Theresa A. Kulczak, Executive Director

Theresa Kulczak has served at the Japan-America Society of Indiana (JASI) since 1988 as one of its founding staff and as Executive Director since 1990. She has worked with the Japanese for 35 years and maintains a wide network of contacts in Indiana, the United States, and Japan.

Theresa lived in Japan for six years (1981-1987), for three years as an account executive with an Osaka advertising agency supervising the Middle East accounts for Sanyo Electric Trading Co., and for three years as an English instructor in Niigata Prefecture through the Catholic Church.  She also helped establish the Far East Office of Converse, Inc., in Osaka.  In 2009, she was appointed by Governor Tomikazu Fukuda of Tochigi Prefecture as an “Ambassador for Global Friendship.”  She was selected as the only Midwest representative to Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Roundtable in 2007, and in 2004, the Japanese Government awarded her the Commendation of the 150th Anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Relationship. She is the only non-Japanese director on the Board of the Indiana Japan Chamber.  In 2012, she received The Sagamore of the Wabash award from Governor Mitch Daniels, one of Indiana's highest honors conferred by the governor to worthy citizens in recognition of their significant contributions to the state.

Theresa graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Public Relations.  She speaks Japanese and has studied French and Polish.  Theresa serves as the 2011 Skipper of the Hoosier Canoe and Kayak Club and is a member of the Central Indiana Wilderness Club. 

JASI is a not-for-profit cultural, educational, and business association offering the largest network of American and Japanese companies and communities in Indiana.  The Society sponsors corporate training seminars, cultural programs, and social activities.  The JASI office serves the region as an information clearinghouse and provides bilingual assistance to members.   

Yoshi Ogawa, Japanese Services Coordinator

Yoshikazu (Yoshi) Ogawa was raised in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, Japan and graduated from Aichi University with a degree in Law.  At an early age, he developed a fascination for the English language as well as American and British culture. When Yoshi was in elementary school, his mother would pack him a lunch so he could sit through three showings of subtitled American films at the local movie theater and take notes.  By the time he graduated from college, Yoshi had reached a level of fluency that impressed the CEO of Shuwa Investments.  For two years, Yoshi served as his personal assistant and translator, earning a front row seat during the heady real estate boom of the late 80s when Japanese companies rapidly acquired landmark office buildings and golf courses throughout Los Angeles and New York.  When the bubble burst, Yoshi found a job with a Tokyo consulting firm where he helped Japan’s top 100 companies develop and implement corporate strategies.  He spent 8 years travelling all over Japan with the company and then returned to the United States to complete a Masters in Law at Temple University and later earned an MBA from Boston University.  Despite his lack of skills on the joystick, he forged a new career in the video game industry and relocated to the West Coast.  He supported the successful launch of Xbox 360 as a Business Development Manager for Microsoft’s Xbox and later served as a Director at Sony PlayStation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2016, Yoshi and his family moved to seek new opportunities and a more sustainable pace of life among the friendly people of the Midwest.  He is absolutely thrilled to be part of the Japan-America Society where he can share insights and expertise gleaned from his experience working in both the American and Japanese business communities.  In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing piano and guitar and searching for the best bowl of ramen in Indiana.  

Minori Abel, Project Coordinator

Minori has been with the Japan-America Society since 2016.  She began her career as a Japanese language teacher in Iowa as part of the Japanese government's JALEX program in 1995.  While in Iowa, she also earned a license to teach junior high English in Japan.  Most of Minori's professional experience is in the travel industry as a customer service agent, translator, and consultant.  She has worked for multiple travel and tour companies in Japan, Hawaii, and the mainland United States, in addition to working as a freelance consultant, translator, and tour guide.  

Minori has a degree in Japanese literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo and completed a graduation thesis on the “Foreign view of Chikamatsu Monzaemon”.  She also finished 420 hours of Japanese teacher training.  She has been married to her husband, Nick, since 2003, and together they have one daughter, Nina.  They have lived in Hawaii, Minnesota, and Indiana.  Having lived here since 2013, she is still working to become a Hoosier as soon as possible!  Minori likes to read more than anything, but also enjoys traveling, making bread and playing the piano and ukulele.

Jeremiah Maxwell, Office Administrator

Having worked previously in the hospitatlity industry, Jeremiah brings a bright attitude and strong customer service experience and administrative skills to the Japan-America Society of Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis with degrees in English and Philosophy. A month-long stay in Japan in 2008 inspired Jeremiah to learn more about working with and living in other cultures. In his free time, he is an avid musician and writer.