Dear members and friends:
First of all, thank you for your support of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington.  We usually have our events to gather, learn and communicate, but we are in unusual times.  JASSW staff and I have been working closely with the Executive Committee to make the adjustments necessary for the coming months in support of the efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.  This post includes news on operations and communications. An email was sent on March 19th similar to the information in this post. Look for additional updates soon.

Operations: JASSW staff has been working from home since March 18th.  Although our office location and working environment limited the number of people we came in contact with every day, I’ve been working to put things in place so we can continue to serve our members from our respective homes. 

Office 365:  We use Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher as everyday productivity applications.  Knowing we were going to work remotely, we set up and are now using Teams for collaboration between staff members and are exploring the other applications and resources available in our Office 365 subscriptions.

Phone system:  Our phone system has been a voice over IP (VOIP) system that we installed when we moved to Mercer Island over 5 years ago.  It allows us to control and receive calls anywhere on any device.  Please know that if you call the JAS office, one of us will answer with the VOIP application on our computer or cellphone and can transfer the call to any other staff. 

We have not had the great need to exercise the technology we have had available to us as much as we do now.  That said, the demands of working remotely will change how our staff works collaboratively within applications like Microsoft Teams even after this crisis passes. 

Communications: We will keep you updated on plans for future events and additional information resources.  We are working to post past events on video or as a podcast.  We are looking at developing additional online resources and webinars. We will try to be judicious with online events, but please let us know if there is information or resources that would be valuable to you that we may be able to provide.

Please stay safe and diligent as we all do our part to address COVID-19.

Best regards from myself and our staff,
Dale L. Watanabe
Executive Director