Yoshi Suzuki (ASIJ 2004)
Consultant, Strategist and Voice Talent
Nishimachi International School (2001) American School in Japan (2004)
Upon graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota, Yoshi started his career in digital advertising at a small agency in Tokyo.
He then returned to Minnesota to start a Masters degree in Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and was later admitted to its Ph.D. program.
Upon successfully completing the preliminary written and oral examinations, he left the program to return to the industry. After various strategy roles in advertising agencies, digital agencies, and client-side settings, he joined Slalom, a modern consulting firm focused on strategy, technology, and business transformation.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Seattle, Slalom has grown to over 8,000 employees and one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.
After spending three years leading teams and helping clients in customer engagement, agile transformation and product innovation projects, he took a new role in June 2019 to help launch and establish Slalom’s newest global market in Tokyo. In his free time, he advises startups and freelances as a translator and voiceover talent.
From Yoshi: By the way, WE ARE HIRING in Tokyo!
If you are a technical architect, Scrum Master, Product Manager, business/operations consultant or change management consultant who is interested in a new challenge, reach out to me on LinkedIn!
Alex Nomura (St. Marys 2004)
C.O.O. (Former consultant)
Alex attended the University of Southern California where he graduated with a bachelors in business administration and majored in Marketing and Management Consulting.
Upon graduation, Alex returned to Tokyo to start his career at Deloitte Tomatsu Consulting as a business consultant. After several years of experience working in the consulting industry, Alex worked at GREE Inc. a mobile gaming company where he focused mainly on corporate strategy and new business development.
In 2014, Alex cofounded Onedrops Inc., a company that specializes in global talent development & communication training service targeted towards aspiring global individuals, professionals, companies, and organizations in the Japanese market.
As COO Alex mainly looks over business acquisition, business operations, and human resources matters.
On his days off, you can find him either at the gym, on the golf course, on snowy mountains, or in the kitchen.
Max Taffel (ASIJ 2004)
Consultant and Product Director
Max graduated from Columbia University in 2008 after studying Political Science and Mandarin. He started his career in management consulting at PwC in Hong Kong. Max then joined Prudential plc in their executive management training program with roles in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
During his time at Prudential Max founded an English consulting start up which he ran until 2014. Since 2013 he has worked as a management consultant and now product director for EY, based both in Hong Kong and currently New York.
Max got married in 2019 in sunny Napa Valley, continues his high school interest in running, and currently resides with his husband and dog in New York.
Monica Murray (ASIJ 2011)
Monica graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2015 with a B.A. in Economics. As her senior year at ASIJ included the Tohoku earthquake, she decided to do her college thesis on the Economic viability of denuclearizing the Japanese energy industry.
Monica then worked in various non-profits, including a year of AmeriCorps in Michigan and with an animal rescue doing fundraising.
Two years ago she switched gears to work at YouTube channel GemsOnVHS.
She then found her passion working in the music industry, and has been touring with bands and doing promotional photography for artists full-time.
She currently tours with Soccer Mommy.
Matt Jay (ASIJ 1999-2004)
Curator, Arts Organizer
Matt Jay is the Founder and Director of End of Summer, a cross-cultural art program dedicated to exploring and supporting contemporary art from Japan. End of Summer exists to build a dialogue between the U.S., specifically the region of the Pacific Northwest, and Japan through contemporary art. Through this entry point, the program aims to engage in a larger exploration of Japanese art in the era of global artistic practice, as well as the continual reconsideration of notions of East and West, center and periphery.
He also co-runs THAT YEAR, an independent clothing label and creative studio inspired by the vernacular aesthetics of Tokyo and Seoul, and the echoes of personal memory. THAT YEAR develops products, events, physical and digital media, as well as cultural insight, strategy and creative direction.
Matt attended School of Visual Arts in New York, receiving his BFA in 2011. He was born in New York, and raised between Portland, Oregon and Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Yannick Pitcan (ASIJ 2007)
Yannik holds a PhD in statistics from UC Berkeley.
He is beginning a career as a senior data scientist at a pharmaceutical company in Chicago this fall.
He studied mathematics and economics at Harvard, but as he got older, he transitioned more toward statistics and computer science because that's where the money was.
When he isn't coming up with statistical models, you can find him playing futevolei on the beach, playing poker at a Vegas casino, or going on long drives blasting Tame Impala.
Benjamin Simon (ASIJ 2003-05, Shanghai American School Grad)
Precious Metals Trader
Benjamin graduated HEC Montreal in 2010 with a Bachelor in Business Administration. He started his career at ANZ Bank, working as a front office assistant for the markets division. After a year, he managed to move to a front office role as a junior trader on the Precious Metals desk. He subsequently moved to their London office where he became responsible for their forwards business. He has now moved to the buy-side and is working for KOCH Supply and Trading as a prop precious metals trader.
To kick start his professional career Benjamin was able to leverage on the opportunities of growing up as a TCK, not only did it open him doors at the start of his career but it also enabled him to be flexible and be a natural fit within multicultural teams.
Benjamin has been living in London since 2012 and now enjoys discovering the UK as well as new European cities for holidays.
Kai Hirota (Former Aoba/St. Marys)
After dropping out of St.Mary’s with a 1.6 GPA, Kai took the route of obtaining GED and attending community college to get a second chance at getting educated.
He eventually attended and graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Information Systems.
Kai has worked as a data engineer at a machine learning startup in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a data analyst at Airbnb Tokyo.
He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Sydney.
Janet Wold Kanzawa (ASIJ 2010)
Janet graduated from Vassar College in 2014, where she majored in Philosophy and International Studies and minored in Economics and Arabic. She returned to Tokyo for one year to work at ASIJ and coach volleyball and field hockey.
Janet then moved to New York City to attend Columbia Law School. Upon graduation, Janet began her legal career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s New York office, where she completed rotations in the Banking & Credit and Capital Markets groups. Janet recently transferred to Simpson Thacher’s Los Angeles office, where she represents private equity funds, corporations and banks in financing matters. She has enjoyed doing pro bono legal work for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Janet lives in West LA with her husband Eric and their cat Matcha.