SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Dec. 10 announced the appointment of Kent Sasaki, 48, of Walnut Creek to the California Building Standards Commission.
Sasaki has served in multiple positions at Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc. since 1989, including principal, board member and engineer. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of California, and has more than 23 years of experience investigating structures in the U.S. and internationally.
He previously served as a member of the California Building Standards Commission from 2003 to 2006, and is past president of the San Francisco Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Sasaki is a Democrat.
Sasaki, a Sansei, was born in Sacramento and grew up in Rocklin. He graduated from Roseville High School and attended Sierra College for two years before transferring to UC Berkeley and earning a master’s degree in structural engineering.
“Growing up, I worked on my uncle’s (Joseph Sasaki) peach and plum orchard across the street from Sierra College in Rocklin changing sprinkler lines,” he wrote in an email to NikkeiWest.
His father was the late Earnest Nobuto Sasaki, who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and was a civil engineer with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento.
“He was also president of his senior class at Roseville High a year after returning from camp,” said his son.
Sasaki’s mother is Lila Fumie (Hanamoto) Sasaki. She was a head nurse at Roseville Community Hospital, then head school nurse for Roseville city schools.
His paternal grandfather, Taft Kokichi Sasaki of Rocklin, helped found the Methodist Church in Loomis. His maternal grandfather was Shoichi Hanamoto of Ophir, Calif.
“Placer JACL sponsored me during my junior year in high school to attend the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans, a week-long trip in Washington, D.C.,” Sasaki said. “I’m proud of my Japanese American heritage.”
Sasaki and his wife Julie, have a daughter, Erika (18) and a son, Michael (15).