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ExporTech™ Graduates Talk About the Program

Back to ExporTech™ Success Stories 

 NeKay Usher, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager of Steuben Foods (NY) 
 “We had zero in international sales at the time we participated in ExporTech™. Now we have exported to 11 different territories and it really all started with ExporTech™. ExporTech™ is a great value for US exporters. The program was like “training wheels" and gave our team the knowledge and confidence we needed to take our first dive into the international market. 
“It did a great job of showing us how complex conducting business outside the US would be. It also drove home the point that international business would require multiple internal departments working together to make it happen. ExporTech™ was the first time we formed a strategic plan for international business, and the first time we realized there were entities to help us, such as Food Export NE. I truly can’t say enough great things about the program.” 
 John Swindeman, CEO of Nanomechanics Inc (TN) 
 “Any time you can get access to the kind of expertise we encountered in the program, it is definitely worthwhile. People brought in were extremely impressive. The fact that it was a structured program was also very helpful. And we ended the program with a plan, and presenting the plan to get feedback was very helpful. I like the fact that there was a deliverable to the program. Worth the investment of time and financial resources. We have more than doubled our export sales since we participated in ExporTech™.” 
 Harold Vanasse, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Philadelphia Scientific (PA) 
 “The whole program exceeded my expectations. A different approach is required for international, and the program re-set our expectations about what was required in terms of building relationships, timeline, language translation, documentation and recognizing cultural differences. If you are considering doing business outside the US, you need to participate in this program. I would strongly recommend ExporTech™. We have seen good, steady growth in international sales to Central and South America since we participated.” 
Dante Pietrinferni, President of Packing Progressions, Inc (PA) 
“ExporTech™ is a must do. It made us organize our thoughts into a logical roadmap, to take us from where we are to where we want to go. And we shifted from passively responding to opportunities to actively exporting. 
“The access to the experts was an extremely valuable part of the program – people that could talk to us about logistics and customs and all the other topics that you have no idea about. Didn’t expect that. And having the panelists to provide feedback and guidance on our plan – also very valuable.” 
Heather Chandler, President of Sealstrip (PA) 
“ExporTech™ made our international business more purposeful by developing a plan. And we executed some new approaches we would not have done otherwise – like looking for distributors in target countries where we already had a global customer that could be a “showcase” for us in that market. 
“We increased our international sales by 20% since 2013, and ExporTech™ contributed to that. It also provided us an opportunity to step back and look at the big picture – What international strategy do we want? Working through the workbook was very valuable. 
“In addition, the program has “breadth and depth”, covering topics such as incoterms and compliance combined with the strategy piece. Don’t usually get that in one program. And much more valuable because we had multiple people involved with different roles. At first we thought it was crazy to bring all those people out of the office, but it would have been less valuable without having both leadership and the staff that would be implementing the plan.” 
Bill Dascal Sr., Vice President of Enerac (NY) 
“Pretty much insane if you don’t do this program. I have been in sales for 30 years, and I have never had anything help me better understand the international market. I would recommend the program highly…wish someone had told me sooner. I don’t think small companies know what is available to them: the Gold Key service, state programs. It was too overwhelming. ExporTech™ clarified everything for me. I would talk to anybody about the program. It changed us; helped us move forward. We probably doubled our international sales.” 
Robbin Turner, CEO of Sable Systems International (NV) 
“ExporTech™ provides the ability and confidence to navigate international markets. The program is a central place where you can meet all the export experts that you may need someday. Once exposed to a resource, then you have them as an asset. Great and efficient opportunity to collect resources – particularly for C-level people, we don’t have a lot of time. It’s a one-stop shop. 
“ExporTech™ is also an excellent format for professional development. We put our new marketing and sales team through the program to develop a marketing plan for India. You come out with a product at the end – a big carrot for doing ExporTech™.” 
Larry Walker, COO of Descal-A-Matic Corporation (VA) 
“ExporTech™ really made us focus on what we need to do…versus just talking about it. Got us thinking about how we work to develop reps in new countries. The program – in a very positive way – helped us narrow our focus as we worked to reinvigorate our international sales. 
“The program was well organized, professional and informative. We were not aware of all the support programs for small businesses pursuing international. We were not aware of the support provided by ExIm Bank, such as insurance programs. Plethora of information provided was spot on...really good. 
“I would recommend ExporTech™ for any small companies that have solid technology and product lines with overseas potential.” 
Tom Sanders, Managing Director of Coherent Technical Services Inc (MD) 
“If you want to open up business in international markets, ExporTech™ provides the knowledge and valuable connections. It gave us confidence about what we needed to do, and awareness of things we were not doing right, and ensured that everything was smooth and legal, and that we could pursue international without fear of the unknown. Compliance was our biggest concern, but also other issues, such as dealing with foreign currency, or determining whether we needed a re-seller. 
“The program covered all of the topics that mattered to us, to some degree, and gave us the resources to get the rest of the answers that were not covered in the limited time available. We also made valuable contacts from fellow classmates. One of the companies in the program pointed out an opportunity for us that would not have happened if not in the program together.” 
Ann Thain of AW Brueggemann Company (OK) 
“We enjoyed everyone we met at ExporTech™. Experts confronted us by asking “what makes you different than anyone else?” Why would someone choose us? “ It has taken us several months to be clear about that. We got in touch with a marketing agency to help us articulate that. That was a key takeaway for us. 
“We also developed contacts. We had support from two of the speakers we met in preparation for international trips. The program provides information and exposure – broadens your scope and view of world. We developed relationships we will call on again.” 
Chris Machut, CTO of Netarus (VA) 
“With international, we had no clue. If a potential customer from Peru was interested, we didn’t know anything about…compliance, for example. ExporTech™ educated us on the resources that are available – that’s the biggest thing. One of our favorites is the ExIm Bank – it doesn’t intimidate us anymore. It used to be scary, but not anymore. ExporTech™ filled in gaps in our knowledge. We wanted to be educated on international so if we need to pull the trigger, we can.”  
Amanda Pratt, President & Founder of Sports Attack (NV) 
“The key for me was to find the right distributors and decide which countries offer the best opportunity. We spent lots of resources on some countries that weren’t right for us. ExporTech™ gave me a structure for making those decisions and I learned that our target markets are totally different than what I originally thought. I learned a lot about the resources that are out there to support me and about the right way to do it. I had a new shipping manager and I brought him with me. He learned a ton and his confidence increased 10x.” 
George Chambers, President of Solar Unlimited North America (DE) 

“The most valuable part of ExporTech™ was ExIm bank: that was huge. The whole thing was worth it for ExIm bank. It helps to sell a project if I can offer the customer terms and ExIm’s credit insurance program lets me do that or if a loan is necessary, they have a loan guarantee program with very attractive terms. It’s a heck of a tool. I also liked the discipline of putting together my export plan. And it always helps to have a mentor: I hate reinventing the wheel and it’s great to get tucked under their wing. You learn a lot from people who’ve been there.” 

Katarina Ottinger, Export Sales Executive and Andy Wood, International Sales Director of Litecure (DE)
“We were looking to capitalize on the opportunities presented by specific countries. We had muddled through, and established some business; we needed formalized training. ExporTech™ helped us become much more efficient. The speakers taught us better ways to approach many aspects of the export process. The lawyer was most helpful, making difficult concepts easy to grasp. He impressed on the attendees the importance of creating solid contracts; his talk was full of excellent advice. 
“If you are an experienced exporter, you know the world is a dynamic place, you need to stay abreast of market developments and opportunities. ExporTech™ opened our eyes to resources and contacts we can use to maintain and accelerate the growth of our overseas business.” 
Neeraj Batta, Senior Vice President of Batta Environmental Associates (DE) 
“The most valuable aspect was the end product. We put together a plan of our own. I expected that we would sit for 3 days of presentations, but it was more practical, more hands-on. They brought a lot of speakers – people with different business backgrounds. Great from a knowledge stand point and a connection standpoint. Gave us more tools, contacts, resources. And ExporTech™ helped identify gaps we currently have – given that we don’t have a full- fledged business development team. It brought to light the things we need. We’ve made good progress. I just got back from Dubai – looks like we might launch the product there. We see lots of areas of opportunity.” 
Surinder Sharma, President and Harjeet Singh, CEO of Smart Kidz Club (DE) 
“Domestic is very limited for us; we needed international. ExporTech™ was a pretty comprehensive program. The biggest benefit was learning how to select a partner in a local market. Before ExporTech™ we would have just picked the first person who came our way. ExporTech™ taught us which questions to ask – like “what is your experience?” and “how will you attack the market?” I just came back from India – we were able to get successful licenses through a re-seller. We’ve established a re-seller in Mexico and Chile. We’re working on a contract with someone in Africa and we’re looking into China now.” 
Mike Moore, CEO of Rust Bullet (NV) 

“Exporting is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re going to do it, you’ll be more successful if you have the right resources, the right plan, the right approach. You need to make the time to participate in ExporTech™. ExporTech™ will help you to create a plan, choose a market and decide on an approach, etc. This is great discipline. Export mechanics are crazy intimidating, but ExporTech™ was very good at helping each company work through the many issues. It’s really amazing how many resources are available to Nevada companies. ExporTech™ helps each company become aware of them and how to work with them. In the 6 months since ExporTech™, we have 2 new distributors that represent 11 countries.” 

Steve Cooper, Vice President Sales & Marketing of Balco (KS) 
“I like the structure of the ExporTech™ program: laid out over 10 weeks. Gives you time to digest the training, and the homework is really good stuff. You start out with more general information and get to more and more specifics. And resources: who do we need to be friends with to get this done.” 

Gene Thomas, International Sales Manager of High Country Fusion (ID) 

“Export Excellence helped outline the process we needed to follow and complete for our Export program, by asking the right questions. The key value was being able to bounce ideas off other people, ask questions, make sure the concept was sound, and we were making good decisions. For a company that wants to expand, Export Excellence is a great starting point. Knowledge from the Export Council is very valuable. You learn from someone who’s been through the program before and has experienced successful results. After Export Excellence, we established a partnership in Australia resulting in $10 million of new sales with $3 million of that attributed to Export Excellence.” 
Matt Perkins, President & CEO of Coyote Design (ID) 
“I was very pleased with what we got out of Export Excellence. Most valuable was the opportunity to be forced to take a good hard look at how we do stuff: planning, communication, etc. 3 days is not a big deal. For small businesses, you have to create a deadline to get something done; give key personnel an excuse to sit down and evaluate processes and your market. It was extremely valuable to us. Afterward, we got a distributor on board in the region we chose – and they became our top distributor.” 
Brian Ware, Controller of 1,4Group Inc (ID) 
“I wanted to know what our options were, make contacts and learn some new stuff – better ways to do it. And Export Excellence did that. They said, ‘here are all the pieces you need to know about.’ Export Excellence got us to think about all the different scenarios. The most valuable part is the contact list. It is so beneficial – the networking side. It opened doors with knowledge rather than just showing us how to do it. Before Export Excellence, we didn’t have resources to ask. Export Excellence showed us that we’re not alone; there are other companies dealing with similar issues. We can talk about problems together. Now we have 2 offices in Mexico and 1 in Scotland. I think small companies would benefit – the ones struggling with exporting because they don’t have the manpower. They’ll learn that they don’t have to do everything in-house, they can outsource some of it.” 
Phil Jones, Vice President & General Manager of Rada Mfg. Co. (IA) 
“If you don’t want to be an accidental exporter – learn now so you won’t have problems later. ExporTech™ helps people focus and plan. We learned what road NOT to go down; we’re smarter by knowing what NOT to do. The most valuable thing was presenting our plan in front of alumni and a panel of experts who were exporters and hearing what they bumped their heads on. We used ExporTech™ to drive discussions about what we should do, what the rules should be going forward. Even for the domestic side, it was helpful to talk through ExporTech™.” 
Leo Schafer, President, Chairman & CEO of PR Diamond Products (NV) 
“I learned a lot. You think you know how to do things, but ExporTech™. forced us to sit in a room and think about these things. Forced us to do homework. We had to make time. We had to make it a priority. That was good. They forced us to write down our elevator pitch. Now everyone uses it; it’s consistent and concise. ExporTech™. introduced us to a lot of people who can help us and are excited to help us. If it weren’t for ExporTech™., I would never have known about the things I didn’t know existed. It opened up my eyes to a different world. In the last 4 months since ExporTech™, we made more money (in international) than we did in the previous 12 months. Not a lot of money, but it’s promising.”  
Todd Allison, Owner of Progressive Products (KS) 
“ExporTech™ helped me look at the questions I need to be looking at. And it helped identify challenges before I ran into them. It was best for strategies for getting stuff there that I didn’t consider before, and for how to handle money. It was a good roadmap for that stuff. Incoterms was the most valuable. It’s a sticky topic; you have to really understand it. The more exposure you get, the better you understand it. And the finance piece: you want to make it as easy for a customer to buy as possible. I would definitely recommend ExporTech™. Exporting scares manufactures. The more you know, you reduce that fear. It was valuable.” 
Geary Morris, Owner & President of American Infrared Consultants (AZ) 
“I had some good interaction with some people and we’re still in touch. ExIm Bank was a big plus. We weren’t involved with them and we are now; that was really helpful. We were already exporting, so ExporTech™ was more reinforcement of what we were doing – and that’s a good thing: reinforcing that I’m doing something right.” 
David Hannah, President of Nu-Vois (ID) 
“After Export Excellence – all the resources and connections I had made – I still use today. Right after Export Excellence, tons of questions came up, but I knew who to ask, and they helped. The most valuable thing was having a mentor: we had meetings outside of classes and we still talk to this day. Export Excellence gave me a template for researching and going after markets, how to look up the markets. Now I can do a lot of research before I even get [to the country]. International has really grown since then. We were very successful and we are very happy with the program.”  
Lisa Gifford, Business Development of Trio Forest Products (AZ) 
“ExporTech™ was a good program - we would recommend it. The overall structure of the class provided the framework for Trio to leave with a solid, executable Exporting Strategic Plan in hand. The resources available to assist us along the way were phenomenal. We have been exporting for over 20 years. We attended ExporTech™ because we wanted to learn more and discover what gaps may exist in our current exporting process. Our mission was accomplished with changes made to our process and new exporting relationships established. We would commit the time to take this course again and recommend you consider the same.” 
Don Zipperian, Founder & CTO of Pace Technologies (AZ) 

“ExporTech™ summarized our challenges, things to be careful of and be aware of, particularly compliance and issues like that. It filled in some gaps; before, we learned on our own and muddled through. After ExporTech™, international was more of a focus, as opposed to it being ancillary. There were direct and indirect causes but you could say maybe 25% of our increase in international is because ExporTech™ opened our eyes and we refocused our energies… 

“As I sat through the presentations, I’d jot down notes, thinking someone should look into this. Lots of good ideas. More knowledge can only be beneficial. ExporTech™ material could be a full semester of a university class. It touched on a lot of topics to a certain extent, and then you have the resources to learn more about them afterward. 

“ExporTech™ resources have been very helpful. They keep me in the loop of what’s going on. It’s nice to have people out there to help.” 

Jeremy Puck, GM of Puck Custom Enterprises (IA) 

“Our main reason to do ExporTech™ was looking for more payment options. We were getting paid 100% in advance and we lost a few large orders because of that. ExIm is the biggest value – it’s the only other way we could do it. The other biggest value was learning about Letters of Credit and how it worked. There was also value in learning about market identification and how to get started, and it also validated the importance of personal business relationships. Lots of information for the short time we were there. 

“We were happy to find out that we’re doing a lot of things right. And learn about a few new options. The other part was networking. You go there and hear everybody’s story and make direct connections with organizations like Iowa Area Development, FedEx, shipping and brokerage firms, and the embassies around the world. It was worth the time and the expense. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. That’s why you have to do it. We had 30 employees at the time, and no one had any expertise in this. Even if you’re already exporting, it’s validation of what you’re doing. And you’ll learn something. You’ll learn about a lot of support from a lot of organizations looking to help you.” 

Chuck Mills, Owner of Mills Machine (OK) 
“ExporTech™ is one of the best kept secrets. Participate in ExporTech™ and save time and money to identify export growth opportunities. And if you’re already exporting, identify which markets are declining. Exporting can be so much easier for you than having to guess at what you’re doing. Bottom line: just when you think you’re on the top of your game, there’s always more to learn. ExporTech™ is one of those opportunities to refine and update your mode of operation, like using new technology and data mining. It is daunting to go online without the help of ExporTech™ – learn how to do it efficiently. Our global competitors are working harder, we need to work harder to keep up. It would be good for New-to-Exporters and for companies expanding their exporting. It’s a program to help you formalize a plan. ExporTech™ would be well worth your time.” 
Rick Gilbert, Strategic Development & Projects Manager of PACCAR Winch (OK) 
“ExporTech™ was great. We wanted ExporTech™ to make sure we could trust our official assumptions about China. We didn’t learn anything that we didn’t already know, but the most valuable thing was that it verified our assumptions. We vetted the plan through ExporTech™, which carried a lot of weight, to tell you the truth. It was definitely worth it. It provided direction and tools on how to get from here to there. I would definitely recommend it.” 
MJ Jerome, GM of Stroud Safety (OK) 
“I really did enjoy presenting my plan. I liked taking the steps to create the presentation: we are this, we supply this, these are our competitors, and here’s why we’re better than our competitors. Thinking about each part: obstacles, planning, risk. I really liked it. The elevator pitch: oh my god, that was fun. To learn from everyone else’s tries, that was fun. Hearing someone else’s pitch, making notes. I made friends and we still keep in touch. There were a number of things that ExporTech™ talked about like manufacturing capacity and growth. It makes you look at your operation, like an angel looking down (at your facility) with open eyes and be honest with yourself: do we have the capacity? Do we have the people? It was worth the time and expense. I enjoyed it. I enjoy learning.” 
Tina Kosumi, Client Relations Executive of Wisdom Natural Brands (AZ) 
“Our company had been exporting for a long time before I came into the international sales role. Because our company’s leaders are huge proponents of leadership development, ExporTech was an organic choice for us so that I could become more of an expert in international trade. Because of participating and completing ExporTech, our company approaches exports in a more strategic way. We conduct a lot more research prior to approaching a new market. We are also more calculated and intelligent about how we go into those markets. ExporTech ingrained in us the importance of legally protecting our company as we go to new markets. Our distributor contract now includes some of the key lessons we learned at ExporTech. Since completing ExporTech, our sales have improved and we have implemented aspects of ExporTech even within our operations domestically. It’s made a world of difference. ExporTech gives you the foundation and 
Minty Conant, CFO of Caledonia Spirits (VT) 
“We never knew there were so many resources available…ExporTech opened our eyes to a more measured approach to exporting our products. It provided us with a wealth of resources that have helped us focus our plans for exporting and to evaluate not only export markets, but domestic. The speakers were excellent, the coursework very informative, and the counseling invaluable. We would recommend ExporTech to anyone who wants to develop a process for exporting in their business.” 
Larry Jacobs, Director of Marketing & Sales of Hayward Tyler (VT) 
“Even if you are already exporting, there is much to be learned by bringing together such a diverse body of knowledge… ExporTech was helpful in getting us focused on one market as opposed to trying to attack too many at one time. It was also helpful in understanding how to structure foreign partner agreements. The connections we made at ExporTech were also invaluable." 

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Created February 28, 2017, Updated November 15, 2019