The University of Findlay honored Kohei Suzuki, founder of GSW Manufacturing, and his son Joji “George” Suzuki, the company’s former president, during a ceremony at the Findlay Country Club on Thursday.
The university awarded Kohei Suzuki with an honorary doctor of business administration, and George Suzuki received a distinguished alumnus award from the university’s alumni association.
The university presented the honorary degree in recognition of Kohei Suzuki’s efforts to bridge the culture gap between Japan and Findlay, creating understanding, friendship and joint economic benefits, according to the university.
Kohei Suzuki, who founded several companies in Japan, established GSW Manufacturing in Findlay’s Tall Timbers industrial park in 1989, the first wholly Japanese-owned company in Findlay. GSW serves as the North American headquarters for G.S. Eletech, which manufactures automobile electrical and hose assemblies.
Under Suzuki’s leadership, GSW spearheaded a Japan study tour for educators and community leaders to experience Japan first-hand. GSW supported the trip for 10 years between 1993 and 2003, sending more than 20 community leaders. The program is now supported by the Friends of Findlay, a consortium of Japan-based companies in northwestern Ohio.
He also invested in downtown Findlay, bringing authentic Japanese culture and cuisine to the community with the establishment of Japan West restaurant.
Joji “George” Suzuki was honored for his international business career and for setting an example as a 1999 graduate of the University of Findlay’s master of business administration program.
George Suzuki is the president of G.S. Eletech of Japan, a position he has held since 2013.
In 1987, George Suzuki started G.S. Wiring Systems in California, and in 1989 he moved to Findlay to start GSW Manufacturing, where he served as president from 1994 to 1999, according to the university.
In 2001, George Suzuki became a managing director of G.S. Eletech in Aichi, Japan.
The next year, he came back to Findlay to lead GSW Manufacturing, again as president, and then he returned to Japan in 2008.
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