Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Chief Executive Officer John Sampson will lead a delegation to Japan. The group will promote the region to Japanese businesses looking to expand to the United States. September 22, 2014

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, will lead a delegation of Northeast Indiana representatives from Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation on a trip to Japan.

The group will promote Northeast Indiana as a location for Japanese businesses looking to grow and expand in the United States. Visits to Tokyo, Shizuoka, Osaka and Hiroshima are planned for the trip, which will take place September 26 through October 4.

“With a strong presence of longstanding Japanese firms in Northeast Indiana, it is important for us to maintain strong relationships with these firms in Japan,” said Sampson. “We hope to renew old friendships and build new friendships for the future.”

The group will visit representatives of Japanese companies that have an existing presence in Northeast Indiana and thank them for their investment in the region. Currently eight Japanese businesses have manufacturing or U.S./North American headquarters in the region.

They will also meet with new business contacts, primarily in vehicle manufacturing, to begin building relationships with companies that may have a future interest in expanding in the Midwest.

“We are excited to take part in this regional trade mission to Japan,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation. “It's an invaluable opportunity for LaGrange County to connect with one of our largest employers while also spreading the message that Northeast Indiana is a great place to do business!”

As Northeast Indiana continues to see its foreign direct investment grow, visits like this are crucial to building lasting relationships with trading partners and companies that have made — or could make — huge investments in the region.

“Indiana Michigan Power has a large number of foreign-based customers, including many in Japan,” said Rob Cleveland, director of economic development and community relations at Indiana Michigan Power. “This trip will solidify the business relationships with our existing Japanese customers and introduce new Japanese companies to the benefits of doing business in Northeast Indiana.”

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.

For more information, visit

Source: The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

Story Continues Below