On Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka hosted a reception to bid farewell to the Houston Director of the Department of State, Mr. Allen Greenberg. Mr. Greenberg will depart Houston to take up his post as Consul-General of the United States at the Consulate-General of Kobe-Osaka in Japan. The reception was held at the official residence of the Consul-General, and was also an opportunity to say goodbye to several members of the Houston Consular Corps who were leaving Houston to take up new posts or return to their respective countries.
In his opening remarks, Consul-General Takaoka thanked Mr. Greenberg for the personal assistance he received on first arriving to in Houston and wished him all the best as the head of United States consulate that serves the second most populated region in Japan. Consul-General also outlined Houston’s strengths, including the “rich organization of Honorary Consuls all of whom are esteemed and important American leaders in the community and the strong presence of the regional office of the State Department.” Finally he recognized the departing officials: Consul-General Fabrizio Nava of Italy, Consul-General Alaa Khairat Issa of Egypt, Consul-General Klaus Jochen Gühlcke of Germany, and Ambassador Meir Shlomo of Israel. Following Consul-General’s remarks, Mr. Greenberg and each of the departing diplomats had the opportunity to speak. The reception was well attended by members of the Houston Consular Corps, presidents from Japanese companies whose headquarters are located in the Kansai region, city officials, and community leaders of the greater Houston area and served as a wonderful opportunity to honor all of the departing officials.