The Volunteer Who Came to Stay

Louise Wannier at Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden 1-2016“Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!” is how Louise might express her thanks to Jericho Road Pasadena for being “bridged” with Pasadena’s Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden (

With an MBA from UCLA Anderson Business School, 30+ years of business consulting and building companies—including founder/CEO of four tech companies—under her obi, Louise was ready to volunteer her expertise in strategic marketing, organizational development and capital-raising.

“This was my first project with JRP,” Louise says. “I was delighted to discover the Garden. I was able to work with the Haddads [owners] and the Board as they addressed creating an initial, long-term business plan for their new nonprofit, formed just last year.”
Louise’s first involvement as a JRP volunteer has led to an on-going working relationship of ideas and growth with SSJG owners and Board members.

Louise was so moved by the “special feeling of the Garden and the importance of ensuring
its being a continued resource for our community
for education, cultural enrichment, and health and well-being,” that she soon joined the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden Board.
Louise is proud that, on Open Days (Thursdays and the last Sunday of each month), for a nominal entrance fee, the Garden might offer
• meditation, tai chi and yogaStorrier Stearns Japanese Garden House
• classes in the Japanese arts
• koto and shakuhachi musicians
• composting/recycling classes
• plein-air painting and photography
• school field trips
• origami and ikebana demonstrations
• tea ceremonies
• dance, food and theater

Louise concludes, “I heartily applaud JRP for connecting me to the generosity and commitment of Jim and Connie Haddad, the Garden Board and docents.” And JRP and the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden nonprofit applaud Louise’s generous commitment and expertise. It’s certainly mutual admiration or, in Japanese, kantan!

Storrier Stearns Japanese GardenThanks to volunteer Lee Wherry Brainerd for writing this article. Lee is a local freelance writer who fell in love with Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden and, enjoying it while on her mobility scooter, appreciates its accessibility.

Photos by Deanie Nyman

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