JETAANY Contacts


Officer Name Email
President Pamela Kavalam president [at]
Vice President Kathryn Edwards Piper vicepresident [at]
Secretary Alex Varney secretary [at]
Treasurer David Son treasurer [at]
Social Chair Wendy Ikemoto  membership [at]
Country Representative/
Board of Directors Chair
Monica Yuki
Professional Outreach & Development Steven Horowitz professional [at]
Magazine Editor Justin Tedaldi magazine [at]
Co-Career Development Chair Brett Rawson career [at]
Social Media Julio Perez  media [at]
Book Club Christy Jones bookclub [at]
Webmaster Lee-Sean Huang webmaster [at]
New Jersey Sub-Chapter Representatives Fernando Rojas, Beata Wilk & Lesley Jacobs Robinson njrep [at]
Pittsburgh Sub-Chapter Representatives Smitha Prasadh pittsburgh [at]
Philadelphia Sub-Chapter Representatives May Tsun, Kate Uhlrich phillyrep [at]
Long Island Sub-Chapter Representative <vacant> longislandrep [at]



Pam Kavalam
Shiga-ken ALT, 2007-2009
President 2015-present, Vice President 2013-2015, Secretary 2011-2013

Raised in Northvale, NJ, Pam graduated from Rutgers University-Douglass College with a BA in English and Women’s Studies and New York University-Steinhardt with an MA in Higher Education Administration with a focus on international education. While at NYU, she planned social and cultural events for international students and study abroad returnees. After graduation, she headed to Nagahama on Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture, where she taught English speech and debate at Torahime (Tiger Princess!) High School and Ika (not squid!) High School from 2007 to 2009. While on JET, she advised the English Speaking Society at her school, attended Jazzercise and yoga in her town (meeting lots of terrific female Shigans!), and participated in a JET-led service trip to Andhra Pradesh, India through the nonprofit GoLongitude. She currently works at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, advising graduate students in nonprofit management, policy and finance. After spending a year and a half going to an inordinate number of JET events, she is honored to help plan programming for the coming year. Feel free to contact her with ideas!


epsonscan003 Alex Varney
Saga-shi CIR, 2011-2014
Secretary 2016-present

Raised in Chappaqua, NY, Alex graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Japanese Studies. His interests led him to a formative travel experience to Japan in high school, a study abroad during college at Doshisha University, an internship in Tokyo, and finally the JET Programme. On JET, he had the pleasure of serving as the CIR for Saga City where he was involved in planning and executing major international events such as Saga’s Annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, facilitating sister city relations and exchange programs, promoting international and cross cultural understanding via lectures, presentations, and community outreach, the city’s monthly newsletter, translation,interpretation, and English language education. In addition, he served as Saga’s Prefectural AJET representative and volunteered with the AJET Peer Support Group, an anonymous and confidential listening and referral service. Currently Alex works at an integrated Marketing Communications firm in New York City where he works with foreign companies looking to do US market entry as well as Startups. He enjoys world travel, staying current with world affairs, and listening to music in a variety of languages.


David son headshot David Son
Fukui-ken ALT, 2011-2013
Treasurer 2014-Present

David was born in Seoul, raised in New York City, and placed among the wild monkeys and rice paddies of rural Fukui Prefecture as a JET from 2011-2013. He received B.A.s in Economics and Psychology, with minors in Japanese, Finance, and Accounting, graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. After a short stint tutoring high school students he decided to broaden his teaching experience by becoming an Assistant Language Teacher. He taught at a high school and a special needs school, supervised an English Club, taught a neighborhood English conversation class, and was President of FJET, the local AJET chapter.


 JETAANY bio pic - Wendy Wendy Ikemoto
Ehime-ken ALT, 2007-2009
Social Chair 2016-present;  Secretary 2013-2016

Born and raised in beautiful Hawaii, Wendy pursued a BA in Journalism from the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa. After a brief year at Hawaii’s biggest public relations agency, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and returned to UH to earn a MA in Library & Information Science. While working as a librarian in Honolulu, Wendy realized that Japan was calling and hopped a plane to Ehime Prefecture in 2006. As an ALT in Uwajima, Ehime, Wendy taught/entertained 6 high schools, found Zen with the tea ceremony club, made friends with the local ladies (good food!), ran the Tokyo Marathon, and generally loved every minute of being in Japan. From 2009 – 2011 she was also honored (and lucky) to be selected as one of two Prefectural Advisors for Ehime. Currently in New York, she works in Marketing for, an online, education start-up that has her speaking with educators all across the world. JETANNY helped ensure that Wendy’s first year in New York was lively and still connected to that part of her heart left in Japan. She’s excited to continue that tradition over the  next year.

monicayuki Monica Yuki
Saitama-ken ALT, 2002-2004
Country Representative and Chair of Board of Directors, 2015-Present; President 2011-2015, Vice-President 2009-2011; Social Chair, 2006-2009

Originally from Malibu, California, Monica attended the University of Colorado and has a B.S. in Business Administration with a double emphasis in Marketing and Human Resource Management. After graduating, she decided to trade the Rocky Mountains for the Kanto Plain and participated in the JET Programme. While serving as a high school ALT in Iruma-shi, Saitama-ken from 2002-2004, Monica developed a greater appreciation for Japanese culture and her family heritage. During her time in Japan, Monica performed in several traditional Japanese dance performances, joined the Ikebana club and coached her high school’s girl’s softball team.

Now residing in New York City, Monica is the Associate Research Director for Parade Magazine and dash Recipes Magazine. When not researching the hottest trends in consumer purchasing habits, Monica keeps herself busy playing softball, and volleyball. She is currently the Vice President of the Alpha Chi Omega Alumni Chapter in NYC and is involved in many NY Cares philanthropic activities. Her competitive spirit and passion for the outdoors has sparked an interest in competing in duathlons and triathlons in and around the NY area.



JETAANY bio pic - Ann Chow Ann Chow
Hyogo-Ken ALT, 2007-2009
Membership Development 2013-Present

A New York native, Ann graduated Macaulay Honors College magna cum laude with a BA in Theatre and Music, a marked difference than her high school major which was Math and Science at Brooklyn Tech. After college, she worked in the NY theater and motion picture industries before applying to the JET Programme. Her first brush with Japanese culture was through Hello Kitty and Keroppi when she was a child. Over the years, her interest in Sanrio characters fell to the wayside, but she rediscovered her love of all things Hello Kitty during her two years as an ALT in Hyogo Prefecture.

During her time on JET, she started an English language club at her base school and tried to make sure the rowdier students did not try to set the school on fire (true story – just ask!). She also served as Editor-in-Chief of Hyogo’s JET publication, the Hyogo Times, was part of an a capella group called Osakapella (based in, you guessed it, Osaka), and managed to travel to all five major islands of Japan. Currently, she serves on the Alumni Board of Directors for her college and is always looking for the next project to work on. In the meantime, you can spot her in movies such as Admission and Oblivion and episodes of Gossip Girl, White Collar, Nurse JackiePerson of Interest30 Rock, Elementary, etc.

Steven Horowitz
Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi ALT 1992-1994
Professional Outreach & Development 2009-Present
JETAANY Newsletter Editor 2002-2008JETAANY Board of Directors 2011-Present

A New Jersey native, Steven is a lawyer by training and works as a grant writer for a non-profit organization in New York. After JET, he went to Duke Law School and spent time working for two Japanese law firms and studying at Waseda University before moving to New York to work for a law firm. In 2002 he began serving as the editor of the JETAANY Newsletter (now the JQ Magazine) and in 2005 was JETAANY’s representative at the JETAA International Meeting in Japan. He used his role as Newsletter editor to reach out to newsletter editors in other chapters, eventually leading him to create the Writers Interpreters Translators (WIT) Group and in 2008 as a resource for the JET alum community. His goal is to help JET alums connect with each other and find and create work opportunities for themselves. In addition to his JETAANY work, Steven is also the creator of Bankruptcy Bill, a cartoon about bankruptcy lawyers (and few bankruptcy haiku too!) Steven lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter, is a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op, and can often be found playing ultimate frisbee in or near Prospect Park. You can connect with him via LinkedIn and learn more about him through his blog.

Justin Tedaldi
Kobe-shi CIR, 2001-2002
JETAANY Magazine Editor 2008-Present, JETAANY Board of Directors 2012-present

Straight outta Long Island, Justin Tedaldi (Kobe-shi CIR, 2001-02) has served as editor JQ magazine editor since 2008, and has conducted exclusive interviews with Bryan Lee O’Malley,  Bruce Feiler, Andrew W.K., Ace Frehley, Rick NielsenHikaru Utada, Jero and Puffy AmiYumi. For more stories, View his NY Japanese Culture page at


JETAANY bio pic -brett rawson Brett Rawson
Akita-ken, ALT 2007-2009
Career Development Chair 2013 – Present

Currently calling Brooklyn his home, Brett is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at The New School. While his concentration is in non-fiction, his focus is on improving his poor penmanship, which most closely resembles the font Wingdings.

Brett is originally from Seattle, WA. He seized a B.A. in Economics from Whitman College, but unsure he had reached his steady state of interest, he decided to put his degree to flexible use and participated on JET for two years. He lived in Kisakata, a coastal town at the southwest tip of the prefecture, where he taught English at two elementary schools, one junior high school, had a weekly eikaiwa, and studied Japanese archery. Returning to the states during the Great Recession, he hop-scotched from an internet company to law firm to private day school. Meanwhile, he held various positions in the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association (PNWJETAA), including Newsletter Coordinator, Vice President, and Transitions Coordinator. Since moving to New York in August 2013, he’s enjoyed getting to the know the JETAANY crew and looks forward to promoting JETAANY’s professional efforts.


Lee-Sean Huang Lee-Sean Huang
Oita-ken, Nakatsu-shi ALT, 2003-2006
JETAANY Webmaster 2006-Present

Born in Taiwan and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Lee-Sean graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.  After graduation, Lee-Sean moved to Nakatsu City in Oita Prefecture on the southern Japanese island Kyushu, where he worked as an Assistant Language Teacher for three years.

Lee-Sean moved to New York in 2006, and began volunteering as the webmaster of shortly thereafter. In 2008, Lee-Sean worked with Steven Horowitz to launch, a site for the JET alumni freelance and professional community.

Lee-Sean is a cofounder and creative director at Foossa and is a faculty member at SVA’s MFA Design for Social Innovation program. He has previously worked with a range of non-profits including, Human Rights Watch, Creative Commons, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. He is a trustee of the Awesome Foundation New York, and co-founder of Hepnova Multimedia.

Catch Lee-Sean online at

Beata Wilk head shot Beata Wilk
Fukui-ken, ALT 2004-2008
JETAA New Jersey Subchapter Rep 2013 – Present

Originally a Communications major, Beata attended Seton Hall University because of it’s famed college radio station- WSOU. When she took Japanese to fulfill her language requirements, she fell in love with Japanese culture and quickly declared Asian Studies as a second major. In 1999, she did a summer exchange at Sophia University in Tokyo. She completed her B.A. in Communications and Asian Studies and went on to grad school, also at Seton Hall University, to complete her M.A. in Asian Studies with a focus on Japanese history.

She spent the next four years in the beautiful Japanese inaka of Fukui-ken. She loved her JET Programme placement in Fukui-ken and worked 3 years at “Haru-chu”, where she joined the school’s broadcast club, helped a student-formed punk band with their renditions of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ and Clash songs, and started a journal writing project in the elective English classes. Her last year in Japan, Beata worked for Fukui City’s Board of Education and dispatched to 23 different elementary schools as an EALT. During her time on JET, Beata joined a local taiko group, played soccer and ultimate frisbee on the Fukui JET teams, volunteered at a local radio station- Tannan FM, and performed in two bi-lingual plays co-produced by the Fukui International Club and FJET.

Currently Beata is a licensed insurance agent and works at MG Services in Garfield.She lives in New Jersey, her home state, and serves as the JETAANY NJ subchapter representative. You can connect with her on Linkedin or Facebook. She looks forward to seeing you at events and is always open to ideas and suggestions.

Lesley Robinson Lesley Jacobs Robins
Gunma-ken, ALT 2008-2009
JETAA New Jersey Subchapter Rep 2013 – Present

As the Assistant Director for International Programs, Lesley (Jacobs) Robinson is responsible for the operations and management of Davis International Center-initiated programs and marketing at Princeton University and also serves as an International Student Advisor to both undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to working at the Davis IC, Lesley worked as the Senior Manager of Partnerships at Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS), a non-profit volunteer abroad organization. While at CCS, Lesley volunteered in Costa Rica, Peru and Ghana. Lesley began her career in the field of international education as a Study Abroad Advisor at The University of Tulsa. Motivated by her passion to encourage students to engage in opportunities abroad, Lesley earned a master’s degree in global and international education with an emphasis in peace education from Drexel University. While a graduate student, Lesley also spent a year in Takasaki, Gunma, Japan teaching English to high school students with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Lesley’s master’s thesis focused on creative ways to internationalize the Japanese high school classroom. As an undergraduate student, Lesley studied abroad in Quebec, France and Spain. She earned her Bachelor’s in Arts from The University of Tulsa in Communications (emphasis Public Relations) and French. Lesley is from Tulsa, Oklahoma.


amy boots photo Amy Boots
Okinawa ALT, 2008-2010
JETAA Pittsburgh Subchapter Rep 2014 – Present

Amy first encountered Japan as a young child through a Japanese family friend.  Her interest in Japan blossomed through that relationship to an interest in Japanese language, culture, and manga.  She studied Japanese in high school and at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Amy was a elementary-junior high JET in Okinawa from 2008-2010, where she enjoyed the tropical environs by learning scuba, running, and a little karate.  She still picks at the sanshin from time to time. Amy is currently the Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.

KatherineUhlrich Kate Uhlrich
Shiga-ken, ALT 2010-2014
JETAA Philadelphia Subchapter rep 2014- present

Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Kate studied English linguistics in college. She moved to Shiga in 2010, despite being a vegetarian and speaking limited Japanese. From 2010-2012, she taught oral communication at four high schools during the week and traveled extensively on weekends. From 2012-2014, she became a Shiga Prefectural Advisor, working at the prefectural office during the week and sleeping on weekends. In her free time, she studied kitsuke (the art of wearing kimono), tea ceremony, and koto. In August 2014, she moved to Philadelphia to pursue a graduate degree in Intercultural Communication. She misses wagashi.


MayTsun May Tsun
Ehime-ken, ALT 2008-2010
JETAA Philadelphia Subchapter rep 2014- present

I’m May. I flew out of my hometown in Los Angeles to teach deep in the inaka of Ehime Prefecture from 2008-2010. I moved back to the US to reside in Pennsylvania, where I spend time in the greater Philadelphia area watching Doctor Who, running around taking pictures in the art museum, taking LOTR epic walks (partly because I have an improvised sense of direction), and giving very long answers to short questions from friends and strangers alike. I love listening to stories and meeting nice people. Pleased to make your acquaintance!


blank person JETAA Long Island Subchapter

If you reside on Long Island and are interested in this subchapter representative position please contact Pam Kavalam vicepresident [at]