About

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JET Alumni Association of Chicago is a nonprofit organization open to current and past participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.  JETAA Chicago serves as a support network and resource for JET Alumni living in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.  Our organization has a diverse membership of more than 600 people, all with the shared experience of living and working in Japan on the JET Program.


JETAA Chicago’s mission is:

  • to provide a social and professional network for JET alumni;
  • to support the JET Program (promoting, recruiting, interviewing and preparing);
  • to serve as a resource for alumni seeking Japan-related education and employment opportunities;
  • to promote Japan and its culture in our community.

JETAA Chicago is committed to working with partners such as the Japan Information Center (JIC), the Japan America Society of Chicago and the Japan America Service Committee.   In addition to our activities in the Chicago-area, we have subchapters serving Indiana and Wisconsin.


JETAA Chicago Chapter Officers

Executive Board

Executive Committee Members


President: Ella McCann

(Email me)

JET: Miyagi-ken, 2008-2010 (ALT)

JETAA Officer: since 2016

Describe what you do as an officer on the JETAA Board.
As President, I plan and organize our monthly meetings including writing the agenda and presiding over the meeting. Additionally, I liaise with community members and organizations, and speak at public functions on behalf of the chapter. I work with all officers and coordinators and delegate responsibilities for event planning, fundraising, outreach etc. I help in any way possible to further the goals and mission of the organization.

What is one goal you have in the coming year as an officer?
For the upcoming year, I would like to build a stronger network and increase interest in our activities. JETAA Chicago is a very active chapter but I hope to develop our membership and support the growth of our subchapters as well in Indiana and Wisconsin.

What is your favorite Japanese “thing” near where you live now?
Far and away my favorite Japanese thing in the Chicago area is the yaki-nikku restaurant Gyu-kaku located on Ohio St. in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Kalbi rib-eye, warm gohan, a cold Kirin…ahhh.

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Vice President: Gabriel Coronado

(Email me)

JET: Miyagi-ken, 2008-2010 (ALT)

JETAA Officer: since 2016

Describe what you do as an officer on the JETAA Board.
As President, I plan and organize our monthly meetings including writing the agenda and presiding over the meeting. Additionally, I liaise with community members and organizations, and speak at public functions on behalf of the chapter. I work with all officers and coordinators and delegate responsibilities for event planning, fundraising, outreach etc. I help in any way possible to further the goals and mission of the organization.

What is one goal you have in the coming year as an officer?
For the upcoming year, I would like to build a stronger network and increase interest in our activities. JETAA Chicago is a very active chapter but I hope to develop our membership and support the growth of our subchapters as well in Indiana and Wisconsin.

What is your favorite Japanese “thing” near where you live now?
Far and away my favorite Japanese thing in the Chicago area is the yaki-nikku restaurant Gyu-kaku located on Ohio St. in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Kalbi rib-eye, warm gohan, a cold Kirin…ahhh.

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Webmaster: Dan Linsenmann

(Email me)
  • JET: Ehime-ken, 2009-2011 (ALT)
  • JETAA Officer: since 2016

Describe what you do as an officer on the JETAA Board.
As the Webmaster, I enhance JETAA Chicago’s online presence via our official website and work with the Marketing Coordinator to effectively utilize our social media platforms. I also maintain our chapter’s membership database and manage online event registration. I coordinate with other officers to promote the mission of JETAA Chicago as well as outreach to communities and organizations in order to foster interest in Japanese culture.

What is one goal you have in the coming year as an officer?
This year, it is my objective to engage with more JET alumi and friends of JET alumni to extend the influence and membership of our network within the Chicagoland area. I will achieve this goal through maintaining an updated website and widely publicizing our events.

What is your favorite Japanese “thing” near where you live now?
Honestly, I love searching for new and exciting “things” going on within Chicago that relate to Japanese culture. It seems like almost daily you can find some form of entertainment in our large city or the suburbs. Whether that be catching a Japanese flick at the Gene Siskel Film Center, eating Japanese cuisine prepared by a visiting Michelin star chef, karaoking at Lincoln Karaoke or Murasaki Lounge, or simply practicing your Japanese with local groups there are bountiful opportunities if you look!

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Networking Coordinator: Rob Corder

  • JET:
  • JETAA Officer: since 2016

Describe what you do as an officer on the JETAA Board.
I plan and execute the annual career development workshop, which includes recruiting speakers and managing the subcommittee. I also arrange quarterly networking meet-ups.

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Marketing Coordinator: Patrick Finn

(Email me)
  • JET: Toyama-ken, 2011-2016 (ALT)
  • JETAA Officer: since 2016

About Patrick
Having spent five years in Japan, two of which I was part of National AJET as their Head of Visual Media, I want to continue staying connected with the JET community as much as possible! As the Marketing Coordinator, keeping up JETAA Chicago’s image is one of my top priorities. After all, first impressions are everything.
Keeping the community connect as much as possible is another goal of mine. With social media being extremely prevalent in most lives today, what better way to reach out and keep everyone in touch with current events, opportunities, and act as a place of support for those of us with similar backgrounds.

What is your favorite Japanese “thing” near where you live now?

I haven’t been back long, but I relish in the fact that the local H-Mart has Kewpie mayonnaise, the most wonderful condiment on earth! This is coming from someone who visited one of their factories for a tour though, so I might be a bit biased…

Otherwise, I’m missing karaoke like no other. Rumor is it exists if you look hard enough!

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Philanthropy Coordinator

Position open, please contact president@jetaachicago.com if interested.

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