The Tokyo Yamathon Board Members are a part of the IVG (International Volunteer Group), a group of volunteers who work together to support charities throughout Japan. We have a fantastic relationship with Plan Japan, our official charity partner for Tokyo Yamathon 2017, and have previously partnered with initiatives such as NADIA, Oxfam Japan, and Movember. We select dynamic causes who share our vision of seeing the good in doing good.


We aim to increase awareness within Japan on a scope of issues both local and international by coming up with unique ways to raise funds and give support. We are an entirely volunteer-founded group of people from across the globe with a desire to make a real difference!

Tokyo Yamathon Board Members

Joe Pournovin – Founder and CEO

Joe Pournovin –Founder and CEO

I work with the team to create, shape and bring to life unique ideas like Tokyo Yamathon and Sea to Summit, with the purpose of raising as much as money as possible for great causes. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to do what we do – empowering our participants by giving them, and indeed ourselves a platform to shine and raise a lot of money in the process. Our team, our participants, our sponsors and supporters; it’s an absolute pleasure working with these real-life superheroes. Together we encourage and push each other to think of new ways of changing the world, one fundraising event at a time. We always welcome new members so, if you are looking for something to get your teeth into with the opportunity to meet some amazing people both personally and professionally, come and join us!

Koji Oishi – COO (Chief of Operations)

Koji Oishi – Head of Operations

By day I work as an engineer but, outside of work I am a classical pianist. Working for IVG gives me a lot of opportunities to meet nice people and help each other to achieve many kinds of goals which, to me, is similar to the way of playing music to interact with many people and share something beautiful. I believe working with IVG allows me to inspire my creativity and enthusiasm to help harmonise lives all over the world.

Kazumi Nono – Head of Strategy

Since 2012 I have been an IVG member of staff focusing particularly in Yamathon events. With much negotiation with the JR and police departments, I have successfully managed to organise and introduce a half Yamathon in aims to encourage those of all levels of sporting ability. I had previously worked as an assistant manager in the fashion industry and I am a professional hair and make up artist. I currently work regularly in the school. I always have a strong sense of justice and my experiences have given me good negotiating skills. With my passion, I am able to put effort into achieving goals. I believe strongly that making things clear, concise and simple is the best.

Aki Fang – Volunteer Director

Aki Fang – Awareness Coordinator

I joined IVG five years ago after attending an interesting workshop.
Since then, I’ve always been grateful for the opportunity of working with our great team and meeting wonderful people from different countries though IVG.We have all kinds of activities such as Tokyo Yamathon, Awareness workshop, Pub Quiz and so on.If you are interested in volunteering , please come and join us!

Manfred Froebe – IVG President

Manfred FroebeManfred is Swiss / Canadian and finds himself passionate about volunteering in Japan over the last 10 years. He spent almost 2 months in Tohoku after the 2011 disaster and was recognized with a Global Volunteer Award while working at UBS. He was a regular participant of Oxfam TW/Yamathon, FIT for Charity and more over the years but due to an injury, he has joined IVG Japan to help create events and a platform to share his passion of giving back to society. He has coordinate the Go Go 55 Event in December, plans to assist in the Yamathon later this year and revive the Sea to Summit Event in the summer.
“Joy means that oneself and others together experience joy”

Heena Sinha – Program Manager

After working for over five years in Investment Banking in India, I realised I am passionate about bringing about positive change in the world, working with a talented group of people who are equally passionate. IVG is exactly the group I was looking for. I was amazed by their infective energy and joined them the very moment I met them.
Among other ways of contributing to the group, I principally help with sponsorship and fund-raising wing of events. It is truly a life-changing experience to witness how the money we have raised through charity events has had such positive effects in people’s life. I urge anyone who feels the same way to join us as participants or volunteers and walk along in this beautiful journey.

Michelle Simmer – Educational Services Coordinator

As a school teacher for 28 years, I work with motivated students to help change the world. Students want to give back and help others, I organize and get them there. A new member of Yamathon, I bring my experience and my passion working with volunteer youth groups in the USA and here in Japan.

Riya Sri-Raviculan – Marketing and Corporate Fundraising

Riya Sri-Raviculan - Marketing and Corporate Fundraising

Volunteering has been part of my life since I was a kid, and having participated in the Yamathon previously I knew I was working for an all-round great cause. My fellow volunteers are always a source of inspiration and together we really get stuff done, with all proceeds of our work going to charity. The team does such a good job, the events are so much fun, and the causes are also fantastic so it is a pleasure to get the message out on social media and while fundraising with our generous sponsors. Please do follow, comment and like our posts on twitter, facebook and instagram and share the good vibes!

Shion Taima – Social Media Coordinator

Shion Taima - Social Media Coordinator

As a college student, I wanted to do something for others and to grow myself. I participated in Tokyo Yamathon for the first time in 2017 by seeing Yamathon’s volunteer recruitment on social media. I met wonderful people and was impressed that everyone was cooperating and accomplished one thing. After the event, I found recruitment for social media team. I thought that there is something I can do. I will do my best to spread this amazing event and what they are doing to the world more!

Claire Scott – Photography & Social Media

I took part in the first ever Tokyo Yamathon back in 2010 and, in 2014, when I heard that the event was in need of a photographer, I jumped in and haven’t looked back. It sometimes feels like we do more for our events than we do for our day jobs but the feeling of accomplishment when everything comes together, with so many people not only enjoying our combined efforts but coming back for more, is unbeatable. IVG has brought me in contact with a whole bunch of fantastic people and projects, both with IVG and other NPOs, and shown me the wonderful community of volunteers that exists in Tokyo. We grow year by year and can’t wait to see where our next goals take us!


Get Involved

Are you looking for a chance to give back and make a difference to the lives of others?

Are you looking for ways to exercise your creativeness and gain leadership experience?

Are you looking to meet new people while changing the world one event at a time?

The IVG is always looking for great people to join our team to expand our initiatives. If you are interested in learning more please contact Joe Pournovin on our contact form.