Members of International Business Alliance (IBA) at Georgia State University visited Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America in Peachtree City on April 7 to see first hand the operations of a global electronics manufacturer.

“The visit illustrated the difference between classroom theoretical instructions and actual business operation,” said Tucker Cox, who is a part-time teacher of international business strategy at Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business.

He was among the group that visited Panasonic, along with Dr. Karen Loch, director of International Business Institute, and 13 students and alumni.

The IBA is a student-run organization that was formed to increase members’ awareness of metro Atlanta’s international business opportunities and create long-term relationships with members of the international business community.

Panasonic Automotive Systems Vice President Yutaka Hirota, who heads the entire operation in the Peachtree City facility, and other senior executives, met with the group.

Operations managers then guided the group through the company’s assembly lines. The facility produces radios, audio systems and rear-seat DVD entertainment systems for the auto industry.

The company visit was organized courtesy of Mickey Torimoto, former senior vice president of Panasonic System Sales Company. The retired executive spent most of his corporate career in the United States.

“I have a debt of gratitude to the United States and want to return the debt to the society,” said Mr. Torimoto. “I want to do something to help students, using my experience.”

Mr. Torimoto is also a volunteer on IBA’s mentor program, which matches each student with a senior executive who has international business experience.For contacts:

Mr. Torimoto may be reached by telehone at 770-486-7675International Business Alliance: