Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced that Jane Fujishige Yada ’88, Manager, Harbor Field Holdings, L.L.C., has been elected to serve as the Center’s new board chair beginning July 1, 2021. Yada is an Orange County, Calif., businesswoman and philanthropist whose family interests have played a significant role in the growth and development of this region since 1952. She has been a member of the Center’s board since 2001, and is vice chair, facilities committee and ad hoc reopening committee. She is also a member of the Center support group, Angels of the Arts, and co-chaired the very successful Candlelight Concert in 2018. Yada will serve a three-year term.
Yada grew up in Anaheim, Calif., where, in the early 1950s, her family was among the prominent local farmers, growing strawberries, vegetables and herbs. With the opening and subsequent growth of Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center area, the Fujishige farm became a part of the Anaheim Resort Area in the 1980s. In 1998, the family sold the majority of the original farm ground to the Walt Disney Corporation.
In late 1990s, Yada became co-manager of the family farming interests as well as the family real estate portfolio under Harbor Field Holdings, L.L.C. Today, the Fujishige interests include multiple agricultural, residential, industrial office and hospitality properties as well as farms in Orange County, Ventura County and Santa Cruz County in California. In 2017, the family co-founded Gem-Pack Berries, a year-round shipping and distribution company for strawberries that supplies major grocery retailers throughout the United States. Yada and Fujishige Farms, along with other partners from within the strawberry industry, also helped form California Berry Cultivars, L.L.C., a strawberry breeding company, whose goal is not only to develop the “perfect” berry, but also to make the cultivars publicly available for all farmers, large and small.
From 2003 through 2006, Yada oversaw the design and entitlement process for Lambert Ranch, the 51-acre farm in Orange County’s North Irvine that was owned by the Lambert and Fujishige families. It is adjacent to what has become Orange County’s expansive 1,300-acre Great Park. The 169-home development was built by The New Home Company, and has received more than 32 building industry awards, including Community of the Year (Builder & Developer Magazine) and six Gold Nugget Awards (Pacific Coast Builders Conference). The phenomenal success of this project catapulted the growth of The New Home Company and its efforts to become a publicly traded company.
In 2008, Yada worked closely with the Black and Decker company and the integration team in their $4 billion merger with Stanley Corporation. The initial corporate plan proposed moving the entire company out of California to the East Coast or Midwest. Instead, a deal was structured to keep all 450 employees in Orange County. The successful effort further strengthened a landlord/tenant relationship that is now more than 20 years strong.
In 2015, Yada and her family teamed with Nexus Development and Prospera Management to develop a family-oriented hotel on a portion of the family’s remaining Anaheim property. This Hilton-branded hotel has been ranked consistently as the #1 family hotel in Anaheim by Tripadvisor.
Yada received her bachelor of arts in English. In addition to her leadership roles with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, she is a member of the boards of Pacific Symphony and CHOC Children’s Hospital Foundation, City of Hope, A3M, Hoag Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank and numerous other organizations. She is co-chair of CHOC Follies and is also a huge fan of her hometown sports teams, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Anaheim Ducks.