Rimban William Briones
Rev. William Briones was born and raised in Mountain View, CA. His major was in Biology. He worked 28 years as a Research Biologist in the Department of Physiology, at Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto, CA. He took an early retirement in 1995 and enrolled at the Institute of Buddhist Studies at CA Berkeley's Graduate of Theology Union. Upon Completion of ministerial program at Berkeley, Rev. Briones attended Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin (Buddhist Seminary) in Kyoto, Japan for 2 years. He received his Tokudo ordination in September 2000 and Kyoshi certification in April 2001.
His orientation began at LA Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in June 2001 and he joined the ministerial staff as a full time minister in January 2002. He became the 10th Rimban (head minister) of LA Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in September 2013.
Reverend Koho Takata
Rev. Koho Takata was born and raised as the second son of the 19th generations of Jokoji Temple in Toyama, Japan. He graduated from Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan, majoring in Jodo Shinshu (Pure Land Shin Buddhism) in 1993. Rev. Takata received his Tokudo ordination in July 1986 and Kyoshi certification in May 1993.
His orientation as an oversea minister began at Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii in October 1995. Upon completion of 2 months orientation program at Headquarters, he was assigned to Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin as an Associate Minister (December 1995 - May 1998), Kapaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple on Kauai as a Resident Minister (June 1998 - October 2005), and Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Office of the Bishop as an Executive Assistant to the Bishop (November 2005 - June 2011).
After 16 years service at Honpa Hongwanji Mission of HI, he resigned his ministry from HI Kyodan and transferred his ministry to Buddhist Churches of America, US Mainland in July 2011. His first assignment in US mainland was AZ Buddhist Temple in Phoenix as a Resident Minister (July 2011 - July 2013). He joined in the LA Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple as an Associate Minister since August 2013.
Reverend Kazuaki Nakata
Rev. Kaz Nakata, M.A., M.B.A., has been an associate minister at Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (LAHHBT) since 2012. He holds weekly Buddhist Study Class in Japanese and Applied Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies for Teens in English at LAHHBT, and monthly Buddhist Study Class in English at Sun Valley Buddhist Temple. He joined Myoganji Temple in Hyogo Japan for his ministerial training in 2000. He received both Tokudo Ordination and Kyoshi Certification in 2001, and completed Kaikyoshi - Overseas Minister Training Program at Kyoto Hongwanji International Department in August of 2001. Late 1990s, he studied Jodo Shinshu Buddhism mainly under Dr. Risho Ohta Kangaku, Dr. Ryusei Takeda and Prof. Naoki Nabeshima at Ryukoku University in Kyoto Japan. In the U.S., he attended Sacramento City College for his English proficiency training under Prof. Barbara Toupadakis, and he completed a Chaplain training (Pastoral Counseling and Intervention) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He also received a Chaplaincy training by FEMA, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Joint Force Headquarters. In June of 2014, he acquired his M.B.A. under Prof. Melinda L. Swigart, focused on Management Strategies for a Religious Institution at Strayer University, Graduate School of Business with 4.0 GPA. In May of 2016, he completed the Master of Arts in Religious Studies, Concentration in Buddhist Studies at University of the West under Prof. Miroj Shakya, and received M.A. He developed the language skill of Sanskrit and researched Sukhavativyuha (Sanskrit Pureland Sutra). In June of 2016, he was admitted to the doctorate program in Buddhist Studies as a PhD student at the University of the West under Prof. Darui Long, and he continues his research on the Pure Land Sutras in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Uygur. His additional research topics are Tanakh, The Holy Bible, Quran, Phenomenology, Pragmatism, and Analytical Philosophy.
Previously he served Buddhist Church of Sacramento and Ekoji Buddhist Temple as BCA Kaikyoshi Minister and also he was endorsed by BCA to work as a Campus Chaplain at George Mason University, a Community Chaplain at Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management, and an interim hospital chaplain at Inova Hospital. In 2009, at the request of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Rev. Kaz spoke at the Interfaith Hearing About Universal Healthcare at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. providing the Buddhist viewpoint on behalf of the Buddhist community. In June of 2014, he was invited as a special panelist to the Thai Buddhist Monk conference with his royal highness, King Bhumibol of Thailand. As his honor, he was nominated for a first Buddhist Chaplain at National Institute of Health in 2012.