Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Jelly Belly chairman going on Japan trip with governor

By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN, Times-Herald staff writer

Jelly Belly's chairman is among dozens of California cabinet secretaries, business executives, state agriculture leaders and tourism officials accompanying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Japan this week to promote the state and its products.

Herman Rowland said he's not sure how he got on the list of delegates, but plans to take full advantage of the opportunity.

"We've supported the governor when he was first talking about running," Rowland said. "I've been to some events and somehow I got on a list.

"We are a California manufacturer and it was an opportunity for us to support California," he added.

Rowland said he plans to promote Jelly Belly jelly beans in particular and California in general on the trip.

"We're taking along some little packets of jelly beans that say invest, buy and visit California', in English and in traditional Japanese lettering, that we'll hand out at the different functions as a California product and as a thank you."

Schwarzenegger's focus is a little broader.

"I'm going to Japan to market and sell California, as I said I would. On the trip, I will promote California products, California-grown produce and tourism," Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. "One of the important things is to go out and to sell California, because we have so much to offer, and to let Japan and the rest of the world know that we are open for business and that this is a new California. We are going to promote California as pro-business, pro-environment and pro-workers."

Delegation members will encourage Japanese consumers and businesses to buy California grown produce and products, visit California as tourists and bring more jobs to the state, the statement said.

Rowland said he's looking forward to what will be his third trip to Japan.

"This is a great mission for the governor," Rowland said. "He reaches out to people - he touches people. I've seen him in action. And I'm sure this will help promote California and the state's tourism."

- E-mail Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at RachelZ@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6824.

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