b'Celebrating03Years of DENSO JACK HELMBOLDT REMEMBERS EARLY DAYSI joined them in October of 89,He did some post-graduate studies and we didnt start any productionin engineering while entering the in any plant until March of 90. working world.Already a veteran of severalThe recruiter who placed him in manufacturing plant operations,his first job, in Mississippi, kept an Helmboldtlike most Americans eye on him through the years.wasnt familiar with Nippondenso,When Nippondenso came to as it was called then, in the laterecruit people for the company, he 1980s. called me and said, Would you like DENSO, even though they cameto do this? And my first question to into the country circa 1966 andhim was, Whats a Nippondenso? Jack Helmboldt was the first local tothe first manufacturing plant wasHe explained that it was an auto-become president of DENSO. built in around 1986, they werentmotive-parts supplier, so I agreed to By Betsy Pickle a household name. Nippon meanstalk to them.Japan, so it just meant Japan Elec- I was really impressed in the DENSO has been making an impacttric Parts. The company droppedinterview process, so I decided if in Maryville and across East Tennes- Nippon because they wanted to bethey offered me a job, Id have to see for 30 years, and no one hasknown as a global company. Theyconsider it. Actually, before I got felt it more than Jack Helmboldt. didnt want to be known as just ahome, theyd called my wife and Helmboldt, the first local toJapanese company. already made the job offer.become president of the companyBorn and reared in South Knox- Over the years, Helmboldt has and now president emeritus, hasville, Helmboldt started out studyingheard many stories about why been on board practically since theengineering at the University of Ten- DENSO chose to locate in Maryville.beginning. nessee but switched to the CollegeOne of the things I heard is that I started with DENSO before weof Business and earned his bach- its on the same degree of latitude even started production, he recalls.elors in industrial management.as the headquarters is in Japan, so www.BlountPartnership.com 9'