Cultures come together

Staff writer

Monthly breakfasts help Hillsboro business people get to know each other. Tuesday they reached well beyond the city limits as Chamber of Commerce members shared conversation with Yasu Hiro Takahashi from Japan.

“We do this to focus on a different business each time,” Deb Ewert of Emprise Bank said. “You never know who might show up though.”

Chamber members met for a come and go breakfast of doughnuts and refreshments at Midway Motors.

Salesman Rod Hamm, also a Tabor College faculty member said Takahashi and his wife, who is the first American woman to own a business in Tokyo and was hired in 2012 to teach business courses at Tabor college, came as chamber guests.

“It was interesting to find out that Japan has gone through similar economic struggles as the United States, with bank bailouts and a slow recovery,” Hamm said. “But Takahashi said the U.S. seemed to be recovering a lot faster than businesses in Tokyo, where he works.”

Takahashi, who recently got his American driver’s license, said he did not know what to expect of his meeting with Hillsboro business owners, but enjoyed the people he met.

“It is always good to make connections with people in business,” Takahashi said. “I knew Clint (Seibel) but not too many others. I really enjoyed visiting with and meeting the people.”

Takahashi also appreciated meeting at the car dealership, as he is interested in buying a car.

“Driving in Hillsboro is a lot more fun than in Tokyo,” he said. “There you can only go inch by inch; there are so many cars on the expressway. Here the speed is a little faster than I am used to, especially on the highway.”

Takahashi owns a biotechnical and pharmaceutical consulting firm in Tokyo. He recently brokered a large deal involving medicine.

“I have been able to come three or four times this past year,” he said. “My times here could be longer as my work in Tokyo eases. I definitely plan to spend more time here. It is a very nice town.”

 

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