Toto U.S.A., the U.S. subsidiary of Fukuoka, Japan-based Toto, which is the world’s largest plumbing manufacturer, received the 1998 International Business of the Year, award, from the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce last week.

      Also honored at a luncheon held at the Renaissance Atlanta Hotel-Concourse were Hitachi Transport Systems America as the International Transportation Business of the Year, and JosŽ Ignacio Gonzales, president and CEO, Pan American Logistics, as the International Business Person of the Year.

      Toto U.S.A., which manufactures toilets, sinks and other ceramic products, first opened a facility in Lakewood in 1991, which is still in operation.  In 1996, it opened its North American headquarters in Morrow where it occupies a 200,000 square-foot facility on a 25-acre campus and has its own water and air treatment plants.

      Hitachi Transport System America is the U.S. subsidiary of a worldwide warehouse and distribution system.  Last year the company consolidated its Atlanta-based office, warehouse and international forwarding services into a single 317,000 square-foot facility located in the county on Sullivan Road in Clayton.

      Mr. Gonzalez has been for more than a decade a promoter of Atlanta as a gateway for business with South America.  He has served as executive director and chairman of the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and currently is the chairman of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

      He recently was elected to the board of directors of Summit Bank Corp., the parent company of the Summit National Bank, a nationally chartered full-service community bank specializing in small business and international markets.

      For more information about the chamber’s activities, call Timothy Keane at (770) 210-4006; fax, (770) 478-0226 or send an e-mail to