Congratulations to Richard (Dick) Stahl, the 2023 winner of the Mondale Award for Japan-Minnesota Partnership! Named after its first recipients, Joan and Walter Mondale, the Award was established in 1997 to recognize outstanding contributions to the relationship between the people of Japan and Minnesota.
Dick’s lifelong interest in Asia was sparked by a 3-1/2 year stint in the Navy when he was stationed in Taiwan. This led to an international banking career that started in Chicago and ended in Minneapolis, with an assignment in Tokyo along the way. While in Japan, he became fascinated with the country and its people. Upon returning to the U.S., Dick has served in a variety of important volunteer roles, including Board Member of the Japan America Society of Chicago; Secretary, Treasurer and President of the Japan America Society of Minnesota; and Honorary Consul General for the State of Minnesota. Dick has been active in three sister city organizations: Bloomington-Izumi, Minneapolis-Ibaraki and St. Paul-Nagasaki. He has also served as an informal advisor to JETRO and to Minnesota State Government officials.
Some highlights of Dick’s volunteer service include leading efforts in Minnesota to support the Tohoku region after the 2011 Tsunami, organizing JASM’s 40th-anniversary celebration in 2012 and recruiting Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki as the keynote speaker for that year’s Gala.
For his dedication in promoting U.S.–Japan relationships in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, Dick was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun and Gold Rays with Rosette by Consul-General of Japan in Chicago, Kenichi Okada, on August 12, 2021.
Dick seems to be everywhere. He has spent time lobbying on behalf of Japan with Governors Dayton and Walz and encouraging young people to pursue their interest in Japan. He is a constant presence at Japan-related events in the Twin Cities, but you will also find him at events in Duluth, Fargo, and Chicago. He supports long-established organization and welcomes newcomers. When I returned to Minnesota after living in Japan for 15 years, one of the first people I met was Dick. He had some great suggestions for me and my family, and he has continued to check in with me once a year for a cup of coffee and a chat about our mutual interests.
Dick loves to drive, and rumor has it that he drives fast. Former JASM president Elizabeth Fehrman recalls driving with Dick to an event in Winona. Elizabeth feared that they would arrive seriously late. Not with Dick at the wheel. Last month, Dick drove all the way to Evanston IL to attend the farewell reception for Consul-General Hiroshi Tajima. Despite getting a flat tire along the way, Dick arrived almost on time. That is commitment!
For his many accomplishments, and for the relationships that he has built along the way, we are proud to recognize Dick as the 2023 recipient of the Mondale Award.
Chair, 2023 Mondale Award Selection Committee
JASM is very pleased to present the Mondale Award to Dick Stahl in 2023 at the Mondale Award and Scholarship Gala on Saturday, November 4 at the Oak Ridge Country Club. Everyone is welcome to join us to honor Dick Stahl.
P.O. Box 26639
Minneapolis, MN 55426