2024 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
Top 20 Inspiring Man Impact Maker Award
Saturday, April 27, 2024
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Glen Gondo is an entrepreneur dedicated to promoting Japanese culture, inclusivity, and diversity in the daily lives of members of the community.
Glen is the co-owner of Tokyo Gardens Catering. The idea for the business grew out of his move to Houston in 1984 with his wife Kathy to manage his family’s restaurant, Tokyo Gardens, Houston’s first Japanese restaurant. His vision was to start a sushi catering company specializing in live sushi bars and providing Japanese food for the airlines from Houston to Narita. Glen started selling and delivering sushi to hotels, universities, offices, and hospitals to grow the business in Houston.
Eventually, Glen added a partner with whom he began a relationship with H-E-B grocery stores with Sushiya. Today, they serve 290 H-E-B store locations, and Glen’s four companies supply sushi nationally from the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, and Southern states into other grocery store chains such as Giant Eagle and Albertsons. They also supply hotels, sports venues, hospitals, 20 universities, corporate dining halls, and private parties. Their operations extend beyond Texas to Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Oklahoma, and Maryland. It is a source of pride for Glen to be able to promote Japanese culture in this manner.
Tokyo Gardens Catering has been involved with many memorable events since its inception. Just a few of them include catering sushi at Super Bowl LI in the new NRG Stadium, the 16th G7 Economic Summit for Prime Minister Kaifu, the seventieth birthday party for President George H.W. Bush, the Offshore Technology Conference Corporate Suites, and the International Petrochemical Conference.
Glen attended North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, and majored in economics toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Glen also has a consulting business, which provides marketing and public relations, with managing and negotiating contracts, for Japanese corporate clients. And, since 2004, he has been a partner in a joint venture that manages 35 retail stores at the Bush International Airport.
In service to his community, Glen supported the capital building campaigns for Asia Society Texas Center, Chinese Community Center, and Hope Clinic. He also contributes to education projects; founded the Japan Festival; and has been on the boards of United Way, The Japan America Society of Houston, Japanese Garden, Houston Restaurant Association, Greater Houston Convention Center, Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, Royal Oaks Country Club, Miller Outdoor Theater, and Greater Houston Partnership. As well, Glen has served on the advisory board of Japanese Garden, Southern National Bank, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Board, and Chinese Community Center to name only a few.
For his leadership, entrepreneurial work, philanthropic outreach, and programs that eliminate discrimination and Asian hate, Mr. Gondo has received numerous awards and honors. The most notable of these include the Government of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Rosette for promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, Asia Society Texas Asian American Leadership Award, Minority Business News Houston Outstanding Men of Minority Business, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Outstanding Asian American.
Glen and Kathy celebrated 50 years of marriage in July 2023. Both are proud to be the parents of their son, Robert, who joined the family business to help with the strategic growth of the organizations. When not working, Glen can be found on the golf course, working out, exploring the culinary venues of Houston, or traveling.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Glen Gondo has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Man Impact Maker for 2024.