Cliffworks - Cliff Woolley - Japan

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Testimonials / English


Chris Littleton Tour Manager – Tim McGraw / Faith Hill, Eagles, Toto, Steely Dan, Don Henley, Shania Twain…

“I have been touring Japan and the Far East, including tours with the Eagles, Don Henley, Toto, Steely Dan and countless others since the 70’s. Cliff Woolley has been a behind-the-scenes force in the success of these events with his solid support and local knowledge, without which, my job would have been much more difficult. His professionalism and ability to make touring bands welcome in Japan and Asia is a testament to his knowledge and expertise. “

Teruyuki ‘Terry’ Fujino – Branch Manager, CFO, COO, Salomon Bros, Fidelity, Cantor Fitzgerald, Instinet

“Cliff is one of the best in the recruitment industry here in Tokyo. Over the years he has provided recruitment services for the firms at which I was CFO and branch manager, continually outperforming major global providers. So, I turned to Cliff when I recently decided on a career move of my own, and he found the perfect firm at which I am now COO. I give him my highest recommendation – to both clients and candidates.”

Garrett Ilg – President Oracle (former president Adobe – Europe – CEO SAP Japan)

“I have known Cliff since the 1980’s during which both of us have been working in Japan. His knowledge of the Japan market and how to get things done is one of the best of any I’ve seen in my time in Japan. He is focused with a very strong work ethic and a high level of energy. His primary skill set is based on his ability to work with people. His approach typically borders on an interpersonal touch, which tends to be uniquely effective in Japan. Simply put – Cliff is very good at getting things done.”

Andrew Cripps – President 20th Century International (former President Paramount Pictures)

“I have known Cliff since the 1980’s, had the opportunity to work with him when he worked at CIC Video, sister company to UIP, and have always found him to be very hard working, conscientious and diligent, always fulfilling every task set for him.”

Shigehiko ‘Sam’ Hori – CEO Paramount & Universal, JVC Japan

“I always found Cliff to be a gentleman of integrity, high energy, great at sales and marketing with a high level of Japanese language skills and a keen sense of humor.”

Daniel M. Stone, CIO Lehman Brothers

“Cliff and I became friends when I worked at Lehman Brothers as Asia CIO. Cliff has a strong sense of ethics, endeavouring always to deal fairly and honestly in both business and personal matters. He is also deeply committed to helping others as evidenced by his extensive volunteer efforts. In addition Cliff is a very talented musician with an insider’s knowledge of the music business and a deep love of the music itself. These characteristics make knowing and working with Cliff interesting and rewarding.”

Michiro Koyama – Marketing Director, Universal Pictures Japan

“I worked with Cliff Woolley for a few years when I was in CIC-Victor Video. His role was marketing / sales representative for CIC Far-East and took responsibility for all marketing and sales activity in Japan. Cliff’s knowledge and experience about Japanese culture worked very much effective since his role had to know both side of viewpoints, the one is head office and the other one is Japan office. Under significantly strong pressure from head office, he has well supported increase sales of Japan business and achieved budget target. He was also well perceived by Japanese colleagues by his friendly personality and good sense of humor.”

General Fred C. Weyand, US Army Chief of Staff

“For your outstanding contribution to the morale and welfare of the United States and other free world military assistance forces in the Republic of Vietnam while touring the command entertaining personnel of all services. The significant and lasting impression you made enhanced the morale of the fighting forces and reflects great credit upon yourself and your profession.”

Ed Scheckler PhD – Global Director IT CLSA – former IT Director CSFB, Citi

“I have known Cliff since 1990. I’ve seen Cliff’s dedication and commitment to a variety of endeavors both professional and charitable. He has helped me with recruitment of key staff (all of whom are still with us today) as well as with outplacement during those unfortunate downturns in the business cycle where we were forced to reduce staffing levels. At all times, Cliff has conducted himself professionally and in the best interests of the client.”

David Clement – Senior Director Oracle Corporation, Asia Pacific / Japan

“I have known Cliff since the mid 90’s while I have worked in Japan and the Asia Pacific Region. Cliff’s greatest resource is not the wide range of experience he has, rather it is the depth of commitment he has brought to each experience. Cliff is nothing less than 110% into what ever he does. With all his depth of experience and commitment, I am consistently amazed at the level of sincerity and integrity he brings to every challenge he chooses.”

Editorial Director, Northern & Shell Publishing, UK, Paul Ashford / Publications International Musician & Recording World, UK Penthouse, Frankfurt Musik Messe Daily

“Mr. Woolley was at all times diligent, loyal, creative, and innovative. His contributions to the group’s success went far beyond his written job brief and he continues to be a valued contact.”

David Pack – Grammy Award winner, co-founder Ambrosia, songwriter/producer

“Cliff has helped hundreds of artists and himself is an accomplished musician and successful businessman. Cliff continues to be a great resource and a bridge between two countries. He is our ‘musical ambassador’ to Japan. Cliff is 100% reliable, his word is his bond.”

I have known Cliff since 1967 when we were classmates together. Cliff has aided professional musicians for several decades both in his birthplace, America, and in Japan. Cliff has helped hundreds of artists and he himself is a very accomplished musician and a successful businessman.

In earlier years he played special guest performances with my group Ambrosia, doing incredible blues harmonica live in concert and on our recordings. He has played fantastic jazz guitar in the tradition of Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, and other greats. He sings his ass off, especially blues oriented music.

Early in his life he fell in love with Japan, the country, the people, the language, the traditions, and moved there to make a new home. He has proven himself to be everything from an executive “head hunter” for major corporations of the world, to music executive, to good friend.

He has helped my recent tour of Japan with Alan Parsons, doing the Abbey Road Tribute to the Beatles, in securing proper rehearsal facilities, and in translating our needs to various people, which proved invaluable during our time there.

Cliff continues to be a great resource for all of us and a bridge between two countries. He is our “musical ambassador” to Japan, and provides a great service in helping the music get to the people who love it so much.

I can’t imagine Cliff ever needing a reference letter–at least in the music world–because it seems that everyone knows and loves him. The bottom line is– Cliff is 100% reliable, his word is his bond. He gets the job done in a respectful way that pleases all concerned. And he has sacrificed what could have been a very successful music career to pursue helping others–something I find remarkable.

BGC Partners Securities formerly Cantor Fitzgerald VP IT, Admin, Paul Nikaido

“I have known Cliff Woolley personally and professionally since 1994. We recently hired him to fill a few positions, and although competing against a large human resources firm, he outperformed them at every step of the recruitment process. He provided more and better qualified candidates, proactively participated in each stage of the interview process, and successfully completed the assignments. He has proven himself to be extremely tenacious, highly resourceful and a creative solutions provider with a vast network of candidate/client resources, both in Tokyo and abroad. I highly recommend his service to any client or candidate.”

George F. J. Lehner, PhD. – Professor Emeritus, Psychology, UCLA

“I have known Cliff Woolley since 1995 while in Bangkok on various consulting assignments. I found him to possess excellent verbal skills and able to relate easily and effectively to others. He is highly intelligent, energetic, able to analyze and present data effectively. In intellectual discussions, Cliff displayed superior modes of thinking and social skills. He also displayed good skill in generating options for effective problem solving. His personal relating skills and his professional competence should make him an excellent employee.”

John McCaulley – Senior Instructor, Japan Airlines

“This is to certify Mr. Cliff Woolley was employed under contract by Japan Airlines and its affiliated companies for a period of approximately 15 years until 1997. Mr. Woolley always performed his duties in a very satisfactory manner and cooperated well with the management and other staff in all respects. He also enjoyed the respect of the trainees entrusted to his care.”

Chris Minko – Director, Cambodian Disabled Peoples Organization

“Very impressed by your teaching techniques, many thanks and sincere appreciation. You will be a great help to the development of the project.”

Covington, Louisiana Parish Manager/Police Jury, Allan Cartier

“I personally know Cliff Woolley and can vouch for his character. Cliff is a recognized and accomplished musician who has worked with some of the world’s finest, including Ambrosia, President Clinton’s favorite.”

Grammy Award winner Joe Puerta – Ambrosia, Bruce Hornsby & the Range

Joe Puerta, Producer, Firefly Records, Bassist, Co-Founder of Ambrosia.

I am a Grammy Award winning musician as well as songwriter and producer. I have a long relationship with Cliff Woolley, professionally as well as personally. He has been a professional liaison for my bands ‘Ambrosia’ and ‘Bruce Hornsby and the Range’ on tours in Japan. He has played harmonica on several Ambrosia records as well as being a member of the stage band (guitar/harmonica) with Ambrosia in the American debut of the rock opera ‘Tommy.’

Cliff is a multi-talented, marketing/sales executive with a wealth of experience in the music, teaching, publishing and movie industries, with a philanthropic temperament.

In the music field he is a versatile liaison man, experienced in sales of musical equipment, facilitating artist/manufacture product endorsement deals, locating Japanese distributors for overseas manufacturers, providing professional assistance on all levels to the world’s top recording and concert artists touring Japan.

He is considered by many, to be one of the world’s top harmonica players, and is a fine guitarist. His creative writing skills, bi-lingual abilities and international contacts make him a valuable resource for any company that has international outlook in its business ventures. I would highly recommend Cliff to any company seeking to fill a position that could utilize his many assets.

Kenwood Dennard, Professor of Drums, Berklee College of Music

Cliff Woolley has been invaluable in several of my tours in Japan especially on my work with Stanley Jordan. 

Grammy Award winning Guitarist Wayne Johnson (Manhattan Transfer, Rickie Lee Jones, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Akiko Yano, Lee Oskar, John Tesh)

I first met Cliff when I was touring Japan with The Manhattan Transfer back in the 80s. I was amazed at his diversity and ability to complete any task at hand. And when it comes to touring overseas… there are many problems to be solved. Cliff just has the gift. Whether it’s back line, specialty gear, wardrobe, transportation, lodging, entertainment, marketing, sales, promotion or translation, Cliff gets the job done. And, he’s a talented musician on top of all that! After that first meeting, every time I showed up in Japan… there was Cliff to greet the band. I remember one tour where my gear and luggage got diverted to another country and didn’t make it in time for the first show. Cliff was there with his personal guitar for me and stage clothes! I highly recommend Cliff. In all of his confident diversity, he is the ultimate liaison. Wayne Johnson

Alan Parsons Abbey Road Japan Tour Todd Rundgren, John Entwistle, David Pack (Ambrosia), Ann Wilson (Heart)

“You really did a great job with helping to coordinate everything for the equipment and rehearsals. Thanks again for all your help.”

Dith Pran, Cambodia holocaust survivor (life portrayed in the film The Killing Fields)

“Great magazine interview. Thank you for caring and helping.”

Ted Bluechel founding member of hit vocal group The Association

“I first met Cliff when we (the Original Association) heard him sing and play, back in the 1970s, and asked him if he would like to join us and be a member of The Association. We were lucky to find him as he was able to learn all of the vocal and instrumental parts as if he had always been with us. Not only was he a great musician but highly professional and caused no problems or distractions in carrying on with our demanding schedule. Anyone who has the good fortune to work with Cliff will find what a class act he is. We remain in touch through all these years and I am glad we are still friends.”

Tony Taibi Road Manager Eagles and Don Henley

“Cliff has worked with many of the world’s top musical artists, is liked and respected by all, has helped make the tours I’ve worked in Japan for Don Henley and The Eagles more enjoyable and successful. What a pleasure to have someone like Cliff take care of us during our touring Japan. I give my highest personal and professional recommendation. Thanks Cliff.” TT

Art Pepper, alto saxophone legend

“You’re sounding really good these days Cliff, I may use you on my next recording.”

(cliffnote: I left for Japan so missed the chance of a lifetime!)

Ben Bridges Nate Watts guitar & bass, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

We were so happy to have met Cliff on our first Japan tour (Stevie Wonder, 1977). He made such a difference. When you’re touring a country like Japan it’s vital to have someone like Cliff on your team. A savvy, bilingual musician and businessman, Cliff knows the ropes and can open the right doors and can put you in touch with the right music industry people. He turns “yeah, we just toured Japan” into “yeah, we just toured Japan, and man, we had a great time, hung out with all these new players, and made all these new business contacts.”

Tony Moore, President BoydMoore Executive Recruiting, Business Owner

“I worked with Cliff for several years in the early 2000s at one of the major recruitment firms in Tokyo, at the time. Cliff was universally well regarded by both his clients and candidates alike; his depth of commitment and infectious enthusiasm helping him to stand out from the crowd. He continues to be networked wonderfully in Japan and Asia-wide and there are few people in Tokyo who have been here for any length of time that haven’t been touched in some positive way by Cliff. I recommend him highly.”

Mark A. Smith, Major, US Army, Special Forces
(Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, 8 Bronze Stars, Legion of Valor, Medal of Honor Nominee, returned POW Cambodia)

“I have known Cliff Woolley since 1995 and have personal observations of him in various scenarios ranging from charitable endeavors to revolution and war. During the 1997 Coup in Cambodia, Cliff was one of the few Westerners who did not flee the country. He stayed on station and attempted to record for history the horrific murders and mutilations which took place. During the entire time he never ceased his charitable humanitarian efforts on behalf of the poor, especially children. This was all in keeping with Cliff’s past history of going to Vietnam in the early 1970s to entertain American troops engaged in combat. This he did at the expense of his own professional music career. In any capacity calling for professional conduct and a unique ability to deal with Asians from peasants to royalty, Cliff Woolley has my highest personal and professional recommendation. In doing so I take great pleasure in joining General Fred Weyand and others in my most favorable assessment of Cliff’s abilities.”

Subject: The Role of Mr. Cliff Woolley in Reporting on Cambodia 1992-2003 and the Thai Lao Cambodia Region through 2010

Cliff was an integral member in charge of communications on a team reporting on the 1997 coup de e’tat in Cambodia with General Soth Sombat the Interpol Liaison Officer. He remained in Cambodia during the coup and the only way we could communicate was him using the networks and equipment of those whom had fled the country in fear.

We reported on the drug connection being used by the cohorts of current Prime Minister Hun Sen to ship worldwide. There is no debate on Cliff’s experience level in being part of the reporting efforts at that time. His role was key to the success of that effort. His ability to adapt and think on his feet was singularly unique and not only supported the reporting but saved lives region-wide.

Cliff’s value in any law enforcement effort would very rapidly become apparent as essential to the success of any such effort.

Major Mark A. Smith, USA, Retired

Reference letter excerpts (signed, full-length letters available on request)