2023 JASA January Newsletter

〜Introducing JASA 2023 Board of Directors

 Greetings from JASA President

Dear Friends,

As Japanese companies continue to create jobs and invest in Alabama, the mission of the Japan-America Society of Alabama has never been more important. We are excited to offer events and programs that connect our members with the people and information they need to know. In 2023 you can look for JASA to host our traditional Annual Celebration Dinner & Business Forum, as well as our Cherry Blossom Festival, which is JASA’s largest cultural event. In addition to a variety of member activities, we will also be offering events designed to provide important business information to Japanese companies.

JASA is fortunate to have outstanding support and leadership from a wide range of Japanese companies, as well as other Alabama companies and organizations. Several important additions were recently made to the JASA Board of Directors, and you can see the complete list of our JASA Board members below.

Thank you for your support of JASA and our mission to continuously strengthen the relationship between Alabama and Japan. We are looking forward to an exciting 2023 for JASA and our members, and we hope to see you often!


Mark Brown, JASA President

The 2023 JASA Executive Committee

Mark Brown, Tennessee Valley Authority: JASA President

Milton Davis, CLAYCO: JASA Past President

Shingo Kato, KPMG: Treasurer

Shane Kearney, Alabama Power Company: JASA Immediate Past President

Forrest Keith, Daikin America: JASA Vice President

Dr. Teresa Wise, The University of Alabama: JASA Vice President

The 2023 JASA Board of Directors

Mark Brazeal, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA

Dr. Butler Cain, University of North Alabama

Chip Cherry, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County

John Coleman, Burr & Forman LLC

Dr. Mark Davis, University of West Alabama

Eriko Ellis, Daikin America

Dr. Jacob Gatlin, Mauldin & Jenkins

Caleb Goodwyn, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

Mac Greaves, Jones Walker LLP

Brian Hilson, Japan-America Society of Alabama 

Jason Isbell, Regions Bank

Kevin Jackson, Shoals Economic Development Authority

Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan

Masaki Kono, TBAKI

Kenji Kunimoto, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama

Parrish Lawler, Alabama State Port Authority

Calvin Miller, Talladega County Economic Development Authority

Nisa Miranda, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development

Jared Mitchem, Tennessee Valley Authority

Mark Moore, Topre America Corporation

Naohiro Nabeshima, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America

Jeremy Nails, Morgan County Economic Development Association

Yoshimasa Oshirabe, Protective Life Corporation

Hollie Pegg, Alabama Department of Commerce

Steve Pelham, Auburn University Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Vince Perez, Southeast Alabama Gas

Odell Phillips, Jefferson County Economic & Industrial Development Authority

Solanda Prather, Pharmavite

David Rodgers, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Takamitsu Saigusa, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Steve Sewell, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA)

Peggy Smith, Cullman Co. Tourism Bureau 

Christina Stimpson, Alabama Department of Commerce

Mike Swinson, formerly of Spire

Carolyn Turner, Alabama International Trade Center

Jason Wright, North Alabama Industrial Development Association

The 2023 Honorary JASA Board Members

The Honorable Mio Maeda, Consul General, Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta

Hilda Lockhart, Alabama Department of Commerce (retired)

G. Lamar Smith, Spire (retired)

JASA Staff

Brian Hilson, Executive Director

Rio Nunley, Office Manager

Upcoming Events

January Kayoubikai


January 24, 6:30pm - 8:30pm


Join us for our first Kayoubikai in 2023! 

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.


Other News and Opportunities

GMI POST x Secretary Greg Canfield:

Alabama: Why investors need to take a closer look

"Alabama's strategic strength in space and aerospace presents itself as a potential opportunity for Japanese companies looking to expand their footprint in the U.S. We plan to spend some effort in that regard as well. We believe that it's time for us to work closely with our Japanese partners to capture some of their knowledge base."

Read More

GMI POST x Chip Cherry:

Huntsville/Madison County, AL: Ready for another lift-off

"We occupy a unique space in the United States ecosystem. We have a very long history with international companies and a unique relationship with the Japanese and the European space agencies. We work in the aerospace side, the automotive side, and the genomic research side."

 Read More
Tickets and More Info

Kami-Con: Alabama's largest Anime & Gaming Comic Con

February 10-12 @BJCC

Kami-Con is a 3-day convention that celebrates Japanese culture, geek culture, anime & manga, cosplay, tabletop & video gaming, comics, TV shows, movies, and much, much more!

Kami-Con is also a uniquely interactive convention in that it features events which allow congoers to affect the outcome of its story!

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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