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Company lauded for 20 years of corporate citizenship
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
PK USA Inc. marked its 20-year anniversary in Shelbyville with a celebration at the Northridge Drive facility on Monday, attended by high-ranking corporate management, state and local politicians and community leaders.
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita took time on the day before the primary election to attend the ceremony, noting that the event was too significant for him to miss even at such a busy time in his schedule.
"This is the first time in 40 years that Indiana really matters in a primary election," Rokita said during a brief address, "but PK's anniversary is important to the state of Indiana and what Indiana will be in the future."
The secretary of state added that when PK chose Shelbyville as the site for its new company in 1988, the management of the Japanese company saw the potential of the city "before some of the rest of us saw it."
Rokita said partnerships between Indiana towns, cities and countries throughout the world are vital, and that too many Hoosiers think of business competition as coming from another city in the state instead of looking to global markets, but in addition to competition, "this also creates partnerships."
Commenting that successful civilizations and states "do not build walls," Rokita said "Indiana is leading the way in the nation by making the point that we need to knock down walls."
He also read a letter of congratulations on PK's anniversary from Gov. Mitch Daniels, who complimented the company on its efforts to form good corporate and community relationships.
Shoichi Namiki, chairman of the board of directors for PK's parent company, Press Kogyo Co. Ltd, and former president and CEO of PK USA for five years, returned to Shelbyville for Monday's celebration, calling himself "PK's first employee." When PK was looking for a site to build, Namiki was instrumental in selecting Shelbyville. He talked about the importance of the relationship between PK and Shelbyville and cited "excellent teamwork" as the secret to the company's success in the city.
In recognition of Namiki's work to establish PK in Shelbyville, Mayor Scott Furgeson read a proclamation making the Japanese business leader an honorary citizen of Shelbyville and presented a key to the city to him.
"PK, and all the Japanese companies in our community, are our rock and our stability," Furgeson said.
To show appreciation for the support of Shelbyville Central Schools as a community partner, Eiji Umabayashi, PK president and chief executive officer since 2005, presented the school system with a check from the company for $5,000. SCS Superintendent David Adams and public relations director Kim Owens accepted the check.
Following the presentation, Rokita noted that he hoped the school system would use the money for scholastic programs and "not spend it on the football field. Keep football for Friday night and concentrate on scholastics."
Part of the day's celebration included the dedication of three Japanese fuji, or wisteria, trees. The small trees with their lavender blooms were placed beside the front door to the plant offices, and the planting area includes a commemorative plaque that marks the important anniversary.
Another treat of the day was the presentation of numerous Bundy and Company Inc. decorative decoy ducks to many of the Japanese executives and state and local dignitaries present as mementos of the occasion. In fact, the owner of Bundy and Company, John Bundy, talked to the crowd about how his Noblesville decoy business has assisted various governors in Indiana since 1980 to establish relationships with Japanese companies.
Bundy said his ducks, which are made of solid, polished wood, were first presented as gifts by Gov. Robert Orr in the 1980s as he worked to bring Japanese factories to Indiana.
"He knew that the Japanese had a love of beauty and quality, which made my decoy ducks perfect gifts," Bundy said. "If my carvings were part of bringing factories to Indiana, I am proud of it."
PK started in the Methodist Building in downtown Shelbyville in 1988 and has grown to the fourth-largest employer in Shelby County with 500 employees. The current plant sits on 65 acres and is 350,000 square feet.
PK has annual sales of $120 million and is a primary supplier of metal body, chassis and plastic injection parts for automotive companies throughout the world. More than 400 delivery trucks enter and leave PK each week, delivering 46.7 million body panels, chassis and suspension parts each year.
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