Ascend NorCal Holiday Party
Opening Fireside Chat
Careers & Skills, Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
Spark Nakamura, Executive Director, currently leads the Careers & Skills pillar within JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, driving a strategy to support the career development of the firm’s API employees and supporting the future careers of API students in underserved communities. Spark was previously an equity trader at JPMorgan Asset Management, responsible for ADR and Latin American equities trading for the Emerging Market and Asia Pacific and International Equity investment groups, helping to lead the buildout of regional trading capabilities in Asia and the US. Prior to relocating to New York in 2018, Spark spent 7 years in Hong Kong and 5 years in Tokyo, holding equity trading positions at both hedge fund and global long only asset managers, working closely with portfolio managers, analysts, investment specialists and operations teams. Spark has also served on the leadership committee of JPMorgan’s AWM Asian Leadership Forum since inception in 2019, and simultaneously served as co-chair of the ALF Mentorship Committee, helping to launch the first-of-its-kind ALF Mentorship Circles, now in the program’s second year. Spark is bilingual in English and Japanese and speaks elementary Mandarin. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University in 2006 and is also a CFA charter holder.
Co-President, Ascend NorCal
HR Business Partner, Robert Half
Kats Furuyama is the Co-President of Ascend NorCal and has been a member for over eight years, first stepping into a leadership role in 2019 as N. California Co-Vice President of Student Affairs and, shortly after, Vice President of Membership. He is the HR Business Partner at Robert Half International, a global talent solutions firm and parent company of consulting firm Protiviti. He is passionate and dedicated to serving as a collective voice for Pan-Asian communities and giving back with various philanthropic efforts such as Ascend Cares: Feed Our Hospital and Feed Our Future. Outside of work, he enjoys running full marathons, cycling, and cooking.
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