Chief Ikigai Officer

Sam Ushio is the Chief Ikigai Officer at Connect3x, a tech-enabled people platform that integrates total well-being with workplace performance to support a culture of engaged, thriving employees. Sam fuses a powerful blend of Ikigai philosophy, strengths-based psychology, and change management to lead Connect3x’s mission to “capitalize the Human experience.”  


Previously, Sam was Director of Practice Management at Russell Investments, where he led a nationwide team that coached and consulted ~1,000 financial advisors annually. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and InvestmentNews. Sam earned an MBA from Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Nebraska in Marketing and Finance with an emphasis in psychology. He is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.


Sam is also the founder of Ikigai Lab, a Purpose Incubator that delivers insights, experiences and solutions rooted in the Japanese concept of Ikigai. On his quest to evolve the definition of “growth”, Sam blends the old school ancient wisdom tradition of ikigai with new school research in positive psychology. He is dedicated to purpose-driven solutions for stakeholder-focused organizations and visionary leaders, including total well-being, strengths-based culture, human-centered design, emotional intelligence, systems thinking, and life/career transitions.


An energetic, compassionate leader, Sam is committed to understanding an individual’s journey and finding a bridge to relate. A popular speaker on the concept of Ikigai, Sam also develops Ikigai curriculum and hosts the Ikigai Stories podcast. Sam serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska and enjoys an active lifestyle with his wife and three children.