Jeanine FOSter - Founder

Jeanine is a graduate of the University of Canterbury with a Master of Arts (NCRE), and BA Hons (Political Science and Japanese). She has a strong background in corporate PR both in NZ and overseas, and currently works in New Zealand's Parliament as an advisor in the Government Research and Communications Unit, Office of Rt Hon John Key.

Jeanine has travelled extensively and places considerable importance on fostering comprehensive global connections. She is an executive board member of the Japan-NZ Business Council, founder and immediate past Chair of yJNZBC, and is an active AsiaNZ Foundation Young Leader.

Nic Keating - Chair

Nic is a consultant in PwC Wellington's Technology Consulting Team and specialises in process analysis, target operating models, project management, lean, digital trends, and customer analysis. At university, Nic studied International Business, Management, and Japanese. His first time in Japan was as a Rotary Scholar to Minoo City and he later returned to Japan to study at Osaka University. As a member of the Asia NZ Foundation Leadership Network he interned at Japan Rail Kyushu.

Frances Yamada- Deputy Chair Wellington

Frances Yamada is a Ministerial Advisor with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), New Zealand’s international business development agency. Her relationship to Japan began 10 years ago, with an 8-month high-school exchange to Nagoya in 2001. This was followed by a year-long sister-university exchange to Osaka in 2002-2003 while she studied a BA in Japanese and History at Victoria University of Wellington. A stint teaching English to pre-schoolers in Fukuoka followed, prior to completing a BCA (Honours) majoring in International Business back in Wellington. As a member of the Asia NZ Leadership Network Frances completed a 2 month internship with Japan Rail Kyushu in Fukuoka in 2009.  Her long-term goal is to combine Japan and International Business by working with internationally focused New Zealand and Japanese businesses..

Rebecca Wood - Deputy Chair Auckland

Rebecca Wood is a Foreign Policy Officer at New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Working in the Pacific Division, Rebecca contributes to analytical policy development in support of New Zealand's international relations objectives in the Pacific region. Prior to her role with MFAT, Rebecca worked as an International Relations Specialist at Auckland Council, the largest local government authority in Australasia. In this role she managed Auckland's Japanese relationships and projects, as well as supporting Auckland's Korean and Chinese engagement. This position triggered Rebecca's interest in Japanese business and culture, which was further fuelled by her participation in the JENESYS Future Business Counterparts Programme in 2012. Rebecca is passionate about driving value for New Zealand from every international opportunity, and pursues this passion beyond her professional role as a committed member of the Asia New Zealand Young Leaders' Network, and as one of the Deputy Chairs of the yJNZBC.  Rebecca studied at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in International Relations (First Class honours) and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce conjoint degree.

Michelle McCarthy - Deputy Chair Japan

Michelle moved to Tokyo, Japan in 2013 to embark on a career in which she can further contribute to New Zealand-Japan relations. She currently works in retail development for Comvita Japan and previously worked for Priority One- the regional economic development agency for the Bay of Plenty. Michelle is passionate about Japan and Asia as a whole. She has lived in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Michelle has been a member of the Asia New Zealand Young Leaders Network since 2008, to which she credits much of her invaluable learning experiences in Asia. She is on the committee for the Youth Japan New Zealand Business Council (yJNZBC) and attended the 2011 and 2012 JNZBC conferences. While based in Japan, Michelle aims to develop a Japan side to the yJNZBC, and to encourage collaboration between young professionals in both countries. Additional to her interest in Asia’s languages, business and culture, Michelle is committed to learning more about lifestyle design and social enterprise. She loves sports- particularly table tennis and hockey- and enjoys painting. 

Erin Maher - Committee Member

Erin is currently working as an Analyst in the International Trade Policy group at the Ministry for Primary Industries. The responsibilities of this group include; diplomacy, aiding in the development of multilateral, regional and bilateral frameworks, engagement with various regional organisations and foreign governments, and ensuring New Zealand’s policy development and implementation is consistent with WTO principles – with a strong agricultural focus. Her primary responsibilities on the bilateral front include Japan and North America. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science (Genetics & Biochemistry) from Massey University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Commerce (International Business) from Victoria University. Her interest with Japan was first sparked during her participation on the 2010 JENESYS Special Fields Counterparts Programme and has only grown during her involvement with the yJNZBC and continued attendance at the JNZBC conferences.