Kathy Takayama grew up a U.S. Navy brat and followed in her father’s footsteps, serving for five years as a Navy officer. Her father retired as a captain after more than thirty years, including time served as a POW at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War.
Kathy served four years as a naval nuclear power instructor in Orlando, providing training for officers and enlisted personnel who went on to operate nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. As an applied mathematics major at the University of California, Davis, (where a recruiter pulled her aside and said, “Have I got a deal for you!”) Kathy started by teaching enlisted math but quickly moved to teach reactor theory.
Just two years out of college, Kathy was trusted with a leadership position as the Division Director of the Officer Mathematics Department! She proudly left the Navy as Lieutenant Nakagawa (maiden name) with a Navy achievement medal. She is particularly proud of her expert pistol and expert rifle ribbons. When asked if she ever served any time at sea, the answer is yes – a 4-hour tour, which was just long enough to peek through the periscope of the sub after traveling beyond the horizon.
Upon leaving the Navy, Kathy spent several years as an IT Consultant and Microsoft and Novell Certified Instructor, then devoted a career (20+ years) to Hewlett Packard as an R&D Program Manager, Chief of Staff, and Operations Officer. In May 2019 she completed a Masters in Business for Veterans (MBV) at the University of Southern California (USC) and is now living a lifelong dream to get back to teaching as a professor at USC.
While at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Roseville, Kathy helped found the Veterans Employee Resource Network (VERN) and served as co-chairman. The Roseville VERN team is a professional network of employees, both veterans and supporters, who are passionate about impacting Veterans and Veteran causes, including aiding in the recruitment, transition, and retention of Veteran hires.
Kathy’s son, Ryan, is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he attained his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.
In her spare time, Kathy enjoys remodeling her home, photography, golf, and cheering on the San Francisco Giants – go, Giants!