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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Local Businessman Invited to Sit With First Lady at SOTU

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Let me tell you about my buddy Hiro. He never uses a golf cart when we play. Where he hits the ball, its cheaper to take public transportation!
  • "Let me tell you about my buddy Hiro. He never uses a golf cart when we play. Where he hits the ball, it's cheaper to take public transportation!"

This evening, after the dinner table is gleaming clean and the dishes are stacked neat in the drying rack, families across the rolling Republic are going to squeeze together on the couch, flip on the TV, and watch Law & Order of Beverly Hills. Or Real House Wives of Whatever. Kardashians? Why are there more Teen Moms? There's no way Real World has been on for that long. Jimmy Fallon follows Conan right? What station number is the Hulu? What about the TV Apple station? . . .

Despite the usual media clusterfrick clogging up the nightly newscasts, tonight, struggling up through all that noise, there is an important signal on the airwaves worth pointing your antenna at: the State of the Union address, that annual presidential pep talk that's supposed to walk us back from emotional and economic despair, uphill climb that may be. Another incentive to watch: this year, as President Obama addresses a bruised nation, a Clevelander is going to be court side, sharing a balcony seat with the First Lady.

The Plain Dealer has the specifics. Throughout his speech, President Obama is expected to thump the tub about innovative manufacturing; the White House decided to tap Pepper Pike-based entrepreneur Hiroyuki "Hiro" Fujita as a live-action example of what POTUS is talking about.

An immigrant from Japan, Fujita started QED in 2006 using technology he advanced in the labs of Case Western Reserve University and at Cleveland-area companies that specialize in medical imaging.

He and his staff make precision parts for magnetic resonance imaging machines, which allow doctors to peer deeply into the human body.

QED, which began with a handful of people, today employs nearly 100 and is still growing. It exports most of its products to Germany and Japan.

In 2010, Forbes magazine named QED one of the 20 most promising companies in America. The government has supported his research and in October U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris visited the plant to promote President Obama's jobs bill, the American Jobs Act.

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