The Seven Potatoes Society is managed by an Executive team. The Executive are all unpaid volunteers who work very hard towards fulfilling the mission statement of the society. They organize and run all the events. Here is the 2017 Executive:
President – Eiko Eby
Vice President – Yuho Okada
Treasurer – Toshi Serjeant
Secretary – Keiko Limshue
Director – Toshi Yonehara
Director – Maki McPhee
Please read the personal bio of each Executive member.
Eiko Eby, President
Eiko Eby joined the Seven Potatoes Society upon her arrival to Nanaimo in 1987. She became an active executive member immediately and became President in 2002. She is a Nikkei Yonsei. Eiko is a Community Council Member of the Landscapes of Injustice Project which is a University of Victoria Research Project dedicated to the dispossession of property of Japanese-Canadians during World War 2 in Canada. Eiko is a Professor in the Faculty of Education – Sport, Health, and Physical Education Department at Vancouver Island University. As Eiko has never been to Japan, she appreciates learning about Japanese culture and appreciates the interactions with all the members of the society.
Yuho Okada, Vice President
Yuho Okada first came to Canada in 1994 as an international high school student. Yuho is a project manager, specialized in community-owned renewable energy project developments. He joined the Seven Potatoes Society in 2011 and was appointed in a secretarial position as one of the executive members. The Okada family enjoys the unique cultural experiences that the Seven Potatoes Society provides and the friendships with other Japanese-Canadian families in Nanaimo.
Toshiko Serjeant, Treasurer
Toshi Serjeant was born in Tokyo, Japan. She met her Canadian husband in college while studying in the USA. She moved to Nanaimo in April 1981 to start her new life. Toshi owned and operated Photo Ichiban One Hour Photo in Nanaimo from 1986 to 1999. Toshi joined the Seven Potatoes Society in 1986 and became an active executive member as the Treasurer in 2002. For the last eight years, Toshi has been working in the health care field. Toshi welcomes all new members and especially enjoys the opportunity to experience the best of Japanese and Canadian culture.
Keiko Limshue, Secretary
Keiko Limshue moved to Canada 19 years ago in 1996 from Fukuoka, Japan. She was in the Greater Victoria area for 13 years before moving to Nanaimo in 2009. She became an active executive member in September 2012. She started her own business three years ago to help out senior citizens in their homes. She enjoys working and creating great relationships with her clients. She is very proud of being Japanese and enjoys taking part in the Seven Potatoes community. Her passion is to bring people together to enjoy the moments in life and to learn from each other. The Seven Potatoes Society is giving her the opportunity to do exactly what she loves.
Toshi Yonehara, Director
Toshi Yonehara moved from Ottawa in December 2013 after retirement and started his new life in Nanaimo. He became an active executive member in January 2014. Toshi initially came to Canada in 1973 with an agricultural training program which was organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He entered the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa after he finished the program. He had been working for the Information and Cultural Section until he retired in 2013. During that time, he got involved in numerous cultural events over that 40 years.
Maki McPhee, Director
Maki McPhee was raised in Okayama and Tokyo, and moved to Canada in 2012 to study Tourism and Hospitality Management. She joined the Seven Potatoes Society in 2014 after moving to Nanaimo from Victoria with her Canadian husband. New to the executive council in 2016, Maki is passionate about sharing Japanese culture with others and growing this community on Vancouver Island. Maki is an enthusiastic traveler and photographer, and has been writing articles for LifeVancouver and Chikyu-no Arukikata. She loves to introduce Canadian culture and tourist spots to Japanese readers. Maki welcomes all people who are interested in this community, and hopes to see you at one of the many events during the year.