Macomb’s mayor and the head of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) traveled halfway around the world to say “Thank you.” The gratitude was expressed in Japan to top executives at NTN Bower, which has operated a plant in Macomb since 1985 and this year announced a major expansion of the plant.
Mayor Mike Inman felt the city should respectfully thank corporate leaders in a face-to-face meeting.
“The Japanese culture puts a great deal of weight in those types of relationship protocols, shall we say,” Inman said.
The trip took place October 23 – 31. Inman was joined by MAEDCO Executive Director Kim Pierce. She said the trip was endorsed by the Macomb plant.
“They’re actually responsible for a lot of the cooperation and scheduling of our visit there and the dates so that it corresponded with their global management meeting that they hold twice a year. That meeting had over 100 of their presidents and vice presidents there from all of their global holdings,” Pierce said, adding it was “an opportune time” for the visit.
Pierce called it “a business attraction and retention visit.” She considered it a success and said it helped establish the groundwork for recruiting other Japanese companies. Pierce said in addition to the meetings with NTN Bower executives, the two visited the North Asia office for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Kyoto University.
The final bills for the trip are not in but Inman believes they will add up to less than $10,000. The trip is being paid for by the city, MAECO, and the Enterprise Zone Board.
Inman’s wife, Melissa, also took part in the trip. Mayor Inman said his family is paying for her expenses.