Webinar: “What Contributes to Longevity in Global Business? Lessons from YKK’s Enduring Industry Leadership”

Rarely does a company sustain its global industry leadership for more than a few decades, and most that do so are very well-known global brands. YKK, an 87-year-old Japanese manufacturer of zippers, is not a household name, yet it has quietly and impressively, stayed atop of the global fastener industry for decades. It has remained relevant and preserved its leadership globally and in the U.S. market.

What enables YKK to do so well for so long? Join us for a conversation with senior leadership of YKK North America and learn how YKK has beaten the odds, and provides a possible roadmap for other companies looking to sustain a viable, profitable business in international markets.


Key takeaways:

  • Learn about key factors that contributed to YKK’s longevity
  • Gain insights from YKK’s senior leaders as to future challenges and prospects
  • Learn about implications for other firms seeking persistent success in global business


Thursday October 27th, 2022

11:00 – 12:00pm


About the Speakers

Jim Reed

Jim Reed serves as president of YKK Corporation of America, the parent company of the YKK Americas Group. There, he is responsible for YKK’s businesses operating in the western hemisphere, which consists of 16 dynamic operating companies spread across six time zones covering Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Before becoming president, Jim served as YKK’s Chief Legal Counsel. Prior to joining YKK, Jim was in-house counsel for Georgia-Pacific, LLC and also served as managing director of intellectual property licensing for BellSouth (and later for AT&T). He was also an associate at Troutman Sanders LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jim serves on the board of directors of The World Affairs Council, The Atlanta Rotary Club, and the Japan-America Society of Georgia. He graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia School of Law and lives in Marietta with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.

Jessica Cork

As Vice President of Community Engagement and Corporate Communications at YKK Corporation of America, Jessica has responsibility for all aspects of corporate communications – creating, developing and executing the internal and external communications strategy – for the YKK Americas Group, which spans from Canada to Chile. This includes message development, owned and digital content creation, media relations, and employee engagement with a focus on defining and activating corporate character and providing leadership on values and culture.

She is also responsible for community engagement – communicating the YKK societal value story, corporate purpose, and ESG/sustainability goals to key stakeholders, as well as developing, implementing, and showcasing YKK America Group’s corporate donations and community relations strategy. She also leads the government affairs strategy – driving consistent messaging and engagement with local, regional and national elected officials and community leaders, community organizations, think tanks, and advocacy groups.

Jessica is fluent in Japanese and has more than two decades of experience working in Japanese organizations. She has B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts, and an M.A. in Advanced Japanese Studies from the University of Sheffield in the U.K. Prior to joining YKK, she worked for 11 years as the Adviser for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and spent 3 years working as a Coordinator for International Relations in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

Jessica currently serves as Chair of The Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Secretary of the Governing Board of International Charter Academy of Georgia, Georgia’s first Japanese- English dual language immersion charter school. She is a member of the Communication Committee of The Georgia Council on Economic Education. She has four children, all of whom have attended Japanese-English bilingual immersion schools in the Atlanta area and has traveled to 25 countries around the world.


Tamer Cavusgil

Tamer Cavusgil has been teaching international business/marketing for more than three decades. His professional interests encompass global marketing strategy, early internationalization, emerging markets, exporting, and pedagogy. Cavusgil is currently Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair, and Executive Director, Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), at the Institute of International Business, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. Tamer is an elected Fellow of the Academy of international Business, and a visiting professor at the University of South Australia and the University of Leeds.

Sebastian van der Vegt

Sebastian van der Vegt is co-founder and partner of WBMV Consulting. A native of the Netherlands, Sebastian was educated in Canada before embarking on a global career that saw him live and work on 4 continents. He is an expert in communications, strategy, international business, and marketing, working for years with the United Nations, and over a decade with The Coca-Cola Company.

Currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, Sebastian is passionate about sustainable growth and about helping clients achieve their long-term objectives through superior strategy and excellent communications.

Elizabeth Napier

Dr. Elizabeth Napier is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business at The University of Toledo in Ohio. Dr. Napier holds degrees in Anthropology (BA), International Business (MA), and earned her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Marketing with a specialization in International Business from Georgia State University. Due to her interdisciplinary education, she has a unique understanding of what correspondingly motivates individuals and firms. Her research focuses on the investigation of multinational firms and their interaction with local markets and their surrounding ecosystems. Dr. Napier has been published in top journals such as Harvard Business Review, International Business Review, and Rutgers Business Review and has presented her research at premiere conferences around the world.