Mitsu YamazakiWhen searching for heroes, heroines, role models, and inspiration, we often look far beyond our own circles and communities. We tend to idolize celebrities, historical figures, and politicians, while forgetting about those who touch our lives everyday. These people next door may not change the course of our lives in a single moment, but like water running over rocks, they gradually help shape us into who we become. Mitsu Yamazaki is running water in his community. Born in rural Japan, he dreamed of making a positive difference in the world. He realized at an early age, that although he didn’t have much, others had less.

Yamazaki struggled in school but worked hard. After high school, he traveled to the United States where he earned a master’s degree in economic development. He has since worked with several industries and communities, bringing sustainable opportunities across several states to many people. In addition to being an accomplished economic development consultant, he is active in his communities, volunteers his time and skills, organizes events and organizations, connects people, and helps facilitate discussion through talks, conventions, and conferences.

Yamazaki’s story is one of perseverance. It shows what one can do when one refuses to give up.