2023 JASA February Newsletter

Opelika's Pharmavite hosts Consul General Maeda!

On January 16, on his first visit to Alabama, in addition to attending the inauguration of

Governor Kay Ivey, new Consul General Mio Maeda wanted to visit a Japanese company in Alabama. Arrangements were made for the Consul General to meet with executives of Pharmavite in Opelika, where the company explained its background and products, and a plant tour was provided. The meeting was hosted by Solanda Prather, who is Director of Plant Operations and a member of the JASA Board of Directors, and the Consul General was accompanied by Honorary Consul General Mark Jackson and JASA Executive Director Brian Hilson.

Pharmavite’s parent company is Japan-based Otsuka, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with over $13 billion in annual sales. Pharmavite has seven U.S. facilities with a combined workforce of almost 2,000, including 562 at the Opelika plant. The Opelika facility, which was established almost a decade ago, is responsible for production, packaging and warehousing of Pharmavite’s Nature Made line-up of health products, recognized as the #1 pharmacist recommended vitamin and supplement brand. Nature Made Products are manufactured in tablet, softgel and gummy form. A few of the most recognizable Nature Made gummy products are “D3” to support bones, teeth and muscle, “Wellblends” to support restful sleep, and “C” to support the immune system.

The Opelika facility is located in Northeast Opelika Industrial Park off Interstate 85. The plant comprises 330,000 square feet and is in operation 24 hours/7 days per week. It produces, 14.2 million tablets, 13.4 million softgels and 7.7 million gummies per day. Annual production volumes range from over 2 billion gummies to almost 6 billion tablets, and the Opelika plant is Pharmavite’s only facility that produces gummy products. In addition to its impressive products and facilities, Pharmavite also has an outstanding workforce. Employees throughout the company average nine years with the company, and over 100 with more than 30 years with the Pharmavite.

The hospitality Pharmavite provided to Consul General Maeda, and the opportunity for him to see and learn about one of our State’s most impressive companies, was a perfect introduction for him to Alabama!

Upcoming Events

2023 Cherry Blossom Festival

April 1, 10:00am - 4:00pm

@Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Save the date! JASA Cherry Blossom Festival returns this spring!

Join us for our 2023 Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! With Japanese cultural activities as well as musical performances and martial arts demonstrations, you’ll have the whole day to experience Japanese culture!

Stay tuned for the full lineup of our performers and guests.

Let us know if you're coming to the festival on our Facebook page HERE!

Visit our Website

February Kayoubikai


February 21, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

@ Nori Thai and Sushi 

Join us for our February Kayoubikai at Nori Thai and Sushi!

Kayoubikai is an opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests, practice Japanese, and stay connected with other people in our JASA community. Both JASA members and non-members are welcome! Please RSVP at least one day in advance.


Introducing New JASA Members


Established in September 2019, TOYOTA BOSHOKU AKI USA, LLC (TBAKI), is a joint venture between TOYOTA BOSHOKU, Delta Kogyo and Toyo Seat. Ever since this joint venture was established, these three companies have all worked together to strengthen competitiveness through combining synergies.

In our logo, the three companies that make up TOYOTA BOSHOKU AKI USA are the three arrows that make up TBAKI. In order to marry the three cultures of our parent companies, TBAKI has also three arrows in its quiver, the arrows of Smile, Collaborate, and Innovate.

To foster a good culture and work environment we aim to achieve two goals, which are together using good teamwork and communication we create a welcoming workplace where members are treated well.

We proudly produce the seat components for MTMUS at our plant in Athens, AL.

See JASA Corporate Member List

Other News and Opportunities


North Alabama Wardawgs

vs Shizuoka Gymrats

February 12, 2023


1 pm @ James Clemens High School

Super Bowl Party:

5 pm - 9 pm @ Main Event

The North Alabama Wardawgs will play against the Shizuoka Gymrats (Shizuoka, Japan) basketball team on February 12, 2023. The Gymrats will be touring the U.S. and Huntsville is one of their first stops. The Basketball game starts at 1:00PM at James Clemens High School.

Following the game, the North Alabama Wardawgs will host a Super Bowl Party from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at Main Event. This event is for anyone that wants to meet the players, eat pizza and watch the game!

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased on the North Alabama Wardawgs website. See more information about Shizuoka Gymrats HERE!

Tickets and More Info

Do you like Japanese art, design and culture?

"Founded in 2007, Spoon & Tamago is an international blog that is based out of New York City and Tokyo, Japan. It was founded by artist and writer Johnny Waldman, who grew up in Japan. Using our unique background and international perspective, Spoon & Tamago attempts to comprehensively cover all aspects of Japanese design from fine art and architecture to product and graphic design with an emphasis on authentically communicating Japanese arts & crafts to the world."

Visit Website

Please contact us at officemanager@jasaweb.org

if you'd like us to feature your organization/event in our newsletters!

Japan-America Society of Alabama

2081 Columbiana Road #10

Birmingham, AL 35216

(205) 703-0960



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