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Staff Leadership

Management Profiles

Stephen D. Bloom, Chief Executive Officer

Stephen D. Bloom, the Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005. / Photo by Christina Sjogren

Steve Bloom has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005.

Beginning early in his tenure, Bloom led the formation of a comprehensive ten-year strategic plan which was completed in December of 2016 and that has been transformational in its scope and impact on the Garden.

Under Bloom’s leadership, the Garden has seen strong organizational growth and increased financial stability. He oversaw the completion of a $33.5 million expansion of the Garden and it’s facilities, created a curatorial department, expanded and improved programs in culture, art, and education, established an International Japanese Garden Training Center, formed an International Advisory Board, and has dramatically increased national and international visibility and recognition.

In 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was awarding the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in Honor of the 70th anniversary of the End of World War II. The award was given to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the United States. Steve Bloom was awarded this prestigious recognition along with only 27 other individuals.

Bloom was a 2008-09 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, and concurrently served as Visiting Scholar at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Following his fellowship in Japan, Bloom led an effort to create the North American Japanese Garden Initiative and Association (NAJGA) of which he served as its Founding Board President. Presented by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Bloom is the recent recipient of the “2017 Portland Award” recognizing greatest overall contribution to the promotion of Portland’s visitor industry.

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Sadafumi Uchiyama, Garden Curator

Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama is the Garden Curator at the Portland Japanese Garden.

Uchiyama is a third generation Japanese gardener from southern Japan where his family has been involved in gardening for over a century. Prior to his appointment as the Garden Curator in October 2008, he also served as a Vice President on the Board of Directors and continues to serve on advisory committees for the Portland Japanese Garden. Devoted to fostering relations between Japanese gardens in Japan and those outside of Japan, Uchiyama served as one of seven founding members and the Secretary of the International Association of Japanese Gardens (IAJG) from 1996 to 2000.

Stemming from his involvement with the IAJG and his vast knowledge in the field of Japanese gardens, he was invited to speak at the 5th International Symposium on Japanese Gardens in Tokyo in September 2007. Since then, Uchiyama has been working on the development and establishment of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) beginning in 2009. He was elected to serve as a Charter Member of the NAJGA Board and its Editorial Board.

As evidence of his interest to give back to the community, Uchiyama has taught landscape design courses and lectured on Japanese gardening at colleges and other public gardens in various parts of the countries. One may find his written contributions in the Journal of Japanese Gardening, Garden Design, Fine Gardening, Inspired House, Luxe Magazine as well as magazines and professional journals in Japan. As the Garden Curator of the Portland Japanese Garden, Uchiyama is actively engaged in ongoing public education and regularly speaks at horticultural societies, garden clubs, and schools and professional conferences in Japan and throughout the US.

In addition to his background as a gardener born and trained in Japan, Uchiyama is also a registered landscape architect in Oregon and California with a BLA and MLA from the University of Illinois. He has been practicing landscape architecture throughout the US. The traditional apprenticeship in Japanese gardening combined with the formal training in Western landscape architecture allows him to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects. His representative projects include the renovation of the Osaka Garden, the site of the 1893 Great Columbian Exposition at Jackson Park in Chicago (2000- to date), and the Shofu-en of the Denver Botanic Gardens (2001-20012). Most recently, he completed Shoun-Kei Japanese garden at Sarah Duke Gardens at Duke University, NC. (2015) and currently working on the Rolex Headquarters in Dallas, TX. in collaboration with Kengo Kuma (2015 to date).

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Diane Durston, Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education

Diane Durston is a writer, lecturer, cultural consultant, and educator, who lived for 18 years in Japan.

For the past ten years, she has been the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art & Education at the Portland Japanese Garden, where she has been instrumental in expanding the Garden’s reputation as a center of cultural learning, laying the groundwork for the Garden’s new International Institute for Garden Arts and Culture.

She is the author of three books and numerous essays and articles on the culture and traditional way of life in Kyoto. Her book Old Kyoto is now in a second edition and 15th printing. The New York Times has referred to it as a “Japan travel classic.” Her other books include Kyoto: Seven Paths to the Heart of the City, an introduction to historic preservation districts in Kyoto. She has also contributed essays to the Encyclopedia of Japan, Japan, The Cycle of Life, and the Japan Crafts Sourcebook. Her most recent book, Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life was published in 2006.

As a cultural consultant, she has developed on-site cultural programs in Japan introducing Japanese art, culture, religion, history, and gardens for such organizations as the University of Pennsylvania, the Whitney Museum, the Yale Galleries, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since returning to the US in 1996, Durston has served as Special Programs Producer for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where she produced month-long performing arts festivals in conjunction with the openings of two special exhibitions “Edo: Art in Japan 1615–1868″ in 1998 and of “Golden Age of Archeology in China” in 1999. From 2002–2006, Durston was Director of Special Projects and later Curator of Education at the Portland Art Museum.

For the past ten years, she has been the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art & Education at the Portland Japanese Garden, where she has been instrumental in expanding the Garden’s reputation as a center of cultural learning, laying the groundwork for the Garden’s new International Institute for Garden Arts and Culture.

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Cynthia Johnson Haruyama, Deputy Director

In her role as Deputy Director, Cynthia Johnson Haruyama has managed the Cultural Crossing campaign from its inception, oversees implementation of the Strategic Plan, managed the start-up and launch of the Japanese Garden Training Center, liaises between the Garden and City bureaus, and is currently working on several new long-term initiatives.

She also serves as the Japanese Garden’s representative to the Explore Washington Park Board of Directors in the role of Board Vice President.

Previously, Haruyama has been in senior management positions for several of Portland’s public gardens. She served as the Executive Director of Lan Su Chinese Garden (2008 – 2012) and earlier she was Executive Director for Hoyt Arboretum (2001 – 2008). At both gardens, her first task was financial turn-around followed by a focus on visitor experience, long-range planning, capital renewal and replacement, and Board development. At both Lan Su Garden and Hoyt Arboretum, Haruyama re-started moribund fund development programs and raised significant funds for annual operations and major capital projects.
Haruyama’s interest in non-profit management and public gardens began after practicing corporate and business law with Davis Wright Tremaine followed by her role as General Manager and Sales Director for garden equipment manufacturer, A.M. Andrews Co.

In 2001, she and her family lived for a year in her husband’s hometown of Kagoshima, Japan and travelled extensively in Japan, especially in southern Kyushu. Throughout her time in Japan, Haruyama visited many of Japan’s famed gardens, and observed regional variations in gardens ranging from Kyoto to Kyushu and the Ryukyu islands. Haruyama graduated with honors in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. Her law degree is from Columbia University in New York.

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Senior Staff

Cheryl Ching, Chief Operations Officer, [email protected]

Diane Freeman, Director of Finance, [email protected]

Lisa Christy, Director of Marketing & Communications, [email protected]

Tom Cirillo, Chief Development Officer, [email protected], 503-595-5225

Sarah MacDonald, Executive Assistant, [email protected]

Ashley McQuade, Director of Retail, [email protected]

Mike Rego, Director of Facilities, [email protected]

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