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 Yokohama Children’s Hospice Project, our official charity partner for Tokyo Yamathon 2019, and have previously partnered with initiatives such as NADIA, Oxfam Japan, Plan International 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
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)
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.
Mitsuhiro Honda – Chief Strategy Officer
Since I participated as a corporate sponsor in 2014, I engaged Yamathon as a participant and volunteer until now, and have joined as an organizer as the Yamathon, which I realized so meaningful to help. Tokyo Yamathon is a very unique event that the people can contribute the society through joining a fun running/walking activity. And each of IVG staff is so passionate, with full diversity and fun to work with. I’m working to make the participants can have fun, walk safely and giving a benefit to the sponsors as well through my experiences as a corporate staff, participant and operating volunteer. I’m excited to have more people to join the Tokyo Yamathon and other IVG activities.
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.
Aki Fang – Volunteer Director
I met Joe back in 2010 at a workshop held by IVG. I was inspired by Joe and his teammates’ dedicated work and joined the team in 2015 as Volunteer Director.
I’ve always been grateful for the opportunity of working with our great team and meeting wonderful people who have the passion and the commitment to do volunteer work though Yamathon and IVG. If you want to make some changes in the world, if you are willing to help others, and if you want to meet cool people, come and join us!
Sandip Chamling Rai – IT Director
I joined IVG in 2016 as a website manager and content editor. Shortly after i joined the team, i realized that i was a part of a group who were dedicating their already valuable time and skills to help people all over the world. This inspired me more to help the team in the way i could.I manage websites related to IVG and its events such as Tokyo Yamathon. I also help in creating sponsors banner as well as certificates for Yamathon participants and Volunteers.
Lan Tran – Diversity & Inclusion Manager
I came across Yamathon in 2018 when I knew that volunteering efforts in that year would go to build a facility for a school in Vietnam, my home country. I was amazed to realize that volunteering could be done through such an incredibly fun approach, so I decided to join the team. In my role at Yamathon, I am trying to enhance the experience for participants and organizers because I believe the more fun we have, the more money we could raise for a great cause. In my day job, I do sales and marketing for an AI software in Tokyo.
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.
Ebony Luper – Youth Volunteer Coordinator
Teaching for 12 years has taught me how to enjoy working alongside students, modeling selflessness before selfishness. Our young volunteers strive to develop leadership skills by following the examples set forth by our International Volunteer Group members. As a youth volunteer facilitator, I enjoy planning, organizing, and contributing to both the vision and mission of the Tokyo Yamathon.
Working with our youth on international service projects through Rustic Pathways and being an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated have both permeated my desire to serve others. Our Yamathon group works in a manner that is selfless, humble, and mindful of community needs. I am thankful to be among such an amazing group of individuals!
Kaz Yamada – Design Coordinator
I’m an architect. Since I took part in Tokyo Yamathon 5 years ago, Joe has been one of my good friends and sometime we hung out together. Every time I saw him devoting his energies to volunteer work, I hoped to give him a hand. Now, I quit most of the projects recently so I can make time to do that. Mainly, I’m in charge of designing something IVG needs. Business cards for Tokyo Yamathon was my first work. I’m still a newcomer for IVG and also not good at English however, I hope I will be a useful member of IVG asap and become able to do some other things else besides design work.
Zain Abba – Media
I started working with IVG to record footage for the 2017 Yamathon. During that event I witnessed, firsthand, the magic of the event. It was an amazing experience and it was an honour to be a part of event with so many wonderful participants and volunteers. Since then I have had the pleasure of continuing to work with IVG to produce content to increase awareness of what IVG is about and the impact of events, such as Yamathon, have on people. I look forward to seeing you at the next event!
Masaki Hashimoto – Media
I enjoy taking photos in portraiture, landscape, nature, events, food, still life, motorsport and railway photos both for my job and in private. I took part in Yamathon in 2016 as a videographer. Thousands of people have joined this challenging charity event over the years and each of them has their own story before and after joining Yamathon. As a camera person, I take this opportunity to capture everyone’s vivid life in my photos and footage and make it part of the Yamathon history! Show me your best smiles when you see me at Yamathon!
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.