The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The 11th Annual Champagne Ball and Awards Evening, presented by the Chubu Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and Tokai Japan Canada Society (TJCS), was held on November 18 at the Hilton Nagoya. This year’s theme was “Nagoya’s Sister Cities” and featured Mexico City, Nanjing, Turin, Sydney, and Los Angeles.

Dressed to the nines, ballgoers stepped out of the elevator into the reception area to the lively sounds of mariachi band Los Cuates, delicious Mexican-themed hors d’oeuvres, and, of course, flutes of Champagne. At the far end of the reception area, this year’s Red Carpet Sponsor, Maserati, had one of its gorgeous cars on display.

After guests were seated, the evening kicked off with a video highlighting the featured sister cities, after which we moved into the awards portion of the evening.

Kicking off the party with a multilingual comedy sketch and kampai were Stephen Kovacsics, principal officer at the United States Consulate in Nagoya, and Chenier La Salle, consul and senior trade commissioner at the Consulate of Canada in Nagoya. I acted as emcee for the evening, and I’m happy to report that I managed to get through all of the introductions without mangling any of the names.

The Sister Cities theme continued in the dinner portion of the evening. In addition to the food choices from the two different buffet lines, there were four special booths set up with prawns, dim sum, risotto, and California rolls. In addition to great food, dinner provided additional opportunities to move around the ballroom for conversation and networking. During dinner, we enjoyed the traditional Chinese instrument sounds of Chang Bin Niko Enso Dan. Again, this year, drinks were included in the price of admission.

As dinner wrapped up, the night was just getting started. The talented and fun party band, The Unit, managed to quickly get the dance floor filled and hopping. After working off some of the calories from the excellent dinner, we took a break to hold the always-popular charity raffle. Proceeds went to the Chubu Walkathon and children’s charities. Thanks to our generous sponsors, many winners went home happy, and the luckiest left with two business-class tickets to Hawaii from Delta Air Lines and two tickets to Guam from United Airlines. I encourage everyone to plan to attend next year’s ball.

Winners and losers then continued to boogie until it was time to wrap things up. We had a lot of fun, making new friends and strengthening relationships with old ones. We also raised money for charities, giving back to our community. On behalf of the Living in Chubu Committee, I’d like to thank our generous sponsors, our great host Hilton Nagoya, and, of course, every attendee, without whom there would be no Champagne Ball. Please make plans to join us for next year’s event. It’ll be a ball!

Chris Zarodkiewicz (right), ACCJ vice president-Chubu, and Britt Creamer, governor-Chubu, presented the Leader of the Year Award to Felix Busch (center), vice chair of the Business Program Committee.

Deryk X. Langlais is vice chair, Living in Chubu Committee