I’ve just returned from a couple of days in Honolulu where Governor Linda Lingle and Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona declared May 14, 2008 as "Sony Hawai’i Day" in recognition of the company’s 40 anniversary of operations in the Aloha State. Now, how cool is that?
The proclamation is the first of its kind from an individual state to any of Sony Electronics’ operations in the U.S. It was quite humbling and most impressive to see the outpouring of support for Sony from local government, community, military and business leaders during a banquet to acknowledge the occasion. There was certainly a lot of what the locals call "Aloha Spirit" in the room.
I can’t tell you how many people came up to me to express their appreciation not only for Sony’s business and our innovative products, but for the goodwill in the community. For example, Sony annually sponsors the Sony Open in Hawai’i — one of the golfing world’s first PGA events every January — where we have helped raise more than $8 million for island charities over the past ten years.
The banquet was attended by three past presidents of Sony Hawai’i along with the current chief Ned Nomura. I also had the honor to meet Mrs. Akio Morita, the wife of our late co-founder, who played a critical leadership role in the establishment of our Hawai’i operations there in 1968.
In addition to serving consumers and business with Sony products on the islands, Sony Hawai’i serves as our center for the company’s business with the U.S. military and their families at base exchanges around the world, including the continental U.S., Japan, Korea, Guam and Europe. Hawai’i is also the base of our operations that serve consumers in the U.S. territories of Guam, Saipan and Palau in the South Pacific.
While I was in Honolulu, I visited a couple of the leading consumer electronics retailers, which had large Sony sections in their shops — clearly much larger (with lots of HDNA merchandising displays) compared to any other CE or computer manufacturers.
Sony is also the only electronics company with a major presence in Hawai’i, including sales, marketing, logistics and customer service operations.
Hopefully, with this week’s announcement of our first two electronics waste recycling depots in Hawai’i, combined with continued consumer and military business prosperity for Sony, we are poised for another 40 years of success in the Aloha State.
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