Following the protracted global economic slowdown that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, many cities across the world are well on the way to recovery. To build further on this trend, Mayor Tim Kelly plans to expand the Chattanooga’s business network across the world, focusing particularly on Japan.
“Having been a Honda dealer for a number of years, I looked up to Ichiro Honda as one of my leadership heroes because of the way he led that company during the course of his life. The philosophy of partnership that Honda embodies is very much my personal philosophy also,” Kelly said.
In running the city, the mayor applies his experience as a business executive.
“As a fan of Japanese culture and their business culture, I realize that we need to cultivate relationships. Japanese companies understand the value of partnership and the value of partnership over time,” he said.
The mayor also sees the ideal partnership between an incubator of technological innovation, Japan, and a well-established manufacturing center, Chattanooga.
“It might be somewhat rare in the United States to have a mayor with my background in and skill set with Japanese business. Tennessee is one of the premier states in the U.S. for foreign direct investment. I'm a little partial but Chattanooga is by far the most attractive city in the state. So, if any Japanese companies are considering investment in this part of the world, I hope that they will give Chattanooga a look,” Kelly said.