WMU News

Executives to share expertise on doing business in Asia, Pacific

February 4, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Executives from two West Michigan companies doing business in the Asian/Pacific region will share their experiences in free public lectures this semester at Western Michigan University.

The presentations are the latest offering of the Global Business Lecture Series sponsored by the Haworth College of Business and the U.S. Department of Education. The lecture series, an outgrowth of the college's Asian/Pacific Education Project, is designed to increase understanding, awareness and expertise about doing business in that region.

Harlan B. Yearous, international sales manager of Gast Manufacturing Inc. of Benton Harbor, will explain "The Gast Approach to World Markets Focusing on Asia" at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in Room 1120 of Schneider Hall. Gast Manufacturing is a unit of the IDEX Corporation and produces air moving technologies for more than 100 specialized markets including medical, telecommunications and waste water treatment operations.

Yearous, who began his career with Gast as a sales manager in 1986, now has sales, service and product training responsibilities for distributors in more than 45 countries. Yearous was instrumental in establishing a sales office in Hong Kong and conducted training programs in seven Asian countries including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. During his tenure, Gast has expanded its distribution globally from Iceland to South Africa and from Thailand to Bolivia.

The second speaker this semester is Paul D. Winchester, senior vice president international for Irwin Seating Co. He will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in Room 1120 of Schneider Hall. Irwin Seating Co., of Grand Rapids is a leader in the industry of auditorium seating.

Winchester's talk, "Organic Growth: An International Growth Strategy for a Medium Sized Manufacturing Firm," will address his experiences implementing a strategy for developing manufacturing facilities in various regions of the world. Irwin has a joint venture facility in Malaysia and will soon begin manufacturing and marketing in China.
For more information, contact Jeanne Wagenfeld at (616) 387-5069 or Dr. F. William McCarty, professor of finance and commercial law, at (616) 387-5857.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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