Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc. (OLM), an omni-channel branding and media company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, engages in direct marketing of home convenience, health, beauty, and wellness products and services. Robert Roche co-founded the company in 1993, naming it after his hometown of Oak Lawn, Illinois. He currently serves as Executive Chairman of the company. OLM has expanded from its conventional core business of TV shopping and now operates across multiple shopping channels, including e-commerce, mobile shopping, retail stores, and print catalogues. The company has consistently adhered to a “Voice of Customer” concept, operating its own independent call center, listening attentively to its customers, and analyzing feedback to develop and improve products and services. In 2009, NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, purchased a 51 percent interest in OLM. The company has offices in Tokyo, Osaka, Ichikawa, Sapporo, Chicago, Illinois, and Shenzhen, China.
Nobutaka Aotani, Board Member and Executive Vice President, Oak Lawn Marketing
After graduating from Faculty of Law of at Doshisha University, Aotani joined Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in April of 1987. The following year, he moved to NTT Advertising, Inc., an in-house agency of NTT, and was responsible for marketing and new business planning for game, cosmetics, automobile insurance, and apparel companies. During his tenure, Aotani planned and established the first IT partner category of Japan Professional Football League (J.League).
In July 2008, Aotani was appointed Senior Manager Advertising & Promotion of NTT docomo and devoted himself to popularizing video viewing on mobile phones by organizing mobile phone video distribution projects and producing the first full-fledged drama for mobile phones. He has also worked in leadership positions for Shizuoka Branch Tokai Regional Office of NTT docomo and as General Manager of Advertising & Promotion Department of NTT docomo, where he facilitated integration of mass media and digital marketing. He also serves as Expert Chairman of Radio Commission of Japan Advertisers Association Inc. and achieved results by capitalizing his broad network.
Aotani joined the Board and was appointed Executive Vice President at Oak Lawn Marketing in June of 2017. He also serves as a member of the Board at the subsidiary advertising agency, Interworld, Inc.
Harry Hill, Board Member and Director, New Business Development, DataWise
A passionate and dynamic business and civic leader, Hill served as President and CEO of Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc. from 2006 until 2017. During Hill’s tenure, the company grew from ¥15 billion to ¥68 billion in sales while creating numerous hit products that become household names. Doing business to the consumer as Shop Japan, the company created several long selling product brands, creating new niche categories. Hill and his management team created a powerful corporate culture based on the vision of “enriching lifestyles worldwide.” While President and CEO, he also managed one of the largest M&A transactions of 2009, when NTT Docomo took a 51% share in OLM. In September of 2017, Hill stepped down from the day-to-day operations but remains active as an independent outside director, particularly focusing on new business development for Datawise.
Hill is an active both as a business and civic leader. He was appointed by the White House to be the Co-Chair of CULCON, a bi-national group advising the U.S. and Japanese governments on the next generation of leaders. Simultaneously, he was appointed as Chair of the Japan-US Friendship Commission. Hill is active in the ACCJ, and was named a Male Champion of Change by the Japanese Cabinet for his role in promoting gender diversity. He has a particular passion for HOPE International Development Organization, which provides clean water for the neglected poor.
Yuichiro Kato,Executive Officer Shop Japan Business,Oak Lawn Marketing
Kato has served as General Manager of Marketing and Branding in Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc. since May of 2017. In this position, he engages in a wide range of responsibilities from marketing business integration to planning for the company’s brand, "Shop Japan." He has contributed to the business growth by 20.5% in a single month.
After graduating from Keio University Faculty of Business and Commerce, Kato joined Procter and Gamble Japan (P&G) in 1995. He became a brand manager for hair care, softener, and other categories. After working as director of marketing and branding and leading companies such as Coca-Cola Japan and Dell, Kato became Marketing Director of Dyson Japan in 2014. At Dyson, he successfully expanded the air conditioning home appliance category by more than 48 percent. Prior to his tenure, the category had been growing at an average rate of only 6 percent per year. As a key member of the leadership team, Kato contributes to the continued business growth in Japan.