Bob Lewis: How Can You Afford to Do Those Things?
THE PSU CENTER FOR JAPANESE STUDIES
PRESENTS AN INSTALLMENT IN THE SERIES: SUCCESS STORIES OF OREGON/SW WASHINGTON AND JAPAN DOING BUSINESS TOGETHER
A free Zoom talk by
Bob Lewis, Former President and Co-Owner, Columbia Vista Corp.
How Can you Afford to Do Those Things?
When: December 1, 2020 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time
Japan Time on December 2 at 11 a.m.
Registration deadline: Sunday, Nov. 29th at Noon
Japan Time on Monday, Nov. 30 at 5 a.m.
Space is limited. Registration is first-come, first-served.
Co-Sponsored by PSU Department of World Languages and Literatures
This is the story of a small, family-owned business in the wood products sector. Bob and Sharon (former CEO and Co-Owner) purchased the Columbia Vista Corporation in 1991. Starting in 1993, drawing on managerial practices they first learned from Japan, Bob and Sharon embarked on an adventure to change Columbia Vista’s culture to empower its employees to help craft a future for themselves, their customers, and the community. It is a revealing tale of how businesses can and should improve their workforce, culture, as well as augment their community impact. When they shared stories of such practices with fellow business people, Bob and Sharon were often asked incredulously, “How can you afford to do those things?” But the better they treated their employees, the more success the company experienced. Since 70 percent of the wood products produced by Columbia Vista was shipped to Japan, this story fits into the business success stories lecture series from multiple angles.