Ms. Yamada has been the Executive Director of PACE since June 2008. Located within the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business, the Entrepreneurship Center hosts a comprehensive set of programs, utilizing both experiential and mentoring approaches to teaching students and faculty the process of entrepreneurship.
Prior to assuming her position at PACE, Ms. Yamada spent 17 years working in senior management positions at various entrepreneurial start-up companies in California before returning home to Hawaii in 2001.
While in Silicon Valley, Ms. Yamada served as the founding CEO of TRUSTe, the first globally recognized, online privacy seal program dedicated to protecting users’ personal information on the Internet. At TRUSTe, Ms. Yamada served as part of the founding management team for VEO Systems, a business-to-business software developer, which was subsequently sold to Commerce One in 1999.
Prior to founding TRUSTe, she led technology publisher Upside Magazine where she spent five years as the CEO and Publisher. Upside magazine was the first business magazine focusing exclusively on serving the information needs of technology executives.
Ms. Yamada is currently interested in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy through the creation of high-growth, entrepreneurial companies. She was a founding member of the Hawaii Angels, a network of high net worth individuals who invest in start-up companies and an active mentor and investor in Hawaii-based, start-up companies.
Ms. Yamada serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors at the Hawaii Nature Center, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of Hawaii and board member of KCAA Preschools. She also heads the Yamada Scott Family Foundation, founded in 2000, whose mission is to inspire and support Hawaii’s students in maximizing their potential via educational grants and scholarships.
Ms. Yamada grew up in Hawaii, graduated from James B. Castle High School, and earned a BBA degree from the University of Hawaii and an MBA degree from San Jose State University. She resides in Honolulu with her two children and enjoys golfing, traveling, reading, surfing, and spending time with family and friends.