Georgia had the largest contingent of companies and organizations honored in Washington this week with presidential awards for exports and export service.
Among those U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker dubbed “beacons of exporting” were Albany chemical company Sasco Chemical and Nordson Swainsboro, the Georgia factory of adhesives manufacturer Nordson Corp. They took home the E Award for Exports, honoring firms that showed significant export growth over the past four years.
Service providers honored with E Award for Export Service included the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Global Atlanta, the only news service to win this year’s award and one of few to ever take home an E award.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development won the E Star Award for continued export service, which is given only to previous winners of the E Award. The state was singled out for becoming the first organization in the 62-year history of the awards to win the E Star Award for a second time. The department last won it in 2007.
Winners are nominated by Commerce Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.
Ms. Pritzker, who shook hands with all recipients as they walked across the stage at the Commerce Department building between Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues, said the 65 winners – the largest group in 34 years – provide tangible proof of the potential of exporting, which she said should be further integrated into the country’s commercial mix.
She added that Commerce would work to set up a “single window” for firms looking for export information and said it is already planning the sequel to the National Export Initiative, President Obama’s goal of doubling exports over five years, which was set in 2010.
The U.S. hit a record $2.3 trillion in exports in 2013, but progress toward the NEI has slowed.
In state-by-state pictures taken after the ceremony, the Georgia contingent was the only one that had to break into two rows to fit in their photo.