Finding a new home at UMKC
Kenji Takada (B.B.A. ’87) is originally from Japan, but he considers himself an all-American businessman.
“I always tell my kids how lucky they are to be born as Americans and to be able to live here,” Takada says. “I am Japanese by birth, but an American by choice.”
Takada arrived in California in 1981, where he befriended a Kansas City couple staying at their Palm Springs vacation home. A year later, he visited Kansas City and made a big decision – to make Kansas City his new home, and UMKC his alma mater.
“Traveling abroad really gives you different perspectives. For me, traveling abroad gives me profound and renewed sense of American values and cultures,” Takada says. “It really gives me a better appreciation for what we have here in this country.”
Takada recently became President of TBK America, the American arm of a Japanese manufacturing firm. Takada says he pursued a career in business because he wanted to contribute to American and Japanese companies and “bring prosperity to both nations.”
“I can honestly say that all the things I do in business today such as running a subsidiary of multi-national corporations, recruiting and facilitating growth of Japanese businesses in Kentucky, etc. would not have been possible without my education from UMKC.”
This article originally appeared in the special edition of the UMKC Perspectives alumni magazine. To read more stories of alumni from across the country, click here.