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Amy Boots 
Executive Director

Amy first encountered Japan as a young child through a Japanese family friend.  Her interest in Japan blossomed through that relationship to an interest in Japanese language and culture.  She studied Japanese in high school and at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Amy was a participant on the JET Programme in Okinawa from 2008-2010 and served the JASP as an intern and then volunteer since her return to the U.S. in 2010.

Katsuko Shellhammer
Education Outreach Coordinator

Katsuko joined us after 17 years of experience with Sony Electronics, Inc. as their coordinator of international human resources. Although Katsuko grew up in Japan, she has spent most of her adult life with her family in Westmoreland County, PA. She has expertly managed the growth of the Japan in the Schools program and Pittsburgh Taiko as well as her gorgeous garden!

Setsuko Hayes
Operations Manager

Setsuko has been a dedicated volunteer for many years and previously served as Program Assistant under Executive Director Elise Moersch.  She has worked at the University of Pittsburgh and companies in Japan on imports and logistics.

Matthew Kizior
Program Coordinator

Matthew's interest in Japan arose when, as a child, he started watching anime and playing video games with his cousins.  Working at the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia at the University of Pittsburgh further deepened his interest in Japan. As an undergraduate at Pitt, he studied Japanese Buddhism and volunteered with Japan related teacher events and the Kakehashi project. Matthew looks forward to learning more about Japan while using what he already knows to engage with young adults in the Pittsburgh area.