Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in northern Ontario

Archived Release

Eves government salutes exporters' achievements in northern Ontario

SUDBURY, ON, April 21 /CNW/ - The Ernie Eves government today recognized leading small and medium-sized exporters in northern Ontario with Ontario Global Traders Awards for outstanding achievements in 2002, presented by Al McDonald, Parliamentary Assistant for the Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation.
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.
"We have outstanding exporters here in northern Ontario who have seized new opportunities and created thousands of jobs, contributing to the quality of life that people enjoy across the province," said McDonald, MPP for Nipissing. "These recipients represent a virtual showcase of Ontario's innovation and expertise."
Recipients at the northern Ontario regional ceremony in Sudbury were recognized with Regional Awards, Awards of Merit and Honourable Mentions. Winners of the top Regional Awards included:

Innovation Award:
- GRK Fasteners Ltd. (Thunder Bay)
Market Expansion Award - Service:
- Wardrop Engineering Inc. (Thunder Bay)
Market Expansion Award - Product:
- GRK Fasteners Ltd. (Thunder Bay)
Partnership Award:
- Fur Harvesters Auction Inc. (North Bay)
- American Legend Cooperative (Renton, Washington)
- Canadian National Trappers Alliance (Nipigon)
Leadership Award:
- David Ellis, Architect/Interior Designer, ellis pastore oswin
consultants inc. (Sault Ste. Marie)

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.
McDonald also announced today that Sault Ste. Marie will host the next Ontario Global Traders Awards northern 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

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

2002 ONTARIO GLOBAL TRADERS AWARDS
NORTHERN REGION

Innovation Award

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

GRK Fasteners Ltd.
Thunder Bay, Ontario

GRK Fasteners is definitely export-oriented, shipping more than 99 per cent of its construction fastener products to foreign markets. All of the company's products are either patented or licensed to GRK. The company's latest innovation is the MSS metal siding screw, used to fasten metal siding roofing in steel-to-steel or steel-to-wood construction. The fastener's low profile protects it from damage during snow removal, prolonging its life span and reducing maintenance costs and the possibility of roof failure. The company's sales grew by 33 per cent last year. GRK continues to add new products to its line, and is expanding its distribution network in the south- east and south-west U.S. markets.

President: Uli Walther
Contact: Thorsten Walther, Co-owner, Director
Address: 1499 Rosslyn Road, Thunder Bay ON P7E 6W1
Phone: 807-474-4300
----------------------------

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

Algoma's Water Tower Inn
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

A full-service, 180 room hotel, Algoma's Water Tower Inn has developed innovative facilities and programs to capture export markets. A new facility, Simply The Best Meeting Results, is a technologically enhanced meeting center. It is located in Pavilion Conference Center, which has high speed and wireless internet connectivity throughout. To help establish Sault Ste. Marie as a destination for the U.S. tourist market, the hotel created the Trailhead Program. It is a unique, collaborative initiative to sell three to five day vacations in the Algoma region. The Inn formed a partnership with outdoor businesses and attractions, under the banner "Trailhead for Exploring the Great Lakes Heritage Coast", and set up a Web site and marketing program. The response from U.S. vacationers was impressive, generating a 130 per cent increase during the first season of the program. This program has been recognized by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie as a model for developing outdoor adventure/eco-tourism markets for the community.

President: J.J. Hilsinger
Contact: Donna Hilsinger, General Manager
Address: 360 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie ON P6B 4Z7
Phone: 705-945-7632
----------------------------

Market Expansion Award - Service

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

Wardrop Engineering Inc.
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Wardrop has been working in international markets for over 30 years, providing clients with multi-disciplinary engineering, environmental and information technology services. The company credits its success to several factors, among them bold leadership, maintaining a customer focus, and aggressively pursuing new markets in key sectors. Wardrop uses frequent marketing trips to identify new clients and opportunities, and pursues new contracts through strategic alliances. Staff are trained on how to identify opportunities and sell the company's services. A growing U.S. market prompted the company to open an office in the American mid-west in 2000. Wardrop plans to move from a geographic focus to become a larger, sector-based company aligned with target markets.

President and Chief Executive Officer: Ernie Card
Contact: Len Hoey, General Manager, Northern Ontario
Address: 725 Hewitson Street, Thunder Bay ON P7B 6B5
Phone: 807-345-5453
-------------------------

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

B & D Manufacturing
Sudbury, Ontario

B & D Manufacturing provides a variety of products and services to the mining and other resource industries around the world. The majority of the company's exports go to the U.S., with significant sales to Japan, Indonesia, the U.K., Australia and Chile. B & D has built on their reputation for portable align boring expertise to supply a wide range of products and services to help global resource companies lower their operating costs. Customer service has always been a top priority for B & D, and it has paid off in the form of both new and repeat business. In the past year, the company has increased its efforts to expand markets by participating in trade missions to Chile and Cuba, an addition to its usual participation in U.S. and Canadian trade shows.

President: Marie-Rose Dubois
Contact: André Ruest, General Manager
Address: 6-568 Falconbridge Road, Sudbury ON P3A 4S4
Phone: 705-566-7429
----------------------------

Market Expansion Award - Product

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

GRK Fasteners Ltd.
Thunder Bay, Ontario

GRK ships most of its innovative construction fastener products to foreign markets. All of the company's products are either patented or licensed to GRK. To keep its market growing, GRK often solicits input from customers, consumers and sales staff, to explore areas of the construction industry that are under-served. The result is that GRK continually adds products to its roster, which in turn builds new market opportunities. The company is looking for new wholesalers in the U.S., and recently upgraded its Web site to include online ordering. A new EDI system will handle the paperwork for orders automatically.

President: Uli Walther
Contact: Thorsten Walther, Co-owner and Director
Address: 1499 Rosslyn Road, Thunder Bay ON P7E 6W1
Phone: 807-474-4300
----------------------------

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

Varis Mine Technology Ltd.
Sudbury, Ontario

Varis Mine Technology's communications systems provide efficient communication in the hostile environment of underground mining and tunneling. Voice, video and data networks result in better workplace safety, improved production and lower costs for the operator or contractor. Varis's export clients in the U.S., Mexico, Turkey and Australia appreciate the company's distinct product advantages, quality and warranty, along with experienced field technicians. To stay on top of developing markets, Varis monitors mineral exploration trends, with a significant investment in travel and trade shows. As a result, the company is aware of industry trends and opportunities well in advance.

President: Matt Ward
Contact: Matt Ward, President
Address: 1305 Kelly Lake Road, Sudbury ON P3E 5P5
Phone: 705-674-8111
----------------------------

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

Teleflex - Advanced Thermodynamics
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Teleflex - Advanced Thermodynamics designs and manufactures cost efficient energy solutions for use in truck and locomotive applications. The company has a long list of firsts. In 2002, the K-9 auxiliary power unit for locomotives began production and allows users to shut down the main engine while idling. The unit provides vital functions to the locomotive such as compressor power, battery charging, and AC electricity, while reducing fuel consumption by 80 per cent and emissions by 98 per cent. Sales of the K-9 have tripled the company's revenues, as rail operators adopt the technology across North America. The latest product launched is the PROHEAT ICE GEN 4 which provides the same benefits to the heavy truck market but also adds cab air conditioning and heating for the driver's comfort. Advanced Thermodynamics is now the number one auxiliary power unit manufacturer for transportation markets in the world. The company continues to invest in R&D and is investigating new markets in Europe.

President: Harold Copping
Contact: John Cocchiola, Plant Manager
Address: 103 Metig Street, Sault Ste. Marie ON P6A 5K9
Phone: 705-942-3300
----------------------------

Partnership Award

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

Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.
North Bay, Ontario

and

American Legend Cooperative
Renton, Washington

and

Canadian National Trappers Alliance
Nipigon, Ontario

Fur Harvesters Auction (FHA) is one of Canada's largest fur houses, and is itself a unique partnership between Native and non-Native trappers. Fur dealers and brokers from Europe and Asia visit North Bay regularly to buy the company's furs. To boost export sales even further, FHA has developed partnerships with American Legend, the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development of the NWT, the Department of Sustainable Development of Nunavut, and the Canadian National Trappers Alliance (CNTA), offering buyers attending fur auction sales in North Bay and Seattle a quality selection of ranched and wild furs. Along with American Legend's popular offering of Blackglama ranch mink, FHA offers a complete selection of Genuine MacKenzie Valley Fur from the NWT, and is the exclusive selling agent for Nunavut seal pelts. FHA works closely with the CNTA to promote the fur industry and provides trappers across Canada with a profit sharing arrangement.

Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.
President: Mark Downey
Contact: Don Blahut, Chief Financial Officer
Address: 1867 Bond Street, North Bay, ON P1B 8K6
Phone: 705-495-4688
----------------------------

American Legend Cooperative
President and Chief Executive Officer: Ed Brennan
Contact: Dale Theisen, International Marketing Manager
Address: 200 Southwest 34th Street, Renton WA, USA 98055
Phone: 425-251-3200
----------------------------

Canadian National Trappers Alliance
President: Murray Monk
Contact: Murray Monk, President
Address: 481 Highway 11/17, RR 1, Nipigon ON P0T 2J0
Phone: 807-886-2734
-----------------------------

Student Achievement Award

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

Sean Hinton
Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Sean Hinton serves as the international student liaison with Confederation College's international department, where he is studying international business management. He acts as a support system for foreign students, and has developed educational seminars and social activities for them. He also serves as a college contact for Canadian Education Centres, a DFAIT-sponsored program that promotes Canadian educational institutes around the world. As Ontario's student representative for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), he worked on a project to establish a nation-wide student exchange system. In partnership with the ACCC, he plans to serve as a full-time international project development and international recruitment officer for Confederation College, which plans to increase its international student population by 200 students in three years.

Nominee: Sean Hinton
Address: 416 West Redwood Avenue, Thunder Bay ON P7C 1Z8
Phone: 807-474-8229
----------------------------

Leadership Award

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

David Ellis
Architect/Interior Designer, ellis pastore oswin consultants inc.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Originally founded as David Ellis Architect in 1990, ellis pastore oswin consultants inc. (EPO) has established itself in the global market by providing consulting expertise in the laboratory and health care fields. David Ellis first ventured into the international market in 1994, after winning a World Bank sponsored design competition for a health facility in Malaysia. As the firm has shifted its focus to export markets, Mr. Ellis has been an active participant in export promotion, and travelled on numerous trade missions. He has used various venues to promote exporting within Ontario, including trade missions, Construct Canada, the Northern Ontario Business Awards, and his local chamber of commerce and economic development corporation, to discuss the merits of exporting. He is also a frequent speaker at foreign conferences.

Nominee: David Ellis, Architect/Interior Designer
Address: 726 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie ON P6A 2A9
Phone: 705-949-5291
----------------------------

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

James Marchbank
Chief Executive Officer, Science North
Sudbury, Ontario

Launched in 1984, Science North has grown to become one of the most respected science centres in the world, with a pioneering style of science communication. James Marchbank established Science North Enterprises (SNE) in 1995, to market Science North's expertise to other science centers, museums and visitor centers worldwide. This resulted in a shift to a new exporting culture at Science North, with the commercialization and sale of the institution's knowledge. Mr. Marchbank has been an active participant in various trade missions, and has helped develop associations that support the growth of export opportunities. He was instrumental in the "Discovering Chimpanzees" traveling exhibit that has been leased by 15 museums throughout North America.

Nominee: James Marchbank, Chief Executive Officer
Contact: Guy Labine, Director of Business Development
Address: 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury ON P3E 5S9
Phone: 705-522-3701 ext 219
------------------------------------

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

Tom Palangio
Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, WipWare Inc.
Bonfield, Ontario

Tom Palangio has introduced new technology to the mining industry throughout the world and has encouraged many others to follow suit. Chairman of the Blue Sky Mining Summit Group and Co-chair of Mining Week Activities, he participates in the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export (CAMESE), the national voice for Canada's mining equipment and services exporters. He also shares his expertise and resources with other Ontario exporters by helping them participate in trade shows and international conventions.

Nominee: Tom Palangio, Vice-President, Marketing and Sales
Address: 145 Palangio Road, PO Box 101, Bonfield ON P0H 1E0
Phone: 705-776-1882
----------------------------
For further information: Nancy Elliott, Office of the Parliamentary Assistant, (416) 325-6390; Lynn Grittani, Ontario Exports Inc., (416) 314-8704