20180602_FEW_20thCSS-485Run solely by members for its members, FEW Japan is governed by a Board of Directors, elected for a one-year term by the regular membership that meets monthly.

Comprising women from diverse nationalities and professional backgrounds, all board members serve on a volunteer basis and have separate full time or part-time jobs

If you are interested in getting more involved with FEW, please talk to one of us at our next event or contact us via email anytime! 


Meet the 2017-2018 Board

BoardSarahSarah Achilles

Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sarah has lived in Japan for a total of more than 18 years. She has a background in international relations, event planning and global PR, and currently works at a leading global management consulting firm as in-house translator and editor across broad industries. In her third year as FEW President, Sarah remains committed to offering internationally-minded women in Japan a safe and supportive space to learn, connect and be inspired through the sharing of stories, skills and experience and value-for-money programming, as well as to the further strengthening of the community through mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations.


Nicola Vote

Nicola has been in Japan for over 20 years, hailing originally from the U.K.. The last decade she has been working in various managerial roles at McAfee (the global cyber security company) and currently drives Regional Customer Advocacy. She hopes that her extensive operational experience will prove to be of value to FEW. Nicola is fluent in Japanese, and is passionate about giving back to the community that has been her home for so many years.

ninaNina Cataldo
Nina grew up in both Tokyo and the United States. Upon graduating from college, she returned to Tokyo as an English writer and advisor for a company that specializes in publishing educational English materials. She also enjoys working as a travel writer for various Japan tourism boards where she is able to combine her passions for traveling and storytelling. She joined FEW last year and has enjoyed getting to know a community of empowering women. As a young professional, she has found FEW to be inspirational, both in her professional and personal growth. As Membership Director, Nina is excited to get to know the members better and promote FEW to women of all different backgrounds..

JaneJane Szafraniec

With a professional background in accounting, Jane has worked as an external auditor for nine years. She came to Tokyo two years ago after living and working in Australia for five years and in Chicago, where she grew up. Jane first got involved with FEW through volunteering with Second Harvest, one of FEW’s Community Service Partners. During her one year on the Board as Membership Director, she has been impressed with the diverse and motivated group of women she has met and is excited to continue to have an active role in FEW and contribute further as Finance Director.


BOD_Beth-ThomasBeth Thomas

Beth is a journalist who first came to Japan to work in 1996, and has since lived here three times, and more than 10 years in total. Originally from the U.K., she works as an editor for an international financial newswire and is the mother of two girls. With two decades experience as as journalist, she has lived and worked in London, Paris, Hanoi and Tokyo, covering stories as diverse as the introduction of the Euro, and Vietnamese businessmen snapping up agricultural land to build golf courses. She can often be found upside-down in a yoga pose, up a mountain, or in the sea with a scuba tank on her back. She likes to hear people’s’ stories, and hopes to continue to bring these to the FEW community through a diverse speaker lineup.

Jackie_SteeleJackie F. Steele
Jackie is Canadian feminist political scientist focusing on the integration of women and diversity into democratic institutions and policy-making in advanced democracies. Over the past 20 years she has worked for a rural municipal government in Nagano, has been a researcher-activist with the Canadian and Québécois feminist movements, and has taught and pursued comparative research at universities in Canada and Japan. Following experiences of 3.11 in Sendai as a new mom, her research in Japan is innovating new feminist philosophies of disaster risk governance through two collaborative research projects, including one tracking the personal aspirations and citizenization of young women community leaders in Tohoku. Jackie is founder and Vice President of NPO Chikuma International Exchange Association in Nagano, supporting multicultural cohesion at the grassroots, and is an avid amateur taiko performing artist. As a member of FEW since 2010, she looks forward to sourcing inspiring speakers and providing women of all walks of life a place to share their stories.

raena-murakamiRaena Murakami

Raena joined FEW in 2016, soon after moving to Tokyo from her native New York. She is a strategic and corporate communications consultant, specializing in reputation management and thought leadership for major global companies. Raena has always had a passion for strengthening cross-cultural ties, having grown up in a bilingual and bicultural family, and having lived in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is excited to learn, share, and connect with the inspiring members of the FEW community. Alongside learning Japanese, Raena looks forward to helping share the FEW mission of fostering a network to achieve professional and personal growth.

tanja kTanja Kinnen
With a communications and event management background, Tanja is now a full-time freelancer, active in digital communication, writing and broadcasting for media houses back in her native Luxembourg as well as studying towards a Master’s degree in International Culture and Communication at Waseda University. Tanja has lived in Austria and France, and moved to Tokyo in September 2015 with her husband. She was happy to discover FEW during her first weeks in Tokyo with its multiple opportunities to meet inspiring women and to network. Having already served one year on the Board as Special Events Director, Tanja looks forward to taking on the PR & Communications Co-Director role and helping to get the word out about FEW and all it has to offer.

Bianca2Bianca Himmelsbach
strategic.partners@fewjapan.com / special.events@fewjapan.com
Bianca left her home country, Germany, for Japan about eight years ago. She first lived in Kyoto and was an active member of FEW Kansai, before coming to Tokyo three years ago. She has a background in international marketing and has worked as a marketing professional for various companies overseeing their overseas markets. After reconnecting with FEW over one year ago, Bianca is looking forward to joining the Board and contributing to the strategic partners network as well as to the further growth of the organization


Tia HaygoodTia
Tia is a Tokyo-based photographer with a demonstrated history of working in the photography industry. Since launching her company TopTia Photography, she’s worked with a variety of companies and clients using her event, portrait, food and product photography skills. When she isn’t taking photos, she’s cooking, reading, or trying out the latest health trends in body hacking. Tia is a compassionate listener who commits to helping her fellow friends and neighbors. As the new FEW Community Service Director, she is looking forward to providing a space for FEW members to find interesting events and organizations where they can volunteer their time and skills to help those in need.

tanja2Tanja Bach

Tanja, the founder and CEO of Contents Bridge KK, a leadership training company, specializes in empowering the success of future leaders worldwide. Knowing first-hand what it takes to create a business in Japan, she joined FEW’s Women’s Start-Up Club (WSC) committee in 2016 to support others in their entrepreneurial journey and small business endeavors. Originally from Germany, Tanja has lived and worked everywhere except South America and Africa and has been a resident of Japan for the past 18 years. She believes in purpose-inspired action to live and looks forward to welcoming you to the WSC.

ann katrine 2Ann-Katrin van-Schie

Ann-Katrin is German-Swedish and over the past 15 years has lived in Belgium, Singapore, and Egypt as well as been repatriated to Germany. She loves creating community and supporting others to make them feel “at ease” when living abroad. After moving to Tokyo in October 2015, Ann-Katrin joined FEW to meet people and to get inspired by other people’s stories. During her own journey of pursuing a different career path, she learned about the WSC and attended meeting in 2016-2017. The inspiration, support and encouragement she encountered left her wanting to play an active role, and to give back to the FEW community. She is looking forward in doing so as Co-Director of WSC.