HIROSHIMA, JAPAN — Toshiko Satake, longtime president and chairperson of Satake Corp., died on Oct. 5 in Hiroshima, Japan. She was 88.
Satake Corp., a grain processing equipment manufacturer that was founded in 1896 by her grandfather, Riichi Satake, who was known for inventing the first power-driven rice milling machine in Japan, had been led by Mrs. Satake since 2001.
Mrs. Satake was the eldest daughter of Toshihiko Satake, the second president of the corporation.
She was named president following the death of her husband, Bob, who had served as the company’s third president.
“With the strong leadership of Toshiko Satake and her predecessors, our corporation has maintained a prominent global position in the grain processing industry,” said Kazuhisa Matsumoto, president of Satake. “Toshiko will remain in our hearts and minds as we forge ahead, pursuing her unwavering business policies, which have become Satake’s foundation. As we have for the past 125 years, we will continue providing new and innovative solutions to the industry.”
Mrs. Satake graduated from the University of California in 1957 and joined Satake Corp. two years later. She held various positions with the company, including senior managing director, vice president, and chairperson, before being named the company’s fourth president in 2001.
That same year, she was appointed director of the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.
Throughout her life she received many honors. In 2002, she received the Distinguished Fellow Award from Louisiana University. In 2007, she received the Alumni Merit Award from the University of Southern California, and in 2010 she became an honorary citizen and goodwill ambassador of Houston, Texas, US.
In 2016, Mrs. Satake was awarded the USA Rice Millers’ Association’s Distinguished Service Award, recognizing her outstanding lifetime contributions to the US rice milling industry. Her husband received the first RMA award when it was presented to him posthumously in 2001.
“I have tried to contribute my small improvement to the areas of functional foods, food safety, and convenience,” Mrs. Satake said upon receiving the award.
Mrs. Satake was an instrumental figure in the flour milling industry, which Satake Corp. first entered in 1991 when it acquired United Kingdom-based companies Thomas Robinson & Son Ltd. and Henry Simon Ltd. It was during her tenure, in 2017, that Satake Corp. and Alapala announced a strategic partnership in which they would re-establish the Henry Simon brand of flour milling equipment.
Earlier this year, Satake Corp. named Mr. Matsumoto, who has been with the company since 1991, as the new company president. At that time, the board of directors also elevated Mrs. Satake to honorary chairperson and named Takeshi Fukumori representative director and chairperson, and Kazuyuki Kihara representative director and vice chairperson.
A company spokesperson told World Grain that Satake Corp., which has been family-owned for 125 years, “continues to be a privately owned company, and stock information remains undisclosed.”
Taking COVID-19 into consideration, the company said private services for Mrs. Satake were held last week.