NYWIFT Talks Yes2Next with April Hattori

Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 and current events on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more. 

NYWIFT Talks are free for all to attend.

When former NYWIFT Board Member April Hattori left her 30-year career in communications in NYC to work as a personal trainer while living with her recently widowed mother in Las Vegas, she saw a unique opportunity to combine her passions for media and making the world a better place.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, she started creating exercise videos on YouTube for her clients and invited her 81-year-old mom to join her. Their venture, yes2next, encourages fitness and joy at any age. Their YouTube channel has more than 107,000 subscribers with over 9.7 million views on their 100+ videos.

We’ll sit down with April and her mom Aiko Sokolowski to discuss their business and how they expanded their following through a media strategy harnessing the power of press and social media.

Moderated by NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers.

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Time: 4PM ET
Cost: Free




April Hattori founded yes2next in May 2020. She has always been interested in fitness and became a personal trainer in 2016 while working full-time in corporate communications. In 2019, she moved from New York to Las Vegas to be with her mom and made a career change–she followed her passion and began working as a personal trainer focusing on senior fitness. When the pandemic hit and gyms closed in 2020, she started making fitness videos for seniors to help them stay active. Since she lives with her mom, she invited her to participate in the videos–and the rest is history. April’s original goal was to help just one senior. She is so inspired that yes2next is now helping thousands — of all ages — around the world. April’s mom Aiko Sokolowski is 81-years-old and didn’t know what she was getting into when April asked her to participate in yes2next videos. “I thought I was just helping her with one video and am humbled that today I can inspire so many to keep moving.” Aiko makes exercise a priority in her life. She notes that movement keeps her body–and brain–young.

NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers (moderator) guides and manages NYWIFT’s presence both online and off; institutes membership drives; programs monthly screenings and networking parties; builds partnerships with like-minded organizations; co-produces the Muse Awards and Designing Women; and implements strategic communications initiatives for special projects. She received national recognition for her work at NYWIFT as one of Association Trends’ top “Young and Aspiring Executives” at their Salute to Excellence in Washington, DC, in October 2021, and was recognized by New York Society of Association Executives with their “Rising Star” award at the Synergy Awards in August 2020. She was named Communications Chair of one of New Jersey’s leading volunteer organizations, the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Club, in Spring of 2022. Prior to joining the NYWIFT team, Katie was a talent agent in the Youth & Young Adult Theatrical division at Abrams Artists Agency in New York City, representing young actors in theatre, film, and television, and worked for leading entertainment companies including Buchwald, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Scott Rudin Productions. She has served on the Next Generation Committee of the NY Television Festival, produced a critically acclaimed play at the NY Fringe Festival, and her writing has appeared in Huff Post, Honeysuckle Magazine and several printed essay collections. Katie graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Drew University with a double major in English and Theatre Arts.


May 18 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm (1h)


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.