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Name: Trista Bridges
Title: Principal and co-founder of Read the Air and co-author of “Leading Sustainably”
URL: https://www.readtheair.jp
Hometown: New Jersey
Years in Japan: 6


What was your impetus for coming to Japan?

Trista Bridges | © HIROMICHI MATONO
Trista Bridges | © HIROMICHI MATONO

My husband, our son and I had been in France for many years, and we felt it was important for us to see something else. Neither of us had really worked as adults and lived in Asia, and we were trying to decide between Singapore and Japan. My husband has a history here, and we had been coming every year for several years to connect with business contacts. We felt that Japan would be a great environment for us and our son, so we just took a leap of faith and came.

Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“You can always go home.” I understand that this motto doesn’t apply to everyone, but this motto has always helped me take risks with more confidence. If I fail, there will always be someone who loves me regardless and doesn’t care whether or not I’m successful.

When I went to France this summer for the first time in 18 months, I reconnected with my neighbor, who is a winemaker. Most winemakers in France don’t sustain their life with wine alone; they have to work other jobs, too. When I go there, nobody asks me about what I do for a living. They could care less. And that’s the point: There are people who will always not care about the fancy things you do, and you can always go back to them.

Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Personally, my proudest achievement is my son.

In terms of my career, I can’t point to one specific achievement, but I’m proud of my ability to adapt to different cultures and places. This is true for when I left the U.S. to go to London, where I knew no one, or when I moved to France, where I was able to adapt, start a company and develop a productive career. It also extends to my move to Japan, where I’ve been able to create a life in a place that many people say is so difficult to do so in.

What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

My current goal is to get people to see that sustainability is just as important as marketing. Companies spend billions every year on marketing training alone. I would like one day for people to see sustainability as just as important, if not more, and that it needs to be a part of everything.

For the full article, please visit: https://sustainable.japantimes.com/lr

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