The I-69 International Trade Corridor partnership recently announced the recipients of the First Annual Exporter of the Year Awards during a banquet at the Lapeer Country Club in Lapeer, Mich. Over 50 business and government leaders were on hand as the Awards were presented to four companies, one each in Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and St. Clair Counties.
“During the Awards ceremony, we celebrated companies that are engaged in export activity and actively pursuing new export projects,” said Justin Horvath, President/CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. “The Awards program allowed us to not only highlight companies that are doing a great job at exporting, but equally important we are bringing awareness to the benefits of exporting and encouraging companies to pursue an export strategy for their business.”
Rugged Liner, a leading manufacturer of truck bed liners, tonneau covers, wheel well covers, and other accessories, has experienced significant growth in recent years, directly resulting from new exporting opportunities (they have sold product to approximately 65 countries).
“We are extremely honored that Rugged Liner has been chosen to receive the I-69 International Trade Corridor 2013 Exporter of the Year for Shiawassee County. When we began investing in the export markets in 2010 we knew there would be significant issues to overcome. I am extremely proud of the entire Rugged Liner team and for their efforts in taking our exports from zero in 2010 to over 65 countries in 2013. We have experienced significant growth over the past few years and are anticipating that our continued success in the export market will allow us to grow our work force in Shiawassee County,” said Scott Williamson, President of Rugged Liner.
In addition to the ceremony, Richard Corson, Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center – Pontiac and Deanna Richeson, Director of Export Strategy for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, presented information about exporting tools and resources offered by their respective organizations. The program also featured presentations from the I-69 Corridor economic development partners from Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lapeer Development Corporation and Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.
For more information about the Exporter of the Year Awards or the I-69 International Trade Corridor visit I-69internationaltradecorridor.com.