About the History of the Organization

SEUS/Japan has a long history of service to the State of Florida, and has provided services to Floridians interested in promoting business, cultural and friendship ties with Japan unparalleled by any other public-private organization in the State.

In 1976, Milton N. Fisher became founding chairman of the Florida Advisory Council of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association. With Florida serving as "host state" for the 3rd Annual Joint Meeting held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fisher assumed the responsibilities of chairman of Southeast U.S./Japan Association in 1978 and 1979. Burton A. Landy became chairman of the Florida Advisory Council in 1980, and led efforts to incorporate the Council as Florida Delegation, Southeast U.S./Japan Association, Inc. Following Landy, Philip F. Ashler was elected chairman, who was followed in turn by: Hy W. Kliman; Edward F. Zwick; John C. Bierley; Dr. Mark T. Orr; William J. Flynn, III; Randy L. Phillips; Claire Callen, Sibille Pritchard, George Gable of Jacksonville, and the present incumbent, Keith Norden of Daytona Beach. Thomas F. Petway, III of Jacksonville served as overall Association Chair and Co-Chair of the 30th and 31st Joint Meetings in 2006 and 2007. Eric Silagy, Retired President, CEO & Chairman of Florida Power & Light Company, currently serves as Chairman of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association. He served as a conference chairman when Florida hosted the 44th Annual SEUS/Japan Joint Meeting in Orlando and as well as the Conference Co-Chairman for the 45th Annual SEUS/Japan Joint Meeting in Tokyo.

Today, SEUS/Japan remains Florida’s leading private, non-profit organization devoted to promoting and enhancing relations with Japan, and plays a very active role, as the elected Secretary of State, in the Southeast U.S./Japan Association. In addition, it works closely with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s public-private economic development partnership, as well as with the Office of the Governor and the Consulate General of Japan in carrying out its mission of promoting trade, investment and friendship ties between Florida and Japan.”


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