Robert W. Roche
Robert Roche is co-founder,President, and Executive Chairman of Oak Lawn Marketing, a company he named after his hometown in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He founded the company in 1993, along with Tadashi Nakamura, with the goal of enriching lifestyles worldwide by offering innovative home convenience, health, beauty, and wellness products.
Roche is also co-founder and Executive Chairman of Acorn International, a leading media and branding company in China which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ATV). He is the President of Roche Enterprises, a company that invests in a broad range of industry sectors, including consumer products, media, hospitality, real estate, financial, energy, and logistics. Through Roche Enterprises, Roche has overseen the development of Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane, Utah, and Gallup Land Partners in New Mexico. His companies also include IS Seafood and Redhorse Performance, Inc.
In addition to his successful business ventures, Robert Roche is a passionate civic leader who has made important contributions to improving U.S./Asia relations. He served as a member of the Japan Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce and was one of the founding organizers of the American Business Community Nagoya (ABCN), which later became the Chubu Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce Japan (ACCJ). As part of the ABCN, he initiated the Nagoya Walkathon and International Charity Festival, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has raised in excess of 140 million yen ($1.4 million USD) for local orphanages and charities.
Roche also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nagoya International School, U.S.-China Strong Foundation, Organizing for Action, and as Chairman of Interworld and Relo Japan. He served as an appointee of President Obama on the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Robert Roche is also a founder of Business Forward Foundation, Center for a New American Security, Americans Promoting Study Abroad, and the Center for American Progress. He serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Hope International Development Organization and helped that organization launch its micro-credit operations in Cambodia.
Roche financially supports international and domestic philanthropic initiatives, including endowing a Chair for Interreligious Research at Nanzan University's Institute for Religion and Culture at in Nagoya, Japan. He has also established a Master's of Laws (LLM) in International Business Transactions program at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and supports schools and community service organizations in the communities where he lives and works.
Fluent in English and Japanese, and proficient in Mandarin, Roche has lived and worked in Asia for more than 30 years. He first visited Nagoya, Japan, in 1983 as a student studying abroad at Nanzan University's Center for Japanese Studies, and returned in 1986 as a research student in the Department of Law. He received a bachelor's degree in economics and Japanese studies from Illinois State University-Normal, Illinois, and a law degree from The University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Robert Roche and his wife have three children and spend their time in Japan, China, and the United States.