SAN FRANCISCO — Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF), a Japanese bilingual multicultural and educational childcare organization, welcomed its new executive director, Dawn Mokuau, on Sept. 1.

Dawn Mokuau

The outgoing executive director, Cathy Inamasu, has worked with the organization since its opening in 1975 and for the past 36 years as its top administrator. She plans to retire by the end of November, as announced 10 months ago to NLF’s Board of Directors. Inamasu contine to work with the new ED and organization during a three-month transition period.

Mokuau served on NLF’s Board of Directors for four years and as the board chair for the past two years. She has over 20 years of experience in operations management; budget development, administration, and fiscal reporting; development and administration of contractual agreements and grants; and evaluation and development of management policies and procedures, including evaluation of impact of existing and proposed legislation.

She received her BA in sociology and her Masters of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. Her two children attended NLF’s Preschool Program and are current students in its After School Program, and her husband is an alum of NLF.

Cathy Inamasu

Upon her acceptance of her new position, Mokuau shared, “The mission, vision, and values of NLF align with my own personal and professional goals, and I am eager to continue to build the next generation of curious thinkers and problem-solvers. I look forward to learning in community with the NLF team in order to achieve NLF’s acute goals and vision, and to foster an environment that celebrates, diversity, equity, inclusivity, innovation, and kindness.”

Inamasu stated, “I am thrilled to have Ms. Mokuau at the reigns of the organization as the administrative staff has gotten to know her leadership style and dedicated work on the board level. It is always a challenge to find the right person to fill this role, and I am confident that with Ms. Mokuau’s stewardship, the legacy of NLF will endure and thrive.”

Dr. Sahra Sellers, the newly elected board chair, expressed her wholehearted support during this transition period. “I have enjoyed working with Ms. Mokuau on NLF’s board as she has provided excellent guidance and initiative, so I was elated when she accepted the executive director position. We look forward to continuing to work together with her on the future growth and development of the organization.”

NLF will be honoring Inamasu and welcoming Mokuau at its 48th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Nov. 17.

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