The Team

Daniel Cox, Chair

With strong business and leadership skills, Dan is helping to nurture Mirai no Mori as we become a more sustainable organization, so that we may continue to empower as many youths as possible.

  • From: Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Board director since: March 2015
  • Years in Japan: 22
  • Role: Finance and Strategy
  • Background: A serial entrepreneur based in Japan, Daniel is founder and CEO of Better World KK, a venture incubator and renewable energy developer, and KK Sherpa, a resort operations and turnaround advisory firm.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being part of Mirai no Mori?

Knowing that we are creating life-changing experiences for these regular youths who find themselves in difficult circumstances, and helping youths understand that their circumstances are only temporary, and that English and self-reliance can have an impact on their future as adults.

Jeff Jensen, Vice-Chair & Co-Founder

With a unique ability to connect with children through outdoor experiences, Jeff has shaped Mirai no Mori programs from the start through his distinct character and expertise.

  • From: Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • Board director since: March 2013
  • Years in Japan:28
  • Role: Programs
  • Background: Growing up in the Canadian Rockies, Jeff honed his skills—from a very young age—in all major mountain disciplines, such as winter mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, and whitewater river sports. He is co-founder and COO at Nomadics Inc., an outdoor gear distributor/retailer and event management company.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being part of Mirai no Mori?

Hands down, being in a position to influence and support marginalized youths is what it is all about for me. That said, Mirai no Mori has become so much more. Now, I am proud to say, we are a team of amazing people and organizations; from the continual participation of institutions and care-workers that support our programs to the irreplaceable staff, volunteers, corporations, and organizations without which we would not exist. It is humbling to be a part of it all.

Naoji Takeda, Board Member

Mirai no Mori benefits from Naijo’s outdoor business network, strategic directions, and passion to give back to communities.

  • From: Osaka, Japan
  • Board director since: March 2015
  • Years in Japan: 52
  • Role: Fundraising
  • Background: Since 2013, Naoji has been the general manager of KEEN Japan, a global footwear brand based in Portland, Oregon, known for its programs that give back to communities by promoting responsible outdoor participation.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being part of Mirai no Mori?

To see the youths with smiles on their faces playing in nature with their friends.

Sarajean Rossitto, Adviser

Sarajean plays a critical role at Mirai no Mori with her NPO knowledge and expertise gained from 20 years in the Japanese nonprofit sector.

  • From: New York, USA
  • Board director: March 2015 – December 2018
  • Advisor since: December 2018
  • Years in Japan: 27
  • Background: Sarajean has been working with nonprofits and NGOs her whole life. Most of her work right now is focused on training and education programs for nonprofit capacity building, but she has coordinated corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and overseas foundations to find possible programs to fund in Japan.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being part of Mirai no Mori?

When I first encountered Mirai no Mori, I saw amazing potential to meet the needs of those often left out or forgotten. I made the decision to join the board in order to be a part of the development and movement into a full-fledged nonprofit that will have sustainable programs and meet the needs of the people we work with. We are not there yet, but I am excited to be able to join this process. Upward and onward!

Robert Williams, Adviser

Through Rob’s charity cycling team, the Knights in White Lycra, Mirai no Mori has greatly benefited from funds it has raised and the business and community contacts it has brought. The Knights have given Mirai no Mori a springboard for expanding its vision for future growth.

  • From: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • Board director: January 2016 – December 2018
  • Advisor since: December 2018
  • Years in Japan: 23
  • Background: Rob’s professional career in financial services has taken him from the UK to South Africa and Japan, where he is now a partner in AP Advisers Limited, a financial planning firm in Tokyo. Rob’s cycling hobby is also his passion which led to him form the Knights in White Lycra amateur cycling team in 2012 in response to the 3.11 disaster relief initiative. KIWL is raises funds through sporting events for the benefit of disadvantaged children in institutional care.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being part of Mirai no Mori?

It is very exciting to be a part of a small NPO that has such great vision for the future, and watching the organization grow year by year. It is incredible seeing all the hard work put in by the Knights in White Lycra cycling team to raise funds, and seeing that funding come to fruition at Mirai no Mori camps. Being able to see that effort bring smiles to—and better opportunities and outcomes for—marginalized children is without doubt the most rewarding part of supporting Mirai no Mori.

Lori Henderson, Auditor

In addition to her skills as an auditor, Lori’s experience as executive director at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) has benefited Mirai no Mori tremendously, bringing the team together to accomplish our mission.

Kanako Osawa, Auditor

She is admitted to the Daiichi Tokyo Bar Association and the New York State Bar in the United States, and has been practicing law for over 20 years. She helps Mirai-no-Mori to continue to grow and to operate in a healthy and sustainable way.

Kozue Oka, Executive Director

Born and raised in Japan, Kozue has always believed in the power of nature. After studying Environmental/Outdoor Education in Sweden for a year, she joined Mirai no Mori to share her experiences and to create an environment in which marginalized youth can thrive. She is committed to the mission and to creating a place where campers can call “home away from home.”

Toshi Yuta, Operations Manager

From his personal experience of spending time in various parts of the world, Toshi truly believes that diverse experiences bring a positive outlook and enrich life. He joins Mirai no Mori team with this belief to create unique and diverse experiences for the children.