On May 21, 2018, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross commenced the Nation’s annual World Trade Week by honoring 43 top American companies and organizations which either export American goods and services abroad or assist other business with exporting their own goods abroad. The honorees were recognized at the 49th annual President’s Export Awards ceremony in Washington, DC.
The President’s Export Awards ceremony marked a victory for President Trump and his administration, as Trump campaigned heavily on job creation back in 2016. This year’s award recipients contributed towards exporting more than two trillion dollars of American goods and services in 2017 alone- and those exports subsequently supported almost 11 million US jobs. In fact, in May – the same month of the Export Awards- the jobless rate in America tumbled from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent- the lowest numbers since December of 2000.
Less unemployment, combined with Trump’s recent tax cuts, are not just putting more money in American worker’s bank accounts, it’s also increasing the bottom line of many employers. This means more investing, more creating and naturally, more jobs. The Congressional Budget Office agrees- raising its growth estimate for 2018 to 3.3 percent, which is more than double the growth rate estimate of 2016.
This growth, combined with President Trump’s campaign promises to bring jobs back to America from overseas give the Trump administration all the more reason to celebrate, especially at a time when according to the Brookings Institute, a record 85 percent of economic growth over the next five years is expected to come from exports. Hopefully this upward trend continues, and leaders like those selected for the President’s Export Awards can help lead the way for other businesses.
About the Awards
Introduced by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the President’s Export Awards (or “E” awards) have become a longstanding tradition in Washington- one which spotlights the very brightest stars in the exporting industry- businesses that continue to make a powerful impact in the US exports market.
Among the total 43 businesses and organizations honored this year, nine honorees received the “E” award for export Service due to their exemplary support of export activities, 25 received the “E” award for exports following a consecutive four-year increase in export sales, and eight total companies received the prestigious “E” Star Award for exports, which is bestowed upon previous “E” award winners who have continued their growth trend with an additional 4 consecutive years of growth. Just one firm, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SMEA) of Diamond Bar, California was awarded the Star Award for Export Service. This award is given to previous honorees who have shown an additional four years of support to exporters beyond their initial award-winning support in a prior year.
The 2018 “E” Award recipients are:
“E” Award for Exports
Applied Membranes, Inc. – Vista, California
Located in the scenic city of Vista, California, Applied Membranes, Inc. manufactures reverse-osmosis water filtration systems, membranes and components for use in both commercial and residential applications. Founded in 1983 by Dr. Gil Dhawan, Applied Membranes systems have been used in 20,000 installations around the globe. Applied Membranes prides itself on its ability to offer flexible, customized solutions to suit even the most complex water treatment needs.
About Vista: Vista, California is located in San Diego County. With a population of 101,797 this mid-sized California city is less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and boasts a warm Mediterranean climate. The city has an ideal workforce for industries ranging from semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, navigational and electromedical engineering and more.
Automated Packaging Systems – Streetsboro, OH
With locations around the globe, including 10 in the United States, Automated Packaging Systems currently has over 30,000 packaging systems in operation across the planet. Inventors of the original Autobag brand pre-opened bag, Automated Packaging Systems was founded in 1962, in a modest garage in Queens, New York. Today, they are the leading manufacturer of bags-on-a-roll bagging systems, producing more bags-on-a-roll than all of their competitors combined.
About Streetsboro: Known as the Gateway to Progress, Streetsboro, Ohio is centrally located between the cities of Cleveland, Youngstown and Akron, Ohio. Home to three business parks – two of which are the largest in the Cleveland area, Streetsboro has an unprecedented access to major interstate highways and the busiest intersection in both Portage and Summit counties. The city is known for its skilled manufacturing workforce, with 32 percent of its industry in the manufacturing field.
Beekley Medical – Bristol, CT
Founded by F. Cheney Beekley in 1934, Beekley Medical first began as a printing and lithograph press. Today Beekley Medical, along with two other related companies falls under the Beekley Corporation umbrella. In the 84 years since Beekley first opened his business in Hartford, Connecticut Beekley Medical has become an innovator in the medical products field, developing products that help both doctors and patients have a more positive clinical outcome.
About Bristol: Just twenty miles south of Hartford, Connecticut and halfway between New York City, New York and Boston, Massachusetts, the suburban city of Bristol, Connecticut is probably best known as being home to sports network ESPN. But that’s not all this 60k-plus resident city has going for it. Strategically positioned between four labor markets (Hartford, Waterbury, Torrington and New Haven, Connecticut), the are also boasts a large population of educated workers, thanks to its close proximity to Universities like Yale, Harvard, MIT, Princeton and New York University.
Colorado Mesa University – International Student Admissions and Programs – Grand Junction, CO
Founded in 1925 Colorado Mesa University’s (CMU) International Student Admissions and Programs department was honored with a President’s Export Award thanks to CMU’s tireless efforts to attract international students to the 11,000 –plus-student university. With programs ranging from technical certificates all the way up to master’s degrees, CMU offers nearly 100 undergraduate programs and over 40 associates degree and certificate programs, including Business/Commerce, Biology/Biological Sciences and Criminal Justice/ Safety Studies. Located in picturesque Grand Junction, Colorado, CMU is ranked #24 in Regional Colleges West.
About Grand Junction: Known as the ‘Energy Capital of the West,’ Grand Junction, Colorado is located in the natural-resource-rich Piceance Basin- a strategic foothold which allows free access to both domestic and international trade routes. Grand Junction is already home to such energy giants as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Halliburton, as well as numerous energy start-ups which focus wind energy and clean-tech, which benefit from the city’s Jump-Start tax credit program.
Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado
The second Colorado university to receive an “E”-award, Fort Collins-based Colorado State University earned their place in American History thanks to CSU’s emphasis on exporting education and ramped-up recruitment of international students. CSU has increased international enrollment for the past 11 years straight, increasing the international student population by 126 percent in the past decade. Currently, CSU has 1,995 international students, who President Tony Frank credits with helping to expand the cultural and intellectual lexicon on campus.
About Fort Collins: Located just 65 miles north of Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado was initially founded as a military outpost by the United States Army. Today, Fort Collins is no longer a military base, but that hasn’t slowed down the mid-sized college city. With a population of approximately 161,000 people, Fort Collins is home to a long list of household name manufacturing operations, like Anheuser-Busch, Hewlett Packard, Eastman Kodak and Waterpik, just to name a few. The city’s target industries include biotech, clean energy, and computer programming.
CoreBrace, LLC – West Jordan, Utah
CoreBrace LLC has the honor of being the first President’s Export Award winner to hail from the State of Utah. Designers and manufacturers of custom-built Buckling Restrained Braces (BRB’s) for use in the construction of buildings which need additional protection from cyclical later loadings, such as loadings caused by earthquakes. CoreBrace was recognized for its efforts in increasing employment by over 300 percent to support its booming export business.
About West Jordan: The fourth-largest city in Utah, the rapidly-growing city of West Jordan has a population of over 103,000 and is home to the headquarters of companies like SME Steel, Cypress Credit Union and Mountain America Credit Union. Conveniently located near several major transportation corridors, West Jordan is less than a half-day’s drive to Las Vegas, Nevada, Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles and San Francisco, California respectively. The 32-square-mile city also has light rail and commercial freight rail service, and is just 15 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport. The city is also home to a second general aviation airport which acts as a base for the 211th Aviation Regiment of the Utah Army National guard to fly Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.
EXEPRON- Lafayette, Louisiana
When Daniel Walsh and John Thompson developed the EXEPRON project management platform, they did so to solve a problem they themselves faced frequently in their20-plus years of management consulting. Using a cloud computing platform, Walsh and Thompson developed EXEPRON, a “collaborative scheduling solution,” which allows users to seamlessly manage resources using what they describe as “virtual, real-time global collaboration.” EXEPRON was honored with the “E” award due to its impressive export sales and dedication to increasing export expansion- both of which help to create American jobs.
About Lafayette: The fourth largest city in Louisiana, Lafayette is known as Louisiana’s “Hub City,” thanks to its effortless access to a variety of infrastructure options. The historic city is located at the crossroads of I-10 and I-49, with access to 114 miles of L&D railroad rack. The city also has its own large regional airport (LFT), with daily flights to Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, and is 70 miles or less from six different seaports. Deemed one of Realtor.com’s “10 Smaller Cities Poised to Skyrocket” in May of 2018, Lafayette has been affectionately dubbed “silicon bayou,” thanks to its rapidly increasing tech and innovation industry.
Flexo Concepts – Plymouth, Massachusetts
Manufacturers of doctor blades used in offset and flexographic printers, Plymouth, Massachusetts-based Flexo Concepts received an “E” award for their contribution to the export job market following their rapid global-growth. Since its acquisition in 2001, CEO Kevin Howell and President Greg Howell have worked tirelessly to introduce Flexo’s TruPoint line to foreign markets. The President’s E Award is Flexo Concepts’ second exporting so far in 2018. This past April, the Massachusetts Small Business Association named Flexo Concepts the “2018 Exporter of the Year,” thanks to the company’s support and dedication to increasing exports and supporting state-generated export marketing programs.
About Plymouth: One of the most famous towns in American history, Plymouth Massachusetts’ claim to fame is the landing of the ship The Mayflower in November of 1620 at Plymouth Rock. Though some of the details of this story have been disputed and disproven over the years, it is tale that has now been permanently woven into the tapestry of American folklore.
Today, Plymouth is modern town, where new literally meets old. A popular tourist destination, the city still honors its heritage while offering a highly workforce and modern amenities. Some of the town’s largest employers include Entergy Nuclear Generation, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and yes, even the not-so-modern tourist hot-spot Plymouth Plantation.
Fortune Products, Inc. – Cedar Park, TX
Manufacturers of the Accusharp line of knife and tool sharpeners, the privately-owned Fortune Products, Inc. Is based in the Austin, Texas suburb of Cedar Park. Founded in 1984, Fortune Products received the “E” award for their impressive export sales which span multiple industries across 64 countries. Fortune Products stunning sales growth has expanded employment at the business by 65 percent, and the company’s increase in export activities has also generated an increase in export-related American jobs.
About Cedar Park: Approximately 16 miles southeast of Austin, Texas the modest sized city of Cedar Park, Texas offers something for everyone, from sports fanatics to history buffs. Home of the world-famous 400-year-old Heritage Oak Tree, the industries supported by the community of Cedar Park are anything but ancient. Some of Cedar Park’s more notable businesses include Voltabox, Firefly Aerospace, and pc-based embedded board manufacturer Corvalent. But Cedar Park’s number one source of pride isn’t an ancient tree: it’s the Cedar Park workforce. A highly educated community more than half of all Cedar Park residents have at least a four-year degree, and a full sixty percent of Cedar Park’s skilled commuter workforce would be willing to leave their current position to accept one closer to home in Cedar Park.
Global Airtech – Van Nuys, California
Founded in 1989, aviation and aerospace company Global Airtech provides the commercial aviation industry with supply chain logistics, asset management, and round-the-clock AOG (aircraft on ground) support. Based in Van Nuys, California, Global Airtech has client support offices in the US, China, Thailand and India. A full-service aircraft parts supplier with an extensive collection of on-hand inventory, spare parts are available at Global Airtech’s Los Angeles, Miami, Singapore, and London locations. Furthermore, Global Airtech’s support staff is trained extensively in dealing with Global Delivery Couriers, Freight Forwarders, and Customs Clearance Associates to assist in supply logistics.
About Van Nuys: Located in the famed San Fernando Valley area of Southern California, Van Nuys, California is the only neighborhood in ‘The Valley’ with a population of over 100,000. At just under 9 square miles, the densely packed district is home to a total of 2.1 million residents and over 70,000 businesses. Recently designated by the United States chamber of commerce as a manufacturing community, Van Nuys and the rest of the valley have been granted VIP access to $1.3 billion dollars in federal funding for manufacturing operations. The Valley is already leading the way in advanced manufacturing, with companies like Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and many more.
GT Mfg., Inc. – Clay Center, KS
Since their humble beginnings in 1953, GT Mfg., Inc. has become a leader in the batch grain dryer manufacturing industry and continues to dominate the marketplace. Now widely-considered to be the gold standard in grain dryers, today, you can find GT dryers in 83 different countries, and on six different continents around the world. But that didn’t happen by accident- it was a lot of hard work on behalf of the entire GT Mfg. team, -something that the company’s president, Dennis Pederson is quick to confirm. But it almost didn’t happen for this 2018 export award recipient. You see, several decades ago, when GT’s owner, Jim Sampson was ready to throw in the towel on his self-made business, he decided instead to aggressively pursue exporting his products around the world- a move that paid off big time for the small Kansas operation. GT’s “E” award isn’t the first professional accolade the company has won- in fact, this year’s E award is the third export bestowal, Sampson, Pederson and the team have earned in the past four years- including the Kansas SBA Exporter of the Year in 2014, and the State of Kansas exporter of the year in 2016.
About Clay Center: Clay Center, Kansas holds the unique distinction of being the exact geographic midpoint between the United States’ two biggest cities – New York City, New York, and Los Angeles, California- poising Clay Center just 1,224 miles from each. Though this Midwestern city houses a population of just 4334, what the workforce lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. A recent workforce study by the Docking Institute found that more than half of Clay Center’s available workforce is willing to work second shift, third shift, weekends or a rotating shift, and the majority of workers cited on-the-job training as the second most important benefit after salary.
GTX Technologies LLC – Amarillo, TX
Founded by the Ghanaian-born Dr. Norbert Chirase in 2007, GTX Technologies LLC specializes in the development and distribution of humic (organic) substances for use in organic products like cattle feed, lawn and garden food and soil remediation. With a staff of less than ten employees, Chirase has been able to expand his sales of GTX Technologies products around the globe, raising his sales and boosting the US export industry in the process.
About Amarillo: The largest city in the ‘Texas Panhandle,’ Amarillo, Texas is the state’s 14th largest city, with a population of over 201,000. Often referred to as the ‘yellow rose of Texas,’ (Amarillo means ‘yellow’ in Spanish) Amarillo is home to some of the most diverse industries in the state of Texas, including a V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant (which has unofficially garnered Amarillo the nickname “Rotor City USA,”) to the CNS Pantex nuclear weapon assembly/disassembly plant- the only one of its kind in America. However, despite this influx of niche businesses, Amarillo is still best known for being one of the largest meat-packing regions in the entire United States. In fact, approximately 25% of the country’s beef is processed at Amarillo plants, and the city’s second largest employer is Tyson Foods.
Helicopter Tech, Inc. – King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
A woman-owned small business (WOSB) Helicopter Tech, Inc. was founded in 1995 by company President and CEO Rachel Carson. Carson began Helicopter Tech, Inc. to fill a gap in the aviation industry, providing thousands of aircraft parts to customers who may not have a lot of time to wait for a special order. To do this, Carson and Helicopter Tech work with subcontractors to create the parts and deliver them to the customer through Helicopter Tech’s integrated supply-chain management process. For Helicopter Tech, Inc., exporting provides a means to stay busy during the off season. In a recent interview with the International Trade Commission, Carson explained that the ability to export parts to places like Australia during the slower months in the US has enabled Helicopter Tech to maintain steady work when normally there might be a lag.
About King of Prussia: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania is a rapidly-growing Philadelphia suburb. With just under 20k residents, King of Prussia is home to the largest shopping mall in America, King of Prussia (or KOP) is not an officially incorporated town, but a ‘census designated place’ in Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania. In 2016, the area began working on a $1.2 billion dollar expansion of King of Prussia mall, as well as the creation of new single family housing, luxury apartments and office space- including a 300,000 square foot distribution center.
iTEP International, LLC – Canoga Park, California
The creator of the globally renown International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP), iTEP International earned the President’s “E” award for its suite of online language assessment products. Founded in 2008, iTEP testing has quickly become a leader in English-language assessment examinations. Today iTEP tests are used in 51 countries at by schools, businesses and even governments. Though the iTEP test is available around the world, its biggest international market is China, which currently has over 100 iTEP testing centers in addition to partnerships with numerous educational institutions.
About Canoga Park: Canoga Park, California is a San Fernando Valley neighborhood in Los Angeles with a population of around 60,000. The Canoga Park area is known for its aerospace technology industry, as the neighborhood is home to aerospace companies like Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Atomics International, Hughes Aircraft, Boeing and numerous others.
Jeppesen – Englewood, Colorado
A leading publisher of flight navigation charts since 1934, Jeppesen charts are now so widely used in the aviation industry that they are affectionately referred to as “Jepp charts.” Founded by a pilot named Elrey Borge Jeppesen, Jeppesen’s earliest charts were made on paper. Though Pilot Jeppesen never intended to sell his handmade navigation charts, colleagues began to take notice of the detail and accuracy and requested Jeppesen make them a copy. As legend has it, Jeppesen began selling copies of his personal flight book for just $10 dollars, and Jeppesen the company was born.
Today, despite paper navigation charts falling by the wayside in favor of electronic charts, Jeppesen is still considered the gold-standard in flight charts.
About Englewood: A “Home Rule Municipality,” Englewood, Colorado is located just 20 minutes south of Denver. With a population of just under 32,000, Englewood’s top industries are healthcare, education and retail. Englewood is also home to privately owned German-based cleaning system manufacturer Kärcher North America, Inc, and a local Dean Foods plant. Englewood boasts a business-friendly climate and a variety of housing and business site options ideal for small-to-medium sized businesses.
Kira Labs Inc – Pompano Beach, Florida
Founded by David Rosen in 2003, Kira Labs, Inc. is an all-natural, cruelty-free skincare line based in Pompano Beach, Florida. Today the company manufactures and vertically markets more than 15 skincare brands around the world. But Kira Labs wasn’t always the powerhouse it is today- it wasn’t until Rosen started thinking globally that the business really took off. Armed with a detailed export marketing plan, he was able to grow Kira Labs from a modest ten employees to over 60 within a few short years. Today Kira Products are available as far away as Russia and Korea, and Kira Labs is racking up the accolades- including Florida Exporter of the Year in 2017.
About Pompano Beach: Pompano Beach, Florida boasts three-miles of pristine coastline along Florida’s east coast. Best known for its beautiful beaches and wondrous coral reef, the city of Pompano Beach has been designated an All-America city, an honor only bestowed upon cities where all sectors exhibit the ability to work together to address issues that face the community.
Maxxess Systems – Yorba Linda, California
Yorba Linda, California based Maxess Systems manufactures adaptable security management systems that meet the unique security needs of modern businesses. The company prides itself on being able provide customers with peace of mind by offering operational management systems at reasonable prices. Maxess Systems can be customized to meet most business needs right out of the box, and allow for third-third party integration solutions.
About Yorba Linda: Picturesque Yorba Linda, California is just 37 miles southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County, California. The Southern California town is known for its love of horses and has over 100 miles of horseback riding trails. The top industries in Yorba Linda are healthcare, retail and manufacturing.
Micronova Manufacturing, Inc. – Torrance, California
The woman-owned Micronova Manufacturing, Inc., designs, manufactures and sells medical cleanroom supplies. Founded in 1984 by Audrey Reynolds, started Micronova Manufacturing to address the needs of the rapidly growing biotech, aerospace and semiconductor facilities that were springing up in area.
Today, Micronova Manufacturing, Inc. produces a variety of cleanroom supplies, including cleanroom tapes, the MicroDispenser, wipes, detergents and more.
About Torrance: Regularly topping the list as one of the safest cities in America, the suburban city of Torrance, California is home to a variety of diverse businesses and business headquarters -from the United States headquarters of the American Honda Motor Company to Alpine Electronics of America and Honeywell Aerospace, Torrance has a highly skilled manufacturing workforce, moderate year-round climate, and a variety of logistics options, Torrance is centrally located for business.
Mercury Medical – Clearwater, Florida
A veteran-owned small business (VOSB), Clearwater, Florida-based Mercury Medical was founded by Stanley G. Tangalakis in 1963. Since then, Mercury Medical has earned a reputation for delivering and manufacturing innovative airway management devices and exporting them to nearly 80 countries around the world. Mercury Medical was recognized with a Presidential “e” Award for expanding their operations globally, and notably cultivating lifesaving, legal business relations with customers in Iran.
About Clearwater: Designated one of the “Ten Best Places to Retire” by CBS Money Watch, Clearwater Florida offers residents the opportunity live, work and play all in the same place. The third largest city in Pinellas County, Florida, Clearwater is home to the pristine Clearwater Beach and boasts a year-round subtropical climate. Tourism is a major industry in Clearwater, attracting 5 million visitors each year, and Clearwater Beach recently won the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice titles “Number One Beach in America” and the seventh-best beach in the entire world. The State of Florida was ranked second-best business climate in America. Clearwater has already invested millions of dollars to improve its downtown area, and plans to continue renovations and new zoning and development standards along the city’s US 19 corridor have helped make this area a highly desirable site for both commercial and industrial businesses.
PDI Ground Support Systems – Solon, Ohio
Founded in 1962 as Prototype Development Incorporated, Inc., PDI Ground Support Systems has earned a global reputation for designing and manufacturing weapons handlings systems and ground support equipment for United States Military establishments and 45 allied forces around the globe. PDI Ground Support specializes in munitions handling, assembly, shipping and counter-measure transport modules, and often works with manufacturers of electronic smart-weapon test systems. In addition to being a 2018 President’s “E” award winner, PDI Ground Support Systems is the 2017 United States Small Business Association Exporter of the Year for Region V. The suburban Ohio company continues to grow through strategic acquisitions of weapons and armament handling systems.
About Solon, Ohio: Solon, Ohio is a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, and part of the fifteenth-largest metropolitan area -the Cleveland-Akron-Canton metropolitan area- in America. Solon’s industrial roots began in 1929 with the Bready Cultimotor tractor factory, and manufacturing has been booming in the city ever since. Today, Solon is still a stronghold in the manufacturing industry, producing everything from electronic and electrical equipment, machinery, measuring and controlling instruments, chemicals and metal products. Thanks to its innovative zoning plan (one of the first of its kind) Solon has successfully grown its manufacturing industry while keeping industrial sites away from residential.
Phenix Technology, Inc. – Riverside, California
When Ronny Coleman and Ray Russell founded Phenix Technology, Inc. in 1972, they were already passionate about fire helmets and fire safety. The two men had become friends four years earlier after forging a bond over their shared-hobby of collecting antique fire helmets from around the globe. But for Coleman and Ross, fire helmets were more than just for fun – they were the difference between life and death. That’s because both Ross and Coleman were fire chiefs. As firemen, Russell and Coleman understood the importance of safety gear, but they also understood that the helmets available for use at the time left a lot to be desired. So, the two invested in an injection molding unit, and began building a better helmet. Forty-two years later, Phenix Technology Inc. still manufactures fire helmets right here in the USA, but thanks to their strategic export growth plan, Phenix Technology products are now available to protect first-responders around the world. Always putting others ahead of themselves, the team at Phenix Technology has even helped other businesses develop their own export growth plans to expand into foreign markets.
About Riverside, California: Seated along the Santa Ana River, Riverside, California is just 60 miles east of Los Angeles. With a population of just over 303,000, Riverside is where the United States citrus industry began. Today, Riverside’s key industries include advanced manufacturing, food and agriculture, health and medical, food and retail, technology and entrepreneurship and professional services. With lower utility rates and strategic access to highway, rail, air and seaports, Riverside is an ideal location for a variety of industries.
Santa Monica College – Santa Monica, CA
Santa Monica College is a public community college located in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1929, a total of 153 students comprised the entire student body. Today, Santa Monica College boasts 30,000 students annually- with notable alumni including former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legendary actor James Dean. The esteemed community college earned a President’s “E” Award for its achievements in expanding international student recruitment and creating opportunities for underserved students. Nationwide, Santa Monica College has the second-highest amount of international community college students, with 3,400 students hailing from over 100 countries around the globe. School leadership credits these expanded recruitment efforts with helping make Santa Monica College a community of global citizens, without ever having to leave campus.
About Santa Monica: Boasting a moderate Mediterranean climate, Santa Monica, California is probably best-known for its famous Santa Monica Pier, a popular tourist destination since 1909. Tourism is one of the city’s main industries, but its also home to numerous video game development studios, Universal Music Group, TOMS Shoes, and a rapidly increasing tech-center that has earned the city the nickname ‘Silicon Beach.’
Technologent – Irvine, California
Technologent serves Fortune 1000 companies, providing enterprise-class technology solutions that are custom fit to each business’s individual needs- and using American-made products in the process. Technologent provides client solutions to issues like data center infrastructure, automation, security and cloud computing. Technologent currently has over ten locations around the United States and provides services to clients in 25 countries around the world.
About Irvine: At 66 square miles, Irvine, California is no small city. With an estimated population of 276,000, Irvine businesses provide over 200,000 jobs at over 20,000 businesses. In fact, Irvine’s jobs-to-population ratio of 94.8 percent isn’t just good- it’s the best in America. Not just good for business, Irvine is an extremely livable city. Home to the University of California at Irvine, this planned Orange County suburb has been voted ‘Best Run City’ by the Wall Street Journal, and the ‘Safest Big City in America.’
United Franchise Group – West Palm Beach, Florida
For over 30 years, United Franchise Group has been offering unique franchising business opportunities to entrepreneurs around the world. Today, they have helped over 1400 franchisees in 17 global markets achieve their financial goals through United Franchise Group’s leadership and guidance. CEO Ray Titus began his franchising career in 1987, with the Farmingdale, New York business Signarama. Today, Signarama is the world’s largest sign franchise, with over 800 locations in 62 countries. In 2006, Signarama became the first franchise to receive an “E” award.
About West Palm Beach: West Palm Beach, Florida offers a pro-business environment which includes no state or local income tax, shorter commutes, lower cost of doing business, diverse, highly-educated workforce, unprecedented access to infrastructure, including rail and seaports, relocation incentives. In fact, Forbes Magazine ranked West Palm Beach the number one city in Florida for business and careers. All this amidst a tropical climate, breathtaking scenery, and one of the most walkable business areas in the State of Florida.
WorldBusiness Capital, Inc. – Hartford, Connecticut
A regulated commercial finance Company, World Business Capital, Inc. (WBC) provides flexible term loans to small-to-midsize businesses to help them stay competitive with other businesses on a global scale. WorlBusiness Capital, Inc. was founded in 2003 in Hartford, Connecticut and today has helped businesses in 14 markets across the globe, successfully closing loans in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia and more.
About Hartford: Known as the Insurance Capital of the World, Hartford Connecticut is no stranger to big business. Founded in 1635, Hartford may be one of the oldest cities in America, but it’s refreshingly modern -with tech companies like Infosys planning a new technology hub in the city. The establishment will generate upwards of 1000 new jobs in the next four years, and focus on manufacturing, healthcare and insurance. Hartford is already home to the world headquarters of Aetna Insurance, The Hartford Financial Services Group, and United Technologies. The city is also working hand-in-hand with residents and businesses to revitalize and redevelop 14 key areas within the city.
“E” Awards for Export Service
Alabama Department of Commerce – Montgomery, Alabama
With the help of the Alabama Department of Commerce, the state of Alabama has seen their exports grow by an impressive 50 percent over the past ten years. Working in conjunction with the Export Alabama Alliance, the Alabama Department of Commerce has worked tirelessly to seek out new Alabama-made products to export to the global marketplace.
About Montgomery: With a rich history in the American Civil Rights movement, Montgomery, Alabama blends history with modernity. The second-largest city in Alabama, a major renovation of downtown Montgomery has been underway since the 2000’s. With just over 200,000 people, Montgomery Alabama provides a wide pool of talent (pulling an additional 172,000 plus workers from the broader metropolitan area) and extremely low unionization rates (just 4.9 percent of employees are in unions). With a diverse workforce skill-set, some Montgomery’s largest employers include Gunter Air Force Base, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and ALFA Insurance.
CohnReznick LLP – New York, New York
Founded in 1919, CohnReznick LLP is now the eleventh-largest public accounting firm in the United States, employing more than 2,400 people in 26 offices around the United States and the world. CohnReznick earned a 201 President’s “E” award for Export Service for its dedication to protecting its clients’ assets when exporting to foreign markets. CohnReznick was also selected for providing clients with additional support and education about recognizing export opportunities.
About New York: A city as famous as New York City, New York needs no real introduction, but that can also make starting a business in ‘The Big Apple’ somewhat intimidating. Thankfully the New York City Economic Development Corporation has your back and is there to walk you through the entire site selection process from start to finish. A city the size of New York City needs more than just a few people, though, so the NYCEDC has formed teams of skilled experts who know New York City, know business, and know how to get your business started on the best foot possible.
The NYCEDC’s goal is to promote the job market for every New Yorker in every borough, by investing in infrastructure, innovation and human capital, and by using the bountiful tools available to them through the city to help new businesses take off and older businesses continue to thrive.
Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce – Irvine, California
The team of experts at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce were recognized by the President’s Export Awards for Export Service because of their direct support to exporters in their community of Irvine, California. The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce even developed an International Development Committee to specifically assist exporters. They also facilitated trade opportunities between member-businesses within Orange County, California, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Chamber also provides export services for small to medium sized businesses in their jurisdiction by generating Certificates of Origin as well as Certificates of Free Sale, and offers export counseling and member education for exporters.
About Irvine: This year’s second winner from the City of Irvine, California, (neighbor Technologent won an “E” award for exporting), The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential Chamber of Commerce offices in the entire United States- but that’s no accident. The City of Irvine was literally designed to be an “economic powerhouse” in Southern California. With over 15,000 businesses and an impressively high residents-to-job ratio, Irvine is home to a diverse array of industries, including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, information technology, life sciences and digital arts and media.
Coupled with unprecedented access to highway, rail and some of the largest seaports in America, importing and exporting from Irvine has never been easier.
First American Bank – Elk Grove Village, Illinois
The privately-owned First American Bank is headquartered in Elk Grove Village Illinois and operates within the state of Illinois. Dedicated to increasing exports for its customers, First American Bank provides education and resources to both customers and even competing lenders to help them make informed decisions in the export field. First American Bank’s Trade Finance Division provides investors a suite of loan, document and foreign exchange services, and works tirelessly to increase its use of Trade Finance loans to customers.
About Elk Grove Village: With just over 33,000 residents, the Northeast Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Illinois does some big business- in fact, its home to the largest industrial park in North America, the Elk Grove Business Park. The Elk Grove Business park is home to 3,600 businesses which generate 80 percent of Elk Grove Village’s tax revenue. Located just 20 minutes from Illinois’ largest airport, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Elk Grove Village is conveniently located near interstate highway, rail, and even inland water ports. Elk Grove Village’s top employers include Alexian Brothers Medical Center, ADP and Harvard Maintenance.
First National Bank – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
One of just two banks to receive the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, First National Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was founded in 1864, and serves both individual and business customers. First National Bank was recognized for its efforts to increase its international finance portfolio via exports, as well as its ability to track its customers employment growth in correlation to their export growth. The bank prides itself on its ability to help customers expand their growth through exports via a comprehensive suite of international banking services. Owners of the proprietary FXOnline, this platform allows customers to always have real-time foreign exchange information at their fingertIPS.
About Pittsburgh: The city of Pittsburgh manufactures many things- from ships to glass to aluminum and steel, in fact Pittsburgh has so many steel plants (over 300) it’s been affectionately dubbed “The Steel City.” But manufacturing isn’t the only industry in town. Pittsburgh’s 1.2 million-strong labor force is also skilled in healthcare (the city’s number one industry), professional services, retail, government and hospitality. Plus with a lower-than-average cost of living and cost of doing business, Pittsburgh really is what The Economist recently called “The most livable city in the continental United States.”
FTC Commercial Corp. – Los Angeles, California
FTC Commercial Corporation was founded over ten years ago by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs- specifically to fund startups in the fashion and consumer products industries. Today, in addition to those businesses, FTC Commercial Corp. also finances public entities and global businesses, teaming up with the International Trade Commission to promote exports among United States businesses. To date, FTC has sponsored businesses that have gone on to gross over $30 million in sales.
About Los Angeles: The city of Los Angeles, California is the second-largest city in the United States. Los Angeles is different from most US cities in many ways, but most notably that its second largest industry is entertainment, followed by aerospace, tech, petroleum, fashion / apparel and tourism. The city of Los Angeles is also the manufacturing hub of the West Coast, and with GMP of $866 billion, it is the third-largest economic metropolitan area in the entire world.
National Marine Manufacturers Association – Chicago, Illinois
Since 1979, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has been a staunch advocate of the marine manufacturing, sales and service in the United States. The NMMA also acts as a public policy advocate at both the state and federal levels, promotes recreational boating, and seeks opportunities for overseas business, including facilitating overseas business with members- helping those businesses protect themselves from a shifting economy.
About Chicago: The third-largest city in America, Chicago, Illinois has a population of 2.7 million, and the greater Chicago, or ‘Chicagoland’ area boasts a staggering 10 million. The City of Chicago offers economic development incentives to businesses which retain or create jobs for the local economy, as well as those that revitalize local neighborhoods.
Phillips Lytle LLP – Buffalo, New York
Based in Buffalo, New York, Phillips Lytle LLP is a law firm which assists clients in many aspects of financial law, including export services for small and medium sized businesses. This includes joint ventures, international tax issues, mergers and acquisitions, entity formation, intellectual property and compliance counseling. But Phillips Lytle LLP stood out from the pack for the “E” awards committee because of its dedication to participating in and providing exporter education programs for local businesses.
About Buffalo: Buffalo is New York’s second largest city by population with nearly 260,000 residents. Once a bustling facto town, this Northeastern New York city is part of the area of the United States now known as the ‘rust belt,’ due to its sharp decline in manufacturing in the 1980’s. Today, Buffalo’s economy is once again on an upward trend thanks to increased jobs and economic development under Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Silicon Valley Venture Capital Corp DBA Global4PL– Milpitas, California
Located in the Silicon Valley city of Milipitas, California, DBA Global4PL is a leading fourth-party logistics supply-chain solutions provider. Global4PL works with tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond to break into emerging markets and simplify global operations. Global4PL works hand-in-hand with clients, helping them to avoid common pratfalls the client may see coming- and those they may not. Globa4PL earned an “E” award for their dedication to protecting their clients’ best interests, but also to educate exporters so that they are empowered to learn the laws and protect themselves.
About Milpitas: Though you may never have heard of the small city of Milpitas, California, this city of nearly 67,000 is home to some of the most name-recognizable technology companies in the world, including SanDisk, Maxtor, Adaptec and FireEye. Located on the far-east side of Silicon Valley, Milpitas has the largest population of people employed in the computer and electronics industry in the United States. With more infrastructure options than the rest of Silicon Valley as well as lower costs than the rest of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, Milpitas offers incoming businesses the Silicon Valley zip code without the Silicon Valley price tag.
The President’s Export Star Award for exports and the President’s Export Star Award for Export Service are granted to previous Export and Export Service award winners who have maintained an increase in business volume for four consecutive years following their initial “E” award win. The following winners received these prestigious additional awards at the 2018 Presidential Export Awards:
“E” Star Award for Exports
Allied Wire & Cable, Inc. – Collegeville, Pennsylvania
American Trading International, INC. – Los Angeles, California
Durbin USA – Ocean Springs, MS
Heavy Equipment Resources of Florida, Inc. (HERO FL) – Jacksonville, Florida
Gamber-Johnson, LLC – Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Hydro-Thermal Corporation – Waukesha, Wisconsin
Kuder, Inc. – Adel, Iowa
Orgill, Inc. – Collierville, Tennessee
“E” Star Award for Export Service
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SMEA) – Diamond Bar, California
In keeping with the spirit of President Trump’s pro-business, pro-job agenda, the 43 businesses and organizations honored at this year’s Presidential Export Award ceremony truly do represent the best the export industry has to offer. The 2018 winners of the Presidential Export Awards have not just increased their own revenue and the revenue of their clients, but they have created new jobs to help meet the demands of their export needs- and what’s more pro-job than that?