Greater Hall Chamber Business Delegation Visits Japan

Monday August 01, 2016 – Contact:

Tim Evans
Vice President of Economic Development
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
770-532-6206 x 107

www.greaterhallchamber.comGHCC Japan Business Delegation 7-2016

A team of area business leaders visited Kubota Corporation’s headquarters in Osaka, Japan in July. The statue is of Gonshiro Kubota who founded the company in 1890. Today, the company has 36,000 associates worldwide and with the latest expansion, will have a projected 3,000 employees in Hall and Jackson Counties. (L-R): Hideo Takigawa, General Manager, Kubota Corporation; Tim Evans, Greater Hall Chamber VP Economic Development; David Lee, Jackson EMC; Jimbo Floyd, Turner Wood & Smith Insurance; Harry Yoshida, Executive Officer & General Manager, Kubota Corporation; Brian Daniel, Carroll Daniel Construction; Yumiko Nakazono, State of Georgia Economic Development Office in Japan; Brian Rochester, Rochester & Associates; Perry Barnett CPA, Rushton.

Gainesville-Hall County, GA – Monday, August 1, 2016: A team of six area business leaders from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce participated in a trip to Japan as part of a week of calling on existing industries and prospective businesses. The team (profiles at bottom of article) included:

  • Perry Barnett, CPA – Rushton
  • Brian Daniel – Carroll Daniel Construction
  • Tim Evans – Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
  • Jimbo Floyd – Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance
  • David Lee – Jackson EMC
  • Brian Rochester – Rochester & Associates

Yumiko Nakazono, the State of Georgia’s Economic Development representative based in Japan, was also part of the delegation.

In meetings from Osaka to Tokyo, the team met with Japanese business leaders to encourage good will, to further long-term relationships, and to encourage new capital investment and jobs from both new and existing businesses.

“Visiting the executives and headquarters of existing industry is a priority of our Economic Development program,” said Kit Dunlap, President & CEO, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “With our diverse international base, some headquarters are a five-minute drive and some are a plane ride away. Economic development is the cornerstone of the Chamber’s Hallmark Initiative, and we are proud to have sent this team of business representatives to Japan to encourage continued investment.”

Gainesville-Hall County has already benefited from major Japanese businesses, including locations for Kubota, Etori, Shintone, Tatsumi and American Yazaki. Together, these firms employ more than 2,000 in Gainesville-Hall County. Kubota is Georgia’s largest Japanese owned company, and it will soon employ more than 3,000 people in Georgia. The company recently completed a 500,000 square foot production facility in the new Gateway Industrial Centre on Highway 365 in Hall County as a part of a growth plan to add an additional 580 jobs to the existing operations.

“Gainesville-Hall County is known as a community that can support the operational needs of Japanese owned businesses as well as the quality of life desired by Japanese managers for their families,” said Brian Rochester of Rochester & Associates and Chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Council.

For many years, Georgia has been a leading business location for Japanese investment, and the State of Georgia opened its first international office in Tokyo in 1973.

“We heard from our existing industries that Gainesville-Hall County and Georgia serve their needs well,” said Brian Daniel of Carroll Daniel Construction and 2015 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors. “They value the long-term investments in Georgia’s Port facilities, the non-stop passenger air service between Atlanta and Tokyo, and Georgia’s nationally recognized Quick Start Training program at Lanier Technical College.”

“It is reassuring to hear from our Japanese stakeholders that we are taking the right steps in the Chamber’s workforce development efforts with Lanier Technical College, Hall County Schools and Gainesville City Schools,” said Perry Barnett, CPA of Rushton and Chairman of the Chamber’s Workforce Development Task Force. “Work-based learning, technical education and apprenticeship programs are all important pieces to providing the skills and talent that our healthcare and technology manufacturing firms need.”

“This business mission was about renewing relationships and establishing new ones,” said Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber. “These are long-term relationships and our efforts and time to meet with the business leaders in Japan will bring business, jobs and investment for our community.”

The Chamber’s economic development mission will be followed by Gainesville-Hall County’s host-role in the 2016 Japan-America Grassroots Summit exchange program October 6-9. The Japan‐America Grassroots Summit is an annual one-week cultural exchange program for Japanese and American citizens of all ages. The program is held alternately each year in Japan and the United States. An average of 200 people travel across the Pacific to participate and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries by fostering peace and friendship at a grassroots level. The Japan America Society of Georgia is taking a lead role in organizing Georgia’s host responsibilities, and Gainesville is one of 15 host cities across Georgia that will welcome Japanese citizens this October within homes and families of Gainesville-Hall County residents. For more information about the Japan Grassroots Summit, visit or email Tate O’Rouke, University of North Georgia:


Employment Opportunities with Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA)
KMA is adding 580 jobs in Gainesville-Hall County over the next few years. To view available job postings and the company application process online, visit:

About the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to supporting an aggressive business environment and making a positive contribution to the community by serving as a resource for information, a voice for business and a valuable link to community development. Founded in 1908, the Greater Hall Chamber serves the entire Hall County area, including the cities of Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood, Clermont, Gillsville, Lula, Braselton and Buford. With more than 2,300 business members, the Chamber offers a full range of business services. For information:

About the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council
The Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council is a public-private partnership of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, Hall County and the Cities of Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Lula and Oakwood. The Economic Development Council provides one-stop marketing and economic development services to support the community’s efforts in existing industry retention, new business recruitment, small business development and retail development.


Perry Barnett, CPA
Perry Barnett is a partner at Rushton, one of the region’s largest accounting firms serving clients locally, statewide and over- seas. Perry, with Rushton since 2002, has over 25 years of experience and oversees the firm’s Business Services division. He also works with clients in manufacturing, distribution, construction and other industries while specializing in international business, tax and estate planning, business formation and succession planning. Perry is Chairman-Elect of Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a current member of the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority, and chairs the Chamber’s Workforce Development Task Force that works closely with area employers, educators and leaders to create and market programs to enhance the area’s labor pool.

Brian Daniel
Brian Daniel is President of Carroll Daniel Construction, a general contracting and construction management firm located in Gainesville. Founded in 1946, the company specializes in construction management of education, industrial, healthcare and hospitality facilities throughout the Southeastern United States. Brian is a former Treasurer and Immediate Past Chairman
of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Governors of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors, and the Board of Directors of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia. He serves as a Director of the Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia, as a Trustee of Riverside Military Academy and is a licensed commercial pilot.

Tim Evans
Tim Evans is Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. Tim has worked in economic development since 1994. He is Executive Director of the Gainesville-Hall Economic Development Council and also serves as the staff for the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority. He is responsible for managing business recruitment, expansions and retention efforts by marketing and representing Gainesville-Hall County to key business decision makers in the U.S. and internation- ally. Tim is past chair of the Georgia Economic Developers Association and has served as a Board Member for the Japan America Society of Georgia for the last 15 years, served as Director of the Southeast-US Japan Association and assisted Japanese companies with their business locations and Georgia delegations to Japan since 1998.

Jimbo Floyd
Jimbo Floyd is a Vice President and Partner of Turner Wood & Smith Insurance, Northeast Georgia’s largest and oldest inde- pendent insurance agencies. He joined the agency in 2004 after working with John Hancock in Atlanta, Georgia and special- izes in Property and Casualty insurance. He has earned the professional designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). Jimbo is currently serving as Treasurer for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is past co-chair of the HALLmark Initiative. An active alum of the University of Georgia (UGA), Jimbo routinely speaks to students in the UGA Insurance and Risk Management program to explain the many different career paths within the insurance industry and answers questions that students have with regard to their professional development.

David Lee
David Lee is a Senior Commercial and Industrial Marketing Representative for Jackson EMC. Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, one of the largest electric cooperatives in the nation, serves over 200,000 commercial and residential members in Northeast Georgia. Through its nationally recognized “Round Up” program which began in 2005, Jackson EMC has awarded over 1080 grants to organizations and individuals, totaling nearly $10 million. David serves on the Board of Directors for Rehabilitation Industries of North Georgia and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a past Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Lanier Joint Development Authority. He is a current member of the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority.

Brian Rochester
Brian Rochester is Principal and Executive Vice-President for Rochester & Associates, Inc. Brian coordinates multiple teams within the company including Development Consulting, Due Diligence and Planning, and Master Infrastructure Design. He pres- ently is responsible for client development and coordination of highly visible projects of the firm, including infrastructure for large master planned communities and municipal projects, such as Hall County Public Works, South Hall Sanitary Sewer Master Plan, Lanier Islands, Village of Deaton Creek – 600 acres in Hall County; and infrastructure planning and design for the new Kubota Manufacturing of America plant in Gainesville and the Kia Manufacturing assembly plant in West Point, Georgia. Brian has served for three consecutive years as Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council.