- Upternes Consultancy
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 19 (as of March 2019)
I studied Japanese language and literature at the University of Victoria. For three years, I participated in the JET Program and joined a small Japanese trading company based in Kofu shortly after. Thanks to my early experiences in Japan, I have now spent 24 years in Asia, 21 of those in a professional capacity, building businesses in Japan and across the Asia Pacific, Mexico and the EU.
I like the Japanese proverb, “No one of us is as smart as all of us (together).” It speaks to my collaborative style and compels me to continue learning and experimenting with new ideas and strategies. I also like, “Do not follow the beaten path, go where there is no path and make one,” as it speaks to my entrepreneurial drive.
I am most proud of the growth contributions I have made that positively impacted the personal and professional lives of those I meet. Whether this is on the factory floor, in the boardroom or when mentoring young professionals, I strive to provide a good experience that leads to success — however “success” is uniquely defined by the unique people I encounter.
My first goal is to raise my three children (including two teenagers!) by empowering them to grow into the lives they wish to lead. I envision Upternes Consultancy providing a boost in sustainable new growth to my clientele’s businesses. There are numerous disruptions companies face, and I believe opportunities lie therein.
Above all, be yourself and decide your comfort level and fit in Japan. I don’t think anyone adapts in the same way — if you ask 20 different people how they adapt to Japan, I think you will receive 20 different answers. The first years of life in Japan are roller coaster rides, but my experience teaches that it becomes more manageable over time if you healthily reflect and maintain a good sense of self.