Outgoing Board Member Dave Mitani Reflects on LTSC Tenure - Little Tokyo Service Center

Outgoing Board Member Dave Mitani Reflects on LTSC Tenure


Outgoing Board Member Dave Mitani Reflects on LTSC Journey

We recently caught up with Dave Mitani who joined LTSC’s Board of Directors back in 2006. Dave is an architect and partner at ShelterLLP who specializes in design strategies that promote the revitalization of communities. Dave served on the Executive Committee of LTSC’s Board of Directors, acting as Vice President from 2012-2020 and as Chair of the Real Estate Committee. Dave shares what the organization means to him, and his hopes for its future. Thank you Dave for playing an important role in furthering LTSC’s mission!

How were you introduced to LTSC?

DM: I had been working on a Los Angeles Community College District project in the late 1990’s and got to know Warren Furutani, who was an LACCD Board member at the time. Warren introduced me to Bill Watanabe.

Tell me about how you joined the board. What motivated you? Why LTSC?

DM: I met Bill initially and he asked me to join on the spot. Pretty loose board nomination processes in those days. Having moved down from the Bay Area, I was seeking some type of involvement in community service and my meeting with Bill instantly triggered my interest in the organization.

As you became more familiar with the organization, did anything surprise you about LTSC?

DM: Being an architect, my initial interest was the community development side, but I had no idea about the depth of the social service programs. It was nice to see all programs working together and supporting each other.

What do you wish more people knew about LTSC?

DM: I wish more people knew that LTSC impacts not only the Japanese American community, but many other people of color by partnering with community development groups in South LA, East LA and Koreatown to name a few.

Do you have a program/initiative that’s near to your heart? Why? What hopes do you have for its future?

DM: Changing Tides and not just because my daughter Katie has been involved with it. Mental health has been such an issue even pre-pandemic and it is so great these conversations in the Asian American community are being brought forward. To have the resources, vision and compassion for people in need is truly an amazing initiative for the organization. My biggest hope is that the initiative stays progressive in its future planning and that it can become a model for other groups to start and collaborate with.

Do you plan to stay connected with LTSC’s mission moving forward?

DM: Absolutely. I have met so many great people who I now consider friends and will most definitely help spread the word about LTSC.

Any words of wisdom for incoming board members?

DM: I would say to become involved beyond just the attending board meetings. That may mean joining a committee or perhaps providing resources or connections. I would also hope new board members will get to know the staff. They are not only some of the nicest people I have met, but also seeing their collective energy to help is really inspiring.

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