Life keeps throwing challenges at us – family, relationships, work, pandemics, environmental issues, conflicts, and even wars. In the days of social media, these pressures become much more augmented and deeper impactful. Overcoming these challenges alone might be overwhelming and at times seemingly impossible. TELL’s motto is “You are not alone” and that is exactly the key objective of our amazing organization and its big-hearted team. We at TELL strive to create possibilities for our fellow community members to receive vital advice and a virtual hug when needed most. We are stronger and better together.
– Alexander Dmitrenko, TELL Chairman
Alexander is a partner at Ashurst (Tokyo) focusing on compliance and regulatory issues (anti-bribery/corruption, sanctions, investigations, trade wars, cybersecurity, and product liability). He is an attorney qualified in NY, England & Wales, and Russia and registered as Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi with the Daini Tokyo Bar Association.
Alexander is also a co-Chair of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network (LLAN), a Japanese NPO promoting LGBT rights. He also supports (through fundraising and otherwise) an orphanage near Yangon, Myanmar. In his spare time, he serves as a “friendship ambassador” of Hachijojima.
Tsuyoshi Akiyama graduated from Tokyo University in 1979 and has been practicing psychiatry in Japan ever since. In addition to his service for TELL, he currently serves as Secretary of Finances for the World Psychiatric Association, and as a board member for the World Federation of Mental Health, the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology and the Japanese Society of Transcultural Psychiatry.
In 2008, Tsuyoshi Akiyama received the Tokyo American Club Distinguished Achievement Award and in 2010 the Certificate of Honor from the Samaritan Institute. He received these awards on behalf of everyone who has been at TELL.
Barbara Hancock, with her husband Scott, owns and operates a corporate communications business serving international clients in Tokyo. She has served on the Board of Governors of the Tokyo American Club and as President of its Women’s Group. She has served as President of the Japan America Women’s Club and continues to be involved in fundraising activities for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, helping to organize their yearly Charity Ball as well as serving on the board of the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund and Republicans Abroad.
Hailing from Ireland and traveling for the past 30 years, Colette finds herself back in Tokyo for the second time and assuming the role of Head of Seisen International School since 2015. Her background as an experienced international school counselor, mother of two teen third culture kids ( TCKs), and her experiences as a “trailing spouse” reinforce her advocacy of holistic education.
Colette has a firm focus on social and emotional wellbeing, student voice, a global mindset, and a belief in cultivating the existence of a strong network of qualified professionals working in collaboration with international families. As a Head of School, top of Colette’s priorities is adhering to the international standards of Student Safeguarding and ensuring her faculty and staff are trained in child protection and advocacy. A proud and respected member of the Japan Council of International Schools ( JCIS), Colette represents JCIS on the TELL Board.
Joshua Bryan is Director of the Financial Services, Legal, HR and Support division in Tokyo at global recruiting consultancy Robert Walters. He has nearly 20 years of experience living in Japan, including nearly 15 within the global business community in Tokyo. He is passionate about equality and human rights, and is a member of the Robert Walters Group Global Diversity & Inclusion Council. He is also an active contributor to the work of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network (LLAN), a Japanese NPO promoting LGBT rights and marriage equality.
Joshua holds a Postgraduate Diploma from Centro de Arte & Comunicaçao Visual in Lisbon Portugal and BA in Painting from Edinburgh College of Art Herriot-Watt University.
Matt is a Partner at PwC on secondment to their Tokyo office. Prior to coming to Tokyo, Matt worked for PwC in the Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York markets of the United States for over 16 years. While at PwC, Matt has served several clients in the technology industry, including large multi-national organizations as well as privately-held and emerging growth companies. Matt has extensive finance, accounting, and financial reporting experience obtained in providing audit services and advising clients through major transformations, including initial public offerings, private debt, and equity placements, acquisitions, divestitures, and significant business restructurings.
Matt received a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Accounting and a Master’s Degree in the Science of Accounting from Boston College. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a Certified Public Accountant in New York and Connecticut.
Shannon is a Partner at PwC on secondment in their Tokyo office. He previously worked for PwC in their Los Angeles, Charlotte and Memphis offices. Over his 20+ year career at PwC, Shannon has focused primarily on the financial statement audits of global financial institutions. Shannon and his family have lived in Japan for 5+ years, including a previous secondment to Tokyo. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.
Brian Wellings is an Information and Communication Technology Specialist. Since 2007 he has been a Vice President with Credit Suisse Japan, specializing in Investment Banking technology and a long standing member of the Japan IT management team. Prior to that Brian held a technical management position with BT Financial Group in Sydney. He holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Computer Science from Wollongong University in Australia.
Tiziana came to Japan the first time as a fellow student of the Japanese Ministry of Education at Kyushu University, where she obtained her Master in Economics. The years spent in Japan as a student were fundamental to growing her respect for the Japanese culture.
Since 2005, when she returned to Japan from Italy as a top executive in the automotive business, she has been combining her knowledge and love for the local culture with her creative approach. Her focus, in her current role as Marketing Director at FCA Japan is to connect the value of each Brand she manages to a responsible cause marketing strategy. Since 2011, she has promoted consistent support to 13 NPOs active in Japan in the field of women empowerment, LGBT rights, environment & animal protection, support to hospitalized children and to persons with diverse abilities.
Tiziana is a passionate lecturer and is often invited as a speaker by the Academia, at business associations networking events, other companies’ seminars and as an energetic testimonial to encourage women empowerment in Japan.
Maurice L. Rabb has been a TELL Japan Executive Board Member for several years. He is a California licensed attorney, professional development and strategy consultant, diversity & inclusion strategist, career coach, and legal tech evangelist.
He has been living and working in Asia for more than 15 years. During his time in Asia, Maurice has worked for U.S. and Japanese law firms as an international business lawyer and human resources professional and for a global education Non-Profit Organization. Currently, Maurice is the Senior Manager for Recruitment in Asia for Baker McKenzie, a leading global law firm.
Ross Rowbury, originally from Australia, has been living and working in Japan for four decades. Originally starting his career in the finance industry in Tokyo he later moved into public relations holding executive positions at Gavin Anderson & Company (now Kreab), PRAP Japan and most recently at Edelman Japan. He presently consults foreign and Japanese companies and organizations on communications strategy, market entry and business development in Japan.
Jin Song Montesano is Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director of LIXIL Corporation. As Chief People Officer, Jin oversees a broad range of functions including Human Resources and General Affairs, Communications, Corporate Responsibility, Investor Relations, and External Affairs.
Prior to joining LIXIL, Montesano held various senior positions around the world, including Vice President, Global Public Affairs at GSK Vaccines; Vice President, Corporate & Government Affairs, Asia Pacific in Kraft Foods; Vice President, Communications, Asia Region in GE Money and Corporate; Government Affairs Director, Asia Pacific in GlaxoSmithKline plc. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Columbia College of Columbia University and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Evan is an expert in market entry and digital transformation, currently helping Japan improve service-sector productivity through AI-driven experience optimization. He has co-founded several tech-related businesses in Japan in the adtech, martech, and tourism spaces, as well as helping several tech companies enter the Japanese market. Leveraging his 15+ years of experience in this market, his focus has been on helping Japanese society through innovations in sectors such as AI, Machine Learning, and Automation.
His passions include mentoring and advising startups, traveling, surfing, surfboard shaping, and ocean sailing.
Akemi is a Japanese attorney licensed in Japan and New York, and has been a Partner in the Tokyo office of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu since 2011. In addition to advising multinational companies on cross-border corporate transactions and privacy issues, she is passionate about diversity, sustainability, and human rights issues and serves on NO&T’s Diversity & Inclusion and Pro Bono Committees. Akemi holds an LL.M. from Stanford Law School and LL.B. from Keio University.