Executive Impact

Path finder: Machi Takahashi maps the interactive era

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When entrepreneur Machi Takahashi made the transition from executive assistant to business development at a research institute, she could not have imagined the move would lead to her creating a spin-off company. Yet, as cofounder and co-CEO of Stroly, a free platform for sharing GPS-enabled designed maps, that is exactly what… Read

Executive Impact

New Eli Lilly president making an impact

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It was a desire to work with customers that first led Simone Thomsen to pursue a career in hotel mana­gement. And it was a love for things international that led her down a path in that industry to Japan. That she would find the combination of helping others and global… Read

Executive Impact

Rui Nagamori empowers mothers through sustainable e-commerce models

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Japanese entrepreneur Rui Nagamori never imagined that she would one day be a cofounder of a startup. After all, back in 2010, she was married and had only recently given birth to her son. So, the idea of starting a business—let alone a startup—was the last thing on her mind. But… Read

Executive Impact

Lauren Kocher trades music for her own path

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American Lauren Kocher is not the kind of person who backs away from a challenge. When it seemed she was set to climb the music industry’s corporate ladder, she stepped off, opened the startup parachute, and cofounded a company. Today, she is the chief operating officer at Zaiko PTE Ltd., which creates ticketing… Read

Executive Impact

Crisp and customized service: The right ingredients to success

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Hiroshi Roy Miyano, the sole owner and president of custom salad restaurant Crisp Inc, walks into the room full of enthusiasm. The very easy-going president of the well-known salad store chain speaks with passion about his expanding business. Crisp Inc was founded in 2014, and has since expanded to operate… Read

Executive Impact

Digital DNA: Rie Kawano thinks her way to success

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Rie Kawano is very open about why Cognitee Inc., the company she founded in 2013 and where she is chief executive officer, struggled in the early days. Cognitee develops software powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the logical structure of communications, from text messages to emails to voice recordings. Negotiations, pitches, articles,… Read

Executive Impact

Pronto chief always one cup ahead of the competition

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“This is my hobby. That’s why I’ve been in this business for 15 years and yet I never get tired of what I do.” This is how enthusiastically Norihiko Takemura, president of Pronto Corporation, speaks about his business of running the coffee shop chain. However, Takemura is quick to point… Read

Executive Impact

Finding work–life balance and social change through global experience

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Venture capitalist and impact investment trailblazer Eriko Suzuki knows a thing or two about mid-career change and taking on ever-greater challenges. After all, her career has straddled several fields—from investment banking to startups, retail to impact investing, and even venture capital. And that’s not to mention an upbringing that began in Japan but… Read

Executive Impact

Halekulani brings luxury resort experience to Okinawa

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Halekulani Okinawa, a new luxury resort, will open its doors on July 26. It is the second hotel to be created by the Hawaiian luxury hotel of the same name and its first outside Hawaii. The Okinawa hotel will also become Japan’s third member of The Leading Hotels of the… Read

Executive Impact

KEF punches above its weight in Japan's audio market

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In Japan’s mature and fiercely competitive audio market, Nobu Asai is helping high-end loudspeaker manufacturer KEF punch above its weight. While domestic and foreign brands vie to attract the country’s discerning consumers, company president Asai is adopting innovative management and leadership to help his team compete. It is a fitting… Read

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