Shirley Ann Higuchi was elected Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Board of Directors in March 2010 and is the daughter of former Heart Mountain internees, Dr. William I. Higuchi and the late Setsuko Saito Higuchi. She is the Assistant Executive Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the American Psychological Association and is past president, treasurer and board member of the D.C. Bar--a mandatory licensing organization. Ms. Higuchi was appointed to serve a six-year term with the District of Columbia Judicial Disabilities and Tenure Commission where she is responsible for reviewing misconduct, evaluating reappointments, and conducting fitness and performance reviews of the District’s judges. Ms. Higuchi was formerly in private practice with Epstein, Becker and Green in Washington, DC and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and law degree from Georgetown University Law School.
Douglas Nelson recently retired from his position as President and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation after guiding that organization for 20 years from a moderately-sized institution to one of the nation’s most influential and respected large foundations. He is Vice-Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and leads the Fundraising Committee. His social history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, Heart Mountain: The History of an American Concentration Camp, earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1976.
Aura (Matsumura) Newlin is an Instructor of Sociology and Anthropology at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. Born and raised in Wyoming, Aura is a descendant of Heart Mountain internees on one side of the family and a 442 veteran on the other side. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and currently holds an M.A. in anthropology from CWRU, a graduate certificate in gerontology from CWRU, and a B.A. in ethnomusicology from the University of Wyoming. She has conducted fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Peru, and Japan, and her scholarly interests involve the bridging of research, practice, and policy in relation to health, illness, and social justice. Having returned to Wyoming in 2012, Aura is dedicated to instilling in her students a heightened capacity for compassion and empathy toward those who are different from them.
Claudia Wade, a native of Wyoming, is the Marketing Director for the Park County Travel Council--a group responsible for bringing visitors to Park County, Wyoming. For nearly 20 years, her duties have included grants administration, overseeing all financial aspects of the Travel Council, and developing and implementing marketing strategies. Claudia also serves as an executive board member for the Park County Leadership Institute and the Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition. She and her husband, Tim, live in Cody where they own North Fork Anglers, a fly fishing retail store and fishing guide service.
Eric Muller is considered one of the leading authorities on the constitutional implications of the WWII internment and is perhaps best known as the author of Free to Die for Their Country, the story of the Nisei resisters of World War II. He is a Distinguished Professor of Law from the University of North Carolina and served as Co-Chair of the Heart Mountain Program Committee along with Denver educator Carolyn Takeshita.
Takashi (Tak) Hoshizaki earned his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1961, worked as a research scientist at the Space Biology Laboratory, School of Health Sciences, UCLA for 13 years and retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology in 1989. He was twice president of the Southern California Academy of Sciences; published numerous scientific papers and articles; served as a consultant to NASA, Los Angeles County and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Dr. Hoshizaki was one of the 63 Resisters of Conscience at Heart Mountain who in 1944 contested the legality of the internment. He spent two years in a federal penitentiary as a result. He later served two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
Kris Horiuchi is a landscape architect and founding principal of Horiuchi Solien Inc. She received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Amherst College, a Masters in Forest Science from Yale University, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. She is the daughter of Heart Mountain internee, Katsuhiro Horiuchi. Raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Together with partner Daniel Solien, she has designed award-winning landscapes throughout New England, including the 9/11 Memorial at Logan Airport in Boston. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a LEED accredited professional by the US Green Building Council. In 2011, Horiuchi Solien Inc. was inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame.
Alan Kumamoto is Founding Partner of Kumamoto Associates, a global marketing, management and communications firm, that brings clients and resources together to achieve optimum results. He is an internationally recognized consultant to major corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations. His career spans leadership positions with private businesses, government agencies and nonprofit corporations, and private enterprise. Alan serves on the boards of a number of regional and national organizations, including those committed to serving the Asian Pacific Islander communities. He and his family were incarcerated at Heart Mountain.
Ms. Nakamoto works at the Japanese American National Museum with educators and school districts from across the country to further the teaching of the Japanese American experience within the broader context of the United States' ethnic and cultural diversity. She has collaboratively developed teacher-created, standards-based curriculum with institutions and educators in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
Sam Mihara is a second generation Japanese American and was born and raised in San Francisco, California. When World War II broke out, the United States government forced Sam, at age 9 years, and his family to move to a remote prison camp in northern Wyoming, where they stayed for three years. Sam and his family lived in one 20-square-foot room in barrack 14-22-C.
After the war ended, the family returned to San Francisco. Sam attended Lick Wilmerding High School, UC Berkeley and UCLA, where he obtained graduate degrees in engineering. He became a rocket scientist and executive with The Boeing Company. Following retirement from Boeing, Sam created his own high-tech consulting firm and with clients around the world.
Seventy years have passed since the incarceration and Sam is one of the few survivors of the Japanese-American imprisonment who actively speaking about his experiences. Sam has spoken to schools, colleges, attorney groups and other interested organizations. In his presentation, Sam discusses the details of how he and his family were forced out of their home by soldiers, moved to the guarded camp where they lived and suffered throughout the war, and finally released to return home after the war ended. He also describes the redress movement that resulted in a formal apology from the government. And he concludes his talks with lessons learned that apply to everyone, not just Japanese Americans.
Dana Ono is co-founder and Managing Director of the VIMAC Milestone Medica Fund LP, a Boston-based early stage life sciences fund co-sponsored by VIMAC Ventures LLC and RBC Technology Ventures, Inc. He currently serves on the board of Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is the son of a Heart Mountain incarceree, Fumi Yokoyama. His experience includes almost 30 years of general management at public and private biotech companies in addition to venture capital. A founding director of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Inc., Dana is a frequent spokesperson for the industry. He has authored a number of scientific articles and edited the book, The Business of Biotechnology – From the Bench to the Street. A marine biologist by training, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. He also served on the board of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund, Inc. He received his AB in Earth & Planetary Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and his AM and PhD in Biology from Harvard University where he also completed a program in business administration.
Dr. Simpson is an adjunct professor and the Milward Simpson Professor of Political Science at the University of Wyoming. He began his career as a college administrator. While serving as Dean of Instruction at Sheridan College, he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature. In 1984, he became Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the University of Wyoming Foundation and later served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. He is the brother of U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (retired) and son of former Wyoming Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson.
Shigeru (Shig) Yabu was born and raised in San Francisco. In October 1942, his family was incarcerated at Heart Mountain. After the war, he served in the Navy. He received his B.A. degree from San Diego State College and began a 28-year career working with the Boys Clubs and the Camarillo Health Care District. Yabu was chosen as the city of Camarillo's Young Man of the Year in 1968 and Man of the Year in 1974. In 1984, he carried the Olympic Torch in Oxnard, California. He has written two books: Doggone Excuses People Make for Smoking and Hello Maggie and is the subject of a new work, Boy of Heart Mountain by Barbara Bazaldua.
Kathleen Saito Yuille has served as Chair of the Grand Opening and Communications Committee and was born while her parents were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. After attending the University of California at Berkeley, she accepted a dietetic internship at the University of Michigan, where she met her husband, David Yuille. After working as a dietitian in the public/private sector in Michigan and the San Francisco Bay Area, she and her husband moved from the coast and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she served as Board President of the Contemporary Art Society and continued her support of community-centric projects through fundraising.
LaDonna Zall, a retired educator, is Acting Curator and serves as the principal docent and custodian of the Heart Mountain artifact collections. A pipeliner's daughter, she was ten years old when she watched the last train leave Heart Mountain carrying internees after World War II ended. She felt a connection to the Japanese Americans, many of whom had been confined over three years. As a docent, she has guided thousands of visitors around the Heart Mountain site, including students ranging from elementary to college age to adults from nearby schools, from across the United States, and from around the world.
Darrell Kunitomi is the newest addition to the Heart Mountain Board. He has worked for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years in the Communications Department, giving speaking engagements on behalf of the newspaper and giving tours around the newspaper's offices to individuals and groups. Over that time, he has become the company's historian. He has also written articles on the outdoors for The Times. Darrell is a member of the Grateful Crane Theater Ensemble, an organization that creates performances around Japanese and Japanese American stories. Kunitomi's parents were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. His older brother Dale was born at the Heart Mountain Hospital.