February 2020

In this Issue

  • Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival 
  • Tennessee-Japan Forum 2020 Photos
  • Member Spotlight - DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. 
  • Volunteer Spotlight - Tony Viglietti 
  • Welcome JAST New Members  
  • JAST Job Bank 
  • Upcoming Community Events

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Apr 4th, ​​9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Nashville Public Square 

Join us at the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, a free to the public, family-friendly celebration of spring and Japanese culture. For more information on the Festival, the Cherry Blossom Walk and Japan Week (March 23rd-April 3rd), please visit the festival WEBSITE

Tennessee-Japan Forum 2020 Photos


Thank you to everyone who attended the Tennessee-Japan Forum 2020 on February 12th at Baker Donelson, where we celebrated 20 years of JAST and the anniversaries of organizational members for their consecutive years of support.

Celebrating 20 consecutive years were Bridgestone Americas, Inc.; Brother Industries (U.S.A), Inc.; DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.; First Horizon Bank;  Jackson Chamber; Komatsu America Corp; Marsh USA, Inc.; Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.; Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce; Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Nissan North America, Inc.; NKC of America Inc.; and Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

Celebrating 15 consecutive years were Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; James E. Auer U.S.-Japan Center; Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association; Tennessee Valley Authority; and United Recruiters/Mr. Japanese.

Celebrating 10 consecutive years were Dickinson Wright, PLLC; and Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrating 5 consecutive years were Austin Peay State University; City of McKenzie; Gresham Smith; and United Airlines. 

For more photos from the meeting and reception, please go HERE. 


Member Spotlight - DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.

DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. is located in Maryville, Tennessee and has been a proud member of JAST for 20 years. Bob Booker, Senior Manager for DENSO’s Corporate Services Division, currently serves as Board Chair for JAST. DENSO, the world’s second-largest automotive parts supplier with over 200 facilities in more than 30 countries, is committed to making the world a better place and keeping drivers safe through innovative products and technology. The Maryville location is the company’s largest manufacturing facility, employing over 5,000 people and producing close to 80 different parts.

This month, DENSO hosted the grand opening of its Central Technical Training Center, located on the Maryville campus. Former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty delivered a speech to the audience via live phone message. “DENSO is a flagship corporate citizen here in Tennessee, critical to the fabric of our state economy and our culture,” said Hagerty. Consul-General of Japan in Nashville Kayoko Fukushima attended the grand opening.

The new training center gives employees access to over 50 hands-on courses in production-related areas with labs focused on electrical, robotic and mechanical applications in manufacturing. DENSO also collaborates with local colleges and high schools to better prepare students interested in manufacturing or successful and rewarding careers in the industry.

JAST thanks DENSO and Bob for their longtime support. For more information, please visit DENSO’s website.

DENSO North America CEO Kenichiro Ito cuts the ribbon with DENSO executives and local dignitaries by his side during the Grand Opening of the Central Technical Training Center.

Kevin McKenzie from DENSO demonstrates a Human Machine Interface to Consul-General Kayoko Fukushima in the new Central Technical Training Center.

Volunteer Spotlight - Tony Viglietti 

On February 18th, Tony Viglietti was recognized by Council Member Emily Benedict (pictured with Tony below) and the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County for his many years of hard work and service to the city of Nashville. Tony is a longtime JAST member and member of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Planning Committee. Every year, he works diligently months ahead of the Festival, braving cold and wet weather to inspect  and repair electrical outlets and power boxes at Public Square. On the day of the Festival, Tony provides electrical and technical services to our exhibitors and vendors.

Tony serves as Beautification and Environment Commissioner for District 7 and volunteer Executive Director of Friends of Riverside Drive, which he founded to restore Riverside Drive to its beautiful original condition and as a memorial to American servicemen and women. Tony initiated the planting of hundreds of Yoshino cherry trees on Riverside Drive.

Tony has received many well-deserved honors and accolades for his community service, neighborhood cleanups and tree plantings. In 2019, Tony received the Citizen Activist Award at the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s Awards of Excellence Luncheon for his outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Tennessee and was also honored for his outstanding volunteerism at the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards. 

We can’t thank Tony enough for everything he does for the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival and for our community. As was written in the Metro Council Resolution, Tony is “that special person who gets things done and brings people of all kinds together”.


Welcome JAST New Members 

-Corporate Member


-Individual Member

  • Michael McCooey

JAST Job Bank 

Checkout our new Job Bank page on the JAST website.

Have a job posting? Email jastninfo@jastn.org


Have a Japan related event that you would like promoted in our newsletter? Contact jastninfo@jastn.org.


Office: +1 615-663-6060


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