Yayoi Yamamoto is the owner of PDX Coordinator.
Her company specializes in coordinating events for Japanese media groups and companies interested in international trade with the Pacific Northwest and the Portland consumer market.
Yayoi Yamamoto was born and raised in Shinagawa, Japan, a neighborhood district of Tokyo. Both of her parents were second generation Tokyoites raised in the city. Yayoi’s father was a disciplined and successful businessman who had three family owned restaurants and businesses. She and her siblings were expected to help with many aspects of the business while also balancing school and sports.
From an early age, Yayoi was an avid reader. She remembers being raised in a time of great change for the city, where strict cultural standards still existed and clashed with new cultural influences from the West. “Japan has long had an interest in American culture, but after the success of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, it seemed to mark a new era in terms of how the Japanese people embraced change. My friends and I became influenced by British rock and American t.v. shows,” stated Yamamoto.
Yayoi’s father was different than most in that he encouraged his daughter to travel abroad, which was rare for Japanese parents to do at the time. It was on a trip to Hong Kong that Yamamoto realized how much she enjoyed travel. In February 1984, Yayoi moved to Portland, Oregon to begin coursework at Portland State University for business school.
After graduating college, Yamamoto worked for a year as a stock market dealer’s assistant and then at an international business consulting firm in Japan for 3 years. It was during her time back in Japan that she met Herb Yamamoto, volunteering at an orphanage event. Yayoi and Herb began dating and married in 1992, spending 7 years in Tokyo as Herb worked for General Motors on aninternational assignment.
In 1999, after almost a decade of stressful city life and corporate jobs, Yayoi and Herb decided that moving to Portland would be the best option for raising their family. In 2002, Yayoi started an educational consulting firm to provide guidance to parents raising bilingual children.
About the same time, she started PDX Coordinator as a way to introduce Portland’s thriving business culture to Japan. Japanese business delegations and
media groups rely on Yayoi to help with setting up agendas, translating and making connections. Last April in Tokyo, she was part of 20-person committee, including Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, to present a program that focused on doing business in Oregon.
“I still believe that face to face connection is key in making good business contacts, we are all part of a small urban community in which trust is so important. We appreciate OAME’s ability to bring both connection and trust together, where you can meet important people in an easy and safe environment,” stated Yamamoto.
For more about PDX Coordinator, call 503.297.9057
This article originally appeared in OAME’s October 2015 Monthly Newsletter. If you would like to be added to our Mailing List, email email@example.com
-written by Matt Rutter
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