After returning from a job working for a Japanese company in Canada, Michiyo Hoshizawa spotted an employment advertisement in The Japan Times for an administrative assistant in the U.S. Grain Council’s (USGC’s) office in Tokyo.
“At the first glance, I knew that this is exactly the work I would like to pursue, utilizing my experience in working abroad,” she said. “Since I started working for the Council, I have been very interesting in working in trade promotion.”
The Council formally recognized Michiyo for 20 years of service during its 15th International Marketing Conference and 58th Annual Membership Meeting in Houston, Texas.
“Michiyo handles myriad duties, from administering the Tokyo office finances to escorting teams and program implementation in Japan – she does it all,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer. “Creative, dedicated, professional and personable, Michiyo is a joy to work with.”
Starting as the administrative assistant, Michiyo was in charge of all inbound and outbound travel arrangements as well as coordination of the Japan office’s seminars and conferences. She was later promoted to administrative manager with broader responsibilities in office administration and accounting, pulling on her prior experience working for a bank.
In 2014, she was promoted again to program and administrative manager, becoming more involved in the Council’s food promotion programs for barley and sorghum. In that role, she helped plan and publish the first food sorghum recipe book in 2016, which is still on sale on Amazon Japan. She also helped host a sorghum talk show at Foodex2017 that featured a celebrity nutritionist.
“I have learned a lot about how the Council was working and how best I could contribute to customer and member services,” she said. “In my current job, I can meet a lot of farmer members visiting Japan, travel with them and meet with a lot of Japanese customers.”
“I enjoy talking with these people. That used to be an unknown world but, now, it is part of me.”
About the U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.