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Steven Terusaki Installed as New BCA President

Longtime Leader Is Committed to Implementing Bishop’s Priorities

Steven Terusaki, who has held a variety of leadership positions throughout the BCA, was installed as the 43rd President on Feb. 25 at the National Council Eitaikyo Service in Sacramento.

He ascends to this leadership role during the BCA’s 125th anniversary.

“My hope is captured in the 2024 BCA theme, ‘The Right Time Is Now,’ to recommit and build upon the efforts of our predecessors who devoted their lives to ensuring that the Dharma is available to be heard by all,” he said, adding that he will introduce new approaches to leadership and governance.

Terusaki was raised at the Buddhist Temple of San Diego (BTSD) and took a leadership position as president of the San Diego Jr. YBA. He pointed out the lasting influence of BTSD’s “surrogate parents” — longtime Dharma School teacher Miki Honda and the late BTSD President Ben Honda, the mother and father of BCA immediate past President Terri Omori and Ralph Honda.

“They were the surrogate parents for a whole generation of youth in San Diego,” he said. “I will always be grateful to them for instilling in me that sense of respect and appreciation for what the Dharma is all about.”

After leaving for college and graduate school, Terusaki relocated to the Bay Area, where he has been a longtime member of the Buddhist Church of Oakland (BCO). 

Terusaki is a President Emeritus of the BCO and continues to serve as a board director. At BCO, he led the capital campaign to renovate the church’s ornamental roof. He provides leadership to the Oakland Nippongo Gakuen and serves as chair of the Long-term Planning Committee and member of the Finance Committee. 

At Oakland, he encountered another individual who would figure prominently in his life, the late Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka, the former BCA Bishop and IBS President. Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka served as Resident Minister of BCO when Terusaki became involved in the temple.

Rev. Dr. Yamaoka was also instrumental in Terusaki becoming a director of the BCA Endowment Foundation, recently serving as the Endowment Foundation’s Vice President. He also chaired the Endowment Foundation’s Fundraising Committee, the Audit Committee and a member of the Human Relations Committee before stepping down to become BCA President.

Terusaki’s elevation to President comes after many years of leadership service for: the Bay District (2009-2011); on committees of the BCA (2012 to present); as interim Chief Administrative Officer for BCA (2015-2017); Director-at-Large; and BCA Vice President (2018-2022) before serving as President-elect under the leadership of President Terri Omori.

He is also known for his instrumental music as a temple organist and pianist, playing as a youth in San Diego and now in Oakland and throughout the BCA on request.

During the National Council Meeting, Terusaki joined with past BCA presidents Dr. Kent Matsuda and Omori, and President-Elect Glenn Inanaga in a photo with Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada. All four will have served with Rev. Harada during his eight-year tenure as Bishop.

“I really wanted to work with Bishop Rev. Harada,” Terusaki said. “We, all four of us, are committed to implementing his vision during his tenure as Bishop to move the organization forward. I’m really committed to making sure that happens.”

Bishop Rev. Harada’s top three priorities are: reversing the trend of declining BCA membership; seeing that the Dharma Forward campaign reaches its goal of $15 million; and reducing the ministerial shortfall.

“It’s really important to ensure that the BCA is the most efficient, the most sustainable organization going into the future, and that’s the other reason for me doing what I’m doing,” Terusaki said. “I’m committed to this whole idea of shifting the way in which the national board and executive committee works to really make our decision-making more strategic and policy-oriented, delegating operational decisions to our dedicated BCA staff.”

He is excited about working with the new Executive Board, and pointed out the strength and expertise of each of the members: Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada; Ministers Association (Gicho) Chair Rev. Henry Adams; President-elect Glenn Inanaga; Vice President John Arima; Vice President Bradley Menda; Treasurer Jeffery Matsuoka; and Secretary Darlene Bagshaw.

“My responsibility is to create a group of people that are even better than me to be in a position to do what we as a group need to do to take it forward,” he said. 

"The BCA is fortunate to have excellent leaders like Steve Terusaki, who dedicate so much of their time to the BCA,” said Bishop Rev. Harada. “It will be a pleasure to work with his executive committee team."

Professionally, Terusaki is the founder and CEO of SEIDO Consulting, LLC, an executive leadership coaching practice. 

Terusaki had a 30-year career in architecture and engineering work as CEO of a hydrology/environmental restoration engineering firm and as vice president of a global multi-disciplinary architectural design firm. He also served as managing director for the nonprofit the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation & Research in Berkeley, California.

He has degrees from: the University of California at Santa Barbara in environmental biology and Asian studies; a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan; and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

In addition to the BCA, he holds leadership positions on several nonprofits, including the Oakland Chinatown Coalition; Vice President of Alumni Engagement and co-President Emeritus of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Alumni Network, East Bay Chapter; and as executive board member for the Oakland Nippongo Gakuen.

In his spare time, Terusaki enjoys participating in U.S. Masters Swimming  and cycling; playing piano; and other keyboards. He has been married to his wife Kathleen (nee Kameoka) from Enmanji Buddhist Temple in Sebastopol, California, for more than 40 years. They have two sons and two grandsons.



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Kenzo Watson
Kenzo Watson

He ascends to this leadership role during the BCA's 125th anniversary. drift hunters

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