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Japan-America Society of Tennessee

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Women's Leadership Forum & Networking Luncheon

                 Bringing together corporate, political, philanthropic, governmental and non-profit sector   leaders to champion more active roles for women in decision-making at all levels of society. 

The Ninth Annual 

Women’s Leadership Forum & Networking Luncheon

September 7, 2023

Conference Center at the Main Library

An inspiring event featuring women in community service.

Women are using their gifts to bring positive change to their communities. 

                       Five accomplished Japan and Tennessee connected women share                         their perspectives on community leadership and giving back.

Keynote Speaker

Tracy Kornet

Tracy Kornet is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning lead news anchor,  host, and writer at the Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV-TV. 

As a French and International Relations major at Vanderbilt University,  Tracy spent intermittent semesters working in Japan as Cinderella at Tokyo  Disneyland and singing backup for the Japanese pop star, ANRI.

Tracy earned her MBA in 2022, which reignited her passion for  international affairs and was honored to join the U.S.-Japan Council as  a  Council Leader earlier this year.

  Awarded Best News Anchor multiple times by the Tennessee Associated  Press, Tracy is a passionate non-profit board member, emcee/speaker, and  community volunteer. A proud member of the 2018 class of Leadership  Nashville, Tracy serves on the state board of Habitat for Humanity and the  Advisory Board for UpRise Nashville, a career training program helping pull  people out of poverty through education and job placement. She is a former  co-chair and long-time board member of the Sexual Assault Center of  Nashville.

Tracy's almost 30-year television career started in Lexington, Kentucky.  She spent six years in Phoenix and eight in Dallas/Fort Worth before returning  to Nashville in 2014, where she's enjoyed multiple career highlights, including  interviewing three U.S. presidents and field anchoring the 2020 Presidential  debate at Belmont University.

A wife and mother of three grown children, Tracy's husband Frank played  basketball for the Vanderbilt Commodores and the NBA Milwaukee Bucks, and  their 7’2” son Luke, also a Vandy grad, now plays with the Boston Celtics.

Introductory Remarks

Masami Izumida Tyson

As a Partner in the Corporate & Securities Group at the law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Masami Izumida Tyson leads the firm’s Japan Practice. She provides Japanese and global businesses with a wide range of corporate and economic development legal support, including helping clients with understanding the process of setting up operations in the U.S., negotiating complex contracts, and providing advice on a broad range of corporate matters, all in either Japanese or English depending on the clients’ needs. Companies rely on Masami, who has a deep understanding of both the U.S. and Japanese business cultures and extensive experience in both the U.S. and Japanese business communities, as a trusted legal and business advisor.

Formerly the Global Director of Foreign Direct Investment and Trade for the State of Tennessee, in that role Masami liaised with international, diplomatic, and economic offices on behalf of Tennessee. She also maintained strategic oversight for all overseas teams tasked with recruiting companies interested in doing business in Tennessee, provided support to companies located in Tennessee, and advised state leadership on matters relating to foreign affairs. Prior to her time with the State of Tennessee, Masami served in several in-house counsel roles, including Senior Counsel for Nissan North America and Legal Director for Mentor Graphics Japan.

A native of Yokohama, Japan, Masami received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where she was a member of the Honor Council, Legal Clinic, Legal Aid Society, and an Executive Editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. She received her M.A. and B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, where she received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. An active member of the community, Masami is Commissioner of Nashville International Airport, Board Member of the U.S.-Japan Council and Board Chair of the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. She is also on the Board of Hands On Nashville. Masami is married to Dr. Rich Tyson, a physician, and they have three children. 

    Panel Moderator

    Yurina Yoshikawa

    Yurina Yoshikawa is the Director of Education at The Porch.

    Yurina holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and her writing has  appeared in The Atlantic, NPR, Lit Hub, The Japan Times, and elsewhere.  She was the winner of the 2020 Tennessee True Stories Contest and a 2021  recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission. 

    Yurina serves on the boards of two local nonprofits - the Nashville  Philharmonic Orchestra and API Middle Tennessee. She hosts and curates the  virtual book club for the Japan-America Society of Tennessee that focuses on  contemporary Japanese novels translated into English. She is also  an associate of the U.S.-Japan Council where she is a co-organizer of their  Artists & Creatives group. 

    Yurina has lived in Tokyo, Palo Alto, and New York before settling down in  Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and two sons. For  more information, visit


    Lyndi Berrones

    Lyndi Berrones returned to her home state of Tennessee in 2017 to work  for the Department of Economic and Community Development. Lyndi started  as a statewide recruitment director and is now the department’s regional  director for Greater Nashville. She spends her days creating jobs for  Tennesseans by recruiting new companies to her thirteen-county region and  helping existing companies expand. Lyndi has directly assisted in the creation  of more than 30,000 new direct jobs and $6 billion in new capital investment  for the State across various industry sectors from headquarters and I.T. to  heavy manufacturing and distribution/logistics with wins under her belt to  include Oracle, LG Chem, In-N-Out Burgers, Nashville Record Pressing, New  Balance  Athletics, Chick-Fil-A Supply, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and others.

    Prior to joining TNECD, Lyndi lived and worked in Santiago, Chile and then  served as the economic development director for Miami-Dade County until  2016. She received the prestigious Excellence in Economic Development  Award in 2019 and TEDC’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2021 and was just recently awarded Nashville  Business Journal’s Women of Influence in 2022 and the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award in 2023.

    Lyndi holds a master’s degree in international business from the  University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and an executive  certificate from Harvard Business School. In her free time, she serves as the  head cheerleading coach for the Hermitage Seahawks recreational league.

    Sarah Lingo


    Sarah Lingo has worked in Nashville and Tennessee politics for the  majority of her career, including with former Tennessee Governor Phil  Bredesen in his Administration working for the Tennessee Department of  Mental Health and on his 2018 bid for U.S. Senate and with former Nashville  Mayor David Briley. 

    Sarah completed a two-year service in the United States Peace Corps,  serving in Thailand from 2012-2014, and was the head of Corporate  Sponsorships at Nashville Zoo for three years before joining Sister Cities of  Nashville. She currently runs the international non-profit Sister Cities of  Nashville, which offers global and cultural opportunities to Nashvillians of all  ages and backgrounds to connect with citizens and organizations across the  world. 

    Originally from Ohio, Sarah moved to Nashville in 2004, and it has been  her home since.

    Chika Seidel

    Chika Seidel is a Japanese-English bilingual patent attorney who is  passionate about science and innovative research that can be translated to  improve people’s lives. She currently serves as Associate Director of IP  (Intellectual Property) litigation at Astellas Pharma US, managing the company's  IP litigation by working with colleagues, business stakeholders, and outside  counsel on a global scale.  In her previous roles as a law firm attorney in New  York and Florida, she counseled a diverse group of domestic and  overseas clients in various phases of patent life cycle management and IP-  related matters, including litigation and other disputes, global patent  procurement, administrative proceedings, and mergers and acquisitions.

    Chika entered the legal field as a second career after having gone to  college as an adult. She finds joy in connecting people and communities for  positive impact as a way to pay forward the support and inspiration she received  through various encounters along her non-traditional career journey. Earlier this  year, she was invited to the U.S.-Japan Council to be a Council Leader, and this  connection brought her to Nashville for the first time. She is thrilled to be  back in this vibrant and culturally rich city to continue forming connections.

    Chika grew up in Japan, US, and Germany. In her free time she loves to  travel, cycle, forest walk, dine in great company, and watch her favorite  childhood movies with her 3-year-old daughter.

    With many thanks to our generous sponsors

    Presenting Sponsor

    Event Patrons


    Event Sponsor

    Event Partner

    JAST's Women's Leadership Forum brings into focus the critical need to invest in the advancement of women everywhere, but specifically in the U.S. and Japan. By advancing social and economic equality, women from all walks of life
    stand to benefit from participating in societies free from gender bias. In turn, both the U.S. and Japan stand to reap rewards aplenty in the form of future jobs growth, economic and political stability, and inclusive prosperity.

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