Best Wishes Toshi-san

In January 2017, it was time for Toshi Sakurai to return home to Japan. Toshi-san joined TOTC in July 2015 and has been an asset as liaison between Japan and the US. We will miss you Toshi-san and we wish you a bright future. We hope you are enjoying time with your family. Hopefully you will visit MO again soon.

 Thank you Toshi-san for your work at TOTC.  You have been a valuable asset to us.  We have also enjoyed some good times.  From your first TOTC zipnic (minute to win it games) to your farewell evening at Route 66.

 


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TOTC meets President Kitano-san

In December 2016, Tateho Chemical Industries president Mr. Kitano-san visited TOTC accompanied by Mr. Okano-san and Mr. Teramoto-san (Jim). President Kitano-san gave a short meaningful speech to the employees at TOTC followed by a Japanese lunch. As was the theme of Mr. Kitano-san’s speech, we as a company, both in Japan and at TOTC look forward to and work hard toward a bright future.

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Employee Swap

 Through the combined knowledge and experience of Tateho Chemical and Tateho Ozark we will achieve greatness. There is much we can learn from each other. In November 2016, TOTC account manager Trishia Axtell and Quality Manager Jamie Toburen spent a week in Japan. Their visit was a great opportunity for technology exchange as well as an enjoyable cultural experience.

Upon Trishia and Jamie’s return from Japan, TOTC happily entertained Mr. Nakao-san. Nakao-san spent a week at TOTC in MO comparing techniques and technology as well as enjoying a little American culture. We look forward to many more opportunities to learn from each other in the future.

 

 


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GoodBye Kaichi Thanksgiving dinner 2016

Kaichi Shimada has been part of the TOTC sales team since February.  On November 4th Kai will be moving back to Japan to continue as a sales representative.  Kai was looking forward to an American Thanksgiving this year.  Since Kai’s move is just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, TOTC employees had a potluck Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday 3rd.

Best wishes Kai and we will miss you!

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TOTC is expanding!

We will soon be relocating our US offices 10 meters closer to our Corporate Headquarters with the completion of a new West Wing to our building. This will save us 30 nanoseconds in response time as we continue to find ways to improve our service and quality! There are other benefits as well:

1) The new addition will provide a much needed enlarged combination Conference Room and Emergency Shelter.

2) Our staff will gain some much needed elbow room without losing our vital networking and interface.

3) We will have three new production areas which will be used to streamline and reorganize QC, Shipping, Scheduling, Process flow, and the addition of a Machining center.

Stay tuned for progress updates!

 

 

 


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A little Halloween Fun!

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Badges & Burgers

At Tateho Ozark we take pride in our community and gladly participate in community events.  Tateho Ozark employees purchased a nice lunch of cheeseburgers, chips, drink and dessert provided by the Webb City police and fire departments.  Many Tateho Ozark employees also took part in the raffle with all proceeds going to the United Way.

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2016 Zipnic

On Wednesday August 10th Tateho Ozark Employees gathered for our annual company picnic known as our zipnic. As usual the zipnic began with a company picture. We then had a nice lunch of chicken, hamburgers, and brats from the grill. Thanks to Chris Turner and Dathan Blackford for working the grill. We enjoyed many sides and desserts including homemade ice cream made by Michael Armour as he does every year. Lunch was followed by games and a balloon pop drawing for prizes. We played some Japanese games this year including origami sumo wrestling and chopstick races (using M&Ms) along with some more American yard games. It was an enjoyable time for all. Jim-san read us a very nice letter from our head office Tateho Chemical’s president Mr. Minato-san. Mr Minato-san reminisced on our ribbon cutting ceremony last august and discussed the overall company success thanking us all for our contributions.

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Congratulations Joyce!!

On Friday June 3rd TOTC celebrated the retirement of one of our inspection room workers, Joyce Wilson.  We had a nice meal with cake and ice cream.  Joyce is learning guitar and received an amp as a gift.  As often happens, Kelly and a few TOTC employees played a song or two for us.  We were excited to celebrate with her and hope to have many visits from her in the future.  Maybe Joyce will play a song for us when she visits.  We wish her the best of luck in her retirement.  We will miss you Joyce!

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KPMG visit again and new best friend from Air Water!

As part of the process of making TOTC compliant with all the legal requirements to be part of the Tateho and Air Water families, we were visited again by the KPMG team and especially privileged to be introduced to Rie Sakuraba from the AWI office.

The hard work went on for three days, with working lunches and long days. We ended with a nice group dinner at a Thai restaurant, and some great advice and guidance from the team.

Thank you to the participants and your patience with us across the language divide. We continue to be amazed at your work and ability to communicate with us!

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Team TOTC on the road

It did not take long before we had a good reason to travel out West. Jim, Kelly, Kaichi and Trishia caught a big silver bird and went to see an exciting project on behalf of our home office. We saw some incredible technology under development, and know we are just a couple steps away from a time machine or flying car!

The JKKT squad has their first road trip under their belt. We had to conclude with a classic American restaurant experience to put on the expense account. Travel is so grueling!


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We are learning about all the wonderful Japanese special occasions and holidays!

TOTC celebrates Foundation Day on February 11

We are not so fortunate as to get the day off work, but we did take advantage of the occasion to have Pizza brought in. Pizza may not be traditional 9th Century Japanese cuisine, but we didn’t have time to catch an octopus or a nice eel, lol…

From Wiki:
The origin of National Foundation Day is New Year’s Day in the traditional lunisolar calendar. On that day, the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu was celebrated based on Nihonshoki, which states that Emperor Jimmu ascended to the throne on the first day of the first month.

As Americans, it is impossible to think about the formation of Civilizations and Nations. Just imagine if our Native American tribes were all consolidated into a single nation 1200 years ago. What chance would Columbus have had!

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Another photo op!

After the arrival of Jim-san and Kaichi-san, we took a moment to get a photo of our co-CEOs and sales team.


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Happy 30th Birthday Zippy!

30th-birthday

OZARK Technical Ceramics was founded February 2nd 1986.  On August 1st 2015, just 6 months short of OZARK’s 30th birthday, Tateho Chemical Industries acquired OZARK and established Tateho Ozark Technical Ceramics(TOTC).  Making OZARK a proud member of the forever 29 club.

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February 2nd 2016, TOTC employees celebrated the 30th birthday of OZARK with a tradition from OZARK’s first 10 years.  When Zippy was founded, Greg and Kelly joked about hiring skid row homeless workers as needed instead of full time employees.  As an incentive, we would supply “Posey Specials” to workers.

A Posey Special is a honeybun topped with liverwurst, named after Raymond Posey, the small town hobo who invented the delicacy.  Long before Fear Factor became a TV show, we were tormenting our new employees with Posey Specials on every Groundhog Day / Anniversary.  Turns out they are good!  (OK, it’s an acquired taste!)

What were you doing in 1986?

As part of the 30th birthday celebration, we took a look at what some of TOTC’s current employees were doing in 1986.   We hope you will enjoy walking down memory lane with us.  Even Toshi-san shared a photo.

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Welcome to TOTC Jim-san and Kaichi-san

An eventful day!  Also on February 2nd TOTC welcomed Jim-san and Kaichi-san from Japan for their first day working at TOTC.  Toshi-san picked up our new jet-lagged road warriors right after our Birthday observance. They will have to wait a full year to sample our unique delicacy!

Of course Jim Teramoto is our oldest acquaintance from Tateho and he will be leading us to the challenge of our growth and improvements. Kaichi Shimada is joining to amplify our sales and marketing effort and synchronize the efforts of all of our teams.

Both our new team members are settled in housing and have hit the ground running!  We are looking forward to the ride!

Kaichi and Jim first day at TOTC


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Dennis Manning did good!

It was alumni day at TOTC when Dennis stopped by to pick up the Walnut Gun Cabinet turned Display Case we have had since 1988.  It was great to see Dennis again, who was officially our employee #5 and also the second student of the 85 who have worked here since. He made the most of his schooling and got a degree in Chemical Engineering, worked in the Petroleum industry a while, holds several patents, and has landed as the Global Business Manager of the 3M plant in Quapaw, Oklahoma.  This facility was the birthplace of ZIPPY, and makes advanced materials for Nuclear and SemiConductor industry.

Besides his high school carpentry skills, Dennis gave Greg his nickname of Virgil to go with Kelly’s nickname of Hank.  (Although, he called KDM “Chip” on account of a story of a drunk who swore that KDM was Jimmy Carter’s son).  Where was the internet when we needed it?

Congrats to Dennis for his success and his example.  We got a picture of the elder Zippy-ites who spanned the Carter and Reagan administrations.  Plus a few oldies to go with it.  Luckily, it was post-disco, so no Leisure suits!

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Audit Number 1 is in the books!

T – 182 days to Audit number 2

L-team not allowed to count

TOTC got some much needed help ringing out the old year from Mr. Takafumi Imai, our expert Accountant from Headquarters. Before we could count out the old year, however, Imai-san guided us through our first ever full blown GAAP inventory drill.

With Imai-san’s leadership, we built eleven crack counting and recording teams and named them after the NATO alphabet. The teams descended on the building like a swarm of locusts, and if it didn’t move, we counted it. If it did move, we put it on a team.

We were fed a nice American meal by Imai-san for lunch – no time for chopsticks for us beginners!

About 2500 entries later, we concluded a highly successful audit. Nothing left to do but to have a group singalong faking the words to “Auld Lang Syne”, and bid Fiscal Year 2015 goodbye!

Imai-san was here for over two weeks to help with the KPMG audit and see us through this endeavor. He got treated to our record rainy weather as well. We had 6-10 inches of rainfall through the area.

We did manage to relax one evening with some Japanese food and a little souvenir shopping at the mall. And on New Year’s Eve, Imai-san even raided Kelly’s henhouse to audit the chickens. Of course the 3 eggs count as Work-In-Progress!
Henhouse Audit complete
We will see Imai-san again in February for some more bean counting. Let’s hope for better weather!

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EAST meets WEST !

Howdy pardners

We were honored to receive Mr. Tatsuya Kido and Mr. Akihisa Tonomura from the Osaka office of KPMG as part of our effort to coordinate accounting systems to International accounting standards. Mr. Takafumi Imai is also making an extended visit from our Ako-City headquarters to establish our protocols to perform a rigorous semi-annual inventory. We are grateful to Kido-san and Tonomura-san for the guidance and hard work.

Since they made the long trip to the Midwest of the US, it was only appropriate that we unwind with some good steaks and watch some cowboys practicing team roping at Lucky J’s Restaurant and Arena in Carthage, Missouri. Tuesday night is set aside for Team Roping practice and it is enjoyable to see the beautiful animals and the skilled (and not so skilled!) cowboys and cowgirls working on their techniques. And this is the real thing with amateur participants, not a tourist attraction or a staged show.

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December 22nd 2015

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Christmas 2015 employee donation to Souls Harbor!

At Tateho Ozark Technical Ceramics, it is our yearly tradition to take up a Christmas collection for a local charity. This year our employees collected 5 large boxes of food, 2 boxes of socks/t-shirts etc. and 20 jackets/hoodies. It was our pleasure to deliver our donation to Souls Harbor today (Dec, 21st 2015).