Chris Karbowiak, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice President, Bridgestone Americas, has been awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for her contribution to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. The Government of Japan announced the Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals on April 29, 2020. As Bridgestone Americas' representative, Chris was among the founding members of the Japan America Society of Tennessee (JAST) and later served as the organization's Board Chair from August of 2010 until June of 2014.
Key milestones achieved during her long tenure with and support of JAST, particularly as JAST's Board Chair, that contributed to strengthening of Tennessee-Japan relations include:
- Hosting the Annual Joint Meeting of the SEUS/Japan and Japan-US SE Associations in Nashville in 2010;
- Major support for establishment of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival through Bridgestone America's Trust Fund and serving on the Advisory Council during the "Centennial of the Trees Celebration" in 2012;
- Raising and donating nearly $200,000 in funds through JAST for the victims of the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.
The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875. The conferment of the decoration is a privilege of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Japan's ties with foreign nations.