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JASA Annual Celebration Dinner

Celebrate with us as we reflect on our society's year and look forward to growth in the years to come.

About the Annual Celebration Dinner...

Each year, the Japan-America Society of Alabama hosts a special reception and fundraiser to allow our members and guests from all over Alabama to gather, network, and dine with a special program to celebrate the JASA community. We recognize New and Expanding Japanese Companies across the state, hear from JASA leadership about our community's mission and goals, and honor the recipient of the Samuel Ullman Award. 

Our Program...

              Reception and                 Seated Dinner

Dine and converse with fellow Japanese and American industry and community leaders and enjoy the community of the JASA network. Enjoy our cocktail reception before dinner with drinks, entertainment, and great conversation. 

New and Expanding Companies

We will recognize the Alabama Department of Commerce’s 2023 new and expanding Japanese companies to showcase the significant economic impact of Japan on our state and show our appreciation for those who have chosen to call Alabama home.

The Samuel Ullman Award

The Japan-America Society of Alabama initiated the Samuel Ullman Award in 1992 to recognize those who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of the relationship between Japan and Alabama. We will honor this year's recipient of the award during our celebration. Read more about the Samuel Ullman Museum here.

Thank you for your participation in JASA 2023 Celebration Dinner & Business Forum!

The night’s program started by honoring the achievements of six Expanding Japanese companies—Cullman Casting, Topre America, North American Lighting, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Toray Composite Materials, and Daikin America— who have helped to create jobs and breathe life into communities all around our great state of Alabama. Their investment is worthy of celebration.

Following that was a presentation of the Samuel Ullman Award to Mr. Robert Black and Mrs. Linda T. Roberson. Mr. Black spoke about his efforts in creating the North Alabama Japanese garden and how the involvement of people in his community was integral and meaningful. Mrs. Roberson’s speech focused on her call to teaching and the exploration of the different cultures that make us who we are. She also expanded on the importance of education and how meaningful of an experience it was to expose students to a culture that she was learning so much about herself.

A special appreciation goes to our keynote speaker, Mr. Greg "Boomer" Wells, who entertained us with his experiences from his time playing in the NPB league. Mr. Wells has lived an interesting life as a pro athlete and as an Alabama native in Japan. He recounted humorous stories, demonstrating the differences and similarities between American and Japanese culture through his experiences.

JASA also wants to say a big thank you to everyone who stayed overnight or came early to participate in the JASA 2023 Business Forum the following morning after our Annual Celebration Dinner! We were happy to provide the opportunity for our guests to network and learn the recent business updates over a hearty Japanese breakfast.

The presentations delivered by two industry leaders were highly informative and helpful to anyone wanting to do business here in our state.

Mr. Kevin Taylor, Deputy Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) spoke about new and ongoing government programs and incentives that companies could take advantage of for their workforce development. He also spoke in detail about the EV and robotics centers that are expanding in Alabama.

Ms. Kristen Holder, Executive Director of Central Six Alabama Works! discussed her organization's role and that of other government programs in executing workforce development, particularly focusing on younger potential workers. She also delved into the educational aspect of workforce development.

We would love to once again thank both of them for their time and effort in talking with us, and those in attendance.

We also extend our sincere thanks to the generous sponsors of this year's events. Their dedication to our community is truly appreciated, and without their contribution, JASA could not undertake our mission of outreach and support for our community.

Last but not least we also want to thank anyone who has volunteered with us for this event or any other throughout the year. Big or small, any amount of time or effort that you have spent with us, is tremendously impactful to our success.

JASA 2023 Annual Celebration Dinner and Business Forum was featured on Made in Alabama!

MADE IN ALABAMA: ´╗┐Long-standing Alabama-Japan bonds on full display at celebration

Congratulations to 6 Expanding Japanese Companies in Alabama!

  • Cullman Casting (Cullman, Cullman County)
  • Topre America Corp. (Cullman, Cullman County)
  • North American Lighting (Muscle Shoals, Colbert County)
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (Huntsville, Madison County)
  • Toray Composite Materials (Decatur, Morgan County)
  • Daikin America (Decatur, Morgan County)

Congratulations to 2023 Samuel Ullman Award Recipients!

  • Mr. Robert Black, North Alabama Japanese Garden
  • Mrs. Linda T. Roberson, Birmingham City Schools-Retired

2023 Celebration Dinner and Business Forum Photo Gallery

Contact Us

+1 (205) 703-0960


2081 Columbiana Rd #10

Vestavia Hills, AL 35216

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