Kim Andrews
Executive Director

Kim Andrews comes to JASGP from Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (FJHG), which administered Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, which she led from 2010 through 2016. She holds a B.A. in Art History and French from Temple University, an M.A. in Preventive Conservation from Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University.

Kim administers Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, oversees the annual Philadelphia Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, leads the US-Japan Business & Public Policy series, and directs Japanese arts, business, and cultural educational programs.

Most recently, she negotiated and executed the merger of JASGP and FJHG to form a $1+ million budget organization in 2016. She has overseen comprehensive strategic planning and implementation in tandem with new board development and training, and has raised over $1.5 million for five capital projects and simultaneous ambitious capacity-building. Visitation, giving, staffing, and programming at Shofuso more than tripled under her leadership, with the organization’s annual budget reflecting that growth.

A lifelong Philadelphian who was previously a preservation consultant to over fifty cultural heritage organizations, Kim is a founding board member and former president of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA).

Aaron Dilliplane
Associate Director of Special Projects

Aaron Dilliplane has been with JASGP since 2009, previously serving as Assistant Director. Since 2016, Aaron has overseen the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, the US-Japan Business and Public Policy Series, and Japanese Classroom programs among other responsibilities.

Aaron earned B.A.s in Political Science and Japanese Studies, graduating with honors from Gettysburg College (PA). He also speaks Japanese fluently, having passed the JLPT Level  2 in 2007. Prior to joining JASGP, he worked as an Assistant Language Teacher in Tsushima City (Nagasaki, Japan) where he taught elementary, junior high, and adult English classes. Aaron is an avid reader and aspiring National Park adventurer.

Derek Finn
Associate Director of Shofuso

Derek Finn received a B.A. in East Asian Area Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, and joined Shofuso in 2010.  Derek manages the visitor service and garden departments, and oversaw a rapid expansion of staff, programming, and visitation during his tenure.

Derek implemented a cultural shift to a visitor service model, culminating in a formal policy based on participation in a series of visitor service symposia and a formal survey of 25 Japanese gardens he visited in 2013.  This shift impacts every facet of the house and garden, from staff hiring and training to garden design choices. Visitation has more than tripled under his tenure.

Derek is on the board of the Small Museum Association, Kyodaiko (Philadelphia Community Taiko Drumming), and Chado Urasenke Tankokai Philadelphia Tea School. In his free time, Derek enjoys playing board and video games, and is an active member of the Penn Gamers Club.

Margo Jackson
Associate Director of Administration and Operations

Margo Jackson oversees administration and operations for the JASGP team. Prior to joining JASGP, Margo held a number of leadership roles at Philadelphia based organizations in arts and culture, real estate and residential building. Margo earned a B.F.A. in Architectural History & Design from Arcadia University and an M.A. in Historic Preservation from Goucher College. Now, Margo joins JASGP to purse her interests in cultural nonprofits and the arts.  

Kara Petraglia
Associate Director of Development and Data Analytics

Kara Petraglia received her B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and her M.F.A. in Book Arts/Printmaking at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is also certified in Fundraising Event Management through the Event Leadership Institute.

After completing her B.F.A., Kara began her career in nonprofit fundraising with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and then as the Membership and Development Associate at Queens Council on the Arts.

Following those roles, Kara’s interest in how nonprofits utilize technological solutions to best serve their audiences brought her to Fractured Atlas, a non-profit art service and technology organization. As the Technology Programs Specialist, she was the in-house usability testing consultant and customer service manager for the Artful.ly and Space Finder services.

Since 2012, Kara has been with Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, and is now the Associate Director of Development and Data Analytics for the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. Here she manages all membership activities and individual giving, provides support for sponsorships and grants, and is the database administrator.

Outside of her role with JASGP, Kara is on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Center for the Book, and is a book artist, writer,and printmaker who exhibits her work nationally.

Sandi Polyakov
Head Gardener

Sandi Polyakov oversees the maintenance and development of Shofuso’s traditional Japanese Gardens. The scope of his work entails equally the physical care of the garden’s horticultural specimens, pathways, and spaces; and an ongoing exploration of traditional Japanese Garden philosophy and techniques.

Coming from a professional background in ornamental gardening, Sandi has also lectured regionally on various ethnobotanical topics including wild food foraging and plant based crafts. He studied painting at the Tyler School of Art, with an emphasis on composition, and currently maintains a diverse craft-oriented practice spanning from knifemaking to basketry.  When not in the garden, Sandi enjoys devising functional knots and venturing into nature’s more seldom trodden places.

Katherine DiPierro
Marketing Coordinator

Katherine DiPierro received a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art, graduating with honors from Muhlenberg College in 2011, and is an alumni of the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), an arts management certificate course at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Prior to joining JASGP in 2016, Katherine worked as a social media contractor to businesses and nonprofits at 1Berkshire, and was the program coordinator for the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She has also interned at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center.

Katherine handles all marketing and branding for JASGP, manages promotion for public programs, and leads content creation for the organization’s websites, newsletters, and social media. She is JASGP’s primary photographer and can often be found behind a camera at Shofuso. Outside of work, Katherine volunteers at Philly AIDS Thrift.

James Webster
Visitor Services Manager

After spending years in service industry management, James Webster joined the visitor service staff at the Japanese House and Garden during the summer of 2015. There he found a passion for working on site at Shofuso, preserving the house and garden while sharing its rich history and beauty with the public. He joined the administrative staff as the Visitor Services Supervisor in 2016.

His lifelong interest in Japanese history and culture has been heightened by Shofuso, where he now oversees the day-to-day operations and visitor service staff. He also leads preservation efforts during the off season, including the annual replacement of shoji screen paper on the numerous windows and doors of the house.

Continuing to maintain and present the grounds to visitors, James ensures that the visitor service staff is well trained, friendly, and eager to share the unique experience of the house and garden.

He became engrossed in Zen Buddhism and Shinto tradition while backpacking across the extent of Honshu and Kyushu in early 2018, visiting dozens of temples, gardens, and shrines. This included touring the 17th century Kojo-in guest house, within the Mii-dera temple complex in Otsu, which inspired architect Junzo Yoshimura’s design for Shofuso.

Outside of the office, James is a classically trained composer, pianist, and electronic musician, as well as a visual artist, videographer, and 3D animator. An enthusiast for the Sega Dreamcast game Shenmue, he has traveled to Yokosuka to visit the real world locations that inspired the game.

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