On October 4, I attended the Sumitomo Electric Top Executives' Conference of the Americas held in Springfield, Massachusetts. This conference is an annual event for those in charge of our group companies in the Americas.
Leaving Japan on the morning of the 3rd, I arrived in Washington D.C.—still on the morning of the 3rd—after a transit and a long flight. Since I used to work as an expat in the U.S. when I was young, I know how to handle jet lag, but it's still physically demanding to travel to the U.S., where day and night are completely reversed. Afterwards, I made another transit before reaching Massachusetts, where I joined a get-together with local staff at night. I guess I was beginning to feel tipsy quicker than usual...
On the morning of the following day, the 4th, I attended the Top Executives' Conference of the Americas throughout the day. In the conference, I listened to reports on the recent condition of and efforts by each local group company, as well as on the various activities of the working groups that transcend the boundaries of the group companies. The topics included manufacturing, HR, procurement and logistics, PR, risk management, safety and the environment, and information systems. To address the challenges that our group faces in the Americas, local staff members are playing a pivotal role in performing analyses, devising measures, and implementing them.
In 2010, our manufacturing committee was established mainly by local plant directors. Since then, the trend of sharing information on common challenges and the efforts made to address these among group companies has been gradually growing under the leadership of local group companies. I'm deeply impressed with the growth results that we see today. I feel that almost all our challenges have now been clarified, and the key lies in how to deal with them from now on. I sincerely hope that each working group's effort will have favorable effects and generate the desired results in each group company. I look forward to seeing excellent achievements.
The conference was followed by a dinner party, where President Jim Koulgeorge of JUDD Wire, Inc. (JUDD), the host company of this year's conference, presented me with a Boston Celtics jersey (the local basketball team) as a commemorative gift. I hear that the team name "Celtics" came from the fact that there were many immigrants from Ireland in Boston and its surrounding areas. Being home to prestigious universities such as Harvard and MIT, Boston has a traditional culture of accepting many people from foreign countries.
Moreover, not only in Boston but also in other parts of the U.S. as well, I see people from a wide variety of countries. All of us at the Sumitomo Electric Group, where staff members from a wide variety of countries work, need to be even more aware of the significance of diversity. While realizing this point once again, I received the present with much gratitude.
I would like to conclude by expressing my appreciation to the staff of the conference host company JUDD and all the other people who worked hard preparing and running the conference with such attention to detail.