Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in Southwestern Ontario

Archived Release

Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in Southwestern Ontario

LONDON, ON, April 10 /CNW/ - The Ernie Eves government today recognized leading small and medium-sized exporters in southwestern 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 southwestern Ontario regional ceremony in London were recognized with Regional Awards, Awards of Merit and Honourable Mentions. Winners of the top Regional Awards included:

Innovation Award:
- Executive Manufacturing Technologies Inc. (London)
Market Expansion Award - Service:
- Info-Tech Research Group (London)
Market Expansion Award - Product:
- Meikle Automation (Kitchener)
Partnership Award:
- Executive Manufacturing Technologies Inc. (London)
- McNamee Industrial Services, Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Student Achievement Award:
- Lindsey Love-Forester (University of Waterloo, Waterloo)
Leadership Award:
- Richard Sterne, President, DATASYM INC. (Brantford)

"We have outstanding exporters here in southwestern Ontario who have seized new opportunities and created thousands of jobs, contributing to the quality of life that people enjoy across the province," said Bob Wood, MPP for London West. "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 Kitchener will host the next Ontario Global Traders Awards southwestern 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.

2002 ONTARIO GLOBAL TRADERS AWARDS
SOUTHWESTERN REGION

Innovation Award

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

Executive Manufacturing Technologies Inc.
London, Ontario

Founded just five years ago by a group of engineering visionaries, Executive Manufacturing Technologies is already the world leader in Manufacturing Intelligence ™. The company's premier product and key innovation is software that lets manufacturers collect, display and analyze all of their production activity. The world's only "off-the-shelf" Manufacturing Intelligence software, VisualPlant™ has provided EMT with over 300 per cent annual growth over the past year, from an impressive list of Fortune 500 companies that includes Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and many other manufacturers. The company is now moving into new markets in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Dennis Cocco
Contact: Dave Kloetstra, Marketing and Communications Manager
Address: 140 Fullarton Street, Suite 900, London ON N6A 5P2
Phone: 519-668-7336
------------------------

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

EK3 Technologies Inc.
London, Ontario

A spin-off company from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, EK3 engineers integrated display solutions with embedded computers that play video advertising in restaurants and bars across Canada and the U.S. The MD series units are remotely monitored and managed by the company's inPulse ™ software that allows content to be constantly updated. The system will soon be used to display video advertising in fast food restaurants and other "out-of-home" applications, in an industry expected to reach $2 billion by 2006. EK3's innovations have allowed it to grow from a two- employee start-up to an industry-leading, venture backed company with 15 employees and growing sales across North America.

President: Nick Prigioniero
Contact: Paula Kaye, Chief Financial Officer
Address: 100 Collip Circle, London ON N6G 4X8
Phone: 519-858-5091
------------------------

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

Fakespace Systems Inc.
Kitchener, Ontario

Fakespace is a leader in large-scale virtual reality technology. One of the company's primary innovations is the RAVE, a large-screen visualization solution used by research labs for a number of applications, from global climate mapping to nuclear explosion simulations. Since the Canadian market for visualization technology is about two or three years behind those in the U.S. and Europe, exports account for 95 per cent of Fakespace's revenues. The RAVE has solidified the company's market position in this specialized field, with sales up by more than 300 per cent over an earlier system. The RAVE has also opened market doors in Europe, where sales went from 3 per cent of revenues to 15 per cent last year.

President: Carol Leaman
Contact: Mark Hall, Marketing Communications
Address: 809 Wellington Street North, Kitchener ON N2G 4J6
Phone: 519-749-3339
------------------------

Market Expansion Award -- Service

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

Info-Tech Research Group
London, Ontario

Info-Tech bridges the gap between technology and business, providing IT professionals with advisory services, education programs, and custom research and consulting services. The company's core service, Info-Tech Advisor, is a bi-weekly advisory service for IT managers that identifies opportunities and threats in the digital economy. Info-Tech has expanded rapidly in the past three years through an intense process of new products and penetration of new markets. After several years of selling in the U.S., the company moved into the U.K. last year, where its market share already surpasses what it holds in Canada. With each new export market, Info-Tech has made regionally based adjustments in sales and customer service.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Joel McLean
Contact: Davin Juusola, Vice-President, Research and Development
Address: 602 Queens Avenue, London ON N6B 1Y8
Phone: 519-432-3550
------------------------

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

Namasco Blanking Centre
Brantford, Ontario

Namasco specializes in metal processing services for the automotive and residential door manufacturing markets. The company has created export opportunities for two distinct product components, residential entry door panels, and "first operation" steel blanks for the auto parts industry. Namasco secured a strong position in the growing North American market for steel residential doors in the 1980s, building its own stamping plant in Brantford in 1988 to ensure product quality for its manufacturing clients. With a strong client base in North America, Namasco moved to the U.K. market in the 1990s as steel doors became popular there.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Gordon Gosnell
Contact: Fred Norman, General Manager
Address: 546 Elgin Street, Brantford ON N3S 7P8
Phone: 519-758-2710
------------------------

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

Marco Sales & Incentives Limited
Paris, Ontario

Marco Sales & Incentives is a leading provider of promotional management services across North America. The company offers a wide variety of promotional programs, from contest administration and travel services to direct mail services and promotional merchandise supply. Marco's export market is currently concentrated in the area of fulfillment and distribution, where it takes advantage of its strategic location to serve the U.S. market. Customers, often members of the Fortune 500, select Marco for a North America wide program after the company has succeeded in delivering a Canadian contract. To better serve its export clients, the company opened a U.S. head office in Buffalo in 1999.

President: Robert Martin
Contact: Mary Kerr Martin, Vice-President, Corporate Relations
Address: 140 West River Street, Paris ON N3L 2V1
Phone: 519-442-2207
------------------------

Market Expansion Award - Product

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

Meikle Automation
Kitchener, Ontario

Meikle designs and builds automated assembly and test equipment for a range of industries including the automotive, electronics, and consumer products sectors. Using a cooperative strategy with its customers, the company has built strong repeat business relationships, with over 80 per cent of new business coming from existing customers. To expand its export markets, Meikle identified new opportunities using demographics and technological trends, and installed an operating division in North Carolina and New York. This has helped Meikle tap into the large base of medical, automotive, and high-tech industries in these areas.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Andrew Meikle
Contact: Sandra Macdonald, Marketing Specialist
Address: 50 Groff Place, Kitchener ON N2E 2L6
Phone: 519-896-0800
------------------------

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

Angstrom Engineering Inc.
Cambridge, Ontario

Angstrom manufactures custom scientific vacuum research equipment, for leading edge academic and industrial customers including Princeton, MIT, NASA, DuPont and Grumman Aerospace. The company's competitive advantage is its responsive approach to a customer's unique requirements. Unlike its competitors, Angstrom is very willing to customize its products and processes to meet the customer's needs in an economical way. The company maintains a close relationship with the relatively small scientific community that uses its products, and monitors academic publications to identify new sales opportunities. Angstrom has also developed password-protected Web pages that allow U.S. customers to view the status of their project quickly and securely.

President: Andrew Bass
Contact: Andrew Bass, President
Address: 140 McGovern Drive, Unit 12, Cambridge ON N3H 4R7
Phone: 519-653-8883
------------------------

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

Nutech Energy Systems Inc.
London, Ontario

Nutech is an ISO-9000 company that designs and manufactures indoor air quality products in London. The company began exporting to the U.S. in the mid 1990s, building its presence with a U.S. price list and local agents. With the U.S. as its prime export market, Nutech uses trade shows to identify new opportunities. Leads gathered at shows are followed up to find distribution partners and sales agents with the right contacts and experience. A steady stream of new products and Nutech's attendance at the trade shows gives the company numerous opportunities for contacts with potential new distributors and customers in overseas markets.

President: John Franklin
Contact: Roger Johnson, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing
Address: 511 McCormick Boulevard, London ON N5W 4C8
Phone: 519-457-1904
------------------------

Partnership

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

Executive Manufacturing Technologies Inc., London, Ontario
and
McNamee Industrial Services, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan

EMT makes VisualPlant, the world's only "off-the-shelf" Manufacturing Intelligence software. McNamee joined EMT in a partnership three years ago, providing the integration experience that EMT needed to sell and install the software at the facilities of multi-national clients like Ford, Visteon, Daimler Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and many other manufacturers. McNamee offered a solid reputation, a large customer base of auto manufacturers, and the specific expertise to sell and install the systems. The partnership has been an unprecedented success for both companies, with sales targets exceeded for the past seven quarters. Both companies are growing to meet the demand the partnership is creating.

Executive Manufacturing Technologies Inc.
-----------------------------------------
President and Chief Executive Officer: Dennis Cocco
Contact: Dave Kloetstra, Marketing and Communications Manager
Address: 140 Fullarton Street, Suite 900, London ON N6A 5P2
Phone: 519-668-7336
------------------------

McNamee Industrial Services, Inc.
---------------------------------
President and Chief Executive Officer: Carl Chambers
Contact: David Bugoci, Vice-President
Address: 710 Avis Drive, Ann Arbor MI 48108 USA
Phone: 734-213-5060
------------------------

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

Fakespace Systems Inc., Kitchener, Ontario
and
Christie Digital Systems, Inc. Kitchener, Ontario

Fakespace is a leader in large-scale virtual reality technology. The company's primary innovation is the RAVE, a large-screen projection system used by research labs for a number of applications, from global climate mapping to nuclear explosion simulations. Christie Digital is a leading manufacturer of high quality projection technologies. Christie, with help from Fakespace Systems, developed the Mirage Line of virtual reality projection technology. It is currently the industry's top selling projector, with more than 400 units sold, the vast majority in export markets.

Fakespace Systems Inc.
----------------------
President: Carol Leaman
Contact: Mark Hall, Marketing Communications
Address: 809 Wellington Street North, Kitchener ON N2G 4J6
Phone: 519-749-3339
------------------------

Christie Digital Systems, Inc.
------------------------------
President: Gerry Remers
Contact: Gerry Remers, President
Address: 809 Wellington Street North, Kitchener ON N2G 4Y7
Phone: 519-744-8005
------------------------

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

Keigan Systems, London, Ontario
and
Intergraph Corporation, Madison, Alabama

Keigan Systems is a leading developer of data/image analysis software and solutions that significantly augment an end user's data visualization and manipulation capabilities. The company markets its software through a significant strategic partnership with Intergraph, a $500 million company with global market reach. Last year, the two companies signed an exclusive OEM agreement, where Intergraph markets and distributes Keigan's analysis software as a private label offering under its own highly-regarded GeoMedia brand. This extraordinary partnership gives Keigan access to Intergraph's worldwide distribution network and sizeable client base, while Intergraph benefits by offering its customers yet another world class product in its considerable roster of advanced mapping solutions.

Keigan Systems
--------------
President: Paul Paolatto
Contact: Paul Paolatto, President
Address: 633 Colborne Street, London ON N6B 2V3
Phone: 519-433-0077
------------------------

Intergraph Corporation
----------------------
President: Preetha Pulusani
Contact: David Holmes, Business Development Manager
Address: 170 Graphics Drive, Madison, Alabama USA 35758
Phone: 256-730-7505
------------------------

Student Achievement Award

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

Lindsey Love-Forester
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario

Lindsey Love-Forester's interest in the global marketplace began shortly after she was accepted into the International Trade Specialization program at the University of Waterloo. One of only 14 successful applicants to the program, she quickly realized that experience would be a necessary part of her education. After attending a regional training program sponsored by the Global Visions Junior Team Canada program, she was selected as the Information and Communication Technology sector leader for a trade mission to China and the Philippines. On the mission, Ms. Love-Forester represented several businesses from the Waterloo region. She is currently completing an internship with DFAIT in Ottawa and after completing an MBA with an international focus, plans a career in International Trade and Affairs.

Award recipient and contact: Lindsey Love-Forester
Address: 29 Hickory Street West, Waterloo ON N2L 3H8
Phone: 519-884-7550
------------------------

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

Robert Galea
University of Western Ontario, Richard Ivey School of Business
London, Ontario

Robert Galea is combining education and work experience to prepare for what will surely be a very successful career in international business. He is currently studying law and business in the HBA/LLB concurrent program at Western, where he also served as editor of The Mirror, Canada's oldest undergraduate history journal. Mr. Galea has spent the past two summers working in International Banking at Scotiabank, where he assisted in the creation and marketing of several banking products and services. His projects at the bank included the launch of the Scotiabank QuickStore e-commerce initiative for the Caribbean market, and a project to price merchant credit card services for an overseas market.

Award recipient and contact: Robert Galea
Address: 4-1570 Richmond Street, London ON N6G 4W1
Phone: 519-858-0523
------------------------

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

Constanza Zalba
University of Waterloo

Constanza Zalba is a senior student in the Honours Applied Studies Co-op program at the University of Waterloo, specializing in international trade. Her keen interest in putting her education into action led her to complete two co-op placements with Export Development Canada, working as an accounts receivable insurance underwriter with the Emerging Exporters Team. Her fluency in Spanish, French and English proved very valuable, whether she was dealing with exporters in Quebec or buyers in Latin America. To further her education and international experience, she attended a Grande Ecole in France for a semester, where she studied European, African and Asian politics and economics in French. Her career goals focus on trade, and include a plan for entrepreneurial exporting.

Award recipient and contact: Constanza Zalba
Address: 2989 Balfour Court, Mississauga ON L5M 5V8
Phone: 905-542-0204
------------------------

Leadership

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

Richard Sterne
President, DATASYM INC.
Brantford, Ontario

Richard Sterne has been a strong advocate of exporting and exporters throughout his career. DATASYM, the company he founded in 1984, is a Point-of- Sale (POS) systems manufacturer that exports 95 per cent of its production. When he served as President of the Brantford Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Sterne set up an export development initiative to enhance export readiness for SMEs. An experienced manager was hired to run the program, and 15 companies implemented export development programs. He has served on Brantford's Economic Development Board for 13 years. He was awarded the City of Brantford Ambassador Award in 1995, in recognition of his efforts to promote exporting among local firms.

Award recipient and contact: Richard Sterne, President
Address: 435 Elgin Street, Brantford ON N3T 5Y6
Phone: 519-758-5800
------------------------

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
For further information: Stephanie Lu, Associate Minister's Office, (416) 325-1244; Lynn Grittani, Ontario Exports Inc., (416) 314-8704