JETAANY Contacts


Officer Name Email
President Andy Shartzer president [at]
Vice President Jessica Burbach vicepresident [at]
Secretary Kimberly Hyacinthe secretary [at]
Treasurer Fernando Rojas treasurer [at]
Community Development Karen Zhu community [at]
Membership and Career Development Ryan Hata membership [at]
Country Representative/ Monica Yuki monica.yuki [at]
Board of Directors Chair
Professional Outreach & Development Steven Horowitz professional [at]
Magazine Editor Justin Tedaldi magazine [at]
Book Club Christy Jones bookclub [at]
Webmaster Lee-Sean Huang webmaster [at]
Language Chair Giuseppe Di Martino language [at]
Communications Coordinator Ramez Kafrouni communications [at]
Sub-Chapter Representatives    
New Jersey Sub-Chapter Representatives Fernando Rojas njrep [at]
Pittsburgh Sub-Chapter Representatives Smitha Prasadh pittsburghrep [at]
Philadelphia Sub-Chapter Representatives May Tsun phillyrep [at]
Long Island Sub-Chapter Representative <vacant> longislandrep [at]


Andy Shartzer
Shizuoka ALT, 2014-2016






President 2019 – Present
Community Development 2018 – 2019
Events Coordinator 2017 – 2018

Growing up as a military brat, Andy was born on the West Coast but eventually ended up as an East Coaster, with brief stints in Nebraska and Tennessee. Andy attended the University of Virginia and has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering while also studying abroad for a semester at the University of Nottingham in the UK. After graduation, he moved to Washington, DC where he worked as an environmental consultant. Eager to get more in touch with his heritage, Andy participated in the JET Programme as an ALT. He was lucky enough to be placed in Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka-ken from 2014-2016, teaching at a local technical high school. During his time in Japan, he strived to contribute to both his school and community as much as possible. Andy worked with several of his students to write articles for the Shizuoka Board of Education’s annual English newspaper, the Shizuoka Chronicle. Andy also served as an Event Coordinator for Shizuoka AJET, where he helped promote grassroots intercultural exchange through events such as a hanami picnic, a visit to a local Buddhist temple, and a trip to the national summer sumo tournament in Tokyo.

Andy currently works as a Business Development Representative for the Japan External Trade Organization, working with and assisting U.S. companies interested in entering the Japanese market. In his free time, Andy enjoys improv, DJing, writing, blogging, and traveling.

Jessica Burbach
Shiga, ALT, 2011-2013

Jessica was a Shiga ALT from 2011-2013 and has been involved with JETAA since she returned in 2013. She currently works in brand marketing in the telecom/entertainment industry. She loves running, trying new restaurants and playing sand volleyball.

Kimberly Hyacinthe
Okinawa, 2008-2011
Co-Fundraising Chair 2018

A native of Westchester County, Kimberly Hyacinthe worked as an ALT at Gushikami Middle School in Okinawa, Japan to over 500+ hyper-active students.  She also served as a judge for speech contests and as a workshop leader for her prefecture’s regional conference.

Before she became a JET, Kimberly attended Brown University, where she earned her BA in Ethnic Studies and Political Science. In 2017, she graduated from an international MBA Program at Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i, where she studied non-profit finance.  She also spent six months in Tokyo, studying Japanese start-up culture at Waseda’s Business School.

Kimberly currently works as an associate project manager for Coordinated Behavioral Health Services, IPA – a for-profit contracting entity that represents a Behavior Health Care Collaborative of 30+ non-profits in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester Counties.

Fernando Rojas
Fukui-ken ALT, 2008-2010
Treasurer 2017 – present

A native New Yorker, Fernando spent 2 years in Fukui as an ALT from 2008 to 2010. He taught at two junior high schools; one with 500 students, another with just 30 students! During this time in Fukui, he managed to get his driver’s license and drive around Hokuriku and Chubu during Golden Week (tip: take local roads, avoid highways), picked up Japanese calligraphy as a hobby (which he still continues to this day), and learned to make delicious Japanese food from his host family. He also volunteered in the Fukui JET community’s visit to the local orphanage and at the Roman Catholic Church in town.

Prior to joining JET, he received his BA in Architecture from Columbia University, where he specialized in Japanese art and architecture. His interest in Japan began when he took a beginner Japanese class as a freshman. From that point on, he took whatever class on Japan he could take; history, art history, painting, landscape architecture, etc. You name it, he probably took it. As a senior, he was looking for opportunities to go to Japan and remembered a slide shown by the professor in the first Japanese class he took as a freshman. It was for the JET program.

Shortly after returning from Fukui, Fernando served as the unofficial NJ subchapter representative. He also volunteers with other organizations in the city including NY de Volunteer and MASA program in the South Bronx. He is currently the Program Manager for the Japan ICU Foundation where he manages the foundation’s scholarships, grants, and special programs. He has also worked at the Social Science Research Council. As treasurer of JETAANY, he looks forward to applying his non-profit experience to support JETAANY and the JET community.


ryanhata Ryan Hata
Tottori, 2014-2017
Membership and Career Development 2018 – present

Ryan Hata was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He then moved to Los Angeles where he received his B.A. in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University. It was there where he developed a critical consciousness and discovered injustices against minorities, which prompted him to move to San Francisco where he received his M.A. in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. Upon graduation, he wanted to learn more about his ancestral heritage and decided to move to Japan while working on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program teaching at Aoya Senior High School in Tottori. While in Tottori from 2014-2017, he served on Tottori AJET, Asian Pacific Islander (API) AJET, and National AJET in various capacities all three years. Since returning from Japan, Ryan has moved to New York to continue his pursuit of social justice while working towards an advanced degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. In his free time, he enjoys watching sporting events, playing basketball, swimming, hiking, and traveling.


Giuseppe Di Martino
Yamagata-ken ALT, 2013-2018
Language Chair, 2019-present

Giuseppe di Martino was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Bennington College with a B.A. in Japanese, he volunteered with National AJET as Translation and Interpreting Coordinator while working in Japan as a JET ALT. He also took part in the city of Kaminoyama’s grueling Kasedori Festival for four consecutive years (as briefly featured on YOU Wa Nani Shi Ni Nippon He and in this award-winning video! He is currently working as a freelance translator and copy-editor, including of fictional works such as Crest of the Stars. As Language Chair, he aims to organize Japanese-language-centric events for JET-kind in NY. He is a bit of a dork, and a nut for manga, board games, and Magic: the Gathering. He is also a being that can produce jokes when squeezed.


Karen Zhu
Tokyo ALT, 2014-2017
Community Development Chair, 2019-present

A native New Yorker, Karen worked as an ALT at a high school in Tokyo. Serving as the Japanese Studies Coordinator for 1 year under the Professional Development Committee of the newly established Tokyo JETs group (independent of AJET), she was highly involved with supporting Tokyo JETs’ Japanese language study through study sessions and events. The Professional Development Committee aims to help further develop a Tokyo JET’s career path while on JET.

Prior to JET, she had earned her B.A. in Biological Sciences and Japanese Studies with a minor in Global Studies. She had studied for 1 semester at the Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies in Japan. After returning back home to New York after JET, she has worked jobs in the healthcare/medical, chemical and information technology industries. In her free time, she likes practicing aerial yoga and silks, reading novels, and traveling.


Ramez Kafrouni
Niigata ALT, 2016-2018
Communications Coordinator, 2019-present

Born on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast, and raised mostly in Sydney, Australia, Ramez graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts in Media. After working full-time in the field for a few years, Ramez applied for the JET Programme, where he would serve as a junior high school and elementary school ALT for two years, in Joetsu, Niigata, right on the doorsteps of the Sea of Japan. In Joetsu, Ramez was involved in several community initiatives, including a fortnightly English chatroom, as well as teaching locals English, and other cross-cultural events.

After JET, Ramez moved to New York City, where he currently serves as Production Coordinator at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum as well as Communications Coordinator for JETAANY. In his free time, he enjoys binging TV and movies on Netflix, reading, museums, and spending quality time with friends and family.


monicayuki Monica Yuki
Saitama-ken ALT, 2002-2004
JETAANY Board of Directors Chairman 2015-present
JETAA USA Country Representative 2015-Present
USJETAA Board of Directors 2017-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 Research Director for Parade Magazine at AMG Parade. 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 half ironmans, triathlons and duathlons in and around the NY area.

Steven Horowitz
Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi ALT 1992-1994 Professional Outreach & Development 2009-Present
JETAANY Newsletter Editor 2002-2008
JETAANY Board of Directors 2011-2018 JETAA USA Board of Advisors, 2011-2018 Founder,

Steven is Director of Legal English Programs at St. John’s University School of Law where he has the good fortune to work with two other JET alumni! He has a JD from Duke Law School, an MA TESOL from CUNY-Hunter College, a CELTA Certificate, and a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also studied law at Waseda University and interned for Japanese law firms. 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 which evolved into 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 which he does through the JETwit Jobs Google Group. And he’s also established the JET Alum Parents Facebook Group for JET alum parents throughout the world. Steven lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children, is a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op, and can occasionally be found playing ultimate frisbee in or near Prospect Park. You can connect with him via LinkedIn.

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’MalleyBruce Feiler, Andrew W.K., Ace Frehley, Rick Nielsen, Hikaru Utada, Jero and Puffy AmiYumi. For more stories, View his NY Japanese Culture page at

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

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]