Ontario Global Traders Awards celebrate exporters' achievements in Southwestern Ontario

Archived Release

Ontario Global Traders Awards celebrate exporters' achievements in Southwestern Ontario

GUELPH, ON, March 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario government today recognized leading small and medium-sized exporters in Southwestern Ontario for outstanding achievements and contributions to the province's prosperity with the 2001 Ontario Global Traders Awards, presented by Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade Bob Runciman.
The awards program was launched by the Ontario government in 1998 to recognize the success of the province's small- and medium-sized exporters and to encourage more companies to expand into global markets.
"Our government has worked hard to build the ideal business climate for growth and job creation, and to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship," Runciman said. "These exporters have succeeded with great results, reinforcing the confidence I have in their abilities and our provincial economy."
Recipients were recognized with Regional Awards, Awards of Merit and Honourable Mentions at the fourth annual Ontario Global Traders Awards Southwestern regional ceremony in Guelph. Winners of the top Regional Awards included:

Leadership Award:
- Terry Warren, President, Blastech Corporation, Brantford
Innovation Award:
- Halltech Environmental Inc., Guelph
Market Expansion Award - Product:
- Northern Digital Inc., Waterloo
Market Expansion Award - Service:
- Punch Integrated Communications Inc., Guelph
Partnership Award:
- Blastech Corporation, Brantford
- Brant Corrosion Control Inc., Brantford
Student Achievement Award:
- Kathryn Archer, Richard Ivey School of Business,
University of Western Ontario, London

"We are very pleased to join these awards and to celebrate the achievements of Ontario's exporting leaders," said Duarte Miranda, Vice- President, Trade, RBC Global Services. "Helping small- and medium-sized exporters reach out and succeed in export markets is part of our history at the bank and we're proud to be part of their success in global markets," he said.
Judges reviewed 230 nominations from across Ontario to select winners for the four regional Ontario Global Traders Awards ceremonies this year. Collectively, the companies reported total sales rising 32 per cent over the past three years, from $840 million in 1998-1999 to $1.1 billion in 2000-2001.
The nominees' export sales climbed even more dramatically, rising 46 per cent, from $473 million to $690 million over the last three years. They also reported that exports helped increase jobs by 30 per cent over that period, with total employment going from 4,754 to 6,164 jobs.
Exports generate the equivalent of more than 50 per cent of Ontario's Gross Domestic Product and sustain 1.6 million jobs in Ontario.

Regional Global Traders Awards ceremonies will also be held for:
- Central Ontario in Niagara Falls, March 28;
- Eastern Ontario in Brockville, April 4; and,
- Northern Ontario in North Bay, April 11.

Regional award recipients compete for the top provincial award in each category, to be presented at the Ontario Global Traders Awards provincial ceremony May 15, 2002 in Toronto.
The Ontario Global Traders Awards are presented by Ontario Exports Inc., the Government of Ontario's lead trade agency and RBC Global Services. Other sponsors include Export Development Canada; Deloitte & Touche LLP; The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; Canadian Commercial Corporation; United Parcel Service (UPS) Canada Ltd; PROFIT; Canadian Business and Le Lien Economique.

Note to news and business editors: A complete list of award recipients is
attached.

Disponible en français

For more information, visit: www.ontario-canada.com/export

2001 ONTARIO GLOBAL TRADERS AWARDS
SOUTHWESTERN REGION

Innovation Award

Regional Award
--------------

Halltech Environmental Inc.
Guelph, Ontario

Researchers and explorers in remote areas of the world face special challenges when it comes to collecting and communicating data. Halltech Environmental is an international supplier of sophisticated and affordable environmental research and mineral exploration supplies, specializing in global positioning systems and related technologies. The DGPS Data Collection Backpack is the latest innovation from Guelph-based Halltech. This system requires only one GPS receiver, and by integrating their receiver with small handheld portable computers with customized software, field professionals can collect data digitally in real time and automatically tag the data with its geographic co-ordinates. This eliminates the need to manually transfer the data into a computer back at the base camp, saving time and money.
President: Murray Hall, President
Contact: Murray Hall, President
Address: No. 4 - 503 Imperial Road North, Guelph, ON, N1H 6T9
Phone: 519-766-4568
--------------------------

Award of Merit
--------------

ARVA Industries Inc.
St. Thomas, Ontario

When it comes to problem solving, ARVA Industries has a record of finding innovative solutions. Specializing in engineering and manufacturing custom equipment for the mining, infrastructure, military, construction, and transportation industries, St. Thomas-based ARVA found the best solution for The Big Dig Boston Tunnel, one of the world's largest infrastructure projects. The ARVA Big Dig Ceiling Panel Erector installs 13,000kg pre-made concrete panels up to eight times faster than before, using fewer workers and less equipment. ARVA's self-propelled machine not only carries two panels at a time, but also raises and positions those panels precisely, since it articulates much like a human wrist, dramatically reducing congestion in the tunnel and improving productivity.
President: Fred Smith, President
Contact: Vern Eck, Vice-President
Address: 43 Gaylord Road, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 3R9
Phone: 519-637-1855
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Honourable Mention
------------------

GFI Control Systems Inc.
Kitchener, Ontario

GFI Control Systems was the first to supply alternative fuel injection systems for natural gas and propane-powered vehicles. Kitchener's GFI has developed a new component for hydrogen fuel cells that integrates four main functions of the system into one unit, resulting in a lower cost per component and installation while improving total system safety. Leading edge innovations like this in-tank valve regulator make GFI well positioned when governments and environmental agencies enforce stringent regulations to reduce the level of harmful ozone depleting emissions.
President: Lloyd Austin, President
Contact: Healy Balzer, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Address: 100 Hollinger Crescent, Kitchener, ON, N2K 2Z3
Phone: 519-576-4270 ext. 409
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Honourable Mention
------------------

Meikle Automation Inc.
Kitchener, Ontario

With new suites of proprietary software, Kitchener's Meikle Automation Inc. has opened new markets and created tremendous opportunities for export growth. Already a leader in the design, manufacture and service of full factory automation systems, its software suites surpass traditional logic controlled operation systems in their flexibility, precision and ability to integrate multiple machines and systems into one cohesive manufacturing strategy. The software's customization capabilities allow Meikle to enter the ultra high precision photonics and medical devices industries with a solution that offers greater productivity and profitability.
President: Andrew Meikle, President and CEO
Contact: Sandra MacDonald, Marketing Coordinator
Address: 60 Groff Place, Kitchener, ON, N2E 2L6
Phone: 519-896-0800
--------------------------

Market Expansion Award - Product

Regional Award
--------------

Northern Digital Inc.
Waterloo, Ontario

From its base in Waterloo, Northern Digital leads the world in innovative, advanced real-time spatial measurement equipment and support systems. With over 3,500 systems in operation around the world, NDI's systems are being used in a wide range of applications, including wind tunnel testing at NASA and other aerospace facilities, image guided surgery systems, and advanced technology development facilities in prominent research institutes. By anticipating customer needs, investing heavily in R&D, acquiring critical intellectual property and aggressively establishing its presence in both Europe and Asia, NDI has been able to diversify its product base and expand its global markets. NDI's exports, which account for 93 percent of its revenue, have more than doubled over the past two years.
President: David Crouch, President
Contact: Tony Niederer, Manager Marketing Services
Address: 103 Randall Drive, Waterloo, ON, N2V 1C5
Phone: 519-884-5142
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Award of Merit
--------------

Meikle Automation Inc.
Kitchener, Ontario

For six years, Meikle Automation Inc. has had a successful business strategy: keep employees happy, create productive working groups and, above all, keep the customer satisfied. The result has been steady growth and increasing worldwide market penetration for this Kitchener company's full factory automation systems. With no foreseeable decline in the rapidly expanding demand for quality custom automated systems, and given Meikle's strategy of building long term cooperative strategies with corporate customers, the company expects to maintain its impressive track record of getting 80 percent of its business from repeat customers.
President: Andrew Meikle, President and CEO
Contact: Sandra MacDonald, Marketing Coordinator
Address: 60 Groff Place, Kitchener, ON, N2E 2L6
Phone: 519-896-0800
--------------------------

Honourable Mention
------------------

Halltech Environmental Inc.
Guelph, Ontario

At Halltech Environmental, innovation drives export performance. Sixty percent of the company's efforts are dedicated to the research and development of products that are easier to use and save time and money. As an international supplier of sophisticated global positioning systems and related technologies for environmental research and mineral exploration, Halltech, from Guelph, has earned a reputation as the "Go To" firm that can think outside the box when it comes to unusual GPS data collection and navigation challenges. With sales growing by more than 140 percent over the past two years, Halltech will continue its successful R&D approach while building its capacity to market internationally.
President: Murray Hall, President
Contact: Murray Hall, President
Address: No. 4 - 503 Imperial Road North, Guelph, ON, N1H 6T99
Phone: 519-766-4568
--------------------------

Market Expansion Award -- Service

Regional Award
--------------

Punch Integrated Communications Inc.
Guelph, Ontario

Guelph's Punch Integrated Communications has made a name for itself in the highly competitive marketing communications industry in North America. Building on its track record of developing more targeted, cost-effective communications campaigns for retail industry clients, Punch has been able to capture business from older, more traditional communications firms, first in the United States and now in the UK. With almost 10,000 percent growth in exports over the past two years, Punch is confident of its ability to continue to deliver competitive, superior communications campaigns to export markets.
President: Ed Roszczka, President
Contact: Ed Roszczka, President
Address: 355 Elmira Road North, Suite 116, Guelph, ON, N1K 1S5
Phone: 519-826-9700
--------------------------

Award of Merit
--------------

Marco Sales and Incentives Limited
Paris, Ontario

Whenever an IBM customer orders support material or promotional literature for IBM's products, the requests are electronically routed to Marco Sales and Incentives Limited in Paris, Ontario, where the items are sent out promptly and efficiently. This is just one example of the wide array of promotional management services offered by Marco to companies across North America and around the world. Marco's electronically linked infrastructure of offices and warehouses in Canada and the US supports any and every aspect of promotional programs regardless of last-minute changes to the campaign and extraordinary turnaround time demands.
President: Robert Martin, President
Contact: Mary Kerr Martin, Vice-President Corporate Communications
Address: 140 West River Street, Paris, ON, N3L 2V1
Phone: 519-442-2207 ext. 234
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Partnership

Regional Award
--------------

Blastech Corporation
Brantford, Ontario

Brant Corrosion Control Inc.
Brantford, Ontario

It's not often that a partnership works so well that if business slows for either partner, it can shift its employees to the other partner. This is the kind of partnership that Blastech Corporation and Brant Corrosion Control have built. Both companies are in the business of corrosion protection and application of special coatings. They cater to significantly different markets, yet they are complimentary in that both need to prepare the surface of objects to be coated by abrasive cleaning. The basis for this partnership was formed when Blastech invested in a multi-million dollar blast cleaning facility. In order to remain cost-effective and competitive, the company needed a regularly scheduled load which Brant was able to help ensure. This in turn saved Brant enough money to seek out new export opportunities. Prior to the partnership, both Brantford companies were struggling start-ups. As a result of this partnership, both companies have been able to grow significant export markets with Blastech enjoying a 140 percent increase over the past two years.

Blastech Corporation
President: Terry Warren, President
Contact: Al Toner, Vice-President Finance
Address: P.O. Box 1886, 57 Onondaga Road, Brantford, ON, N3T 5W4
Phone: 519-756-8222
--------------------------

Brant Corrosion Control Inc.
President: Ronald Roswell, President
Contact: Larry Parr, Vice-President and General Manager
Address: 30 Garnet Road, Brantford, ON, N3T 5M1
Phone: 519-759-7334
--------------------------

Leadership

Regional Award
--------------

Terry Warren
President, Blastech Corporation
Brantford, Ontario

With a personal belief that the world is one market, Terry Warren, President of Brantford's Blastech Corporation, has been in the abrasive cleaning and specialty coatings industry for over 30 successful years. Mr. Warren's success and wealth of knowledge and experience have made him a resource for customers, suppliers and even competitors who need advice on developing contacts, accessing government resources, financial assistance or leads on business opportunities. As an industry leader, Mr. Warren was instrumental in establishing an Ontario chapter of the US-based Steel Structures Painting Council to help others in the coatings industry. He also takes pride in giving back to the community and providing opportunities to the less fortunate.
Contact: Al Toner, Vice-President Finance
Address: P.O. Box 1886, 57 Onondaga Road, Brantford, ON, N3T 5W4
Phone: 519-756-8222
------------------------

Regional Award
--------------

Wolfgang K. Weber
President and CEO, Desch Drive Technology
Cambridge, Ontario

Wolfgang Weber is the President and CEO of Cambridge's Desch Drive Technology, an international leader in the automotive transmission industry. Mr. Weber has a passion for this country and this province. He combines his passion with a firm belief that small business is the fuel for our economy, and that Ontario, in particular, offers a diverse economy that produces world class products. Ontario is inextricably tied to world markets and business leaders must continually explore and re-explore the global marketplace for opportunities. This is the message that Mr. Weber delivers domestically and internationally to his customers and peers, especially as an active member of the US-based Power Transmission Distributors Association.
Contact: Cathy Brombacher, Manager, Accounting
Address: 240 Shearson Crescent, Cambridge, ON, N1T 1J6
Phone: 519-621-4560
------------------------

Student Award

Regional Award
--------------

Kathryn Archer
Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario

It has been a busy and productive two years for Kathryn Archer. Over the course of her studies as an MBA student at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Ms. Archer has helped to develop international markets for two medical products. Her exceptional co-op work last summer for a Hamilton-based biotechnology company not only earned her a bonus, but also led to her placement as a project leader on another international marketing project in the biotechnology industry. Ms. Archer is also the Executive Director of Ivey's LEADER Project, a student-run initiative that teaches western business practices and decision-making skills to university students and entrepreneurs in the Former Soviet Union. She is currently investigating opportunities to expand the program to Latin America and, if all goes well, plans to initiate a pilot project in Cuba this May. Her career goal is to lead product development in the biotechnology industry.
Contact: Ms. Kathryn Archer
Address: 809 Maitland Street, London, ON, N5Y 2W6
Phone: 519-433-8735
------------------------

Award of Merit
--------------

Gorica Djeric
University of Waterloo
Toronto, Ontario

Gorica Djeric is specializing in International Trade at the University of Waterloo. Her co-op placement at Treadway Exports, an independent tire exporter, started off as the typical export administrative assistant job that first-year students normally expect to find. But Ms. Djeric demonstrated that she was not a typical first-year student when, in addition to her regular tasks, she volunteered to find potential customers for her employer. She proceeded to research and identify solid new export opportunities in Sweden, Russia and Australia, which has led to about one million dollars in new business. Not surprisingly, Ms. Djeric who has a passion for international trade and intends to pursue a career in international trade development, is currently doing her second co-op work term with Treadway.
Contact: Gorica Djeric
Address: 9-260 Overlea Drive, Kitchener, ON, N2M 5H5
Phone: 519-570-2615
------------------------

Honourable Mention
------------------

Heather Anderson
Toronto, Ontario
University of Guelph

Heather Anderson is a student with the Marketing Management co-op program at the University of Guelph. During her eight-month co-op placement with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ms. Anderson became part of the Export Marketing team. She not only provided research that will help open markets for Ontario commodities, Ms. Anderson was instrumental in the development and creation of the Ontario Animal Genetics Exporter Guide, an important resource for foreign buyers. Ms. Anderson has also taken the lead on several projects for the Asian market, including the development of country profiles and a workshop to educate Ontario food producers on export opportunities in Asia.
Contact: Heather Anderson
Address: 240 Oriole Parkway, Apt. 404, Toronto, ON, M5P 2H1
Phone: 519-824-4120 ext. 3824 (day) or 519-837-8653 (evening)
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Backgrounder

2001 ONTARIO GLOBAL TRADERS AWARDS

The Ontario Global Traders Awards celebrate and champion export success in Ontario. Co-ordinated by Ontario Exports Inc. - the Government of Ontario's lead trade agency - they are Ontario's first awards recognizing export achievement for small- and medium-sized enterprises. This is the fourth year of the awards, in which winners of top regional awards become eligible to win a Provincial award. Awards are given in six categories: Leadership; Innovation; Market Expansion (Product and Service); Partnership; and Student Achievement, which includes a cash bursary for the first time this year.

Who is Eligible?
- Ontario-based, small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in business a
minimum of three fiscal years, based in Ontario, with annual sales of
up to $50 million and a maximum of 200 employees. Eligible enterprises
must export to one or more countries and have export sales that are at
least 15 per cent of total sales.
- Leaders who champion the cause of exporting by Ontario SMEs.
- SMEs and their partners whose alliance has contributed in a
significant way to the export success of an Ontario-based SME.
- Students whose achievements have contributed to the export success of
Ontario's business community. Open to Ontario residents under the age
of 30, who were enrolled in part- or full-time studies in
international business or related fields for at least one semester in
2001, in an Ontario college/university.

About Nominations
Companies or individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by a trade association, customer or anyone else who knows their situation well. Nominations are evaluated by regional judging panels for the regional awards, representing leaders from business, education and economic development groups. A provincial panel selects provincial award recipients from the short-list of regional award winners. The deadline for nominations for the 2001 awards was November 2, 2001, and nominations are closed. An early edition of the 2002 Nomination Guide and Forms will be available online as of March 21, 2002, from the OGTA website at www.ontario-canada.com/export.

2001 Awards Schedule - Regional and Provincial Ceremonies
March 21, 2002 - Guelph (Southwest Region Ceremony)
March 28, 2002 - Niagara Falls (Central Region Ceremony)
April 4, 2002 - Brockville (Eastern Region Ceremony)
April 11, 2002 - North Bay (Northern Region Ceremony)
May 15, 2002 - Toronto (Provincial Awards Ceremony)

Sponsors
The Ontario Global Traders Awards are presented by Ontario Exports Inc. and RBC Global Services. Award sponsors also include Export Development Canada; Deloitte & Touche LLP; The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; Canadian Commercial Corporation; and United Parcel Service (UPS) Canada Ltd. Media sponsors include PROFIT; Canadian Business and Le Lien Economique. The awards also have the support of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Young Entrepreneurs Association, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT).

For More Information
Call Ontario Exports Inc. toll-free at 1-877-46TRADE (8-7233). Within the GTA, call (416) 314-8200 or visit www.ontario-canada.com/export to learn more about the program and the award ceremonies.
For further information: Jamie Wallace, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8779; André Quenneville, Ontario Exports Inc., (416) 325-4676, (416) 726-0403 (cell); Eric Shapiro, Communications & Public Affairs Branch, (416) 325-6698