Neighborhood House Executive Director Mark Okazaki.
Neighborhood House Executive Director Mark Okazaki.

The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) announced that Mark Okazaki is the winner of the 2015 Kip Tokuda Award. The award recognizes a community member that has demonstrated outstanding contributions to ACLF and the Asian Pacific Islander Community. Past winners of the Kip Tokuda Award include Vera and Joey Ing, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Jill Nishi, and Ruth Woo. ACLF is holding its 15th Community Leaders Program Dinner on Saturday, May 16 to honor Okazaki and this year’s Community Leaders Program class.

ACLF said of Okazaki in a statement:

“A third-generation Japanese American, Mark Okazaki was born, raised, and educated in Seattle, Washington. His entire adult life has been focused on addressing issues of poverty and inequities. After graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology, he worked for a number of community-based non-profit organizations including the Center for Career Alternatives where he helped young people find their first jobs and launch their careers. From there he went on to work for the Seattle-King County Private Industry Council (PIC), the precursor to the Workforce Development Council. At the PIC, Mark helped plan and implement innovative job training programs for low-income youth and adults throughout the county, eventually serving as Assistant Director.

“In 2000, Mark assumed the role of Executive Director for Neighborhood House, a 109 year old non-profit anti-poverty agency that provides a wide range of education, employment, health and social services to thousands of low-income children, families and elders throughout Seattle and King County. Under his leadership, Neighborhood House’s budget has tripled to over $15 million while the agency completed two successive capital campaigns to build community service centers in the Rainier Vista and High Point public housing redevelopments and collaborated on the renovation of the Jim Wiley Community Center in Greenbridge. At the same time, Neighborhood House dramatically expanded the range and scope of its services in response to growing community needs, adding new programs and divisions such as Employment & Adult Education, Housing Stability, and Financial Empowerment Center.

“Mark has served on the boards of the United Way of King County, the Minority Executive Directors Coalition and the Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. He has served as chair of the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition and is also a member of the Interagency Advisory Council for the Committee to End Homelessness King County.

“In 2009, Mark was selected as one of the recipients of the Bill Grace Leadership Legacy Award from the Center for Ethical Leadership. In 2012, he was selected as one of the recipients of the Top Contributor Award from the Northwest Asian Weekly newspaper.

He is a member of the First Hill Lions Club and Rotary Club of Seattle.”

For more information on the ACLF Graduation Dinner and Celebration, click here.

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