Author: Lily Sun

Geosynchronous Bowling!

UPDATE: Due to many board members being under the weather and other attendees also now unable to make it out we will be cancelling this event. We apologize for any inconvenience or to anyone who was last minute thinking about coming. Please keep an eye out for updates on our Apple picking event and returnees reception Nijikai—thank you!

Are you a recent returnee from your time on the JET Program? Please come and join us for Geosynchronous Bowling tomorrow! We’re hosting in Round One in Auburn Hills, MI and Buckeye Lanes in North Olmsted, OH. Board Members will be attendance and we look forward to seeing you! Please RSVP on Facebook or email Looking forward to seeing you there!

When? September 8th, 2018 @ 5pm!
Round One in Great Lakes Crossing
4220 Baldwin Rd A502, Auburn Hills, MI 48326 (Google Maps) OR
Buckeye Lanes
24488 Lorain Rd, North Olmsted, OH 44070 (Google Maps)

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Cosplay Beach Party 2018

Beach Cosplay Party! If you’re interested in cosplay, the beach, or any of the above come on out! Adam Wolf will be attending, contact him here if you want to meet up.

New 2018-2019 Officers and Board of Directors!

Please welcome the new Officers and Board of Directors of 2018-2019!


President: Megan Worden
Michigan VP/Secretary: Alicia Smith
Ohio VP: Jennifer Sherman
Treasurer: Bill Schlatter
Webmaster: Lily Sun

Board of Directors

Kate Simon
Debbie Kim
Eric Smith
Robert Corder

Country Rep

Faye Valtadoros

Election Platforms for GLJETAA 2018-2020


Megan Worden

Some of you know me well, some of you have seen my name on e-mails and newsletters, and others may not know me yet at all. My name is Megan Worden, I was on the JET program from 2013-2015 as an ALT in Toyama. After coming home, I became a certified Japanese teacher and am currently teaching both Japanese and ESL at Koby Learning Group in Novi. With all of the influence Japan has had on my life, JETAA has also become a huge part of it and maintaining those connections to Japan.
I became involved in JETAA immediately after returning home and assisted in the JETAA National Convention for 2015, which was held in Detroit. Seeing all of the chapters across the US and Canada collect inspired me to get involved on the board level.
For the last two years I have served first as Secretary for the GLJETAA Board, and currently am the Vice President for Michigan. I have seen our chapter grow with new events and ideas, and I want to continue that trend of growth as President of the chapter.
As President, I hope to continue the success of our job fair and other current meet-up events, but I also want to look to the future of the chapter. We are a large chapter, spread out over two rather large states. Covering that much ground for events has been difficult in the past, but I want to strive to make getting together easier for all of us. We all know what it’s like to come home and have our loved ones grow tired of our stories. We also all know that as JET Alumni, we never get sick of sharing them. This is why if I am elected I would like to pursue in earnest the following ideas for helping our chapter grow and strengthen:
  1. Connecting with our surrounding communities: as a group that holds NPO status I want to help foster even stronger relations with our local Japanese communities and create cross-organization events.
  2. Local and Geosynchronous Events: We coined a new idea in the last few meetings and it’s spawned something I’d like to see through: geosynchronous events. These would be events held at the same time (typically doing the same thing) in various regions around our chapter. Ideas so far have been Museum day (we all head out to local museums) and bowling, which would also be a regional competition (more to come on that!).
  3. Cross-regional events: GLJETAA shares boarders with several other amazing chapters and I hope to foster more cross-chapter events at these border spots.
As president, these are the ideas I would like to put forward. Moreover, I would like to hear from the community.

Ohio Vice President:

Jennifer Sherman

Current resident of Lorain, Ohio
2012-2016 JET in Mihama, Mie
I would like to run for the office of Great Lakes JETAA Ohio Vice President because I value my experiences as a JET Program alumnus, and I want to contribute to making our community even stronger. My years living in Mie as an ALT have had a profound effect on my life. I want to continue to share those experiences and help other alumni utilize their own involvement in the JET Program in their current lives. I work as an editor for a website related to Japanese pop culture. I combine my knowledge of Japanese culture, translation skills, and English-teaching background from my time on JET to compose content bridging Japan and the English-speaking world every day. I recently began sharing local Japan-related events with GLJETAA members, and I hope to continue and expand that effort as Ohio Vice President. Through a variety of regular activities, my goal is to encourage involvement and increase active participation among Ohio JETAA members.


Bill Schlatter

Hello everyone! My name is Bill Schlatter, and I was on the JET Program from 2012-2014. I taught at many high schools in Hokkaido, and lived in Iwamizawa, near Sapporo, from 2008.

I am running for GLJETAA Treasurer because I like being involved in the JET alumni community, and I have already been active in volunteering for the organization and attending board meetings over the last few years.

When I was in college, I was the treasurer of my university’s anime club for two years.  There, I learned the importance of keeping an organization’s financial books in order – especially an organization that relies on grant funding, like GLJETAA. As treasurer, I led my university club’s application for funding to greatly expand their annual convention, which led to the event tripling in attendance in two years.  When Great Lakes JETAA is ready to expand its programming, I intend to keep Great Lakes JETAA’s finances in good order so that, we will be able to secure the funding needed.

Thank you.


Alicia Smith

Hello, I’m Alicia Smith. I was on the JET Program in Iwamizawa-shi, Hokkaido from 2008-2013. I am running for Secretary.
I have enjoyed being a part of GLJETAA for the past 2 years as Web Master, and am eager to try the role of Secretary. I think I would make a good Secretary because I am a careful note-taker with an eye for organization and design. These past 2 years, I have attended most of the GLJETAA meetings, have taken official notes on occasion, and have designed 2 of this year’s Mail Chimp newsletters. I enjoy adding photos or bullet points to newsletters and notes, as design is a big part of my life. I have a BA in Digital Art, and work as Head of Marketing at a small business, where I also act on a board and regularly record meeting notes. I have experience in layout design, both professionally through print advertisements, and on a volunteer basis as a digital magazine layout designer with HAJET. I have taken an active role in JETAA and the greater international community since returning to the U.S. I volunteered at 2 JETAA National Conventions, both GLJETAA Job Fairs, and the majority of the other Metro-Detroit events.
If I am elected, I hope to use the next 2 years to strengthen ties between GLJETAA alumni and our communities. I intend to plan earlier and get information out to our members  and partners more expediently. I wish to further structure and organize our chapter, so that planning and events run smoothly. I want to find our strengths as an organization, and really play to that. I will dedicate myself to ensuring that GLJETAA continues to grow and improve through 2018-19, as a service to our members and the greater community.
Thank you.


Lily Sun

Hello, my name is Lily Sun. I was a JET participant from 2015 to 2017 in Ishikawa Prefecture. I would be honored to serve in the position of Webmaster for Great Lakes JETAA. I have three years experience making websites for myself and other freelance clients with WordPress. I have experience making websites using HTML and CSS. I also have an Associate degree in web design. In addition, I also have a BFA in graphic design.
As a webmaster, I can make timely updates to the website, and make it more accessible to members and create a hub of information. Also, I can invite other members to make blog posts about our events and other interesting topics concerning aspiring and former JET participants.
As the chief editor of the newsletter, I can use my design expertise to create an enjoyable and effective reading experience. I also understand different forms of media and how the website and the newsletter should be utilized differently to have different impacts.
I believe I will be a great fit for the position of Webmaster. Please vote for me for the webmaster position!

Board of Directors (4 positions available):

Eric Smith

Dear fellow alumni,

My name is Eric Smith and I was an ALT in Shizuoka from 2002-2003 and served as Great Lakes JETAA President in 2008. I’m proud of the efforts my fellow officers and successors made to build up our chapter after a few years of disrepair. I’ve worked with officers in many other chapters as well as staff at CLAIR New York. In 2015, I helped rewrite the bylaws and I always do my best to support current officers leading the chapter to even greater levels of activity.

My motivation for running as Director of the Board is to offer my formal support to the officers and ensure that he chapter remains open, transparent, and responsive to member needs. Understanding that my role would be largely advisory, I believe I have the time once again to give back to an organization and program that played an important role in my life.

– Eric Smith

Shizuoka-ken, ALT 2002-2003

Debbie Kim

My name is Debbie Kim and was a ALT in Tenryu-shi in Shizuoka-ken in 2002-2003. Like many JETs, my life was forever changed after working and living in Japan. I have always wanted to continue promoting both the JET Program as well as provide support for the Great Lakes JETAA community. Since coming back from JET, I have worked with the Detroit Consulate to do annual JET interviews, volunteered at the JET departure orientations, and taught Japanese language classes for departing JETs (many years ago when many JETs didn’t have Japanese language abilities). For JETAA, I served as treasurer in 2008 with a focus on transparency in Grant in Aid funding. I also volunteered as part of the voting committee for JETAA, ensuring that elections were credible and adhering to the current bylaws.

With all the progress that the Great Lakes chapter has made after my tenure, I have no doubt that new officers will continue to build on the many accomplishments of previous board members. As the chapter continues to grow, I hope to be an additional resource for officers and members.  I am so impressed by the JETAA members who I’ve seen volunteer time and time again to promote the organization, but I’m also inspired by all the new members I see posting on the Facebook group or coming to JETAA events. By serving as a board member, my role will be to foster that engagement and growth in a community that will always be near and dear to my heart.

Kate Simon

My name is Kate Simon; I am the Program Director of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). I have worked at JCMU since 2007. Prior to this, I served as a privately contracted Assistant Language Teacher in Iwate Prefecture (2004-2006) and completed the Lansing Community College Japan Adventure Program with the Biwako Kisen Corporation in Shiga Prefecture (1999).  These experiences led me to become a passionate supporter of the strong relationship between Japan and the United States. In my professional capacity with JCMU, I work closely with numerous organizations that contribute to U.S.-Japan relations including the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit, the Japan Business Society of Detroit, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board, higher education institutions and local organizations. As a member of the Board of Directors, I would leverage these connections to promote the goals and activities of the Great Lakes JETAA and further the work of maintaining a strong Japan-U.S. relationship.

Note: No candidates have submitted platforms for Michigan Vice President or Event Coordinator.


Greetings from Lauren Gassman and Jamie Mucaria, your voting committee for this election cycle. We are seeking platforms from all JETAA members who would like to run for an officer position!

We are looking for the positions of: President, Vice president of BOTH Michigan and Ohio, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, and Event Coordinator. Each of these positions will serve a term of two years.

We are also looking for members to fill our Board of Directors position (3 members), who will be serving a term of 5 years.

To better understand what these positions entail, please see the JETAA website where we have current bylaws posted.

If you are interested in any of these positions, you MUST submit a platform. Ideal platforms include: Name, Location and years on JET, (1) Reason why you are running for this position, (2) What contributions or qualifications can you bring to that position, and (3) What goals do you envision for that position. Please make platforms around a paragraph in length.

PLATFORMS ARE DUE BY MARCH 1ST. Please send platforms in a word document to Jamie Mucaria at Platforms will be posted shortly after the deadline of March 1st. If you have any questions regarding submission of platforms, please do not hesitate to ask. We hope to see a great turnout of interested members!

~Lauren and Jamie

January 27th Board Meeting (UPDATED)

UPDATE: The new meeting date is the 27th.

Place: The Southfield Public Library.

Time: Sunday, January 27, 2018 at 1 p.m.


Are you thinking of getting more involved in GLJETAA? Join us to discuss our future.



Southfield Public Library

26300 Evergreen Rd, Southfield, Michigan 48076

Karaoke Bonnenkai at KTV Bistro

12-9-2017, 5pm-9pm

Family is welcome, we are scheduling as cost sharing event (GLJETAA will cover the room cost and possibly some appetizer).


KTV Bistro

32415 John R Road,

Madison Heights,

Michigan 48071

Nijikai tonight!

1835 E Big Beaver Rd
Troy, Michigan 48083

Register for the Job Fair

GLJETAA 2017 Job Fair

Registration is required: Click here.

Date: October 14, 2017 (Sat)
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Salon C, Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac, 3600 Centerpoint Parkway, Pontiac, MI 48341


This job fair is for:

  • University students majoring or minoring in Japanese
  • JCMU alumni
  • Members of GLJETAA
  • The Japanese community


  1. Business wear required.
  2. Please bring copies of your resume and business cards.
  3. In attendance will be both Japanese and American companies and recruiters.
  4. Programming will begin PROMPTLY at 10:30 a.m., so please arrive on time!



If you are a company interested in attending, or if you have any questions,

please contact GLJETAA’s President, Adam Wolf, at


Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible.

Meijer Gardens

On Sunday, October 22nd, join us at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. We can possibly also visit Founder’s. Time is still TBD.