After 32 years at AADAP, Dean Nakanishi will retire on June 30, 2024. Joining in 1991, he served as Administrative Director for most of his tenure, and as CEO since 2021.

AADAP is grateful to Dean for his service and commitment to the organization and its mission. During his time at AADAP, Dean oversaw all aspects of AADAP’s operations and furthered the organization’s services, including expanding AADAP’s employment programs, HIV/AIDS outreach, and sober living homes. He played a crucial role in establishing core business processes covering auditing, insurance, health and safety, human resources, risk management, and marketing & fundraising. Alongside Mike Watanabe, Dean facilitated AADAP’s growth from a grassroots nonprofit to one of LA County’s largest substance use treatment providers.

Under Dean’s leadership, AADAP achieved full accreditation from CARF International in 2014, underscoring the organization’s commitment to service excellence and continued mission driven growth.

Passionate about supporting vulnerable populations affected by substance use disorder amidst neighborhood gentrification, Dean has advocated for equitable access to services, and championed for cultural competency to reach under-served Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other diverse groups. An alumnus of Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business, Dean enjoys fishing, gardening and traveling.

“It has been an incredible 32 years. I was here during the LA Riots, Northridge Earthquake, the AADAP expansion years and the most recent Covid pandemic. AADAP has grown so much. My legacy will always be working side-by-side with the G.O.A.T. of AADAP, Mike Watanabe. AADAP will always be my ʻOhana and I will continue to fight the good fight for recovery services!”

Michael Yoshiba, Board chair, stated, “On behalf of the entire Board, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dean for his unwavering dedication to AADAP and steadfast commitment to advancing our mission. As Dean approaches retirement, we acknowledge his remarkable career achievements and unparalleled contributions over 32 years. His impact is immeasurable, and his legacy will continue to inspire.”

Rhea K. Mac, a social equity consultant with Nonprofit Growth Advisors (NGA) will serve as Interim CEO starting July 1, 2024. Rhea is a dedicated Angeleno with expertise in non-profit organizations, social equity, and homelessness and looks forward to applying her expertise to serve and support AADAP during this transition. Koya Partners will conduct an executive search for AADAP’s next CEO, prioritizing finding a match that will value the rich history of the organization and carry forward AADAP’s mission.

For more information, contact Paulina Hong, phong@aadapinc.org, 323-293-6284.

Dean Nakanishi, CEO of AADAP, will retire on June 30, 2024, concluding a distinguished 32-year tenure with the organization.