11 Exporters and Two Partners Receive North Carolina Governor’s Awards

NC Governor's Export Awards winners for "Top Global Reach Exporters" included Grady-White Boats, Greenville, NC. Photo: Grady-White Boats
NC Governor's Export Awards winners for "Top Global Reach Exporters" included Grady-White Boats, Greenville, NC. Photo: Grady-White Boats

Exporting Supports 400,000 Jobs Across the State

On February 10, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper announced 13 winners of the 2020 Governor’s Export Awards, ranging from a small wooden-boat builder in southeast North Carolina to one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world.

Said Governor Cooper:

“These diverse companies raise the profile of North Carolina-made products around the world, promoting excellence in goods and services made possible by the exceptional workforce in our state. Today, we honor these companies for the way their exports promote the North Carolina economy, their grit during tough economic times and the more than 412,000 jobs they support state-wide.”

Each of the manufacturers being recognized has turned to the state for help increasing its international sales. These free services are delivered through the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), which selects award winners from the more than 600 companies its international trade team supports each year.

The 2020 Governor’s Export Award winners are:

  • Advanced Superabrasives Inc. in Madison County
  • C.R. Onsrud Inc. in Iredell County
  • Budsin Electric Boats in Carteret County
  • Nester Hosiery in Surry County
  • Latitude Aero in Guilford County
  • Grady-White Boats in Pitt County
  • Novo Nordisk in Johnston County
  • Glen Raven Inc. in Alamance County
  • Nufabrx in Catawba County
  • Redeye Worldwide in Orange County
  • Tactical Support Equipment in Cumberland County
  • DGL Logistics in Mecklenburg County
  • Sharyn Koenig of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Said John Loyack, EDPNC Vice President for Global Business Services:

“We assist manufacturers with everything from export-education seminars and foreign market intelligence to trade show support and introductions to international distributors.”

“And since the pandemic shut down international travel and in-person trade events, we’re helping more exporters pivot to doing business virtually. That includes leveraging grants that help manufacturers pay for exhibiting in online trade shows, or for translation and search-engine optimization of their website in other countries.”


More information on the 2020 award categories and recipients

Governor’s Award of Excellence ― Advanced Superabrasives Inc. (ASI) in Mars Hill, NC. This award recognizes ASI for its contributions to increasing North Carolina exports. Jonathan Szucs is president of the 40-employee company that makes high-performance, customized grinding wheels sold in the US and 28 other countries.

Szucs, who is vice chairman of the board of the National Association of District Export Councils, previously tapped many EDPNC trade services, including a program that offset the cost of localizing ASI’s website in Canada and Mexico in 2020. “ASI globalizing its website has allowed our exports to grow in our two largest export markets,” Szucs said.

Top Small Business Exporters ― Tactical Support Equipment in Fayetteville and C.R. Onsrud Inc. in Troutman, NC. Tactical Support Equipment provides reconnaissance, surveillance and radio communications equipment for use in military, law enforcement and Homeland Security operations. The company currently exports to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and countries in Europe and Central America. “As a small defense contractor our main focus had been the domestic US market for many years with very limited international exposure,” said company President Carl Beene. “With EDPNC’s help and guidance, we have penetrated foreign markets we once thought were out of reach.”

C.R. Onsrud Inc. produces customized CNC routers, high-speed cutting machines tailor-made to a manufacturer’s specific needs. The family-owned company, which is more than 100 years old, serves diverse industries ranging from furniture-making to aerospace and automotive, and has exported to Canadian, Mexican, and European markets.

Top Rural Exporters ― Budsin Electric Boats in Marshallberg and Nester Hosiery in Mount Airy, NC. Budsin Electric Boats has been making electric-powered wooden boats inspired by early 1900s vessels since 1987. Budsin exports its small boats, primarily made of Atlantic mahogany and cedar, to Canada, Mexico, and Europe and is in the process of globalizing its website in the Netherlands, Mexico, Italy and Sweden through the EDPNC.

Nester Hosiery manufactures innovative merino wool socks for mountaineers, firefighters, military personnel, athletes and others wanting high performance. Its Farm to Feet brand made in Mount Airy exclusively uses US-sourced materials. The company has consulted with EDPNC overseas trade offices and used EDPNC-administered federal grants to help pay for trade show participation in Germany.

Top Global Reach Exporters ― Latitude Aero in Greensboro, NC and Grady-White Boats in Greenville, NC. Latitude Aero overhauls commercial aircraft seating with services that include cleaning, refurbishing, and integrating in-seat entertainment and power systems. EDPNC has helped the company participate in a Turkey trade mission and exhibit in targeted trade shows in Mexico, United Arab Emirates, England, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Grady-White Boats manufacturers luxury fiberglass sport fishing and family fishing boats known for their innovative design. Among other support, the EDPNC has helped the company access federal grants to exhibit at trade shows in Australia, Croatia, and Panama.

Top Large Business ExportersNovo Nordisk in Clayton and Glen Raven Inc. in Glen Raven, NC. Denmark-based Novo Nordisk established its first US manufacturing facility for diabetes and obesity medicines in Clayton in 1993. The facility has since expanded to meet growing domestic and global demand. Its growth in Clayton includes investing $1.8 billion in a new active pharmaceutical ingredient production facility. Novo Nordisk employs more than 1,200 people in Johnston County.

Founded in 1880, Glen Raven is a global provider of performance fabrics with sales in more than 120 countries. Its brands, which include well-known Sunbrella, serve markets such as upholstery, marine, shading, automotive, military, and protective work wear. The company has exhibited with the EDPNC in Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and other locations.

Export Innovation Award ― Nufabrx in Conover, NC. Nufabrx uses a patented technology to embed active ingredients and medications into fabrics for socks, compression sleeves, workout clothing and gloves that allows controlled release of pain-easing treatments. When the coronavirus hit, the company also began producing a reusable antimicrobial, copper-infused face mask. Over the past two years, Nufabrx has exhibited in EDPNC-funded booths at trade shows in the United Arab Emirates and Chile.

E-Commerce Award ― Redeye Worldwide in Hillsborough, NC. Redeye is a distribution and music services company that connects independent artists and labels to an expanding global marketplace through sales and marketing expertise. Its innovative use of e-commerce has extended its reach to markets all over the world.

Export Service Provider of the Year ― DGL Logistics in Cornelius, NC. DGL Logistics offers companies express delivery services to and from more than 225 countries and territories. The company has participated in EDPNC export education events that have enhanced its service to clients.

Export Partner of the Year – Sharyn Koenig of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). This award is presented posthumously to Koenig, managing director for the Eastern and Western regions of EXIM who passed away in January. EXIM equips US exporters and their customers with buyer financing, export credit insurance, and access to working capital. Koenig worked with the state and its exporters for many years. Moving forward, this award will be named in her honor.


Source: Ford Porter, NC Office of Governor

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