Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in central Ontario

Archived Release

Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in central Ontario

HAMILTON, ON, April 3 /CNW/ - The Ernie Eves government today recognized leading small and medium-sized exporters in central Ontario with Ontario Global Traders Awards for outstanding achievements in 2002, presented by Associate Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation David Turnbull.
The awards program, launched by the Ontario government in 1998, recognizes the success of the province's small and medium-sized exporters and encourages more companies to expand into global markets.
"Ontario exporters are helping to create wealth and prosperity in every region of the province," said Turnbull. "They are creating jobs, expanding our export base and competing successfully against the best the world has to offer."
Recipients at the central Ontario regional ceremony in Hamilton were recognized with Regional Awards, Awards of Merit and Honourable Mentions. Winners of the top Regional Awards included:

Innovation Award:
- Optech Incorporated (Toronto)
Market Expansion Award - Service:
- Rodair International Ltd. (Mississauga)
Market Expansion Award - Product:
- DECODE Entertainment Inc. (Toronto)
Student Achievement Award:
- Nils Engelstad (University of Toronto, Toronto)
Leadership Award:
- Nathon Gunn (President and Chief Executive Officer,
Bitcasters Inc., Toronto)

"We have outstanding exporters here in Central Ontario who have seized new opportunities and created thousands of jobs, contributing to the quality of life that people enjoy across the province," said Brad Clark, MPP for Stoney Creek. "These recipients represent a virtual showcase of Ontario's innovation and expertise."
Judges reviewed some 200 nominations from across Ontario to select winners for the four regional Ontario Global Traders Awards ceremonies this year. Collectively, the nominated companies reported that total sales rose 28 per cent over the past three years to $1.25 billion in 2001-2002; that nominees' export sales climbed 36 per cent, to $742 million over the same period; and that exports helped increase jobs by 21 per cent to 7,675 jobs.
Exports generate the equivalent of more than 50 per cent of Ontario's Gross Domestic Product and contribute in a very significant way to the more than 1,000,000 jobs created in Ontario since 1995.
Regional award recipients compete for the top provincial award in each category, to be presented at the Ontario Global Traders Awards provincial ceremony on May 14, 2003, in Toronto.
Associate Minister Turnbull also announced today that Brampton will host the next Ontario Global Traders Awards central regional ceremony taking place in spring 2004.
"RBC Financial Group's The Path to Prosperity report has found that becoming more export-oriented means exposing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to some of the most significant drivers of success," said Duarte M. Miranda, Vice-President Trade Services, RBC Global Services. "RBC Global Services is a proud supporter of the Ontario Global Traders Awards and shares its objective of opening doors for Ontario businesses to ensure their competitive advantage and success in the global marketplace."
This is the fifth season of the Ontario Global Traders Awards. Export Forums featuring a panel town hall meeting, roundtable discussions and networking sessions on exporting themes are held in conjunction with each regional ceremony. New this year are Export Cafés, one-on-one meetings between exporting experts and Ontario companies.
The Ontario Global Traders Awards are presented by Ontario Exports Inc., the Government of Ontario's export development agency, and lead sponsor RBC Global Services. Other sponsors include Export Development Canada; Deloitte & Touche LLP; The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; CCC, the Canadian Commercial Corporation; PROFIT; Canadian Business, Le Lien Economique and Seneca College.

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

Disponible en français

For more information, visit www.ontarioexportsinc.com

2002 ONTARIO GLOBAL TRADERS AWARDS
AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR CENTRAL REGION

Innovation Award

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

Optech Incorporated
Toronto, Ontario

A spin-off company from research work at York University, Optech pioneered the development of laser radar (lidar) systems for a variety of commercial applications. The company's airborne lidar systems are used for topographic mapping of the earth's surface from altitudes of up to three kilometres. R&D has continued as the company has grown, and Optech now leads the world with its Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping Systems (ALTMS). Selling in the range of $1-$2 million, Optech's ALTMs are its leading export product and hold about 80 per cent of the world market. These sales have led to significant growth and helped finance research for new products in related areas.

President: Dr. Donald Carswell
Contact: Dr. Allan Carswell, Chairman
Address: 100 Wildcat Road, Toronto ON M3J 2Z9
Phone: 416-661-5904
-------------------------

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

Digital Specialty Chemicals
Toronto, Ontario

Digital Specialty Chemicals was founded in 1987 and has grown to become a world leader in custom fine chemical manufacture. DSC exports a wide range of phosphorus, boron, silicon and organometallic reagents to the pharmaceutical, chemical, electronic and biotechnology industries worldwide. An ISO 9001(2000) and ISO 14001 certified company, Digital provides its customers with innovative, top quality and environmentally responsible solutions.

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Ravi Gukathasan
Contact: Mr. Kevin Morandi-Bonner, Director of Marketing
Address: 470 Coronation Drive, Toronto ON M1E 4Y4
Phone: 416-231-2991
-------------------------

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

VoiceGenie Technologies Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

VoiceGenie's technology lets users have voice-activated access to Web- based information and services anytime, anywhere, from any telephone. By simply speaking into the telephone, users can retrieve Web information, complete online transactions and manage personal communications like e-mail, voice mail and voice-activated dialing. VoiceGenie has historically been first to market with critical technical features, and the company's VoiceXML Gateway integrates unique abilities not found in competing products. VoiceGenie's products are always built in open architectures, giving the company a key competitive advantage that has helped it penetrate important international markets.

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer: Stuart Berkowitz
Contact: Susanne Borschel, Marketing Communications Specialist
Address: 1120 Finch Avenue West, Toronto ON M3J 3H7
Phone: 416-736-0905
-------------------------

Market Expansion Award -- Service

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

Rodair International Ltd.
Mississauga, Ontario

Rodair provides its customers with a variety of services that includes international freight forwarding, customs brokerage and third party logistics services. The company was founded in 1996, when shareholders recognized the need for a Canadian-based company serving clients in international markets. It has since grown from an initial staff of three in a single office to 150 employees in 13 offices in six countries. The company has expanded its markets by staying with its initial strategy of organic growth, acquisitions and joint ventures. Rodair recently partnered with a client on a joint venture in Hungary to serve the client's logistics needs in that country.

President: Jeffrey Cullen
Contact: Jeffrey Cullen, President
Address: 3710 Nashua Drive, No. 3, Mississauga ON L4V 1M5
Phone: 905-671-4655
-------------------------

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

Redwood Custom Communications
Toronto, Ontario

Redwood combines marketing and publishing to create customized publications for clients that include Sears, Kraft Foods, General Motors, Home Depot and many other companies with customer relationship marketing programs. Redwood identifies potential clients based on their advertising spending, and offers them content that achieves marketing objectives and gives consumers measurable added value. Since most of Redwood's prospects are U.S.-based, the company has focused its efforts on that export market, which generates more than half of the company's revenue. Redwood recently set up satellite offices in New York and Chicago to serve clients locally.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Eric Schneider
Contact: Brian Jackson, Vice-President Finance
Address: 65 Front Street East, Toronto ON M5E 1B5
Phone: 416-360-7339
-------------------------

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

Pink Elephant Inc.
Burlington, Ontario

Pink Elephant serves the Information Technology (IT) sector with a range of services that includes education, conferences, consulting and hosted managed support. The company supplies its services according to IT management best practices, specifically the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). The company is dedicated to promoting best practices in the IT industry. More IT professionals in North America have gained their ITIL certification through Pink Elephant than with any other organization. Pink Elephant built the market for ITIL-based training in North America, hosting the first ITIL conference here, and continues the process with its annual IT Service Management conference and exhibition.

Chief Executive Officer: Fatima Cabral
Contact: Amy Woo, Assistant Manager, Marketing and Communications
Address: 5575 North Service Road, Burlington ON L7L 6M1
Phone: 905-331-5060
-------------------------

Market Expansion Award - Product

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

DECODE Entertainment Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

DECODE Entertainment Inc. develops, finances, produces and distributes live action, animated and interactive programming for the family, children's and youth markets. Since its launch in 1997, DECODE has been a sought-after international partner for a diverse range of projects. DECODE's productions include traditional cell animation shows such as Watership Down, the unique 2-D cut and paste Angela Anaconda, and live action series with computer animation elements like The Zack Files. DECODE also produces award winning interactive content and web sites, and partners with top broadcasters to produce programming seen in over 80 countries. From concept to design, DECODE continues to create innovative award winning programming and interactive projects.

Co-CEOs: Neil Court, Steven DeNure
Contact: Jacqueline Nuwame, Director of Communications
Address: 512 King Street East, Suite 104, Toronto ON M5A 1M1
Phone: 416-363-8034
-------------------------

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

Chudleigh's Ltd.
Milton, Ontario

Chudleigh's uses Ontario Northern Spy apples to make high quality apple desserts and snacks, exporting to the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Bermuda. The company's signature product, Apple Blossoms, has several advantages in export markets, among them trademark protection and the recognized high quality of the main ingredient: Ontario apples. Chudleigh's products are sold through national chains in foodservice and retail markets, to a growing list of customers that includes Sam's Club, Kroger, Safeway, Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Potential customers are identified by matching the compatibility of their clientele with the Chudleigh products, and packaging and design formats are customized to each market segment.

President: Dean Chudleigh
Contact: Robert Bona, Vice-President Finance
Address: 624 McGeachie Drive, Milton ON L9T 3Y5
Phone: 905-878-8781
-------------------------

Honourable Mention:
-------------------

CPL
Mississauga, Ontario

CPL has built strong relationships with more than 50 pharmaceutical companies to grow its business of contract manufacturing and packaging services. The company is at the forefront of tremendous growth in the contract manufacturing and packaging industry, fueling double-digit sales growth by offering its customers a service mentality designed to surpass their expectations. Strategic, long-term relationships are actively pursued. CPL's primary export market is the U.S., where it continues to expand. Total sales have grown by about 30 per cent for each of the last two years, with exports making up the bulk of the increase.

President and Chief Operating Officer: Paul Pickles
Contact: Paul Pickles, President and Chief Operating Officer
Address: 7600 Danbro Crescent, Mississauga ON L5N 6L6
Phone: 905-821-7600
-------------------------

Partnership

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

Norlake International Ltd., Woodbridge, Ontario
and
Stonemill Bakehouse, Scarborough, Ontario

Norlake started in 1986 as an exporter of beef and pork to Japan, expanding its product line in the 1990s to include Italian specialty meats, gourmet items, and many other products. Stonemill Bakehouse had focused on the domestic market until it partnered with Norlake in 1999, to take advantage of Norlake's experience in the highly-regulated Japanese market. The first order for Stonemill's premium bakery products from Japan was placed in 2000, and since then the company has boosted its annual sales by 10 per cent. The increase in sales has helped Stonemill increase employment and invest in new equipment. The success of the partnership has also opened the door for other Ontario companies to supply value-added wheat-based products to the Japanese market.

Norlake International Ltd.
--------------------------
President: Bob Creasy
Contact: Bob Creasy, President
Address: 300 Trowers Road, Unit 9, Woodbridge ON L4L 6A1
Phone: 905-856-1400
-------------------------

Stonemill Bakehouse
-------------------
President: Gottfried Boehringer
Contact: Gottfried Boehringer, President
Address: 50 Modern Road, Scarborough ON M1R 3B6
Phone: 416-757-5767
-------------------------

Student Achievement Award

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

Nils Engelstad
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Nils Engelstad has been a very active member of the Global Vision Junior Team Canada Trade Mission program, completing four trade missions, writing numerous market reports, and representing several Ontario companies on trade missions to Southeast Asia. One company Mr. Engelstad successfully represented was Hetek Solutions, an environmental consulting firm that has since developed new business opportunities in Malaysia. At Global Vision, he also developed a new framework that allows students from all over Canada to work with exporting companies and show them the benefits of investing their time and effort with young Canadians.

Award Recipient & Contact: Nils Engelstad
Address: 384 Margueretta Street, Toronto ON M6H 3S5
Phone: 416-593-7017 or 416-536-4663
-----------------------------------------

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

Paul Clipsham
Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

An honours graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Paul Clipsham has also completed the post graduate international business management program at Niagara College, where he received honours standing. Mr. Clipsham is currently working on a pilot project to develop and implement Corporate Sustainability Management Systems in New Delhi, India. He has also worked with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, who are sponsors of the Indian project, along with the Centre for Innovation in Corporate Responsibility and CIDA. His long-term career goal is to develop more expertise in the field of sustainable development and export related services.

Award Recipient & Contact: Paul Clipsham
Address: 11 Crosshill Road, Fonthill ON L0S 1E2
Phone: 905-892-3578
-------------------------

Leadership

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

Nathon Gunn
President and Chief Executive Officer, Bitcasters Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

Bitcasters consults and develops strategy for entertainment companies. Working with partner firms, it produces technology, branding, broadcast design and communications. Company founder Nathon Gunn has always been export- oriented, and an active participant in trade missions to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the U.S., France and many other countries. Mr. Gunn has also used Ontario Exports Inc.'s Virtual Trade Missions to add new export clients to a list that includes Universal, Miramax, BMG and Disney.

Award Recipient and Contact: Nathon Gunn, President and Chief Executive
Officer
Address: 364 Richmond Street West, Toronto ON M5V 1X6
Phone: 416-351-0889
-------------------------

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

Najmul Siddiqui
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tri-Vision International Ltd/Ltée
Toronto, Ontario

Najmul Siddiqui is a businessman who shows others the way to export success. In 1986, he founded Tri-Vision International Ltd/Ltée, which sells products and systems to the cable television industry and the hotel industry in 32 countries. The company also owns and markets the V-chip technology that allows parental monitoring of movies and TV programs. Mr. Siddiqui joined with V-Chip inventor Tim Collings in 1993, and helped him give his invention a name, a market and a product. To date, four countries (including the U.S.) have legislated the principle of the V-chip. After that success, Mr. Siddiqui started a new company to take advantage of Tri-Vision's R&D capabilities. New technologies from six Canadian companies are now being developed and marketed world-wide.

Award Recipient: Najmul Siddiqui, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Contact: Murray Eldon, Director Corporate Communications
Address: 41 Pullman Court, Toronto ON M1X 1E4
Phone: 416-298-8551
-------------------------

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

Nagy Moustafa
President and Chief Executive Officer, Diversinet Corp.
Toronto, Ontario

Nagy Moustafa has personally participated in three trade missions to develop new business for Diversinet, a leading developer of advanced security infrastructure for personal computers, mobile phones, and PDAs. Diversinet derives 70 per cent of its revenue from foreign markets. Mr. Moustafa has been responsible for fostering Diversinet's relationships with other progressive Ontario SMEs such as Research in Motion and Sona Innovations. He is also an active participant in the federal government's Innovation Strategy, and advocated for new export markets and international exposure at the Toronto Regional Summit held last year.

Award Recipient: Nagy Moustafa, President and Chief Executive Officer
Contact: Sandra Lemaitre, Marketing Communications Manager
Address: 2225 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 1700, Toronto ON M2J 5C2
Phone: 416-756-2324
-------------------------

Backgrounder

Ontario Global Traders Awards
Now in their fifth year, the Ontario Global Traders Awards (OGTA) celebrate and champion export success in Ontario. Coordinated by Ontario Exports Inc. - the Government of Ontario's export development agency - they are Ontario's first awards recognizing export achievement for small and medium- sized enterprises. Winners of top regional awards compete for a provincial award. There are six award categories: Leadership; Innovation; Market Expansion (two awards: product and service); Partnership; and Student Achievement.

Who is Eligible?
- Ontario-based, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in business a
minimum of three fiscal years, 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 either part-time or full-time studies in
international business or related fields for at least one semester in
2002, at an Ontario college or university. Top winners in this
category at both regional and provincial levels win a cash bursary.

About Nominations
Companies or individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by a trade association, customer or anyone familiar with their achievements. For the regional awards, nominations are evaluated by regional judging panels, representing leaders from business, education and economic development groups. A provincial panel selects provincial award recipients from the short-list of regional award winners. Nomination guides and forms for next year's OGTA will be available at this year's regional ceremonies for the 2002 OGTA listed below. See the Ontario Exports Inc. phone number and Web site below for more information. The nominations deadline for the 2003 awards is November 3, 2003.

Ontario Export Forums
Ontario Export Forums feature workshops, town hall discussions and networking sessions that focus on export topics of interest to local SMEs and entrepreneurs. Their purpose is to help companies become more informed exporters by providing a local forum for export education, market information and networking. Since 1999, hundreds of participants have attended Ontario Export Forums throughout the province, with topics ranging from e-business, to financing, to intellectual property rights. New this year are Export Cafés - one-on-one meetings between exporting experts and Ontario companies.

2002 Awards & Export Forum Schedule
March 27, 2003 Eastern regional awards ceremony in Kanata
April 3, 2003 Central regional awards ceremony in Hamilton
April 10, 2003 Southwest regional awards ceremony in London
April 17, 2003 Northern regional awards ceremony in Sudbury
May 14, 2003 Provincial awards ceremony in Toronto

Sponsors
The Ontario Global Traders Awards are presented by Ontario Exports Inc. and lead sponsor RBC Global Services, along with Export Development Canada, Deloitte and Touche LLP, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, and CCC, the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Media sponsors include PROFIT, Canadian Business, Le Lien Economique and Seneca College.

For more information
Call Ontario Exports Inc. toll-free within Ontario at 1-877-46TRADE
(8-7233), or call (416) 314-8200 within the GTA. Visit
www.ontarioexportsinc.com to learn more about the program & award
ceremonies.

Disponible en français April 2003

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available
on the Canadian Press Photo Network/
For further information: Contacts: Stephanie Lu, Associate Minister's Office, (416) 325-1244; Lynn Grittani, Ontario Exports Inc., (416) 314-8704