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Toyota Vice President of U.S. Sales Jeff Bracken explains the symbolism behind the presentation of the katana sword. John McEleney, far right, listens along with his employees.

Toyota executives from across the country traveled to Clinton Thursday to celebrate McEleney AutoCenter’s new Toyota showroom.

The new building, which opened in December, drew praise from the executives for its appearance and amenities.

Jeff Bracken, Toyota Vice President of Sales, visited Clinton in the midst of his first-ever trip to Iowa. The California-based executive praised McEleney AutoCenter President John McEleney for his commitment to the brand and customer service.

Bracken presented McEleney with a Japanese Katana sword, a Toyota corporate tradition. Bracken said the Katanas, which were wielded by samurai warriors in the 12th and 13th centuries, symbolize strength and integrity. With McEleney’s AutoCenter only two years away from celebrating a century in business, Bracken said the dealership has no shortage of those traits.

A reception was held in the showroom. McEleney’s employees were invited to attend the catered reception, and mingle with the Toyota executives from California, and those who traveled from the regional office in Kansas City.