The Keiro Board of Directors announced Dec. 13 the retirement of current President and CEO Gene S. Kanamori and the appointment of Beverly Ito as the organization’s new president and CEO.

Additionally, Keiro named four community leaders and established professionals to its Board of Directors: Lisa Chao, Gerald Iseda, Chris Komai, and Yukari Roberts.

Over his 14-year tenure at Keiro, Kanamori was the director of human resources for Keiro’s former facilities. Following the sale, he served as interim president and CEO, vice president, and for the past three years, president and CEO.

“Gene Kanamori has provided dedicated, compassionate leadership while overseeing the creation of new programs, as Keiro shifted its focus to serving the thousands of older adults living at home and in the community,” said Board Chair Lynn Miyamoto. “He also safely guided the organization through an unprecedented pandemic, and we are incredibly grateful to Gene for his deep commitment to enhancing the quality of life for older adults and their loved ones.”

Following Kanamori’s notification to the board of his intended retirement, the board began its search for new leadership.

“We are very pleased to announce Beverly Ito as Keiro’s new president and CEO,” said Miyamoto. “Beverly brings not only invaluable senior care expertise, but also a decades-long commitment to Keiro’s mission and the community we serve. We are confident that her strong background and experience in leadership will guide Keiro to new grounds, including continuing to explore a physical presence.”

Ito has over 40 years of experience in aging services, having worked for Keiro as a pharmacist at City View Hospital, assistant administrator at Keiro Nursing Home, chief compliance and privacy officer, and administrator of Keiro Intermediate Care Facility. Following the sale of the Keiro facilities in 2016, Ito stayed on as administrator of Sakura Intermediate Care Facility until its closure in August 2021.

“I am excited to be back at Keiro, which had been my ‘home away from home’ for many years,” said Ito. “As each generation ages, Keiro will continue to be a resource and trusted asset to support and empower our older adults and caregivers to live healthy and fulfilling lives. I look forward to addressing the evolving needs of older adults in our community and exploring our options, by building off of Keiro’s existing partnerships and programs.”

Kanamori will remain president and CEO through the end of 2022. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, Ito will take office.

Keiro also welcomes four new members to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the governance of the organization, including mission, strategy, and goals. With the addition of its newest members, Keiro will benefit from broad expertise to support the organization as it plans for the future of aging in the community.

Lisa Chao is general manager, treasury, at Toyota Financial Services, where she is responsible for cash management, banking solutions, treasury services, and compliance. Originally from the South Bay, Chao has fond memories of volunteering at the former South Bay Keiro Nursing Home when she was younger.

Gerald Iseda recently retired as director of supervisory affairs for GE Capital, the financial services arm of General Electric. Prior to that, he worked for the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank. Iseda is the president of Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, where he oversees senior programs.

Chris Komai is an active member of the Little Tokyo community, having previously served as the public information officer for the Japanese American National Museum and the English editor for The Rafu Shimpo. He is a past board chair and current first vice chair of the Little Tokyo Community Council.

Yukari Roberts brings extensive health care experience, as the former administrative director for Millennia Personal Care Assistance. Millennia has since merged with TheKey, a nationwide in-home care provider, where Roberts now works in operations. She is also a board member of the Orange County Japanese American Association.

“Keiro is incredibly fortunate to have dedicated diverse individuals serving on our board, who share a passion for caring for older adults,” said Miyamoto. “With support from Keiro’s new president and CEO and staff, we on the Board of Directors look forward to continue expanding our work to meet the changing needs of our community.”

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