WASHINGTON, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) announced the first recipients of five of its annual export awards in advance of its 2015 Annual Conference to be held April 23-24 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
"We are pleased to recognize such important contributors to American exports throughout the course of last year," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "Each organization proved instrumental in boosting U.S. exports abroad and supporting good-paying jobs in communities across America."
In fiscal year 2014, Ex-Im Bank approved transactions totaling $20.5 billion, supporting an estimated $27.5 billion in U.S. export sales as well as approximately 164,000 American jobs. Ex-Im Bank exists to fill private sector financing gaps and to level the playing field for U.S. exporters and workers.
These awards and others, like Small Business Exporter of the Year and Deal of the Year, will be conferred upon the recipients in a ceremony on the first day of the Bank's Annual Conference, which is set to convene at the OmniShoreham Hotel in Washington DC April 24 and April 25.
Sub-Saharan Africa Exporter of the Year: W.S. Darley & Co., Itasca, Illinois
A conversation with Henry Ford in 1926 helped prompt Chicago businessman William Stuart Darley to transform his business from an equipment manufacturer to a producer of firefighting trucks. Nearly 90 years later, W.S. Darley & Co. – still a family-owned business – continues to manufacture and sell high-quality fire trucks, pumps and equipment for a wide range of customers around the world. When private sources proved to be unavailable to support the longer financing terms needed, Darley sought support from Ex-Im Bank, which provided a $15.7 million direct loan to the government of Lagos. With Ex-Im's financing, W.S. Darley was able to export 32 state-of-the-art, fully equipped firefighting vehicles, maintenance support equipment and training services to Lagos.
Minority Exporter of the Year: Northrock Enterprises, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Northrock Enterprises is a minority-owned company of procurement specialists that helps global customers to find the right products, services and suppliers to lower their supply chain costs and increase efficiency. Their services include purchasing, consolidation and the shipment of goods such as valves, pumps, compressors, conveyor systems, electrical products and more. As an Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer policyholder and recipient of the Bank's Global Credit Express Loan, Northrock experienced substantial export sales growth from 2013 to 2015. Sales increased by 50 percent within the first year of using Ex-Im's products. The company is now poised to double sales in 2015 – with over 80 percent of sales export-related.
Lender of the Year: NorthStar Trade Finance, Vancouver, Canada
NorthStar Trade Finance, a Canadian lender based in Vancouver with a U.S. presence in New York City, Houston and Chicago, is a specialist in providing financing solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are pursuing opportunities in the global marketplace. SMEs often find that there is limited appetite for risk sharing in many foreign markets, but Northstar is an active and successful partner with Ex-Im Bank is providing medium-term buyer financing. A frequent user of delegated authority from Ex-Im Bank, NorthStar has completed more than 30 buyer-credit transactions.
Broker of the Year: Securitas Global Risk Solutions, Berwyn, Pa.
Founded in 2004 by Peter Seneca and Kirk Elken, Securitas provides customized solutions, educates exporters and their lenders on export credit insurance, and supplies proactive customer service. The agency's volume of business has increase by 50 percent over the past year, due in large part to their increased outreach and referrals. Securitas's clients who are Ex-Im Bank policy holders include businesses from Florida to Vermont, with a concentration in New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania where the agency works closely with Ex-Im's local city/state partner, the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia.
City/State Partner of the Year: Small Business and Technology Development Center, Raleigh, N.C.
The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at N.C. State is the business and technology extension service of The University of North Carolina. It is administered by North Carolina State University and operated in partnership with U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 1997, the SBTDC's International Business Development program has partnered with Ex-Im Bank to empower small businesses to achieve better export results.
Ex-Im Bank's 2015 Annual Conference will feature remarks and panel discussions with some of the world's leading voices in business and trade, including Ambassador Susan Rice, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; W. James McNerney, Jr., chairman and CEO of The Boeing Company; Steven Rattner, chairman of Willett Advisors LLC; Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG; Stephen S. Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada; Jacqueline Hinman, chairman and CEO of CH2M Hill; Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States; and Dr. Mo Ibrahim, founder and chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, established in 2006 to support good governance and leadership on the African continent.
ABOUT EX-IM BANK:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees and export credit insurance, to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad. Ninety percent of its transactions directly serve American small businesses.
In fiscal year 2014, Ex-Im Bank approved $20.5 billion in total authorizations. These authorizations supported an estimated $27.5 billion in U.S. export sales, as well as approximately 164,000 American jobs in communities across the country.
SOURCE Export-Import Bank of the United States