Gary M. Yamashita
Chief Executive Officer, Sakura Square
As Chief Executive Officer of Sakura Square, Gary is responsible for overseeing the operations, strategic planning and leadership of the organization. He serves as Project Manager for the redevelopment of Sakura Square as a business, cultural and community center. He is also the Executive Director of Sakura Foundation, a non-profit foundation committed to promoting Japanese heritage and culture through programs, grants and scholarships in the community.
His background includes over 40 years of experience in the real estate and banking industries, specializing in real estate valuation, finance and project management. A native of Colorado, he is active in the Japanese American community. He has served as President and Board Member of the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple and as Vice President of the Mile High Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and is currently the scholarship judging chairperson for the Japanese American Community Graduation Program. In 2017, Gary was selected as part of the US-Japan Council’s Japanese American Leadership Delegation which provided the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in business, government, academic and non-profit sectors. He currently serves on the Downtown Denver, Inc. Board of Directors of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
A third generation Japanese American, he is passionate about preserving the precious gift his ancestors have given his community in building Sakura Square. He feels a strong sense of personal responsibility and pride to help maintain the rich history of the block and to enhance the cultural and community components for future generations to enjoy. Gary and his wife Deb have three grown children.