Not many people can say they were once the only non-Japanese person working for Toyota in Toyota City, Japan. Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977), can. He has embodied the essence of JASC throughout his career. Currently the Chairman and CEO of Lean Enterprise Institute, John spent a significant part of his career working for Toyota. While working at Toyota’s headquarters in Japan, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager). John’s career trajectory did not always have Japan as a focus: it was the life-changing experience of JASC that sent him on a path to a career associated with Japan. (Catch up with John’s current activities, blogs and books at www.lean.org/shook/.)
As a college student in Tennessee, JASC 28 happened to visit his hometown where his family hosted a JASCer , which led to his application for and attending of JASC 29 and later joining the executive committee to plan JASC 30. Through his JASC experience, John’s eyes were opened to the culture of Japan, and he developed lifelong friendships as well as a lifelong interest in Japan. His continued involvement in JASC, through serving on the ISC Board, attendance at JASC events, and financial contributions to ISC, has been extremely significant.
Most recently, John attended a JASC reception in New York where he rekindled his friendship with the host, Ambassador Hiroki, whom he used to call simply, Shige. There he spoke about the influence JASC had on both his personal life and his career, his continued and lifelong friendship with Ambassador Hiroki, and how important he believes the long-term values of JASC, mutual understanding, friend and trust, are to a peaceful and prosperous world.
John is challenging first time donors to get involved with JASC: in conjunction with the JASC Fundraising event on May, 8 2013, in New York City, John has agreed to match first time donations up to $5,000! Your donation can be made here. If you’re in the New York area, or if you will be on May 8, and would like to attend the fundraising event (with keynote speaker Glen S. Fukushima!), please RSVP to Chelsea Irvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information at http://iscdc.org/donate/campaigns/JASC-2013/