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Alumnus Alex Gregory awarded Mike Mansfield Award

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June 18, 2012

Alex Gregory, who holds two master’s degrees from Georgia College and has served for more than 20 years as a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees, has been awarded the Mike Mansfield Award, presented by The Japan-America Society of Georgia.

Alex GregoryAlex Gregory“I am proud and honored to receive this award,” said Gregory, chairman of YKK Corporation of America’s board of directors and president and CEO of the Marietta-based company. “The relationship between Georgia and Japan has really blossomed in the nearly 40 years since I went to work for YKK in Macon.  Fostering good will between Japan and Georgia comes naturally to me and to most Georgia citizens.”

As chairman of YKK Corporation of America’s board of directors and president and CEO of the Marietta-based company, Gregory has been deeply involved with Atlanta’s and Georgia’s Japanese community for many years. He serves on the board of the Japan-America Society of Georgia. In 2000, Gregory received the annual Yamabikokai Award presented by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. He also received the first Governor George Busbee Award from then Governor Sonny Perdue in 2004 in recognition of his dedication to stronger relations between Georgia and Japan. 

YKK Corporation of America (YCA) is a subsidiary of YKK Corporation, a worldwide Japanese manufacturer of fasteners marketed under the YKK brand and architectural building products marketed under the YKK AP brand. YCA oversees 13 companies operating throughout North and Central America, Colombia and the West Indies. 

Gregory, a native of Eatonton, began his career with YKK America Group in 1973 when he joined YKK Industries — now YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. As one of its first American employees, he started at the company's then new Macon manufacturing operation and held positions of increasing responsibilities. In the autumn of 1991, he joined YKK Corporation of America in its Atlanta headquarters as senior vice president of corporate planning.

In 2000, he was promoted to executive vice president, corporate development, and in 2001 he was named president and CEO.

From 2008 through 2010, Gregory served on YKK Corporation’s Board of Directors in Japan as YKK’s first non-Japanese Director. In 2011, he was elected Chairman of YCA’s Board of Directors.

The "Mike Mansfield Awards" were established in December 1985 by the executive committee of The Japan-America Society of Georgia in honor of former Ambassador Mansfield's efforts in fostering good will between Japan and the United States. The awards are presented to outstanding Americans and Japanese who continuously contribute their efforts toward promoting better understanding of cultural and economic issues between the people of the United States and Japan.

Notable past recipients include President Jimmy Carter, and former Georgia governors Carl Sanders, Joe Frank Harris and George Busbee.

Gregory will receive the Mike Mansfield Award later this month in Atlanta.

Georgia College recognized Gregory as the university’s 2002 Executive of the Year. He has served on the Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, twice serving as chair. In 2010, he was inducted honoris causa into the GC Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) honor society.   

Gregory also participates annually in the university’s Georgia Education Mentorship program, providing valuable experience and guidance to students. He is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, The Carter Center’s board of councilors and The Georgian Club’s board of directors.

Gregory earned a bachelor’s degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech, and MBA, ’78, and MSA, ’79, degrees from Georgia College. In 2001, he received the Georgia College Alumni Achievement Award.

Gregory, a retired Naval Reserves Commander with 28 years of service, spent three years on active duty in the United States Navy before joining YKK.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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