Meet Deanne Yamamoto

Please welcome Deanne Yamamoto to the Ready to Succeed Board of Directors.  Deanne has an agency career spanning the past 25 years and is the Managing Director of Golin Los Angeles. Now let’s get to the fun stuff.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I have a new hobby that I have gotten really into- making charcuterie boards.  I find that it is a fun way to express creativity and bring people together. I come from a big family, and to me the charcuterie board can be the centerpiece that brings friends and family together to spread joy and have fun. And then they get to eat it!

Why did you choose the RTS board?

I chose the Ready to Succeed Board because there is a gap in services offered to former foster youth and first-generation college students. I feel like RTS really hit on that piece that was missing, and I feel like I can help make an actual impact in the lives of others. I think a lot about where I am now, and the people who have given me access. If you have the ability to help and you can be a mentor why not take the opportunity! I have experience feeling othered, and I’d love to help students through their experiences. I’m looking forward to having these Scholars for life!

If you could choose anyone alive today to have lunch with who and why?

I would love to pick Maya Angelou, I feel very moved by her and I use her wisdom and quotes in my work and my life. I just noticed the question asks for a person alive today. In that case, I would choose Michelle Obama. She carries herself with grace and has had a tremendous impact. She seems very grounded- she’s a working mom, has faced a lot of scrutiny and is in the limelight – but she still doesn’t lose herself in all of that. I’m all about consistency and authenticity.

Tell us about your career- past and present. What do you like most about what you do?

I actually started at Golin as the receptionist, at the time that was the requirement before you get the job. The receptionist job taught me a lot about humility and I got to know everyone. Later, I left and worked in New York at a different agency and was recruited back again. My boss said to me, “This is your chance to do what you want to do.” What I wanted to do was create a great team with a great culture. I have been very lucky to have great role models, and the legacy I want to leave is one of support and mentorship. I love my job- it is the people that move me, and it has always been about the people for me. I want to see people grow.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?

I love to adventure travel! I have been to the jungles of Borneo, bungee jumping in New Zealand, deep ocean diving in Fiji, and ridden on tanks in Cambodia. This was all part of my job- and I was able to travel around the world. I had the luck of being young and fearless. Now I still love to travel, but it is much less dangerous.

Read the Q&A with Harriet Zaretsky here.