MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Eight Alabama companies are being honored today with a Governor’s Trade Excellence Award for their successful exporting strategies.
Across the state, companies large and small are involved in shipping their products to overseas customers. This year’s roster of award winners offers a glimpse of the wide ranging Alabama-made lineup, from high-tech satellite communication systems used by military and humanitarian aid organizations to Southern lumber used in flooring, cabinets and furniture in homes around the globe.
“Exports are an accelerator for Alabama’s economy, creating new jobs and expanding trade opportunities for businesses across the state,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “The world-class businesses being recognized today are not only creating great ‘Made-in-Alabama’ products but also showing the global marketplace just how innovative and competitive Alabama companies are.”
For Cherokee’s Life Data Labs Inc., one of this year’s winners, exporting has been a regular part of its business for more than 30 years. About one-third of the company’s sales are international.
The family-owned, 15-employee operation manufactures animal nutrition and health care products, including its flagship Farrier’s Formula, a hoof supplement that’s a household name in the equine world.
“Internationally, we sell to wholesale suppliers that sell to tack and feed shops, farriers and veterinarians,” said Darryl G. Spencer, Life Data Labs’ chief financial officer. “The ultimate consumers of our products are primarily horse and dog owners.”
The United Kingdom and Germany are the company’s two largest international markets, while Mexico was the fastest-growing last year.
“We are extremely proud to receive this award,” Spencer continued. “It is difficult for a small family-owned company to navigate all of the requirements to export products around the world.”
He credits the company’s staff, as well as the effectiveness of the products developed by company founder, Dr. Frank Gravlee, for worldwide demand.
Other winners of the 2016 Governor’s Trade Excellence Awards are:
- Aker Solutions Inc. of Mobile offers energy companies a wide range of expertise, including subsea production equipment and offshore field design. The firm also does maintenance and other services to extend the lifetime of oil and gas fields.
- GATR Technologies of Huntsville manufactures highly-deployable inflatable satellite communication (SATCOM) terminals enabling high-bandwidth satellite communications in remote areas. The systems are being used by military, commercial and humanitarian aid organizations across the globe.
- Linden Lumber LLC is a hardwood sawmill located in Linden and is one of the largest single-site sawmills in the U.S. The company’s customer base stretches from California to New York and beyond, across Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa. It recently added sales and support staff and a new office in Shanghai.
- MapuSoft Technologies of Mobile provides software solutions used in embedded devices in the military/aerospace, telecom/networking, medical, automotive and consumer electronics industries. The company’s tools are used to migrate embedded software to new operating systems and develop new applications that run on multiple computing environments.
- MMI Outdoor Inc. of Montgomery designs, manufactures and distributes institutional and recreational outdoor products, including specialty tents designed for wildland fire fighters. The company is a manufacturer of choice for the U.S. military and the wildland fire fighters of the U.S. Forest Service.
- Schreiber LLC of Trussville has installations at more than 2,000 waste water treatment facilities worldwide. The company has provided design, (with more 25 patents on product lines from screw pumps to tertiary filtration), fit and finish, on-site expertise and responsive service since 1979.
- TriVector Services Inc. of Huntsville is an engineering firm working in the defense and energy arenas. The company has decades of experience in the U.S. and international space industry, including work on the Hubble Space Telescope, International Space Station, Constellation Program and the new NASA Space Launch System.
“The long-term trend for Alabama exports has moved sharply upwards, and it’s important for enterprises in our state to develop new markets for their products,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “The companies honored today have managed to do that in fields ranging from software to engineering, as well as by creating products such as specialty tents for wildland firefighters and inflatable antenna systems for communications networks.”
Alabama’s 2015 exports, valued at $19.37 billion, held steady at near-record levels despite headwinds in global markets. Top exports included transportation equipment, primary metals and machinery.