On April 20, 2018 during its Annual Conference, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) presented awards to companies and organizations that are providing economic opportunity for small businesses, are instrumental in supporting American jobs, and are even saving lives worldwide.
Award: Exporter of the Year
Memphis, Tennessee-based Classic American Hardwoods (CAH) exemplifies EXIM’s mission of supporting and creating jobs through exports. When CAH began exporting lumber in 2007, the U.S. housing real estate market began to collapse, CAH was forced to lay off half of the company’s 120 employees, and those remaining had to take a pay cut. Despite the devastating effect this crisis had on the domestic lumber industry, CAH was able to use EXIM export credit insurance to rebound by breaking into new markets in Europe and Asia, rehiring 60 workers and subsequently adding 15 new jobs.
“We view EXIM as an integral partner in our growing international business. Their professionalism and service are unmatched. Without EXIM’s assistance, we would not have enjoyed the growth and success of the past eight years,” said CAH CEO Bill Courtney.
Award: New Exporter of the Year
As a Special Forces medic for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Ross Johnson, CEO of Tactical Medical Solutions (TacMed), came to understand the needs of medical and emergency response personnel firsthand. After returning to civilian life, he made it his mission to create more effective, compact and lightweight lifesaving equipment, and founded Anderson, South Carolina-based TacMed in 2003. Today, Johnson and his team, many of whom are also U.S. military veterans, work tirelessly to support lifesaving, rescue and hospital missions around the world.
“EXIM has been instrumental in TacMed’s international expansion. The ability to mitigate the risk associated with exporting at such a low cost is a powerful tool for a small business,” said TacMed CEO Ross Johnson.
In addition to mitigating the risk of nonpayment by international buyers, EXIM’s export credit insurance empowers TacMed to offer internationally competitive credit terms and enables TacMed’s international partners to carry more inventory, improving delivery times of lifesaving equipment and saving lives worldwide.
Award: Broker of the Year
Lafayette, Louisiana-based J. Maxime Roy, Inc., one of the longest-standing EXIM brokers, specializes in export credit insurance that helps American businesses grow by enabling them to leverage foreign receivables as collateral for the capital needed to finance expansion. The company consistently delivers outstanding results in the areas of customer satisfaction, renewal rates of existing clients and the viability of transactions brought to EXIM. Over the past five years, J. Maxime Roy, Inc. brokered more than $425 million in EXIM insurance authorizations in support of exporters across the country.
“EXIM has been an invaluable resource for our clients, helping them to expand overseas sales and obtain financing of their foreign accounts receivable. As a result, many of these companies have hired more American workers to support their increasing overseas sales,” said J. Maxime Roy, Inc. President Warren Bares.
Award: Lender of the Year
With locations across North America and strong expertise in trade finance, Dallas-based Comerica Incorporated consistently ranks as one of EXIM’s top lenders in EXIM’s Working Capital Guarantee Program. In recognition of Comerica’s trade finance expertise, EXIM granted the bank Delegated Authority Lender and Fast Track Lender status, permitting Comerica to authorize EXIM-guaranteed working capital loans of up to $25 million per borrower. Comerica also uses EXIM’s Export Letters of Credit policy, and through the use of these tools, Comerica has helped hundreds of American small businesses obtain the funds needed to succeed in exporting.
“Our goal is to build relationships to help our customers succeed, and EXIM has been instrumental in our mission,” said Gigi R. Moore, Comerica’s Senior Vice President of International Trade Finance. “Our relationship with EXIM of more than 20 years speaks to the enduring value of this partnership, providing us with opportunities to support our valued customers in securing working capital to grow their businesses in global markets.”
Award: Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP) Member of the Year
The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) of the California Community Colleges’ Economic and Workforce Development Program helps California small businesses realize the tremendous growth opportunities of the global marketplace. As a member of EXIM’s Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP), the CITD network works with EXIM to invest in California’s economic growth and global competitiveness through industry-specific education and training, including assistance in how to access EXIM financing.
“One of the easiest and most valuable referrals for us to make for a small business exporter is to a local EXIM professional. EXIM helps many California small businesses grow from one to two customers in a few markets to numerous customers in multiple markets, saving businesses time and effort in accessing the resources they need to succeed in exporting,” said CITD Statewide Director Jeff A. Williamson.
“EXIM is proud to have played a role in supporting these great American success stories,” said EXIM Senior Vice President of Small Business James Burrows, “and we gratefully recognize the participation and achievements of these brokers, bankers, partners and executives on behalf of American small businesses.”
Want to learn more about how EXIM can help your small business? Contact your local EXIM representative for a free consultation today.