New Faces at Tonari Gumi!

Many of you have probably noticed some new faces among Tonari Gumi’s staff over the past couple of months, but haven’t introduced them to everyone. For that, we apologize and hope to make amends for this oversight.

DSC_0385First, we should introduce Kumi Kakinuma who is our new Office Administrative Assistant, who in March of this year, replaced our long-time office assistant, Junko Takashima. Originally, Kumi comes from Chiba Prefecture but has lived in Canada for some 26 years. She originally volunteered for Tonari Gumi helping to prepare meals for the seniors at Cooper Place many years ago, but now that her children have more or less grown up, she has decided to come back to Tonari Gumi as a staff member. Her hobbies include tennis, circuit training, yoga, etc. Kumi is motivated and loves to interact with the seniors. Make sure that you say hi the next time you come by the office.

Second, Izumi Tagawa Kafetzis is our newest staff member, having started at Tonari Gumi in April of this year, to serve as a part-time coordinator for Tonari Gumi’s new “Senior Tech2Go Program” where Izumi is teaching seniors to help other seniors to use tablet computers.DSC_0384 Izumi is already known to many within Tonari Gumi as she has been teaching seniors how to use tablet computer as a volunteer. Now, she is going to be able to take that teaching to another level as a staff member. Izumi is from Mie Prefecture and has been in Canada since 2004. She loves working with our seniors and will now have a chance to work with seniors in other parts of the Japanese Canadian community as the “Senior Tech2Go Program” expands to Nikkei Place and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre later this year.