts to positive change with the way we connect with each other and the places and things around us.

Gordon Hatton

It is a great honor to be nominated as a candidate for Governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

Raised in Saskatchewan and educated at the University of Manitoba and later Harvard, I am licensed as an architect in Ontario and also one of a small number of foreigners designated as a 1st Class Licensed Architect in Japan, where I have lived and worked for the past 30 years in design, construction management, environmental sustainability and real estate investment.

Through this experience with both Japanese and multinational organizations, I have learned important skills in problem-solving at a comprehensive scale and how to build consensus around clear objectives and innovative solutions. Over the past 2-years serving as a CCCJ Governor I have been involved in planning of Board and member activities, contributed to review of policy statements, fulfilled the role of CCCJ Treasurer for 2019~20 and provided leadership in the search and leasing process for the new CCCJ office in Roppongi.

In addition to my involvement in the CCCJ, I have been active serving as a committee chair of other foreign chambers, as well as an executive council member of the Urban Land Institute in Japan. Through my involvement with these organizations, I have enjoyed many benefits from participation in learning, networking and advocacy initiatives, and hope to contribute to ensure the CCCJ can offer similar opportunities to its members.

While we are facing challenging times, I believe we can also see opportunity to strengthen relations between Canada and Japan. The voice of Canada is highly respected on the world stage and I see the Chamber as a key player in communicating the unique advantages that Canada has to offer and encouraging increased penetration for Canada in the Japanese market, making our opinions heard by industry and authorities.

Machiko Asai

I graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University with a BA in Business Administration, and, in 2002, I received an MBA from their Graduate School of International Politics and Economics.

In 1998, I founded A&People, a translation, interpretation, and global communication services company that specializes in Investor Relations. Helping clients bridge the language gap with overseas investors, A&People has earned a strong reputation in the marketplace over the years. I see our innovative edge in how we have brought together employees of various nationalities, genders, and ages.

In 2019, I launched JPELC (Japan Plain English & Language Consortium), the first organization of its kind in Japan. With the efforts underway at ISO to create a standard for plain language, I joined their TC37 working group as the Japan Expert. I also serve as a Councilor at the Shibuya Chapter of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI).

In title, I may be “management”, but I’ve never stepped away from the day-to-day alongside my employees. This makes me more approachable and helps my employees break through the chains of hierarchy.

As a member of the CCCJ board, I hope to:

  1. Enlist new corporate members through PR efforts within my circle of influence.
  2. Create a forum with the TCCI for exchange of ideas, improving relations, and cultivating business opportunities.
  3. Raise the profile of Canada to the Japanese government and companies.     

The demographically-driven labor shortages are driving acceptance toward diversity. Beyond foreign talent, female talent is more proactively entering and staying in the workforce to improve their lives and support their families.

Through my son's two study abroad experiences in Canada, I saw firsthand a social environment where diversity thrives. Japan can learn from Canada’s experience to find the best ways to accelerate and integrate diversity.

Cameron Long

I have been an active member of the Chamber over the past year, attending almost all hackathons as well as several events ranging from inter-chamber events to the Maple Leaf Gala. I enjoy the congeniality and mentorship the Chamber has provided me. I believe it to be one of the most valuable and important organizations for supporting and strengthening the Canada-Japan relationship

There are three important elements I believe I bring to the Chamber:

  • Diversity – Canada is a world leader in promoting and enhancing Diversity and Inclusion. As a young and active member of the Chamber, I bring fresh and youthful perspectives to issues. While we are starting to see more women on the Board, my generation is currently not represented. I hope to offer another lens for decision-making
  • Competencies – I am a software engineer for an established, traditional finance company – Goldman Sachs operating here in Tokyo. The cultural and corporate juxtapositions have given me much insight and skills. I believe I can translate my successes in modernizing the Firm to our IT infrastructure in the Chamber
  • Recruiting – As a member of the Goldman Sachs recruiting team, I have had the opportunity to not only recruit, but to bring new recruitment methods and interview processes. I believe the Chamber needs to grow interest within young members and offer meaningful value to young business leaders and leaders in the making. I can help

I hope to receive your vote for the position of Governor in order to help diversify, offer my competencies and recruit youthful, new members. I will work hard to make sure all voices are heard, different perspectives examined, and decisions are made in consideration of all stakeholders.

Nico Chow Chin Sung

After working 7 years in the robotic automation and manufacturing industry in Montreal, I decided to move to Japan in order to take advantage of the McGill MBA remote campus in Tokyo. I became the first McGill MBA student from the main campus to complete all my courses abroad.

My career as a robotics engineer did not skip a beat in the overseas transition. I worked for Kyoto Robotics developing robot logistics applications for warehouse automation. And then, transitioned my skills into robotics consulting at Innovatech Studio, where I performed evaluations and project conceptualizations for warehouse logistics automation. Now, I am the head of engineering at Telexistence, where I am leading the development team to design, build, and implement humanoid robots as remote avatars for our “augmented workforce” concept.

I also mentor a high school robotics program called FIRST robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). My Canadian team, The Northern Knights, team 296, are the longest running Canadian team, and the 1st ever Canadian World champion of the competition. One of my former students created her own team in Tokyo, and the program is now starting to pick up in Japan! I am involved with the FIRST Japan organization in creating demonstrations to promote the program.

In my spare time, I also practice Aikido and play ice hockey. I’ve travelled across all of Japan by shinkansen, and once hiked Mt. Fuji twice in the same week. I am currently on the board of the McGill Alumni Association in Japan, and hold the role of treasurer. I look forward to finding ways to help others advance in their endeavors, and to contribute to the Canadian community in Japan.

Greg McDonald

Greg McDonald is native of Paris, Ontario but has lived the last 19 years in Japan. He is a former Governor and Treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce and a member since 2009. Greg recently started a new position as Managing Director of the TMF Group’s Tokyo office. TMF provide back office support such as incorporation, accounting, payroll and other administration to foreign owned companies in Japan. After a hiatus, Greg is eager to re-join the Board of Governors to participate and expand the Chamber’s mandates as well as to renew old friendships and connections while also making new ones in the Chamber’s community. Greg is married with a one year old son.

Donovan Gordon

I’m Donovan Gordon. President and Founder of Elites First. Just another Proud Canadian that is living and conducting business in Tokyo Japan. “Hi” to the Members who know me. “Nice to meet you” to the Members I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

I have been a CCCJ member for quite some time. This coming July will be my 3rd year. I’m so fortunate to be apart of such a professional community that genuinely cares about the people who are around them.

In my line of business I often create and coordinate many High End Events. After attending one of The Maple Leaf Galas, I offered my time and experience to be The Gala Committee Chair.

I always made sure to be apart of anything The Chamber was doing:

  • Hackathon Meetings
  • Various Events
  • Maple Leaf Gala Chair 2018
  • Maple Leaf Gala Chair 2020

To name a few.

Please nominate me for Governor, so I could continue to share what I know; and learn from the current Governors.

With this Seat I will be able to support all CCCJ members who want their voices to be heard; and to help members materialize their ideas.