Introduction of Staff

Managing Director  Yoko Okuaki

A graduate of Sophia University in Tokyo with a major in Portuguese, Yoko spent a year as a foreign-exchange student at Pontificia Universidade de Cato`lica (sister school of Sophia University) in the city of Porto Allegre, Brazil. Following graduation from Sophia, Yoko joined International Communications (ICS - formerly the International Congress Service, a subsidiary of the Japan Travel Bureau), where she acted as coordinator for international conferences and overseas fact-finding missions. A subsequent move took her to Arthur Andersen (accounting, audit, and consulting services). As Officer in Charge in the Marketing Department of the Tokyo office, Yoko handled seminars, special events, publications, database development, and press relations. Following her move to the U.S., Yoko established American Access, where, as President, she manages a variety of Japan-U.S. business liaison projects.

Executive Advisor  Ron Kimura

A graduate in economics from UCLA, Ron has been active as a project coordinator and technical interpreter for 25 years. He has undertaken liaison for both Japanese private and governmental technology investigation/fact-finding missions and, among other professional activities, has acted as consultant/coordinator for a variety of Japanese/U.S. concerns. In addition, Ron has presented lectures on U.S. trends and is a licensed real-estate broker with the State of California. He is a member of variety of professional society and trade organizations.

Sachiko Ozawa

Graduated from California State University, Long Beach (BFA degree in Photography) and Pima Community College (AA and AAS degrees in Journalism, Print Media). Worked as a photographer, graphic designer and bilingual reporter at Rafu Shimpo Newspaper as well as an administrator at Asahi Gakuen, Japanese School. During college years, received some awards such as First Place art in Sandscript, Literary Art Magazine. Currently at American Access, she coordinates various projects.

Shinobu Watts

Graduated from Chuo University with Bachelor of Economics degree, Shinobu joined Tokyo Headquarters of Orix Corporation, and worked as a sales staff. After her move into Los Angele, Shiobu has gained and broadened her experiences in the technical translation. She currently engages in not only technical translation but also research work specializing in Computer, General Industry, General Technology, Medical and Business fields.

With their strategic planning ability, our industry experts provide comprehensive support to our clients' businesses.

Ben Calderwood

Since earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at UCLA, Ben has logged nearly a decade of copywriting and creative direction experience for clients like Microsoft, Sony, Lexus, Warner Brothers, Adidas and Nintendo. An avid student of Japanese (pop) culture, his portfolio emphasizes tech, entertainment, videogames and industry, and ranges from traditional B2C and B2B marketing to digital and social media. Ben is also a food critic and accomplished chocolatier.

Joe Supasit

Joe has been working as a designer/art director with an emphasis in the entertainment industry for over 10 years. Creating advertising concepts for movies and games for many major studios such as HBO, Warner, Sony Entertainment, Blizzard, Activision and many more. With a broad skill-set spanning from design, art direction, branding and marketing concepts. Joe has worked with many design studios as well as many small businesses designing a broad range of print materials, websites and identities.

Cynthia Shalk

A graduate in fashion and merchandizing from Stephens College, Colombia, Missouri, Cynthia has developed many fashion design projects at the apparel field. By using the handmade papers, she has currently been developed designs for various kind of items such as gift items, handmade accessories, and home interior products. She also has an experience in the product commercialization and promotion.

Michael Ashby

After working as a top editor at United Nations University in Japan, Mike plays an active role in everything from translating to copywriting.

Erin S. Broadhead

After living in Japan for 5 years, Erin returned to the United States to get a formal education in Japanese. Since earning her Masters Degree in Japanese she has worked freelance, translating Japanese to English in a variety of subject areas. She specializes in marketing and corporate communications, travel and culture, arts and entertainment, and clothing and fashion.

Yukari Kaneko

Having worked in domestic and international advertising firms and publishing companies, Yukari now works freelance. She has been editing and copywriting since 1992. Yukari works in all media from research and project planning, to event coverage and photography. She is an experienced editor in a wide variety of fields such as business, trends and sports. She is also a certified make up artist.

Mika Tagishi

After graduating from the Sydney Institute of Technology (TAFE NSW) with a major in graphic design, Mika worked in design offices, and advertising firms. Now working as a freelance designer, she creates designs for everything from websites to printed matter for advertising and sales promotions.

*In addition to the people listed above, we have a vast network of specialists with whom we collaborate. We select members from this network to create the optimal team for our clients' projects.