(L-R) USJC Board Member Donna Cole, Council Member Glen Gondo, USJC Executive VP Suzanne Basalla, and Associate Member Ginger Vaughn take advantage of the view.
On June 28, one of three Keidanren delegations started their historic U.S. visit in Houston, Texas, enjoying a warm welcome hosted by USJC Board Member Donna Cole, Council Member Glen Gondo, and Consul General Takaoka. Ms. Cole and Mr. Gondo were joined by local USJC Members Ayako Kameda and Ginger Vaughn, as well as USJC Executive Vice President & COO Suzanne Basalla, who traveled from Washington, DC for the event.
The delegation was led by Hiromichi Iwasa, Chairman of the Board of Councillors of Keidanren, and was joined by Member of the USJC Board of Councilors Masami Iijima (who is a Vice Chair of Keidanren) and approximately two dozen senior Japanese business leaders. Houston was their first stop in a six-day barnstorm of Texas, Tennessee and California.
Ms. Cole and Mr. Gondo convened Houston’s leadership, including Mayor Anise Parker, Congressman Al Green, State Legislator Gene Wu, President of the Greater Houston Partnership Bob Harvey, leaders of the Houston Japan Business Association, Japan America Society, and more to offer words of welcome and a dinner that included fine sushi provided by Mr. Gondo.
(L-R) Chairman Hiromichi Iwasa, Ms. Cole, Mr. Gondo, and Consul General Takaoka
This was the second time for Houston and Keidanren to celebrate their connections in the past year. In October of last year, Keidanren hosted a luncheon for Mayor Parker and her Houston delegation, a connection forged through USJC’s networking activities. Donna Cole said, “It was my and Glen’s great honor to host the dinner with CG Takaoka for the Keidanren as members of the U.S.-Japan Council. We wanted to return the hospitality and say thank you!”