American Showa, Inc. President Takeshi “Casey” Nagao is both a baseball fan and a blood donor. He supported both passions during his many years at the wheel of Showa’s power steering and suspension plants in Blanchester and Sunbury, OH. On Wednesday, March 20 Community Blood Center (CBC) offered both a “thank you” and a going-away present.
CBC Clinton Co. Rep. Mary Mink presented Showa with the CBC Lifesaving Ambassadors Club Silver Sponsor award for hosting multiple blood drives that average at least 90 percent of goal. “I know you’re a baseball fan too!” said Mary as she handed “Casey” a CBC – Dayton Dragons “Step Up to the Plate” baseball cap.
Both will serve as farewell gifts to Nagao, who leaves Saturday, March 24 to return home to Japan to take on a new administrative role with the company. A new president arrives to take over Showa American on March 26.
Nagao began making business trips to Ohio in the early 1990’s as Showa American in Blanchester merged with Sunbury Components near Columbus. Ohio has been home since 2007, and the Buckeye State has grown on him. “It is a comfortable life, a comfortable area,” he said as he talked about what he will miss. “It is so green and wide open.”
“Wide open” is not exactly what he expects when he returns to Japan, and not just because his family lives in the busy metro area north of Tokyo. “My family (his wife, son and daughter) are still in Japan,” he said. “I will be joining them after nine years. I will be looking for space in my home!”
Though Nagao is known as “Casey” at the Blanchester plant, the nickname has nothing to do with the character “Casey at the Bat” from American baseball lore. “Takeshi” is pronounced “Ta-Casey.” It may seem like an informal way to address a company president, but as Showa Human Resources specialist Donna Lansing explains, it reflects a company philosophy.
“We are all part of a team,” she says. “No one is above the other. We all work together as a team.” That same sense of team work applies to Showa’s approach to supporting CBC blood drives. The company remained committed to its on-site blood drives, even after the Japan earthquake devastated the nation and slowed Japanese auto production to a crawl.
“It’s hard to get people off the line for 45 minutes,” says Lansing, who chairs the company blood drives, “They also have to rest a little while. But it saves three lives potentially. That’s why the company is always very supportive.”
“This is very good,” “Casey” Nagao agrees about blood drives generating the gift of life, then pulls his own CBC Blood Donor ID card from his wallet. Proof that as “Casey” prepares to return home to Japan he leaves behind his own life-saving, farewell gift.