Meet Joyce Nishioka, a new MAFista and Finance Manager. Born in Lodi, CA, Joyce considers herself a native San Franciscan – and she has the Giants pride to prove it. Her unique professional background – in accounting, journalism, and nonprofit research and advocacy – make her a natural fit for MAF, which tends to blur traditional boundaries between tech, nonprofit, and financial services.
MAF: So, how’d you find your way to Accounting?
Joyce: Well, it wasn’t the most conventional path… I earned a degree in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. After graduating, I began a career in journalism, writing for online, print, and radio media. I loved journalism, but it’s become a tough field to stay in, so I turned to accounting to give myself more career options.
And it turned out to be a natural fit!
This might sound odd, but I see a lot of parallels between journalism and accounting.
They’re both about gathering huge amounts of information and data, and then finding elegant ways to summarize that information and make it intelligible and digestible for your audience.
For the last three years, I’ve worked as an Accountant in the Gaming industry – entertainment technology.
MAF: And how’d you hear about MAF?
Joyce: It’s been my long-term goal to transition back into the nonprofit world. Earlier in my career, I worked for a nonprofit that researched sexuality and social policy (fun fact: I authored a chapter in the 2007 book 21st Century Sexualities: Contemporary Issues in Health, Education & Rights!). I love the mission-driven culture of nonprofits, and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to bring my accounting and finance skills to the field.
MAF: What appealed to you about MAF?
Joyce: As someone with both nonprofit and finance perspectives, I immediately recognized how innovative MAF’s mission is. MAF is doing something different.
Lending Circles are challenging and changing how we think about financial services.
They’re helping people build financial security without forcing anyone to change what they’re doing or fit into very narrow “mainstream” American financial institutions.
I also sensed that my work experience intersected in some interesting ways with MAF’s work. I used to volunteer for a youth program where I coordinated college tours for high school students. Many of the students were from immigrant families. So I’m familiar with the fact that many adults who immigrate to the United States don’t have bank accounts or a credit history and tend to rely primarily on cash.
My past work also exposed me to the many barriers to financial security the queer and trans communities face.
I really appreciated learning about MAF’s longstanding partnership with the SF LGBT Center and other organizations serving the LGBTQ community.
MAF: What are you up to when you’re not accounting?
Joyce: I’m a huge animal-lover and passionate about animal rights. I used to bring my dog to visit hospitals, senior centers, and foster homes – that was something that brought me a lot of joy. And I’m serious about my Bay Area sports teams, so I make a point to go to games often!