(FLINT, MICH. – September 18) Today, six businesses were recognized for their foray into exporting from the I-69 Thumb Region, which includes Genesee, Lapeer, Huron, Sanilac, St. Clair, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties.  More than 170 business, civic and education leaders were on hand as Exporter of the Year awards were presented during the 2014 I-69 Thumb Regional Summit in Flint.

Awards were presented by Richard Corson, Director, East Michigan U.S. Export Assistance Center at U.S. Department of Commerce along with economic development partners from each of the seven counties.

According to Janice Karcher, Vice President for Economic Development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce exporting is a significant component of economic growth.

“Exporting provides an opportunity for businesses to diversify and grow,” said Karcher.  “The I-69 Thumb Region partners are working to connect businesses in the region to export opportunities and support.  The businesses honored here today have taken advantage of the growth opportunities that exporting can provide in a significant way. That’s the goal of the award to encourage exploration of exporting as a path toward diversification and growth.”

Dr. Yener Kandogan, Associate Dean and Professor of International Business at the School of Management at the University of Michigan-Flint participated in the selection process for the Exporter of the Year honors.  He says it is encouraging to see the number of businesses in the region who have chosen to explore exporting opportunities.

“Reaching beyond the U.S. market successfully can be challenging and rewarding,” said Kandogan. “Today’s business environment is ripe for exploration into global markets.  Each of the businesses that were nominated and selected should be commended for acting locally and thinking globally.  That truly is the future for business.”

The following businesses received Exporter of the Year honors:

  • Genesee County                              CFI Medical
  • Huron & Sanilac Counties              Sebewaing Tool & Engineering
  • Tuscola County                                Mi-Tech Tooling, Inc.
  • Lapeer County                                  Motion Machine Company
  • Shiawassee County                         Williamston Products, Inc.
  • St. Clair County                                BioPro, Inc.

The Exporter of the Year is the product of a partnership between the I-69 Thumb Region, U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the University of Michigan-Flint.

The I-69 Thumb Region is a partnership of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Lapeer Development Corporation, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, Sanilac & Huron County Economic Development Corporation and Tuscola County Economic Development Corporation.