• photo of Janice Ohta and Fred Weiss
    Janice Ohta and Fred Weiss

Member Spotlight: Janice Ohta

Name: Janice Ohta
Member Since: 1999
Membership Level: Ambassador
Chapter: Southern California
Job Title: Independent Consultant, Condor, Inc.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Caltech Associates and why supporting Caltech is important to you.

When I left Amgen over ten years ago, I realized that I knew people in Europe, Japan, and the East Coast, but very few people in Pasadena. I happened to mention this to a neighbor, who, knowing my interest in science, said, "I've got just the group for you," and he introduced me to the Caltech Associates. I have come to greatly appreciate not only the personal benefit to learning about the amazing research at Caltech, but also Caltech's role on the world stage as a source of leading-edge science and excellence in education.

What do you wish other people knew about the Caltech Associates?

How wonderfully smart and kind our fellow Associates are!

What do you enjoy most about being a Caltech Associate?

The opportunity to learn something new at each event, whether it be science, or a faculty member's career path or life story, or even the escapades of an Associate's child or grandchild.

Outside of your involvement on the Caltech Associates board and the membership committee, what do you do?

I am privileged to serve on the board of trustees at Flintridge Preparatory School, where my three children have attended, and to serve on the board of the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, a nonprofit biotech incubator. My husband, Fred Weiss, and I own and run a commercial construction company called Condor, Inc.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I was the men's varsity crew coxswain in college at UC San Diego, and I love to ski.

Do you have a favorite Caltech memory, story, or moment?

I still remember the talk given some years ago by physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht about snowflakes. He explained how and in what conditions snowflakes are formed and juxtaposed the scientific research with amazing photos of the snowflakes that he himself took. It was a wonderful combination of science and art and truly inspiring. I still have his little book of snowflake photos on the shelf next to my desk.