The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) posthumously honored longtime EXIM colleague Sharyn Koenig as the 2020 Export Partner of the Year, renaming the award for her in recognition of her many years of support for small businesses throughout the state.
The Export Partner of the Year is among the annual Governor’s Export Awards given for contributions to supporting the economy and job creation throughout North Carolina. Sharyn was based in EXIM’s Miami, Florida, regional office and served as EXIM Managing Director for the Eastern and Western Regions, including North Carolina. She was one of the original members of EXIM’s Office of Small Business.
Liz Isley, EDPNC International Trade Manager, presented the award during the virtual event held February 10, 2021, which included remarks by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
“North Carolina stands out among the states for the strong, collaborative way in which the various export partners work together, and this year it is our pleasure to recognize one particularly critical partner,” Isley said. “The Export-Import Bank of the United States is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent executive branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.”
Commitment to Small Business Success
“We have been incredibly fortunate to work with Sharyn Koenig for many years, and, thanks to her, business owners throughout the state are able to sleep peacefully at night knowing that EXIM is supporting them,” Isley continued. “She joined us on our annual Road Shows over the last few years and was directly responsible for the success of numerous companies in the state. She also became part of the EDPNC international trade family, and her visits with us were always a highlight of the year.
“Last year, we learned that our friend had been diagnosed with cancer, and though she fought every step of the way, we lost Sharyn in early January. Although we were all devastated to receive this news, we are honored to give her this award.”
James G. Burrows, EXIM Senior Vice President for the Office of Small Business, accepted the award on Sharyn’s behalf. The video of his remarks can be seen here.
“The dedication and commitment that Sharyn demonstrated working with the EDPNC over the years is characteristic of how she approached her job in the 30 years that she worked at EXIM,” Burrows said.
“Sharyn loved working with exporters and working with the EDPNC over the years,” he continued. “Sharyn had contact with hundreds of North Carolina-based small businesses. Whether it was participating in monthly calls, conducting a webinar, or taking part in EDPNC’s Go Global Road Show, she was always willing to take time to educate companies and colleagues on the finer points of EXIM support for small businesses.”
Announcing the Sharyn Koenig Award
To further acknowledge Sharyn’s contributions to North Carolina, John Loyack, EDPNC Vice President of Global Business Services, highlighted during the ceremony that the Export Partner of the Year Award will be renamed in her honor.
“Sharyn was a wonderful partner and terrific friend,” Loyack said. “It is my pleasure to announce that moving forward, the Export Partner Award will be known as the Sharyn Koenig Award.”
Sharyn was a colleague, mentor, and friend whose experience, leadership, and guidance cannot be replaced. She is greatly missed.