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The LVEDC Interview: Olympus Corporation of the Americas

By LVEDC Staff on April 15, 2014

Editor’s Note: Olympus Corporation of Americas is headquartered here in Lehigh Valley – but few people are aware of what this global power produces. It’s not just cameras. Since Olympus was founded in Japan in 1919, it has become a leading manufacturer of innovative optical and digital equipment for the healthcare and consumer electronics sectors. For over 90 years the company has led the way in designing endoscopy and microscopy products, medical and industrial equipment, cameras and voice recorders. LVEDC recently caught up with Mark Miller, executive director of communications and marketing, who agreed to answer our five questions in this interesting and informative interview.

Olympus is the largest company to locate to the Stabler Business Center in Upper Saucon Township.

Olympus is the largest company to locate to the Stabler Business Center in Upper Saucon Township.

LVEDC: The Morning Call newspaper recently recognized Olympus as one of the top workplaces for 2014. Why?

Mark Miller, executive director of communications and marketing, Olympus Corporation of the Americas: The Morning Call’s Top Workplaces require an employee to first nominate their company for consideration and then the ranking is determined based on employee feedback gathered by a survey implemented by Workplace Dynamics, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. More than 84% of the eligible Olympus employees in the Lehigh Valley participated in this year’s survey and their aggregate responses propelled Olympus to be recognized by The Morning Call. Highlights of the survey showed that employees feel positive about the direction of Olympus, the workplace, management and their individual contribution to the Company.

LVEDC: Would you explain to our readers what “Social In” means to Olympus in their day-to-day operations?

Mark Miller: In all of our business operations, Olympus strives to play an integral role in society, sharing its values and working to help people around the world have healthier and more fulfilling lives. Accordingly, Olympus has adopted a Social IN management philosophy that aims to establish firm ties with society by: providing INtegrity in all of our interactions; adding value through INnovation; and delivering community INvolvement in the regions where we live and work.

To help foster the Social IN program, Olympus actively encourages employee involvement. On regularly scheduled volunteer days, hundreds of Olympus employees go into local communities to work on projects that benefit schools, neighborhoods, food banks, wildlife conservation, homeless shelters, animal rescue efforts, home-building and more through the “Olympus Days of Caring” program. The “Dollars for Doers” program makes monetary donations to qualified organizations in recognition of the number of volunteer hours served by each employee, and the Company also offers an employee-donation-matching program for donations made to qualified charitable organizations.

LVEDC: I think it’s fair to say quite a few people don’t recognize the gamut of businesses where Olympus is involved. Explain them to us.

Mark Miller: You are correct. Many people are familiar with Olympus because of our cameras, but our innovations and technologies reach well beyond our consumer products. Our history of innovation and service to humanity go back nearly a century, when our company founders in Tokyo introduced our first product, a microscope, in 1920.  Since then, Olympus has greatly expanded its portfolio and has become a global leader in technology across several markets.

Our innovations and solutions are all designed with the overarching goal of enhancing people’s lives every day, and we achieve this through four core business areas:

1.        Medical and Surgical Products: Gastrointestinal endoscopy, minimally invasive surgical products, and accessories
2.        Life Science Imaging Systems: Advanced research, clinical/educational microscopes, and research/educational digital imaging systems
3.        Industrial Measurement and Imaging Instruments: Industrial research, engineering, test, inspection and measuring instruments
4.        Cameras and Audio Products: Digital cameras and voice recorders

LVEDC: The company’s headquarters have been in the Lehigh Valley for years now, what advantages does the company find being in the Lehigh Valley?

Mark Miller: Olympus is the largest company to locate to the Stabler Business Center in Center Valley, and we believe that our move generated strong publicity that helped attract other businesses to the park to continue the greater geographical areas’ economic growth. We enjoy the benefits of being in close proximity to New York and Philadelphia as well as efficient local transportation options enabling us to locate our primary distribution center for all of North and South America in the Lehigh Valley. We have experienced successful growth driven in part by an expanding, skilled employee base thanks to both local talent and the ability to attract candidates to the area based on an attractive cost of living, exceptional healthcare, numerous higher education opportunities and an excellent quality of life. We have easy access to partner with many suppliers in the area for a variety of services such as printed materials, promotional products, marketing communications, advertising, construction, electrical contracting, grounds keeping and office furniture, among other areas.

LVEDC: What would people be interested to know about the company’s goals for 2014?

Mark Miller: Two of our core objectives in 2014 are to continue to grow our businesses and to strengthen our relationships with the communities in which we live and work. Globally, Olympus is evolving as a company with significant investment to grow our medical business and optimize profitability of our other businesses to better meet the needs of changing markets. Our Center Valley office is responsible for achieving these goals across our businesses in North and South America. Additionally, we intend to continue to share our Company story so that more people understand the breadth of innovative technologies that we offer to help improve people’s lives. Finally, we look forward to building even stronger relationships across the Lehigh Valley and partnering with other organizations to further the region’s economic growth and impactful community outreach.

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