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Portrait of East-West Entrepreneur, Joseph Michael Gyulay

(編者按)認識Joseph Michael Gyulay 是因爲他和一位華人服裝師相愛。那個時候Joseph 來找我是要幫這位服裝師做市場,看着Joseph用錢用精神傾心傾力地爲這位華人服裝師打開市場,我眞爲位華人感到高興。Joseph 他來過伊利華報辦公室幾次,都是爲同一件事情,就是如何幫助這位華人服裝師成爲名人。
但最後一次他來找我,卻是因爲他被那位華人服裝師騙了,並且現在已經上了法庭。這件事情讓我深感意外也很氣憤,因爲我也被捲入了這個案件。如果這位華裔使用欺騙的手段,踩在別人的頭上向上爬,即使取得暫時的成功也會被人們不耻。所以我對Joseph説:我並不在乎是否因爲她跟我同樣是華人,我願意爲你出庭作證,討還公道。
Joseph是一個成功的企業家,他還有一個基金會在新加坡,我也知道Joseph離婚多年後,談了幾個華人的女朋友,因爲他骨子里就喜歡中國文化。在這里祝福他最終能找到他心怡的華裔愛人。
浦瑛

 We often hear the idea that East and West can never meet. The poet Rudyard Kipling a hundred years ago pessimistically wrote, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” Or if they do meet, some fear one of them is destined to absorb or even dominate the other. But there is a better version for this old rhyme. This is the vision that East and West can meet to the advantage and benefit of both. Their cultures, histories, philosophies, and traditions can mutually share and enrich each other. It is this latter richer meaning that motivates Mr. Joseph Michael Gyulay, entrepreneur, adviser, and colleague. This article is dedicated to him, his life, and what he has done to bring East and West together in friendship.
He was of course--as his non-Oriental name would suggest--born in the West of parents whose ethnic background was European. But his experiences including business adventures and travels matches the backgrounds of so many people from Asia: “I was born in New York and my family moved to Cleveland in the early 1960's,” Joseph relates. “My Father was born in Cleveland and my Parents moved back to Ohio to be closer to relatives. My Father owned a kitchen cabinet factory on West 25th and Lorain and later an institutional food business through A.D. Seidel & Sons of Chicago.”
But then tragedy struck this hard working family. “During my junior year at John Marshall High School” Joseph sadly remembers, “my Father had a massive heart attack and I took off a year to essentially operate his food brokerage business which encompassed three States. At age 16 I was traveling these three States, staying in hotels and living out of a suitcase. That lifestyle is probably not even legal for minors in this day. My Father became disabled from the coronary crisis. I was now supporting a family of five at that time.” Many individuals from Asia have also journeyed this path of losing their childhoods and becoming the mainstays of their families at very early ages.
Yet Joseph made the best of this including for his schooling. “Back in those days schools taught value in our subjects and I took useful subjects such as mechanical drawing, metal shop, auto shop, and graphic arts. I even took typing which was in a room of about 40 girls and I was one of three boys. We were made fun of back in that day and even called ‘queers’ for taking typing.”
The passing years show the wisdom of his scholastic choice of typing. “I suppose if those mocking people are still around; I would have the last laugh since we all end up typing away madly on our computers.”
Joseph like many Oriental business developers worked a variety of businesses: “I had a mail order business in the Lapidary field in my late teen years and for a short time held marketing jobs with International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT), selling PBX systems to stock brokerages and big enterprises. I worked for a Safety Clothing company going into places like steel mills and television picture tube, and glass factories to sell protective clothing. I even visited the blast furnaces throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to find sales. Later; I worked for Hertz Corporation peddling corporate vehicle leases.”
There were people who helped Joseph in his early business dealings. “I took a job introducing the first ‘plastic box sealing tape’ to replace the paper tape.” He recalls. “We had to demonstrate the ‘tape gun.’ I fondly recall dealing with one record distributor. He was an old guy that wore a fur coat and walked with a solid gold cane. I met him at his stretch limo, accompanied by two very young ‘secretaries.’ He asked me what was new in my life. I replied that my wife was expecting our first child. He asked; ‘How many tape cartons do I need to buy so you get a $20 thousand commission?’ I answered, ‘About $100k worth.’ He said, ‘DONE!’
“Six weeks later my company sent me a check for $20k; which was a lot of money in 1979.” Each striver—whether from East or West—can point to similar good people who have helped them on their way.
“About 1981 I began my fragrance business and a few years later was earning high six figures,” Joseph continues. “I never returned to the University because I had no time. Even if I went back, how likely would I be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in some other vocation?
“At one time I employed 600 employees and created so much personal wealth I was fortunate to establish my own foundation to help poor people. It was called the Allegheny Occupational Development Foundation and helped people from welfare, to get off that crazy system, and to find work. I also bought a group home for United Cerebral Palsy and rebuilt their administrative headquarters. I was once shocked to visit the group home and learned that most of the children there were brain damaged from domestic violence. I was able to donate about 2.8 million dollars down through the years to various charities and to my own private foundation. Hopefully I have done some good in the world.”
So what is the Asian Connection for Mr. Gyulay? He begins with this wisdom, “I have always worked hard. For that reason I have difficulty accepting people with no ambition. I admire this go-getter spirit that I see everywhere in the Asian communities. There are people like Johnny Wu, Lisa and Wayne Wong, and Deborah Yu who all are the driving force of change. There are people like Radika Reddy and Asim Datta who glue that place together. I treasure my contacts with Publisher Annie Pu (whose community newspaper the East Erie Chinese Journal is celebrating its 15th birthday), Community leader and Friendship Foundation founder Gia Hoa Ryan, the world’s premier immigration lawyer Margaret Wong, the entrepreneurial Hom Family, and so many others it would take a book to list. Our entire Cleveland family—East and West—should celebrate these people and learn from them.”
But Joseph’s Asian connection was more than making new friends. “I did some volunteer work in the community for the Chinese New Year’s, MotivAsians, and The Vision of Chinatown exhibit.
“I helped out some people that happen to be of Chinese heritage. One beginning business, I linked them up with investors and other businesses, sponsored them at trade shows, set up their legal structure, and even designed their trademark materials. Their business became known not only all over Ohio but even in China where I worked on establishing them. I boasted everywhere that this business was the ‘CoCo Chanel of China,’ which promoted their trade reputation.
“Another business I helped was for an acquaintance who called Hong Kong her first home. I helped her buy and manage the renovations of her Cleveland real estate properties. She was very fair and grateful that I acted as her POA in USA while she completed some work in Hong Kong.
“I did some Asia business with my friend from Seattle a few years ago. I assisted him with his consultancy and investment business here and in China.”
Mr. Gyulay has extended his charitable work to the Asian community. “One example was I donated a large quantity of new surgical masks to Asia Services in Action. Do you also remember that I and Asim Datta were bartenders at a major Sai Gon plaza event some years ago?”
Recently Mr. Gyulay has been helping one Asian Community, the Vietnamese-American, in its efforts to establish a cultural garden on Dr. Martin Luther King to join the other cultural gardens. “This is a major million dollar project,” Mr. Gyulay states, “and I hope my donation will inspire others to contribute.”
Mr. Gyulay has also created the Hesperina Group which is a private philanthropy service funding charitable groups and educational organizations throughout Asia. Hesperina provides research about charitable giving programs and offers management services to individuals, foundations and trusts through a network of carefully chosen international charities which are dedicated to providing healthcare, education and rural development services.
He established Hesperina initially in 2008 to help orphans and helpless youth in Southeast Asia; with the focus of work in Northern Thailand and Myanmar.
Its scope of activities has broadened and it has donated many computers to schools in Myanmar. Joseph was a supporter of Virtual World Myanmar bringing the internet into schools and funding the education to teach rural Burmese children how to use computers. Joseph states, “These children are our future and this work brings technology directly into the Buddhist schools and prepares students for business and careers in the 21st century.”
“Hesperina Group,” Mr. Gyulaysays, “encourages people to participate as volunteers, to donate to the various relevant NGOs and other charitable organizations, and to support our general mission to serve orphans and homeless youth. We work in situations of war, civil strife and social instability, while supporting equal rights for all ethnic and religious groups. Our aid goes toall religious groups including those of Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths.”
How does Mr. Gyulay sum up his East and West efforts? “So you see; I have done some work around here but it does not measure up to people like Dan and Debbie Hansen who do so much for our community. You get the picture, I do not keep track of my deeds. I just do them. If we all work together, then we will build lasting bridges of friendship between East and West where we can all cross in good will.“

From Attorney Joseph Patrick Meissner
本文作者

 
From Attorney Joseph Patrick Meissner
本文作者
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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