woman outside in park

May 09, 2022 / Spotlight

Get to Know our Staff: Keiko Pittman, Human Resources

What is your job title/your role at Scottish Rite for Children?  
I am the Human Resources Manager.

What do you do on a daily basis or what sort of duties do you have at work? 
I assist my manager and leadership with Human Resources (HR) daily support functions and systems while exploring ways to improve these for HR and the organization as a whole.

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here or what led you to Scottish Rite? How long have you worked here?
My first paid job was painting murals for an elementary school. I also did some wall murals for a few Dallas businesses and even did some backdrop artwork when the Rolling Stones came to Dallas during their “Steel Wheels” tour.

What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite?
I am passionate about the culture, people and values of the organization. I have the best interest for the staff and what we can do to sustain the best virtues while continuing to grow in our changing environment.

Tell us something about your job that others might not already know. 
I have been in HR for about 25 years now and at Scottish Rite for eight of those years. It’s important to me that the staff knows that HR is here to assist with all stages of their career at the organization, and we’re here to guide management through the employment lifespan and regulations.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
I could not go a day without talking to my daughter.

What is something that always makes you smile?
My daughter! We are actually very close.

What’s one fun fact about yourself? 
I performed as a dancer once on “Mr. Peppermint Place” and was one of the only Asian kids in the troupe.

How do you identify within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
I am a first-generation Japanese naturalized citizen. Strangely, even though I was adopted and raised Caucasian American, my family talks about how I have some innate characteristics that they say didn’t come from my upbringing, such as my love for sushi and curry (my parents hate both and never exposed me to it.)

What brings you joy about your heritage and culture?
Japan is deep in traditions despite the continual state of change. Even though I grew up with Western ideology, I appreciate the Japanese history from Kendo (sword fencing) and Aikido sports to Bunraku (puppet) theatre, Japanese Garden, tea, origami and furoshiki art. I value the preservation of Japanese castles and folklore through stories and visual arts. I would hope that others would take the time to also learn about some of the items mentioned!

Favorite travel destination?
England, as we have been a few times in our travels and find it very easy to navigate. I haven’t been back to Japan since I was an infant, but I had planned to go in 2020. I plan on going as soon as travel is open there.

Favorite meal or special recipe?
Pretty much anything Asian, but one of my favorites I can always default to is ramen. Hot Miso (soybean paste) is my favorite in the winter and cooled Tsukemen dipping noodles in the summer.

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