Our Founders

nez and donnaPrior to retiring in 2003 Nez and Donna were professionals in the financial industry. Specifically Nez held positions as Chief Information Officer, President and Board Member for various banks and holding companies primarily in Southern California including start up community banks as well as national holding companies. Donna held positions as Chief Operating Officer, President and Chairman of the Board with many of the same banks and holding companies in Southern California.

Nez is a CAL graduate; Donna attended Claremont Graduate University’s Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito graduate school of management, giving them both a passion for perfection and compassion. Both have served on for profit and non-profit boards fulfilling executive positions as well as chairing fundraising, membership, marketing, education and financial committees. Perhaps the most gratifying include Casa Colima Rehabilitation Hospital, University of La Vern, School of Business and The Ronald McDonald House Charities.

In 2001 the pair attended various conferences and began to study Horticulture Therapy curriculum, simply for personal interest. Inspired by positive financial outcomes achieved with enhanced wellness experienced by everyone involved they embarked on a journey to learn more. By 2003 they had become advocates; supporters of The American Horticulture Therapy Association as well as the Portland and Vancouver based Legacy Health System and formed the Ca non-profit corporation organized as a 501c3 The Wellness Gardens as well as a for profit LLC Chado-En taking their love of tea and eastern culture to the business level. The next 5 years were both exciting and deflating. Experiencing a couple of false starts with organizations that did not totally align while having good support but at low financial levels they had come to realize most of their contacts were from the financial sector in Southern Ca and although the numbers were hard fast and clear, they were now living in Northern Ca and many of their former colleagues did not share their vision of the impact such a social shift could create. So they took their business to the “next level” with the expressed desire to meet like minded people who they could partner with and move this vision forward. Understanding the basic concept is a huge paradigm shift from using drugs to mask symptoms as opposed to wellness rooted in understanding the interconnectedness of people, plants and planet such an ancient yet still little understood concept. 2007 they began targeting the spa industry as an obvious connection. 2008-2010 they served on Green Spa Network board and came to know many of the spa/resort and wellness sanctuary operators. This remains a sector where synergy clearly exists and further work is being done. Then in 2011 a client of Ceres Community Project and a customer of Chado-En approached asking for the healing benefits of Japanese tea to be shared with other Ceres clients. The connection was immediate, the mission and vision of both organizations aligned seamlessly and the timing was perfect! Ceres Community Project becomes the location of the first of many Wellness Gardens to come!

The Tokugawa’s are Social Entrepreneurs – they use their business skills to organize, create and manage both for profit and non-profit corporations. Chado-En serves as one income stream for The Wellness Gardens.

We are grateful to all who support our efforts, we are all so interconnected and together we can consciously make choices to enable a sustainable social shift. Thank you for your business with Chado-En and thank you for your support of The Wellness Gardens directly.

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