Meet the SASF Board Members

Steven T. Hamamoto

Steven has been a Board member of the SASF since 2003. As a professional engineer for over 40 years, his direct involvement with SASF began as the Engineer of Record for the SASF facility. His career spans partnerships in several local engineering firms and a stint as an engineer with the Department of General Services. His participation with SASF is a continual source of tremendous pride with the work promoting programs for the youth of the community. Seeing his two adult children benefit directly from SASF programs, motivates his desire to see the continual growth of the SASF for future generations. Steven earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Eric Wong

Eric, with a Master of Science degree, landed his first job in the Governor’s Office to implement Hawaii's equivalent of the National Environmental Policy Act. Over the ensuing decades, he worked as an intern for Jerry Brown in his first stint as Governor; an Assistant Executive Director and Advisor to the Chair and Vice Chair of the State of California Energy Commission; a Division Director in the US Department of Energy; a Marketing & Government Relations Specialist for Caterpillar advancing research and development for clean energy technologies; a lobbyist for Cummins; and as a consultant for clean energy policy for federal and state regulators. Upon retiring from consulting, Eric searched for organizations that would allow him to give back to the community. Recalling the days his sons played basketball in SASF’s summer league program, he volunteered in 2015 and joined the Board in 2016. He is active in fundraising and the development of new programs.

Don Lee

Don is one of the seven original Founding Board Members of SASF, which was established in 1993. He has remained an active Board Member since its founding, serving as First Vice President from 1993 to 2011, and as Board President since 2011.

A lifelong resident of Sacramento, Don graduated of C.K. McClatchy High School. He attended Sacramento City College where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Management, and served a term as President of the Jai Chee Chi Club. He also attended CSU Sacramento until he became a business owner in 1971.

Don was the owner of Archway Market in Rio Linda from 1971 to 1982. He went on to work at Wholesale Cash and Carry Foods from 1982 to 2006, serving as a General Manager. He has worked at Calvada Foods since 2006, and continues to work a Sales Representative on a semi-retirement basis since 2014.

Throughout the past 40 years, Don has engaged in service to his community. He is a Past President of the Sacramento Chinese Bowling Club, and the Sacramento Chinese Food Dealers Association. He served as an Inaugural Board Member of the Chinese Community Church Basketball Program, and for the Sacramento Warlords Basketball organization.

Don has been married to his wife, Joann (“Joey”) since 1970, and has two daughters, Michelle (“Mimi”) and Jennifer. He is also the proud grandfather (“Gung Gung”) to three grandsons, Bruce, Cody, and Miles.

In addition to spending time with family, Don and Joey enjoy spending time cooking or enjoying a good meal with friends, and going to the movies. Don is also an avid sports fan, and loyal fan of the Sacramento Kings, San Francisco Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. Don remains committed to service through SASF and its focus on the future and opportunities for serving the youth in the community.

Blake Lim

Marcia Matsuda

Marcia is one of our original supporters of the SASF’s Quest to build a community/recreational center as evident by the center’s beautiful landscape and the Matsuda’s name prominently place on one of our courts. Marcia and her late husband Don owned and operated Matsuda’s of Sacramento for 57 years and were devoted supporters of the Sacramento community. The SASF was fortunate to have Marcia join the Board of Directors in 2003 to share her broad fundraising experience. Marcia not only volunteers her time to the SASF, but she is also on the Asian Community Center (ACC) Care Center and Crab Feed Fundraiser Committees. She also served on the Sacramento Buddhist Church Dharma School Board, Legacy Endowment Fund Board, Adult Buddhist Association Board and the Sacramento Buddhist Women’s Association Board; and was the Secretary for the Jesuit High School Loyola Guild Board. Marcia is currently the Senior Advisor to the SASF Strive for Strength Annual Retreat and the Teens Create Dreams Talent Show but you will find her at other major events sharing her generosity and kindness.

Ben Onanian

Ben Onanian joined the SASF Board of Directors in 2019. His desire to be a Board member stems from fond memories of participating in SASF programs and his desire to serve the community. Ben hopes to assist in the continued growth and development of SASF to ensure that future generations are able to benefit from all that SASF has to offer. SASF youth basketball programs played a prominent role in Ben’s childhood and he credits summer league with developing lifelong friendships. Additionally, he credits SASF’s summer basketball leagues with fostering and reinforcing important values, including a strong work ethic, team work, communication, and sportsmanship. Ben Onanian is a Senior Fisheries Biologist with Cardno, an international consulting company based out of Australia. Ben earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Jin Sun Onanian, socializing with friends and family, fishing, watching sports and being outdoors.

Trevor Taniguchi

Amy Wong

​A founding board member and long-time Treasurer of SASF, Amy has been committed to helping Sacramento realize “The Quest” since 1993. Inspired by her fond memories of playing women’s basketball in her youth, she shared the vision of forming a community/recreational center in Sacramento to give today’s youth a chance to form long lasting bonds while participating in sports. With unending energy, Amy has worked at the SASF Annual Basketball Tournaments, Summer Basketball League, Basic Hoops, the annual Crab Feed and nearly all of the SASF special events. A Sacramento native, Amy balances catching up with friends and family at these events while giving back. She has especially enjoyed watching her 5 grandkids participate in many of the SASF tournaments. When not volunteering at SASF, Amy spends time with friends and family, especially her grandkids and great grandson.

Nicole Brown

My life started out as a "military brat". It was a privilege that my father was in the Air Force. My family and I traveled all over the nation and abroad. We've lived in Mississippi, London, North Dakota, Japan, and Washington state to name a few. We finally landed in Sacramento as long-term residents starting in the late 1970’s. The 70's in Sacramento – I was too young to be a hippie and old enough to know how to stay out of trouble!

I attended CSUS, majoring in psychology and communications. Since my school years were rough due to excessive bullying, I developed a passion for helping people, especially young people. These early career experiences piqued my interest in mental health and positivity in the face of adversity. As part of my college experience, I volunteered at an agency for runaways and other troubled youth, "Diogenes Youth Center".

At CSUS, I earned a dual master's degree in education counseling and school psychology with a commitment to interrupting the cycle of bullying wherever I was employed. As a school counselor, I have trained students in conflict management, disrupting, and preventing bullying behaviors, improving communication skills, and educating young people on appropriate, safe, and sane social behaviors and decision-making – even in the face of peer pressure and bullying. I have helped educate parents in these areas as well.

Through my work at Diogenes, I gained counseling skills and greater insight into what happens when young people are not supported well by their communities and what happens when trauma goes untreated. This is where I rediscovered my love for helping young people recover from trauma and begin to see and experience life through a different set of lenses. In 2020, SASF invited me as a local counseling educator to assist in their work in supporting the healthy development of our local youth. These experiences have been exceptional and that is why I am so pleased to serve on the SASF Board of Directors.

With 34 years in the field of school counseling, including an administrative credential, I am now intricately involved in developing comprehensive school programs for students that include addressing all forms of bullying and educating students and parents about colleges and careers. SASF is a wonderful partnering agency for upgrading mental health outreach to more young people in our local area.

Joel Kunisaki

I am currently an Assistant Principal in the Elk Grove School District, Katherine L. Albiani Middle School. I have been an educator for the past six years. The first four years, I was a middle school ELA/Social Science teacher. In 2021, I became an Assistant Principal at C.K. McClatchy High School and this year I left to go to my current placement.

I decided to become part of the SASF Board because I want to give back to the community that helped me become the person I am today. I am very fortunate to have been a part of this community and I know that I would not be in the position I am now without it. I want to make sure that the kids in this community can gain similar skills that I acquired through the opportunities that SASF provided me with the hope that those kids will be able to take those skills and apply them in other aspects in their lives to be successful. I also think it is important to continue building our community as we look to provide more opportunities for kids to participate and take pride in.

Keilani Paneda

Keilani's work experience is nothing short of a commitment to "servant leadership". Her involvement with SASF began at the age of 13 — volunteering at SASF's annual crab feeds. She since spent many years playing and coaching youth basketball at SASF, organized fundraising events for the new gym and was president of SASF’s Junior Board of Directors.

Keilani has been actively serving the Sacramento community for over a decade. She served as the District Representative for Sacramento City Councilmember Jay Schenirer, assisting with education reform and youth policy and currently serves as community health coordinator for Sutter Health, working collaboratively with community-based organizations, local health systems, city and county government on community health initiatives to increase access to healthcare and address social determinants of health.

Her impact in the community makes her a strong addition to our board. Keilani’s steadfast work in community health in Sacramento will empower SASF to inspire the next generation of youth to share the importance of empowering oneself through giving back to our community — because it is simply the right thing to do.

Keilani holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis and a Masters of Public Administration, University of San Francisco.

Ava Bradford

I grew up in Vacaville California as a military brat. Once I graduated from high school, I went to Solano Community College for two years, and later transferred to California State, University Sacramento College (Sac State) where I graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. However, before transferring to Sac State, I took a break from school and went into the Airforce Reserves in Air Transportation assigned to the 82nd Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force Base where I retired as a Master Sergeant in 2015. As I progressed in the military, I gained great leadership experience and resilience.

After graduating from Sac State, my career began with Sprint Telecommunications, now T-Mobil (Sprint). Sprint is where I gained experience in contract billing, procurement, and project management. This was followed by work at the State of California with the Department of Finance (DOF) as an auditor for a few years, fully retiring in 2018. Since retiring, I did some volunteer work with a startup recycling company as a bookkeeper for about two years. DOF and the recycling company is where I gained experience in accounting and really enjoyed doing this type of work.

One of my reasons that I am interested in being on the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation Board (SASF) is my enjoyment in doing accounting work. I believe I can give back to the community by using my accounting skills to help SASF. I also believe in SASF’s commitment to helping young people through their sports program.

All throughout my grade school and high school years, and even as an adult, I played sports, such as volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. I love sports because of the comradery, and it was fun being around my teammates. Being in the military and playing sports taught me so much about teamwork, sportsmanship, character, leadership, and caring for your fellow teammate and/or airman; consequently, these skills helped me to be successful in my professional life as well as my personal life. I think it is important to get young people involved in sports because it really builds great character, and it provides them with invaluable skills that they will use throughout their lives.

I am also a big advocate of young people going into the military. I really think it benefits young people who do not know what they want to do in life. The military gives young people structure and discipline. It also offers so many benefits, such as paid education, travel, and so much more. In my military and personal life, I have traveled many places. What I have learned is, people all over the world want the same things in life: the ability to find love, take care of their families, live in peace, and enjoy life. The world is much less intimidating when you travel outside of your comfort zone. Over and beyond that, you learn to understand, appreciate, and embrace the beauty of culture, diversity, and the uniqueness of everyone.

Director Emeritus

  • Karen Cotton
  • Rodney Kunisaki