On April 22nd, members of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington gathered together for our 2020 Annual Meeting. This is one our three big events each year and always offers an opportunity for our community to come together to catch up and network, as well as to vote in our new officers and board members. Though sadly we could not meet in person this year, we are extremely happy and grateful that so many of you joined us for our first-ever virtual event. Based on the participation and feedback we have received; we believe that we can call it a success.
Consul General Yamada opened the event with kind and insightful words of encouragement. Followed by messages from the out-going Executive Committee Chair, Karin Zaugg Black of the Port of Seattle and the in-coming Chair Toshi Kawachi of Mitstubishi Corporations (Americas). They practiced hard to be able to pass the gavel and flowers virtually!
The event also included two guest speakers. First we heard from Kiyoaki Aburaki, the Managing Director of Bower Group Asia. He shared with us information about how Japan has been handling the current COVID-19 crisis compared to the U.S and other countries. He included interesting data related to population movement during stay-at-home orders and infections rates.
Next we heard from Chris Green, the Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Development & Competitiveness. He shared with us information about the current state the Washington State economy, as well as some information about what recovery might look like. You can find more information from Chris Green below.
We finished the night with a virtual happy hour. It was fun to hear everyone’s voices and see their faces, even though it was over a computer screen. We even had a guest appearance from Consul General Yamada! We hope to do more of these informal meetings in the future.
Thank you to all of our speakers for sharing your time and insights with us!
Big Thank You to Sponsors
We also want to extend a big thank you to our sponsors for the event. We truly appreciate your flexibility and support during this event.
We would also like to recognize Sake Story, I love Sushi, 84 Yesler, and Wheelhouse. We are sad that we could not do our Sake and unexpected food pairings as planned but we look forward to working with you all again in the future at a different event. We would like to encourage all of our members to support these and other small local businesses as much as possible during these uncertain times.
Finally, we would like to send a big thank you to our Executive Committee and staff for your flexibility, hard work and patience, as we transitioned to a virtual event. Without your enthusiasm, willingness to troubleshoot and effort, we could not have made this event a success.
Please follow the links below to see our 2019-2020 financial report, more information from Chris Green and a video of the event for those of you who could not make it or would like to see it again.
We look forward to seeing everyone at more virtual events in the near future, and with any luck, back on the golf course at the end of July!