Last edited on: Oct. 9, 2018
I have been interviewed by various media sources. Below are some of the interviews:
- Expat Interviews – Seems a long while ago now.
- Saigon Nezumi on InterNations – They wanted this one for most of 2012, I did not get to it until 2013
- Interview with Holiday Home Times (India) – This interview took place during June, 2013
My Early Days
On one fine April 16th back in the year of our lord, opps, I meant in the Year of the Rat/Mouse (Nezumi, yeah part of the name of this website!!!). I was born in Mountain View, California, USA, to an American father and a Japanese mother making me a Japanese Amerasian. My Japanese mother has a long history in Japan hailing from the Matsunaga clan with possible descent from Matsunaga Danjo Hisahide. A researcher in Japan is helping me track down more information my mother’s line.
Lucky me, eh, for good things spawned out of Mountain View, besides myself that is, such as Google.
(A very young me 🙂 )
Unfortunately for me, I did not get to see the rise of Google. Instead, my father brought the family to this small southwestern Washington town called Centralia.
(My high school Senior picture)
After spending nearly 17 years of my life Centralia, I graduated in 1990, from Centralia High School (Home of the Tigers). In retrospect, I now know I owe much of my success from living my life in Centralia. Despite the complaints I hear about Centralia High School, the academic program gave me the tools I would later need to succeed in college. First, though, I needed to spend my time in the military.
US Marine Corps
(Private Miller, USMCR)
I remember the day I decided to join the US Marine Reserves very well. I signed my 8 year contract a couple of days before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Yeah, what luck but at the time, I did not care. I needed this thing called the GI Bill that would help pay for my college. After spending one year in training with the Marines, I headed to Seattle in 1991 and eventually would earn a double-degree Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington. Yep, I was an overachiever! 🙂
Central Asia Bound
Peace Corps in Karatau, Kazakhstan
(My Kazakh students in Karatau, Kazakhstan)
After completing my degrees, I decided to join the U.S. Peace Corps (I received a medical discharge from the Marines Corps on October 31, 1996). I was selected to serve as a Secondary School English Teacher in Karatau (which means Black Mountain in Kazakh), a small Kazakh town in southern Kazakhstan (About a 10 hour train ride from the Peace Corps Office in Almaty). I served two years in Kazakhstan.
ACCELS in Kyrgyzstan
(Kyrgyz High School Exchange Program Participants)
After the Peace Corps, I was given a 4-month contract to serve as a Program Recruiter for the Freedom Support Act’s “Secondary School Exchange Program” with the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS). I was sent to the Kyrgyz Republic to conduct the exams and interviews. It was an interesting job and I got to see most of Kyrgyzstan and parts of Uzbekistan. As part of the training, I got to visit Moscow, Russia, for one week.
Studying Russian at the University of Washington
(My Russian Class)
After my stint in Kyrgyzstan, I returned to Seattle and in the following summer enrolled in an intensive Russian course. I am not sure why I did this since I already knew Russian and I never studied for my classes. My Russian Instructor and her TAs were really great! They were a bit amazed that a guy could not study a language and still pass the schools with a 3.0. Not bad, eh, but next time I will study harder…
Indiana University Days
(My Indiana University IT Project Group)
Then in the summer of 2000, I started work on my Master’s of Public Affairs at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University – Bloomington. During my three years at IU, I was lucky enough to make several trips to Turkey (Alanya, Antalya, Istanbul, and Manavgat) and my mother’s hometown in Sasebo, Japan. While in Istanbul in 2002, I spent one month volunteering with the Education Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV). I really enjoyed my time with the kids at TEGV.
(My Turkish students from the TEGV Charshamba Education Park)
My new home, Vietnam
After three years, I earned my degree and eventually moved back to Seattle for a year before making my move to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.
In Vietnam, I originally volunteered with an organization helping Amerasians with the Amerasian Foundation and it’s Global Network. Once in Vietnam, I decided to take a teaching position with SEAMEO RETRAC where I spent a year teaching English and overseas preparation courses. After a year I served as an IT Director for the American Pacific University International School but left after four months to rest and relax. I taught American History and Sociology with the Center for International Education and later with the Saigon Institute of Technology. I taught Computer Science and ICT with the American International School in District 10 of Saigon. I also also served as the Alumni Chapter Leader for Indiana University in Vietnam (2009-2013) which officially became a chapter up in Hanoi in May, 2015.
(I am being harassed by my Web Development Students at APU)
After living in Vietnam for roughly two years, I was offered a consultant position with Indochina Capital, one of the leading investment firms in Vietnam. Briefly I served as the Creative Services Manager with Indochina Capital but a month later I returned to my consultant position. I remained with Indochina Capital and Mekong Securities until August, 2008. During my time with the various securities and private equity firms, I build a strong network and friendships in the investment and security sectors in Vietnam.
In 2008, I joined VinaConsulting as a Senior Technical Consultant and later as the Director of Corporate Development. I later formed my own company, (SLG) Vscapeone, where I served as both IT Consultant and General Director. In late 2009, I consulted with SME Securities for about 4 months gaining more valuable experience with the Vietnamese market. SLG Vscapeone later became Hakata Consulting where I focused on several projects including CCTV security systems, online Muslim halal tours, and several e-commerce projects. My last projects in Vietnam were in 2016.
International School STEM and Design Teacher
I joined the Horizon International Bilingual School (HIBS) in June, 2010, as the IT Director for one year (I was consulting at the same time). I also help out The American School of Vietnam with their summer programs until 2013. I became a credentialed Technology teachers in April, 2013, so I decided to give international school teaching a try as a full time teacher. My first position was as the IB MYP ICT/Design and IB MYP Media/Drama at the Miras International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was a challenging and interesting position. I helped with the Model United Nations at my school called MISMUN and was the director my last year in Kazakhstan.
2016 brought me to Shanghai, China, where I served as the International ICT Coordinator and as the ICT / DP Computer Science teacher at the Qibao Dwight High School. I enjoyed the students but decided to return to Vietnam in 2017.
(Lounging around in a Saigon karaoke club)
I am currently back in HCMC (Saigon, Vietnam) as of July, 2017. I spent a year trying to launch a clean technology startup focusing on DIY air purifiers. Unfortunately this project had to be delayed for various reasons. So I decided to focus more on bringing STEM and blending learning franchises to either Vietnam, China or Japan.
(Working at my “office” in Java Cafe)
More Fun Pictures of Me 🙂
(All pictures of me!)
(Hello from Vietnam!)