Honorary Consuls

Honorary Consul

New Orleans, Louisiana

Hon. Donna D. Fraiche

DONNA D. FRAICHE is currently a shareholder and member of the health care and public policy departments in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. offices of the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz (“BDBCB”), one of the 100 largest firms in the U.S. She serves on the governance and nominating committees of the Firm and chairs the Firm’s Women’s Initiative. In 2007, Ms. Fraiche was recognized by The Baton Rouge Business Report as one of its Influential Women in Business; received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Louisiana Chapter of the American Planners Association; received the Louisiana Association of Non-profit Organizations’ Heroine Award; and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. Her biography is included in The Best Lawyers in America and Who's Who in America in each annual edition from 1993 to present. She received her juris doctorate from Loyola University in 1975, and is married to a board certified family practitioner who is also a multi-specialty clinic CEO and coroner of Ascension Parish. The Fraiche’s have a daughter, son and two grandsons.

Lexington, Kentucky

          Hon. David Carpenter
                      Hon. David Carpenter and Mr. Motohiko Kato Consul-General

The Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville announces the appointment of David Carpenter as the Honorary Consul of Japan in Lexington. He will hold the position for a five-year renewable term. Mr. Motohiko Kato, Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, presented an official letter of appointment by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Mr. Carpenter on December 10 2014 at the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville.DAVID CARPENTER is currently the Executive Director of the Japan/America Society of Kentucky (JASK). He worked in Community Relations/PR for Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. from 2000-2011, as Assistant Director of the Kobe Friendship House Community Center and Translator in International PR/Guest Relations for Tokyu Sports Oasis Center in Kobe, Japan from 1999-2000 and was a faculty member at the Nagasaki In-Touch Community Center, also in Japan, from 1995-1999. Mr. Carpenter assumes his post as Honorary Consul in a state that has extensive economic, cultural and social ties to Japan. There are 168 Japanese–owned facilities in Kentucky, which employ more than 40,000 people, and Japan has invested $6.6 billion in the state. In his position, Mr. Carpenter will work to promote and protect the rights and interests of Japanese nationals in Kentucky, encourage Japanese investment in Kentucky and cultivate cross-cultural understanding and appreciation between Japanese and Kentuckians. Currently, there are approximately 4200 Japanese nationals residing in Kentucky. Also notable among these ties are the seven sister-city relationships maintained between cities and towns in Japan and Kentucky. They are Lexington – Shinhidaka, Georgetown – Tahara, Elizabethtown – Koori-machi, Bowling Green – Kawanishi, Morgantown – Nanao, Owensboro – Nisshin, and Berea/Madison County – Hokuto. Kentucky’s relationship to Japan is being further strengthened by the Japan/America Society of Kentucky and other organizations. JASK promotes Japanese-American cross-cultural outreach and understanding through cultural events and networking opportunities. In addition, Japanese language education is offered at several colleges and universities and at the K-12 level in the state.

Tupelo, Mississippi

              Hon. C. Mitchell Waycaster

C. MITCHELL WAYCASTER is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of both Renasant Corporation and Renasant Bank, one of the oldest banks in Mississippi. He actively serves his community as a member of the CREATE Foundation board of directors, as a board member of North Mississippi Health Services, North Mississippi Medical Center, the North Mississippi Health Services Foundation, and as a board member of the Yocona Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. Waycaster has demonstrated his dedication to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Japan by serving as a board member and Vice President of the Japan America Society of Mississippi. He has helped organize various Japanese cultural events and has led and participated in multiple economic development visits to Japan, as well as participated in several Southeast U.S./Japan and U.S. Southeast Association conferences in both the U.S. and Japan.
Mr. Waycaster received his Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi. He is a graduate of the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware, and the National Compliance School at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Colorado. He is also a graduate of the Mid-South School of Banking at the University of Memphis and the Tennessee Commercial Lending School at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Waycaster and his wife Christy have three children and two grandchildren.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

             Hon. Mary E. Zunick

MARY E. ZUNICK is currently the Cultural Affairs Manager of Visit Hot Springs, a position that she has used to promote art, culture, and education. She has taken a special interest in promoting cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Japan and was directly involved in the installation of a Japanese language and culture program in schools in the Hot Springs area. She is also currently directly involved in the ambitious plan to bring the Japanese art of sake production to Arkansas. Ms. Zunick also serves as the director of sister city activities between Hot Springs, Arkansas and Hanamaki, Japan and has been instrumental in growing the sister cities program to include a student exchange that has so far seen more than 100 students participate. The program also coordinates annual delegations to Japan for citizens, students, and teachers. Ms. Zunick’s work with sister cities has been recognized with the Sister Cities International award for Best Overall Program in 2012, as well as with Youth Leadership and Innovation in Economic Development awards. In addition, the program in 2014 received the esteemed honor of being one of only four American programs to be presented with an award from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Zunick is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.