Eric Nakano was born in San Dimas and attended local public schools. His parents moved to San Dimas following in the footsteps of his uncle, Jim Nakano, who moved to Glendora and started the Donut Man on Route 66. Eric learned to swim at the San Dimas rec center, attended summer camp at San Dimas Canyon, played sports at Kare Youth League, and served in a local boy scout troop.
After high school, Eric earned his B.A. in political science and public policy and two Masters degrees from Duke University.
Eric has served a variety of public and private organizations throughout his career, including the AFL-CIO and Development Department at UCLA. At the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Eric advised government officials on supporting underachieving schools during a budget crisis. He has advised leaders at several well-known tech companies on their global growth and talent retention strategies. Currently, Eric serves as Vice President of Product Marketing at Rakuten, an e-commerce and retail company.
Eric returned home to San Dimas in 2016, after his mom was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He juggled working and caring for his mom until she passed away in 2018. He now takes care of his sister who has special needs. These experiences reignited his desire to help others and return to a life of service. Eric volunteers by helping cancer patients find clinical trials and by writing for the San Dimas Community Post, a local, volunteer-run newspaper. Eric launched his campaign for San Dimas City Council in 2022 to help promote downtown, prioritize public safety, plan for the future, and preserve the city’s heritage. His campaign strives to activate residents and ensure that the city continues to offer families the same opportunities that he has had.
Eric continues to live and work from his home in San Dimas with his family and four adopted dogs.