Margaret Endo Shimada was hired as the new director of social services at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to succeed the recently retired Yasuko Sakamoto.

Margaret Shimada at Yasuko Sakamoto's retirement luncheon. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Margaret Shimada at Yasuko Sakamoto’s retirement luncheon. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Shimada will oversee the various services and activities of the Social Services Department, including care management and counseling services for seniors, families and children. She is no stranger to LTSC, having served as its director of development in the 1990s.

She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with a Master of Social Work degree from UCLA. Her previous social work experience includes consultation and training of mental health and counseling staff at Center for Pacific Asian Families (CPAF), an agency that serves survivors of domestic violence. She was also the residential treatment director of Asian American Drug Abuse Program Inc. (AADAP).

Shimada also has extensive background in nonprofit fundraising work, having worked for numerous local nonprofits, including Keiro Senior Healthcare, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and Koreatown Youth and Community Center. Her knowledge of the Japanese American community comes from a lifetime of involvement and relationship-building with various individuals and organizations.

She grew up and spent virtually all of her life in the South Bay, Little Tokyo and other Nikkei communities. Her current affiliations include the L.A. Philharmonic Affiliates, Peninsula Committee; Asia America Symphony Guild Board; National Charity League, Peninsula Chapter; Los Compadres Service Organization; and Nichi Bei Fujinkai.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Margaret’s skills, experience and credentials to join our team,” said LTSC Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi. “Under her leadership, we expect our social services to the community will continue without interruption and in the future, grow to meet the ever-changing needs.”

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