LEAP Staff Bios
Linda Akutagawa is the President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics Inc., where she is responsible for LEAP’s fund-raising, business development and oversight of program design, development and delivery. As chief fundraiser, she develops and executes strategies focused on increasing earned and contributed income, building interest among clients and donors to support and participate in LEAP’s leadership programs.
Linda bridges her development and program design and delivery roles through her consulting with LEAP’s diverse range of clients, which include nearly 500 nonprofit, community and student organizations; federal, state and local government agencies; colleges and universities; and Fortune 1000 companies. She works with clients locally, nationally and globally to determine the best programs and services to support their Asian talent development needs and brings together the resources needed to deliver a solution. In addition, she collaborates with LEAP’s consultants to co-design and customize new and existing programs.
Linda is certified to facilitate LEAP’s Leadership Development Program as well as to deliver several of LEAP’s foundational courses, including the 21st Century Leadership, Understanding Your Cultural Values, and Effective Work & Communication Styles. She previously was vice president of resource and business development for Los Angeles-based LEAP, developing and implementing fund-raising, marketing and sales strategies for its programs and services.
A beneficiary of LEAP’s leadership training, Linda first began as a volunteer for the 501(c)(3) entity. Now in her 20th year there, she speaks and presents globally on topics such as leadership, Asian cultural values and influences, employee resource groups, diversity, networking and branding to a range of audiences such as corporations, student groups and community and professional organizations. Prior to joining LEAP, she was the marketing manager for Japan & Orient Tours Inc., a travel operator specializing in Asia and the Pacific.
Linda serves on the Board Directors of the Asian Women Leadership Network and Japanese American Community Services of Southern California Inc. (JACS), a provider of grants with a focus on community service, leadership development, cultural arts, and health and human services. Linda received her Bachelor of Science in international business with a minor in economics from California State University at Los Angeles. Married, she is auntie to six nieces and nephews ranging in age from one to 21 years old.
June Aochi Berk is currently the part-time
Executive Assistant to the the Board of Directors at Leadership Education
for Asian Pacifics, Inc. June recently retired as the Executive Assistant
to the President and Board of Directors & Governors of the Japanese American National Museum. She continues to serve as secretary to the Little Tokyo Community Council. Previously, June worked as Executive Assistant to several boards including Rebuild LA (RLA), Youth Fair Chance Inc. for the City of Los Angeles, KCET-PBS Community Outreach Advisory Board, and the Bel Air Presbyterian Church. June also was owner/operator of Satori Boutique in Studio City.
June, a native of Los Angeles (Little Tokyo), spent the wartime years incarcerated at Rohwer, Arkansas, with her family. After being released, they moved to Denver, Colorado, where she was secretary to Minoru Yasui and the Japanese American Citizens League. Her interests are her grandchildren, music and movies, watching all sports on TV, and "Sogetsu ikebana" and water-color painting. June has five children, six grandchildren, and is married to Marty Berk, retired LA County Probation Supervisor.
Michelle Magalong is the Program Manager for Leadership Education for Asian
Pacifics. She received her BA in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies
and Planning at UC San Diego
and MA in Urban Planning at UCLA. Michelle serves as
chair of Asian & Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation
(APIAHiP), a national volunteer-based network focused on historic and
significant to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Michelle serves
on the Scholars Panel for the Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage
at National Historic Landmarks Program (Department of the Interior).
She has extensive community-based and academic work in community development
and historic preservation in APIA communities, including in Los Angeles's
Historic Filipinotown and Little Tokyo, and Stockton's Little Manila.
Grace Toy is the Sr. Vice
President of Administration & CFO for Leadership Education for Asian
Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP), a community-based, non-profit leadership training
and development organization. She is responsible for the organization’s
administration and operations, which include finances and human resources.
A, CPA, she was previously a Manager at Sasaki Shishima Yamanaka & Co
and a Senior Accountant at Deloitte Haskins and Sells. Ms. Toy is a graduate
of the University of Southern California.
Matt Woolsey is the Director of Leadership Programs
for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics and consults in areas of
communication (executive presence and content structure), leadership,
team development (Including cross-cultural teams), project management,
and strategic visioning for human capital in domestic and international
markets. His career spans the professional services sector (Learning
& Development leader in management consulting) and higher education,
bringing over 20 years of experience to each new challenge. The recipient
of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from Washington
State University, Matthew holds a bachelor's in Communication Broadcasting,
a master's in Education Administration, and a doctorate in Higher Education
and Organizational Change. Along the way, his programs have received
recognition by the Association of Professional Communication Consultants,
Consulting.Com Magazine, and Experience.com. Matthew is also an adjunct
professor, teaching courses in public speaking, critical thinking,
and a senior capstone class on Society, Ethics, and Technology. The
feedback he typically receives is usually something like, "contatgious
energy, passionate engagement, and creative soluntions to complex issues."
In his spare time he enjoys playing the flute (classically trained
musician), gardening, cooking, reading, and physical fitness..
|Nancy Yap is the
Director of Development at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. Prior
to working at LEAP, she was an artist manager for artists such as Suheir
Kane, Beau Sia and the Visionaries. She has worked at numerous nonprofits
including the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) in New York
City and Youth Speaks in San Francisco, as well as Up Above Records, an independent
record label. She has also consulted on various projects including
the 2003 Tony Award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on
Broadway and a series of spoken word events and programs at the newly
renovated Los Angeles Theater Company.