Atsuko is originally from the Itabashi area of Tokyo. She first came to Canada on a working holiday in 1999. She liked Canada with its open spaces and easy outdoor access and in 2007 became a permanent resident. Most of her working career has been in the travel industry.
Her interest in working at Tonari Gumi was awakened after she went back to Japan to help her parents through some health challenges. She realized that others have to deal with these kinds of issues and she felt she could help. As for her vision for Tonari Gumi, she would like to help create a Tonari Gumi where everyone can feel at ease and enjoy being with each other.