Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) announced June 30 that Staci Yamashita-Iida Toji, Esq., has joined the board of directors of the national nonprofit organization.
The founding attorney of an estate-planning firm, Toji brings a strong legal background and a wealth of community experience to GFBNEC’s board.
A native of Torrance, Toji attended North High School and graduated **magna cum laude** from Loyola Marymount University as a valedictorian finalist and leadership scholar with a B.A. degree in political science and Asian and Pacific studies.
She entered Southwestern Law School’s accelerated two-year SCALE Program, where she was a member of the International Law Journal Honors Program. She owns and operates Toji Law, which is dedicated to helping families of all generations plan for their future.
In addition to her involvement with GFBNEC, Toji is active with the U.S.-Japan Council and the Japanese American Bar Association. She has been a regular contributor to the JACL’s **Pacific Citizen** newspaper and **The Rafu Shimpo.**
Toji is an accomplished hula dancer with Halau Keali’i O Nalani, performing and competing around the world for more than 25 years — including at GFBNEC’s annual Evening of Aloha gala dinner. When she is not working or volunteering, Toji enjoys hiking, skiing and fishing at Mammoth with her husband, Justin, and two German shepherds.
“I am truly humbled by my appointment to Go For Broke National Education Center’s board of directors,” Toji said. “My husband comes from a family of Japanese American veterans that is three generations deep, so I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to honor the World War II Nisei soldiers and uphold the values of freedom, equality and solidarity that they fought so hard to protect.”
Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s president and chief executive officer, noted that Toji first worked with GFBNEC as a board fellow from Kizuna, the Los Angeles nonprofit dedicated to engaging younger generations of the Japanese American community.
“We’re excited to have Staci join our board of directors,” Maki said. “I have been impressed by Staci’s reverence for our veterans and GFBNEC’s mission. Her commitment to our Torchbearers — the Yonsei and Gosei members of the GFBNEC family — will help our organization engage and educate a younger, broader and more diverse audience in the years ahead.”
GFBNEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Its goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive “Defining Courage” exhibition in Little Tokyo, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, visit www.goforbroke.org.