Julia Wada is a board member on the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. The Frisco resident, who works for Toyota, takes pride in an organization that helps build a bridge between the United States and Japan. Below, Wada talks about the organization, its upcoming events and the progress Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth has made.
How long have you lived in Frisco?
Just over three years (Since July 2016)
What’s the most interesting part about your job at Toyota?
What I find most interesting is all the change that is going on in our industry, primarily driven by technology and changing consumer demands. We’ve been an automotive company for many years, and what’s exciting is that we are now becoming a mobility company. You may have seen advertisements for the Olympics with our “Start Your Impossible” tagline. That tagline is also an internal motto that motivates our team members to try new things and innovate to meet our customer’s needs.
When did you join Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth?
Before moving to Frisco, I lived in Los Angeles, and I served on the board for the Japan-America Society of Southern California. So, when I moved here in August 2016, I joined JAS DFW.
How did you become interested in the organization?
Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I was fortunate to participate in a summer intern program in Japan that was sponsored by the Japan Society of New York, which is one of 40 Japan-America Societies in the US. As I moved to the DFW area, I knew that I wanted to be involved with the local society and connect with the community here. I enjoy helping to build bridges between Japan and the U.S. through education, business, social and cultural programs that increase understanding and friendships across individuals and our countries. I also enjoy the great Japanese food recommendations that I get from my Japan-America Society friends!
What all do you do with the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth?
I am a board member for the society, and I represent Toyota. The board oversees the activities of the society, and we participate in and support many of the events. For example, business programs, like the U.S. Japan Update provide great learning and networking, and I highly recommend them. Cultural events are a lot of fun, and I’ve met new friends & learned different kinds of things at those as well. My family recently served as a host family for a JAS Young Ambassador from Sendai. It was such a great experience to share our daily lives with her, see the DFW area through her eyes and learn about her life in Japan.
What type of progress have you seen in its goal of establishing connections between Japanese and American residents?
Over the last several years, many Japanese businesses/Japanese-related businesses have come to the DFW Metroplex to see first-hand all the great things that the area has to offer. There has been tremendous growth in the number and type of Japanese companies with a presence here. With this growth, JASDFW’s corporate and individual memberships have dramatically increased. This has allowed JASDFW to offer more events as well as a greater variety.
What are some upcoming events the organization is excited about?
This Saturday, Sept. 14 at Frisco Square we are having our annual Otsukimi moon Viewing Festival. This is a popular cultural event to celebrate the full autumn moon. You can enjoy Japanese culture and activities. It’s the first time we are holding it in Frisco. The Sun & Star Golf Classic is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Cowboys Golf Club (Grapevine) – this is a great opportunity to network with Japanese and American executives and support JASDFW’s ongoing business, cultural and educational programs.
It’s our 50th anniversary next year. We are planning several new and exciting events, so stay tuned.
What do people need to know about the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth?
JASDFW is here to further mutual understanding and ongoing engagement between Japanese and Americans. It could be in business, arts and culture, education or public policy. Anyone can get involved with the society as an event attendee, a member or a volunteer. Please check the website for upcoming events and you will be one step closer to experiencing Japan in North Texas.