HONOLULU — The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH) announced that Jacce Mikulanec has been selected to serve as its new president and executive director effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Jacce Mikulanec

“We were fortunate to receive interest from a broad range of qualified, experienced applicants who share our passion for the organization,” said Ken Hayashida, JCCH chairman. “Jacce Mikulanec’s enthusiasm for JCCH’s mission, leadership in the community, and professional experience in local, state, national government relations, and fundraising impressed the board of directors.”

Mikulanec currently works in government relations for the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA). He also served as the Policy and Community Partnership director at the Good Beginnings Alliance (Hawaii Children’s Action Network), a nonprofit organization focused on early childhood education and well-being, and as special assistant on policy for Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz (now a U.S. senator).

He has been a board member of the JACL Honolulu Chapter since 2010 and served as president from 2014-2016. During his term as president, Mikulanec worked closely with the JCCH on efforts to establish the Honouliuli National Monument.

“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” said Mikulanec. “The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is the pre-eminent source of information on the Japanese American experience in this state; JCCH’s work to conserve and perpetuate the stories and experiences of past generations is more relevant today than ever before. I look forward to working with the staff, volunteers, members and community partners to continue and expand the quality programs, research, and exhibits that the JCCH is known for.”

Upon hearing of Mikulanec’s appointment, Dr. Mark Mugiishi commented, “Jacce Mikulanec is a superb choice to fill the big shoes left by Carole Hayashino. I have worked extensively with him both professionally and in community projects. He understands better than anyone the role that Japanese American history and culture plays in the ongoing quest for social justice in our country. And he has the skillset to mobilize people and relationships to accomplish progress. I have no doubt that the JCCH will flourish under his leadership.”

“We are grateful to Carole Hayashino for her outstanding service (seven years), commitment and leadership moving our organization forward,” added Hayashida. “We are pleased that she will continue her association in a new role as JCCH president emeritus to support Jacce Mikulanec during his transition through February 2019. We look forward to working with Jacce to build upon the momentum created and move JCCH into the future.”

Mikulanec moved to Hawaii in 1999 to attend graduate school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also serves on the boards of the Manoa Valley Theatre and Gregory House. He was also appointed to a term on the City and County of Honolulu’s Grant in Aid Advisory Commission (2013-2015) and was recently appointed to the Hawaii Supreme Court Committee on Equality and Access to Courts.

Mikulanec earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a master of arts degree in anthropology, with an emphasis on Polynesian archaeology, from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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