Tell us a little about your professional background.
My career spans corporate responsibility and sustainability at several of the world’s largest companies. I am currently the Sustainability Officer at Kyndryl, a $19 billion and 90,000 employee spin-off from IBM. Prior to Kyndryl, I was the Global Environmental Social Governance (ESG) leader at Tesla where I worked with their Board of Directors, investors and leadership teams to develop their strategies, structures and targets. I also served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer of Wyndham Worldwide. I also have extensive brand marketing experience and have brought several innovative products to market to deliver growth.
How did you learn about CMC Energy Services?
I learned about CMC through Michellene Davis who is your current board member. She and I have been on the Women of New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) board where I am President of the Women’s board, which has raised more than $55 million for arts education and community development in the last 25 years. What has been great is that I believe in CMC’s mission to deliver energy savings to America’s neediest families. It ties into my last 18 years of work focused on Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. I am also a board member of the Executive Women of New Jersey where we focus on developing women leaders and businesses across the tri-state New Jersey area. CMC ownership by women and focus is right in my “sweet spot” and intersects with two areas I am very passionate about as well as reflects my commitment to help people in need.
What interests me most about CMC and Vision and Values?
The key areas that really resonates with me are the concepts of being a humble servant, Inclusion, diversity, equity and access, innovative leadership and building a sustainable future. I came from very humble beginnings. My mom’s first language was not English, and I used to help her clean people’s homes. I remember her teaching us a great work ethic and learned the value of creating a better future through my efforts. I am Japanese and African American, and diversity was just how we lived every day. On the military base the kids were of all different nationalities, and I saw great strength in our differences. I did understand that we did not always have the same access to resources and I have always strived to make sure to help those in need both in my own family and in the community. I have been fortunate to create my job in sustainability and had the opportunity to work with an organization to build it into a leading program. We helped to develop one of the first software systems to track our global carbon footprint over 15 years ago. We made hotel uniforms out of plastic bottles and we developed shade-grown coffee in Peru that was organic and provided revenues to farmers to supplement the education and medical assistance for their families. The only way we were able to reach our goals was through innovation because we had to do more with less. It was an ongoing challenge but it made us wiser, stronger and profitable.
What do you do in your free time?
I helped my mother with her flowers and plants growing up. It is really relaxing for me to work in our yard. I take pride in planting seeds and trees and seeing them blossom and bloom and grow year over year. It is really a little like life. Creating from the earth is important and understanding that you need good soil and have a solid foundation as well as water.
Do you have any hidden talents?
My hidden talent is that I love to sing. I have sung in an 80’s R&B band and now with my daughter Kiyomi we sing together with her classmate Nigel. It is a lot of fun. We mostly sing at local restaurants and outdoor events etc. My husband and I have written music over the years and also have many friends who are jazz musicians. Music has always been a big part of our lives.
What sports teams to you support?
The sports that I like are tennis and basketball. My favorite tennis players are Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. For basketball, I like the Golden State Warriors as my sister and families have been friends with the coach for years. I love to swim and enjoy vacations on Martha’s Vineyard with our families and friends.