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. In November 2016,  she received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays from the Government of Japan, a prestigious decoration conferred by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, in recognition of her significant contribution in promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

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.   

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.