Seven North Carolina companies were recognized today for growing their sales success in international markets at the 2022 Governor’s Export Awards. The companies service a range of sectors, from tactical components to bicycle wheel manufacturing and textile machinery.
“Last year, North Carolina was able to export more than $40 billion in goods and services to more than 200 countries, showing the global economy has a demand for North Carolina products,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our state meets that demand with strong companies like the ones we are recognizing today.”
The Governor’s Office partnered with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) to develop this awards program, now in its fourth year. The EDPNC and its International Trade Division work with companies all over the state to navigate trade agreements, language barriers and other obstacles when it comes to exporting goods.
The winners in several categories of the 2022 Governor’s Export Awards are:
- Governor’s Award for Excellence - Navis TubeTex in Davidson County
- Small Business - Industry Nine Componentry in Buncombe County
- Large Business - FAIRFIELD® in Caldwell County
- Rural - Raptor Tactical, LLC, in Cumberland County
- Global Reach - Flowers Timber Company, Inc., in Wayne County
- Export Partner - The North Carolina Ports in New Hanover County
- E-Commerce - National Drug Source, Inc., in Cabarrus County
“The International Trade Division assisted more than 500 companies in 2022 and these seven companies rose to the top for their success in exporting and international sales,” said Michael Hubbard, director of International Trade for the EDPNC. “We are very proud we were able to work with these companies to achieve success for them and for the state of North Carolina.”
The EDPNC International Trade Division includes five North Carolina-based trade managers who specialize in specific industry sectors, and trade representatives from Mexico, Canada, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Belgium, who work primarily with small and medium-sized businesses free of charge.
More information on the 2022 recipients:
Governor’s Award for Excellence – Navis TubeTex in Davidson County
The Governor’s Award for Excellence is given each year to recognize one North Carolina company that has made significant contributions in the effort to increase North Carolina exports. Navis TubeTex designs, engineers and manufactures the world’s leading machinery for the global knit, woven, nonwoven, technical and geotextile industries. Navis TubeTex has customers in over 65 countries.
“EDPNC has been an invaluable resource for us in our international marketing efforts. From relevant educational topics in webinars and meetings to assistance with international trade shows, they are a key part of our success in growing our exports,” said Jeff Dixon, senior director of International Sales for Navis TubeTex.
Small Business – Industry Nine in Buncombe County
Industry Nine Componentry designs and manufactures bicycle wheelsets and hubs for riders looking for the ultimate expression, quality and performance. The company took advantage of the NC STEP Reimbursement Program to help offset costs associated with exhibiting at international trade shows and has been able to continuously grow its international sales in the European market.
"The EDPNC has proved to be an invaluable resource as we set our sites for expanding our brand globally. The STEP program in particular helped us to network, analyze the market and launch a supporting European based business that serves as the hub for our EU-focused exports," said David Thomas, sales and marketing director for Industry Nine.
Large Business - FAIRFIELD® in Caldwell County
FAIRFIELD® Chair was founded in Lenoir in 1921 and has been manufacturing and selling high-quality and high-end furniture to customers throughout North Carolina and around the United States ever since. Today they have customers around the world who value American style and craftsmanship.
“The EDPNC is a valuable resource for us, and we are proud to partner with them. With the support of the EDPNC, FAIRFIELD® is able to continue focusing on our goals of increasing the export of handcrafting quality furniture and providing careers for the talented artisans of Lenoir, North Carolina,” said Rashelle Jones, director of marketing for FAIRFIELD®.
Rural – Raptor Tactical, LLC, in Cumberland County
Raptor Tactical is a veteran-founded and owned manufacturer of tactical equipment for the military, police and law enforcement, and provides equipment that meets the most stringent requirements of their customers for the real conditions of the battlefield.
“Our target is to expand beyond our own borders and accelerate growth through successful international partnerships and we are honored and grateful for the opportunity to work with EDPNC on exports for further contribution to the economy of the United States,” said Will Stricklin, marketing media manager for Raptor Tactical, LLC.
Global Reach – Flowers Timber Company, Inc., in Wayne County
Flowers Timber was established in 1976 and remains a family-owned business that operates as both a forestry supplier and a sawmill. A small sampling of their customer base would include China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Cambodia and Spain.
“Working with the EDPNC has been an incredible experience. It is a great agency with excellent staff, and we are extremely happy to work with them,” said Jeremy Flowers, president of Flowers Timber Company, Inc.
Sharyn Koenig Export Partner Award – North Carolina Ports, in New Hanover County
North Carolina Ports have gone above and beyond in partnering with the EDPNC to make it possible for North Carolina companies to get their products into international markets. North Carolina Ports worked with companies in the state during the container shortage of the last couple of years to help them find companies with empty containers. They also hosted all of North Carolina’s overseas offices during the EDPNC’s annual Road Show in the summer of 2022.
“North Carolina Ports is proud to be the international gateway to North Carolina’s business and industries. North Carolina Ports supports more than 88,000 jobs statewide, and our work generates more than $660 million in local and state tax revenues. Partnering closely with EDPNC enables us to meet our mission to enhance the economy of the entire State of North Carolina. Our partnership with EDPNC directly benefits North Carolina’s businesses as they seek to grow their export profile and we are grateful for the strong working relationship,” said Brian E. Clark, executive director of North Carolina Ports.
E-Commerce – National Drug Source in Cabarrus County
National Drug Source was an example of a company that shifted its focus to build a more robust online presence, successfully enhancing outreach to the Chile and Middle East markets. Working with the EDPNC, the company created localized websites hosted in these markets to better attract and connect with distributors, hospitals, pharmacies, researchers, and doctors in search of quality United States healthcare products. National Drug Source reported increased export sales due to the new websites and was able to create jobs to help support North Carolina’s economy.
“We were introduced to the EDPNC by our local U.S. Commercial office in a networking event we were attending. It was truly a transformative connection. Even though we were not new to exporting, the EDPNC programs brought tremendous value to our company. Their support gave us the boost we needed to launch projects and make connections that have positively impacted our bottom line. Our exports have grown by 30% over the last 18 months and so has our staff,” said Ethel Torres, president of National Drug Source.