CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a ceremony today, 26 West Virginia companies were presented with the Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry Award, recognizing businesses that exported to a new country in the previous year. West Virginia businesses exported to a diverse range of products in 2018 – everything from all-natural beard care products to virtual reality software.
Gov. Jim Justice’s Chief of Staff, Mike Hall presided over the presentation. He was joined by Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch and West Virginia Development Office Executive Director Mike Graney.
“We in government try to encourage business, try to encourage the people who are already here, building businesses and bringing in revenue,” said Hall. “This award is given to companies that made their first sale to a new country in the previous calendar year. Since 2002, more than 2,200 awards have been presented to 169 companies that have sold products to 188 countries around the world. On behalf of the governor, I thank you and I congratulate you.”
This year, 10 companies received the commendation award for the first time. Sports Outfitters is the first tourism company to receive the award.
“For years, West Virginia has continued to build the foundation of economic diversity in our great state. These innovative companies are perfect examples of how hard-working, entrepreneurial companies in our state can compete on the world stage,” said Secretary of Commerce, Ed Gaunch.
“Our Export Promotion Program brings expertise, innovative thinking and resources to business in our state. The program is committed to assisting small and mid-sized companies begin diversifying their business and reaching new markets around the globe,” said Mike Graney, Director of West Virginia’s Development Office.
A total of 77 countries were represented. Five countries appeared as markets for West Virginia companies for the first time: Vanuatu, Somalia, Lesotho, Central African Republic and Liechtenstein. Countries that were the most frequent market destinations included Australia, Canada, Poland, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Each company receives a framed piece of currency from each new country to which the business began exporting. The presentation is based on the tradition of displaying the first dollar a business earns.
Following a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion, the award presentation was held in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol.
Commendations were awarded to the following businesses:
Doc’s Tea, Inwood. Country: Turks and Caicos Islands. Product: Ready-to-drink teas.
Mountaineer Brand, Martinsburg. Country: Saudi Arabia, Italy, Singapore, Israel, Denmark, India, Poland, Norway, Chile, and Pakistan. Product: All-natural beard and body care products.
American Muscle Docks and Fabrication, Wellsburg. Country: United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and Finland. Product: Boat docks, dock hardware, marina accessories, and metal fabrication goods.
Blue Ink Technology Inc., Huntington. Country: Canada. Product: BIT TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), and BIT Air Scale for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
Chestnut Hill Candle Co., Chester. Country: Poland, Italy. Product: Candles.
The Homer Laughlin China Co., Newell. Country: Australia. Product: Tabletop dinnerware and ceramics.
J&M Industrial, Millwood. Country: Uruguay, Mongolia, Ireland, Switzerland, Tinian, New Zealand, South Africa, Nicaragua, and Azerbaijan. Product: Used and surplus industrial equipment.
Constellium Rolled Products, Ravenswood. Country: India, Israel, and Norway. Product: Aluminum coil, sheet, and plate products.
Mustang Sampling, Ravenswood. Country: Russia and Singapore. Product: Liquefied natural gas systems.
Schonstedt Instrument Co., Kearneysville. Country: Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Peru, Yemen, Somalia, and Sri Lanka. Product: Underground locators-magnetic and pipe/cable locators.
D.R.K. Studios, St. Albans. Country: Australia, Canada, Spain, and United Kingdom. Product: Custom prosthetics, props, and make-up for haunted house, movie, escape room, and cosplay industries.
Industrial Bolting Technologies Inc., Charleston. Country: Democratic Republic of Congo, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, Poland, Colombia, Singapore, Peru, Brazil, and United Kingdom. Product: Hydraulic torque wrenches.
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, Charleston. Country: Andorra, Poland, Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Qatar. Product: Solar evaporated culinary salt.
Preiser Scientific, Saint Albans. Country: Senegal. Product: Laboratory equipment and supplies.
Athena Sciences Corp., Fairmont. Country: Afghanistan and Iraq. Product: Technology and software.
ND Paper, Fairmont. Country: China. Product: Recycled pulp.
Best Business Strategies, Glen Dale. Country: Myanmar, Liechtenstein, Jordan, Guatemala, Spain, Egypt, Brazil, and Netherlands. Product: Sage 50 Accounting software and remote support.
APG Polytech LLC, Apple Grove. Country: Luxembourg, Italy, Romania, Lithuania, and Japan. Product: PET (plastic) resin with barrier properties.
Sport Outfitters, Williamson. Country: Canada. Product: ATV resort on the Hatfield/McCoy Trails.
IstoVisio Inc., Morgantown. Country: Australia, Germany, and United Kingdom. Product: Scientific visualization software for CT, MRI, and microscope data.
Caperton Furnitureworks, Berkeley Springs. Country: Guinea, Belgium, Zambia, Nigeria, Finland, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, and Mongolia. Product: Hardwood furniture.
Direct Online Marketing, Wheeling. Country: Republic of Malta and Tanzania. Product: Digital marketing and advertising.
MEDI-KAL Resources Inc., Wheeling. Country: Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, and Zambia. Product: Imaging and non-imaging medical equipment for hospitals and medical clinics.
TROY Group, Wheeling. Country: Belgium, Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Republic of Vanuatu. Product: Security printing solutions.
Wheeling Truck Center, Wheeling. Country: Ecuador, Denmark, Myanmar, Aruba, and Saint Lucia. Product: Truck parts.
Multicoat Products, Fraziers Bottom. Country: South Korea, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Product: Construction coatings for use in the swimming pool industry. Waterproofing for basements, paints, stains, and sealants, stucco systems, and other specialized coatings.
The West Virginia Development Office International Division helps small- to medium-sized West Virginia businesses enter new foreign markets. For more information, visit westvirginia.gov, International Development, for details on exporting assistance.
In cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service, and the West Virginia Export Council, West Virginia Development Office offers export assistance such as:
- Research to help a company determine whether a foreign market makes a good fit with its product or service.
- Trade shows and missions to dynamic markets.
- Connect exporters with freight forwarders, backers, translators, and other service providers.
The photos at the end of this release are available online: https://wvcommerce.zenfolio.com/p1000449985
FOR RELEASE: Dec. 10, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Andy Malinoski, 304-553-9305, Andy.E.Malinoski@wv.gov