The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo announced on Tuesday the resignation of Leslie A. Ito as president and CEO.
Craig Tomiyoshi, chair of the JACCC Board of Directors, made the following announcement to members, partners and supporters:
“After five and a half years of leading our organization, Leslie Ito will be stepping down as president and CEO of the Japanese American & Cultural Community Center at the end of July. She’ll be joining the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena as their new executive director, and we are excited for Leslie as she brings her creativity to the arts and culture community in her hometown, Pasadena.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Leslie for all she has accomplished and brought to the organization. Under her leadership, JACCC experienced an incredible period of revitalization and growth. Leslie helped shape and rebuild the organization, including balancing the budget, strengthening our relationships and ties with Japan, and developing a robust strategic plan that will continue to help guide and shape the future direction of JACCC.
“She has helped bring a breath of fresh air and excitement to the organization, with new programs such as Ukuleles for Little Tokyo, Fiesta Matsuri, Little Tokyo Concert Series, as well as playing a leadership role in key community-wide initiatives, including Sustainable Little Tokyo.
“In addition, our crown jewel, the Aratani Theatre, has been renewed and upgraded with lighting, sound and digital projection systems, a new roof and air conditioning system.
“During her tenure, Leslie helped bring together a solid team of staff and board members who are fully committed to continuing and building upon the incredible momentum they have started. The board and staff are excited about the future of JACCC, including the launch of the Watanabe Culinary Cultural Center.
“In the coming weeks, JACCC will be announcing a national search for a new president and CEO, as well as an interim director … Our success and ability to serve the community as a cultural institution would not be possible without your help and support, and we look forward to working with all of you as we embark on the next chapter of JACCC.”