APA Spotlight is a weekly interview of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community leaders. It is a spotlight on individuals who have dedicated their careers to issues surrounding the APIA community with the goal of bringing much deserved recognition to their work and cause(s).
Don Nose is the president of the Go For Broke National Educational Center. Most recently, Nose was Director of Major Gifts, Planned Giving and Gifts in-Kind for the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. He has also led and built sustainable high-growth organizations, spearheaded global business development, operated his own business and directed marketing for leading brands.
Nose created a successful nonprofit and public-sector practice group for The Staubach Company in Los Angeles and was a Director of Business Development in the global corporate service group for CB Richard Ellis, both leading international commercial real estate companies. He came to California as Director of Marketing for Starbuck’s Coffee Company where he was responsible for a multi-state region that is that corporation’s largest market-development zone.
He was Vice President, Marketing for Molson Breweries in Vancouver, British Columbia and, for nine years, served as President/Managing Partner for KI Promotions/Gaylord, a company he established in Toronto, Ontario that he ultimately sold to advertising giant BBDO Worldwide. Nose grew KI Promotions into the largest marketing/promotional agency in Canada and served a client list of Fortune 500 companies that included General Foods, Campbell’s Soup, Fuji Films and Playtex. Coco-Cola also retained the company as its lead promotional agency for leveraging its Olympic and Major League Baseball All-Star Game sponsorship rights.
Nose was born in Toronto, Canada. His Issei (first generation) grandparents and Nisei (second generation) parents were incarcerated during World War II. Nose holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, the number-one ranked business school in Canada. He’s a golfer, bicyclist, triathlon participant and former tennis instructor. He’s also a member of the LA5 Rotary and serves on boards for a couple of nonprofit organizations.
Go For Broke National Educational Center is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to educate the public about responsibilities, challenges and rights of American citizenship, using life stories of Japanese American soldiers of World War II. It offers its curriculum content to schools throughout the continental United States and in Hawaii. And it gives students real-life examples by incorporating footage from its vast library of Hanashi Oral History interviews into teacher-training and classroom materials.
What is the mission statement of your life?
To be a positive citizen of the world who gives back to the community, respects all peoples point of view and is a role model to my family.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
I made an earnest effort to transition the 2nd have of my career to give back and non-profit work. The job posting for the position at Go For Broke National Education Center was forwarded to me by a friend who thought it would be a good fit for me culturally and experientially.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Ken Watanabe from the Last Samurai because of his wisdom, courage and spirit.
How can people find out more about your organization or get involved?
They can look at our website www.goforbroke.org or they can contact us directly.
If you had a crystal ball, what do you see for the future of the Asian Pacific Islander American community?
We will continue to be a leading voice for minorities overall and look to take strong positions on issues that unjustly affect not only our stakeholders but stakeholders across a broad cultural spectrum.
Bonus Question: What advice do you have for young Asian Pacific Islander American professionals?
Get involved in your community. Find an organization that aligns with your beliefs and find out about their mission and what they do. Volunteer some time and if it does not meet your expectations move and try another organization. Don’t give up if your first or even your second experience does not meet your expectations. There are lots of great organizations out there you need to find one the matches your DNA.
Bonus Question: What are your comfort foods and what memories do you have associated with them?
I have 2 comfort foods with fond memories. 1) Roast Beef because my grandmother used to cook this every Sunday and our immediate family would go over to her house for a nice family dinner. 2) Chinese food (any kind) – again when our family would go out for an extended family celebration we usually went out for Chinese food and everyone enjoyed and participated in the meal.
Bonus Question: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and lots of it followed by salty snacks. Golfing all day if I could!
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[Photo: Don Nose joins Nisei veterans Jim Murata, Ralph Kaneshiro, Mas Takahashi, James Ogawa and Ed Nakazawa in admiring the Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal. Courtesy of Toyo Photography.]