Southern California Gardeners’ Federation presents Distinguished Service Award to long term officers and administrator at annual officers’ installation

Distinguished Service Award: from left: Yasunori Arakaki, Hisamori Iwashita, Brian Yamasaki, Tsuyoshi Ksai, and Derek Furukawa. Photo by Cultural News.

Southern California Gardeners’ Federation held the 69th Annual Officers’ Installation at Quite Cannon event place in Montebello on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

The Federation’s 2024 Cabinet are: Brian Yamasaki, President; Masao Morisaku, First Vice President; Yasunori Arakaki, Second VP; Takashi Kushi, Third VP; Derek Furukawa, Secretary; Kazuo Oda, Main Treasurer; Noriko Jaramillo, Auditor.

The 2024 Advisors to the Federation are: Shinkichi Koyama (2007-2008 President), Seichi Fujitani (2016-2017 President), Hisamori Iwashita (2018-2023 President)

The 2024 Honorary Advisor is Seiji Horio.

The Federation presented the Distinguished Service Award to Brian Yamasaki, Hisamori Iwashita, Yasunori Arakaki, and Tsuyoshi Kasai.

Brian Yamasaki / Major Medical Trustee Board – Chairman (2011-2023): Mr. Yamasaki led the Trustee Board along with insurance administrator Mr. Tsuyoshi Kasai and insurance consultant Eddie Kamiya during the last 10 plus years of the Federation’s group health insurance, dental insurance and vision insurance for the Federation’s members. He presided over monthly Trustee Board meeting and was in constant communication with Mr. Kasai to make sure members health insurance needs were taken care of.

Hisamori Iwashita / President (2018-2023): Mr. Iwashita guided the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation in past 6 years as president. Normally the Federation’s president serves two terms but with declining membership and cabinet officers, this was not possible. During the “Covid” years, Mr. Iwahashi led the Federation through Zoom meeting and helped manage the Federation’s building, office and activities. He also represented the Federation in many Japanese American community events.

Yasunori Arakaki / Monthly Publication Committee – Chaiman (2011-2023), First Vice President (2016-2023): Mr. Arakaki has been the Monthly Publication Chairman over the last 12 years and he also has been the cabinet vice president. As the chairman for “Turf and Garden” monthly magazine, this required hours of research for articles and manages the committee to make sure the Federation put out a quality monthly magazine every month for members.

Tsuyoshi Kasai / Insurance Administrator (August 2008-January 2024): Mr. Kasai was the Federation’s insurance administrator for group health insurance, and vision and dental insurances. He handled group billings with the insurance companies and managed billings and collections of the premiums with members. There were challenges with the group billing with the insurance company, so Mr. Kasai was always diligent in making sure the Federation’s accounting was always accurate. Many of the members’ primary language is Japanese, so his service to members was always greatly appreciated by members.