Entrepreneurs, executives, civil servants academics and diplomats flocked from as far as Kyoto to attend the Foreign Entrepreneur Promotion Committee’s third annual “Kokusai Shinenkai” held on January 20, 2006 at the Okura Hotel. The event attended by about 100 guests, representing over 15 countries speaks of Fukuoka city’s business appeal, growing diversity and international flavor.
Event organizers and guests busied themselves exchanging greetings good wishes and “Meishi” at the year’s first business networking opportunity of the international community.
The Japan America Society (JAS) co-sponsored the event and was on hand soliciting potential new members. The event known for its appeal to top brass from Fukuoka City Hall, the Prefecture office JETRO, Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce, the Foreign Trade Association and the diplomatic community, also attracted hotel Okura general Manager Mr. Masato Kubo who’s attendance undoubtedly influenced the chefs menu and generosity.
Speakers included Ms. Gina Whittle, Managing Directory, New Zealand Life Tours, who spoke about how entrepreneurs must learn to ‘run their businesses and not let the business run them.’ “Enjoy your life” she said. Additionally, Mr. William Maid, Senior Manager of FEDEX-Kinko’s in Kyushu, described the giant corporation’s humble beginnings only 33 years ago. The company is now the largest express courier in the world with over 200 thousand employees in more then 200 countries generating yearly revenues in the billions of dollars.
Kyushu University Associate Professor, Chris Flynn was guest MC. He colorfully walked guests through the entrepreneurial legacy and hopes of the Fukuoka foreign business community. He then invited Australian Consul General Jarrod Waring to take center stage and lead the guests in the traditional “kampai” Consul Waring was flanked by local bar owners, Moses Yamane (Dark Room), Mark Allen (Xaymaca) and Luis Matos (Off Broadway). “Kampai” they said, sparking the keyboard of local favorite and Detroit born Jerry Moss and the festivities began!