• 2014 PRESENTERS K to P


Takeshi KATO is a garden craftsman of Ueyakato Landscape Co. Ltd. of Kyoto, starting his career at age 18 under his father's tutelage. He learned traditional skills, garden maintenance and garden restoration in major Japanese gardens such as the Katsura Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Omiya Imperial Palace and Sento Imperial Palace. His experience ranged from maintenance of temple gardens, street trees and river greenery to building residential gardens. He is currently in charge of the Tairyu-Sanso Villa Garden, one of Japan's national scenic spots. With his 18 years of experience, he is now focused on developing younger garden craftsmen in order to hand down traditional skills and techniques to the next generation.   
Betty KOEHN is the Director of the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation. As Director, she successfully managed and exceeded the 2004 five-year Capital Campaign for the Health Career and Training Center and Healing Garden designed by Hoichi Kurisu. At that time the largest project in the Foundation's history, the campaign not only exceeded its $2 million goal by $300,000 but was also able to raise the money in just two and a half years.  She again successfully led a smaller campaign to raise funds for a Kurisu-designed entrance piece to the Samaritan Health Sciences campus.  Betty received her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2008 and was cited as Lebanon Woman of the Year in 2011.    
Maryann LEWIS is a founding board member and current President of the Aesthetic Pruners Association in Oakland, California. In 2005, she started her aesthetic pruning business specializing in long-term tree development and design in the urban garden. That same year, she was an instructor at the San Francisco Academy of art, teaching Patio and Design in the Garden Environment. She developed and organized the 2009 Aesthetic Pruning Symposium, "Cross Pollination- The Influence of Aesthetic Pruning," and more recently was a presenter at the 2014 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. She has been an aesthetic pruning volunteer in gardens around the Bay Area since 2002, including the Lakeside Park Japanese Garden in Oakland. A registered architect, she is inspired by the Japanese and Finnish passion for integrating nature, design and architecture into the daily life.  
Greg KITAJIMA is an independent certified aesthetic pruner working in Santa Barbara, California and presently serves as the co-chairman for membership of the Aesthetic Pruners Association. Greg spent 14 years pruning and maintaining the Japanese Garden at Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara. For the first eight of those 14 years, he apprenticed under Frank Fuji, who was commissioned by Madame Ganna Walska to design the garden. He also studied Japanese gardens and pine pruning in Japan and has trained with Dennis Makishima in the art of aesthetic pruning. 
Naoko MAKITA, M.L.A. is an assistant researcher at the Laboratory of Garden Design in the Department of Landscape Architecture Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture.  Her research subjects include Japanese gardens outside Japan and contemporary public Japanese gardens in Japan. Her research interest also include the history, design, management and role of Japanese gardens after 1945. Ms. Makita's recent articles include "A Study About Japanese Gardens in Australia and New Zealand" (ASJG,2009), "The Feature and Role of Japanese Gardens in Australia Through Cultural Exchange" (JILA, 2011) and "The Role of Japanese Gardens in International Sister City Exchanges, with a Focus on North America" (NAJGA, 2012). She is a member of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architects (JILA).  
Yasunori MORI  is a Tokyo-based strategic consultant with the advertising company Hakuhodo Inc. He has 15 years' experience in public/press relations, convention work and business/creative consultancy. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the Department of Sociology in the University of Tokyo in 2000. With his interest in extracting essences from fine arts of various origins, he finds Japanese gardens to be very inspiring. He believes that a high-performance company is very similar to a well managed Japanese garden and that "following the request of the stone" as recommended by the Japanese gardening classic Sakuteiki is a key to finding his clients' real goal.    
Dr. Ruth McCAFFREY is the Sharon Raddock Distinguished Professor in the Christine E Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Her primary teaching area is in the advanced practice program in community health. She has authored two books and and published over 50 articles in the area of preparing advanced practice nurses in community health and establishing healing environments for community dwelling patients.  Her research interests include studying healing environments that allow people to choose environments in which to do the work of self-care and healing. Dr. McCaffrey's research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Sigma Theta Tau International which is the honor society for nursing, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. In 2006, she was awarded a national award for creativity in the nursing practice from Sigma Theta Tau International for her work on studying healing environments.    
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DR. Tomoki KATO is President of Ueyakato Landscape Co., Ltd. a garden company that has been serving Kyoto for 166 years. An eighth-generation member of a Japanese garden family, he naturally absorbed the essence of the Japanese garden while watching craftsmen in Nansen-ji Temple Garden, his favorite childhood playground. He joined the family business after graduating with a degree  from the Faculty of  Horticulture, Horticultural Economics and Technology of Chiba University. Since he started leading Ueyakato in 2003, it has grown to become the largest garden craftsman company in Kyoto. His team takes care of numerous gardens, including some of Japan's national scenic spots: Nansen-ji, Murin-an, Tairyu-sansou. Ueyakato has also been designated by the Kyoto prefecture to manage the Keihanna Commemorative Park, one of Japan's greatest parks.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture from the Kyoto University of Arts and Design. His doctoral thesis,"A Study on the Spatial Features of Shosei-en Garden of Higashihonganji-Temple," won the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture Award in 2012.    
Donna KOBAYASHI is the Director of Shin-Ka LLC, an organization involved in the development and implementation of programs that incorporate Japanese traditional teachings, gardens and well-being. Donna has a Master's degree in Applied Professional Studies from DePaul University and has worked extensively in Japanese gardens as a volunteer, docent and instructor. She holds teaching certificates in the Urasenke School of Tea and the Ikenobo Ikebana School of Japanese Flower Arranging. As a consultant, she has worked with a number of organizations including the Rosecrance Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Center, Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego, the Anderson Japanese Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Dr. Brian PENDLETON has studied traditional and contemporary Japanese architecture, garden theory and practice in Kyoto and Tokyo, travels regularly throughout Japan as a member of the International Association of Japanese Gardens and NAJGA. He is an ongoing speaker at seminars and conferences on contemporary and historical gardens and architecture. He is a member of the Nitobe Memorial Garden Advisory Committee and a former member of the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden Board of Trustees in Vancouver, B.C. He was the Chairperson of the Social Sciences division and the Asian Studies department at Langara College in Vancouver.  He was also a faculty member at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia where he taught courses on Japanese and Chinese gardens and aesthetics. 

Hironori KAMOSHITA is the owner of Kamo Spaceworks, Ltd. located in Vancouver, B.C. He has been working as a landscaper in both Japan and Canada for 21 years, moving to Vancouver from Japan in 1994. He was a past president of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners' Association and a member of British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association and the Canada Landscape and Nursery Association where he achieved the status of Landscape Industry Certified Technician. He wants to design and make gardens as a living space in which you can feel nature: earth, rocks, water and plants. He believes that the Japanese cultural concept of souls and spirits residing in all natural objects leads people to live in good balance.
Hiroshi KIRA is the founder of the HK Lighting Group. He grew up in Japan and learned the concept of clean, simple design from his early schooling. After arriving in the United States and completing his education, he joined Henry Dreyfuss, acknowledged as the "father of industrial design," and continued to master the art of integrating design with functionality. His desire to create his own company -- a company built on the essence of design and quality manufacturing --- became a reality when HK Lighting Group was founded in 2005.    
Craig KLUCINA is the craftsman-owner of Plane-Spoken, a company specializing in the modern sukiya style for Western homes. As his interest and and expertise in this architectural style grew, his company expanded from making shoji and tansu, to offering design, consultation, and construction services for the integration of modern sukiya elements into Western homes. He studied and worked with renowned tansu expert David Jackson and apprenticed with David Miller. He also contributes to Sukiya Living magazine and teaches shoji-making. He has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Better Homes and Gardens, and Midwest Living magazine.  His tansu has been represented in a historical survey exhibit at the Nippon Gallery in New York. His most recent work was fabricating new fusuma doors for the tea house of Sansho-en, Chicago Botanic Garden.
Hiroo KURANO, AIA, is an architect and the President of Kurano Associates, Inc. for 30 years. He received his Master's of Architecture degree in Urban Design from MIT and his Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Architecture from Yokohama National University. Prior to Kurano Associates, he worked at Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates, Inc. under Hideo Sasaki and Masao Kinoshita as well as Nihon Sekkei in Tokyo. He has been involved with many projects related to Japanese gardens including the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego in Balboa Park and the Himeji Friendship Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.  He has lectured about sukiya-style architecture at the American Institute of Architects, San Diego chapter, and the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego. He has also contributed several articles relating to American architecture and landscape architecture for Japanese publications.
Wendy LO is the Curator of Education at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. She graduated from Florida International University with a Master's degree in Asian Studies. She has studied abroad in Osaka, Japan and lived in Toyama prefecture for three years, teaching English through the Japan Exchange Teaching Program (JET). In 2005, she was selected Toyama Prefecture Honorary Friendly Envoy by the Toyama Prefectural Board. She has 12 years' experience presenting in universities, schools, seminars, teacher conferences, libraries and other venues on a wide range of Japanese cultural topics. She is active in the South Florida Japanese cultural community as the South Florida Regional Representative of the Florida JET Alumni Association.  She has worked alongside Dr. Ruth McCaffrey for the last five years as the coordinator for the Stroll for Well-Being Program at the Morikami.
Kazuo MITSUHASHI is a long-time board member of the Garden Society of Japan and a member of the research team on historical designer Taiami Tanaka. He studied under Isao Yoshikawa, a prominent Japanese garden scholar and designer who is himself a student of Mirei Shigemori. Kazuo also mentored under distinguished 20th century garden leaders Kenzo Ogata and Sentaro Iwaki. He was instrumental in organizing the First International Japanese Garden Symposium held in Portland, Oregon in 1996 and has since led seven subsequent international symposia. He is also the author of several books on Japanese gardens.
Dr. Takahiro NAKA is a Professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design's Department of Historical Heritage. He is the author of several major works  on Japanese garden historical preservation including two books that takes a broad sweep of Japanese garden history and archaeology, particularly in the Kyoto area. He has researched and written extensively about some of the most important garden-related heritage sites in Japan, particularly the Byodo-in temple garden and the Genkyuen garden. Dr. Naka earned his Ph.D. in Agriculture from the Kyoto University and his Master's degree in Agriculture from the Chiba University.    
Jenna PERSTLINGER holds Master's degrees in Fine Art, Landscape Architecture and Architecture and has earned the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art's prestigious Classical Certificate in Architecture. Her independent research focuses on the intersection of Art and Craft in contemporary design pedagogy and practice. Jenna's interest in Japanese gardens outside Japan began with a study of the Portland Japanese Garden for a landscape architecture history class. She operates a classical and traditional design firm in Denver, Colorado where she specializes in residential architecture and landscape.
 Mary PLUNKETT is the Manager of Interpretive Programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  She is responsible for the training, support and overall leadership of more than 200 interpretive volunteers in the Japanese, Fruit and Vegetable, English Walled and Greenhouse Gardens.  She also oversees volunteer involvement with the Butterflies & Blooms Exhibition.  Mary has deep roots in the volunteer management culture of Chicago. Prior to joining Chicago Botanic Garden in 2001, she was the docent manager at the Lincoln Park Zoo, leading over 300 volunteers. She is a past President of the Association of Volunteer Administrators of Metropolitan Chicago and currently leads a consortium of 25+ cultural institutions dealing with volunteer management. She sits on the NAJGA board.
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