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The International Trade Center in the Foster College of Business at Bradley University received the prestigious 2009 Presidential "E" Award for U.S. Exporters on November 5, in Washington, D.C. Only 21 awards are being given nationally and the Bradley ITC is the only trade center in the country to be recognized.
The President's "E" Award was created by Executive Order by President John F. Kennedy on December 5, 1961, to recognize persons, firms, or organizations which contribute significantly in the effort to increase United States exports. It is the highest U.S. Government recognition any U.S. entity may receive for supporting export activity.
The International Trade Center (ITC) in the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship has helped hundreds of small and mid-sized Illinois companies take advantage of the potential of the international marketplace. In the last four years, export sales have gone from $35.8 million to $129.8 million for companies the ITC has assisted, and 526 jobs have been created and 1353 saved by ITC clients.
"Of particular note is the Center's strategy of leveraging resources with Bradley to provide an ambitious international trade education and promotion program for Illinois businesses," said Gary Locke, U.S. Secretary of Commerce. "The ITC undoubtedly has contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs."
The International Trade Center was nominated for the President's E" Award by Shari Stout, International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, in Peoria.
"This is truly an incredible distinction for Bradley and our Trade Center and recognizes the University's consistently outstanding efforts to assist Illinois companies," said Bradley President Joanne Glasser. "It is such an honor for our University-based trade center to receive this prestigious national award. I want to particularly single out Dean Rob Baer, Jim Foley, and the late Roger Luman, for their tireless efforts to make the Trade Center one of the best of its kind in the nation."
Through the first half of 2008, Peoria was ranked the 19th largest export market in the country. Exporting is vital to the Peoria region and the International Trade Centers have played an integral role in assisting Central Illinois companies with global expansion.
The President's "E Star" Award, which was authorized by the Secretary of Commerce on August 4, 1969, affords continuing recognition of noteworthy export promotion efforts. During World War II, more than 4,000 "E Pennants" were presented to war plants in recognition of production excellence. The famous flag with the big "E" emblazoned on it became a badge of patriotism in action. President Kennedy revived the World War II "E" symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Thus, the "E" Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961. The "E Star" was authorized in 1969 to recognize "E" Award winners for continued efforts in export expansion.
Winners of the "E" and "E Star" Award are authorized to fly the blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation which is signed by the Secretary of Commerce in the name and by the authority of the President, to wear and issue to employees an "E" lapel pin, and to refer to the award in their advertising.