The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


JULY 2014
Listening to and Acting on Your Invaluable Feedback

This year we are very focused on receiving and finding ways to act on your feedback. Many of you have said that our event pricing structure makes it difficult for you to enjoy the full value of your membership.

As part of our ongoing efforts to respond to member feedback, I am very pleased to announce a new initiative that takes effect on July 1, aimed at increasing member engagement by making it possible for you to attend more meetings and networking events, and to meet and exchange information with more members.

From July 1 to June 30, 2015, events with hard costs of ¥5,000 or less will have no administrative fee added to the price for ACCJ members.

Historically, administrative fees have been added to member and guest event prices to cover the administrative costs incurred by the Chamber in having the office arrange and support ACCJ events.

We hope this initiative will increase the value of your membership as well as the value proposition of ACCJ membership for non-members.

Equally, we hope that it will increase attendance at ACCJ events and result in committee leaders working with their committee coordinators and Humza Ahmad (ACCJ Programs Manager) to identify new ways of holding meetings and networking events.

I tasked the Business and Financial Advisory Council (BFAC), chaired by ACCJ Vice President Jim Weisser, with finding a way to reduce event prices, and I would like to thank all BFAC members, particularly Darren McKellin, for all their hard work on this initiative.

I also would like to thank the ACCJ Board of Governors for adopting this initiative and Laura Younger and Humza for their efforts in implementing it.

Your feedback really matters and we take all of it very seriously. So please continue sharing your ideas and feedback. We will continue our strong focus on considering it and then acting on it.

Maintaining Momentum and Being Agents of Change
This year we have prioritized providing a more relevant and compelling programming mix, as evidenced by the Women in Business Summit that we co-hosted with the U.S.–Japan Council on May 27. Congratulations once again to all those who made this event possible.

I also wish to thank all ACCJ members who contributed their invaluable time and energy to this event. It showcased all the resources, talent and expertise that we have within our membership.

The ACCJ Office also did a terrific job supporting the Summit. The article—Agents of Change—written by the ACCJ Journal’s new editor Brandi Goode, provides an excellent overview of the Summit.

Co-hosting the Summit was very important, but what happens afterwards is even more important.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks at the Summit, we have to create and maintain an action-oriented momentum well beyond May 27 to ensure that real changes are made and to ensure that we don’t settle back into old routines and mindsets.

I have been encouraged by the number of meetings that member companies have held after the Summit to discuss what they learned and to identify what they can do going forward. It’s time for action, so let’s all stay focused on being agents of change—as individuals and as companies.

Supporting the Greater Community
I enjoyed seeing many of you at the 23rd Annual Nagoya Walkathon. It was a beautiful sun-filled day with great performances, delicious food, many raffle prizes, fun activities for children, a walking course around a vast field of poppies in full bloom and much more.

With over 2,000 official participants, generous corporate sponsors and nearly ¥3 million in food and beverage sales, the organizers were able to raise approximately ¥7 million to help local charities (Aminokai, Make-a-Wish of Japan, Meguriai no Kai, Child Abuse Prevention Network Aichi, Nagoya Helping Hands Group, Japan Service Dog Association and Aichi Bone Marrow Bank Support Association).

Congratulations to all the volunteers who helped make this year’s Nagoya Walkathon a success.

I would also like to congratulate Joanna Dubin, CEO and Representative Director of Gilt Groupe K.K., for participating in last month’s AIDS/LifeCycle (, a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money and awareness for the HIV and AIDS services of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Joanna is also this year’s sixth-top fundraiser for this important cause.

If there are any local charities that you would like the ACCJ’s Community Service Advisory Council to consider donating to with proceeds from the 2014 Charity Ball, please email Humza at We welcome your recommendations. •



Jay Ponazecki