Sharing Oregon beer and blueberries with the world, offering humanitarian aid and helping China increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities…..these were just some of the accomplishments of Oregon companies recognized at last evening’s Oregon Consular Corps Celebrate Trade event.
As part of World Trade Week, the annual event recognizes the significant contribution Oregon’s traded sector companies and nonprofits make to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. Awards were given in seven categories.
Governor Kate Brown and Mayor Charlie Hales were keynote speakers.
This year’s award recipients included:
• Fall Creek Farm and Nursery - Governor's Trade Leadership Award
• Craftport – Emerging Oregon Exporter
• Simple BBVA - Foreign Direct Investment
• K&L Gates - Global Leader
• DePaul Packaging - New Exporter
• Jeff Pinneo, CEO of Medical Teams International - Individual Achievement
• First Stop Portland- Ambassador Award
The “Celebrate Trade” event also raises funds for the Oregon Consular Corps Scholarship Program which provides scholarships to students at Oregon universities. These funds allow Oregon’s next generation of leaders to study abroad, gain international experience and expand their own cultural competence as they prepare to enter an increasingly global workplace.
Business Oregon, the City of Portland, Greater Portland Inc., Oregon Consular Corps, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Pacific NW International Trade Association, Portland Business Alliance, Portland Development Commission, the Port of Portland, Travel Oregon and the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted this year’s event.
Major sponsors included the Oregon Lottery, the Port of Portland, Intel and Hoffman Construction.
Fall Creek Farm and Nursery - Governor's Trade Leadership Award
A family-owned blueberry company founded in 1978 in Lowell, Oregon, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery is currently the world's largest blueberry nursery, producing and selling more than 20 million blueberry plants at its own facilities and even more worldwide through licensed nurseries in other countries.
Fall Creek established its first wholly owned international subsidiary in Mexico in 2011, and the company now has wholly-owned subsidiaries in Peru and Chile and is in the process of establishing its first subsidiary in Spain this year.
While domestic sales have been growing slowly over the last few years, the international growth strategy has paid off with total revenues increasing from $15.5 million in 2012 to $30.5 million last year. In 2014, for the first time in the history of the company, more revenues were generated by its international efforts than from its domestic sales.
Craftport – Emerging Oregon Exporter
The company exports Oregon craft beer and spirits to Latin American and Asian markets, including the largest beer distributor in Brazil. Other markets include: Malaysia, Taiwan, Holland, the UK and Spain and they are in discussions to enter markets in Japan, Korea and Australia.
Simple BBVA - Foreign Direct Investment
After making their home in Portland in 2011, Simple launched its business to customers in July of 2012 and by the next year recorded a 330 percent growth, $41.7 billion in transactions and a workforce of 92 employees. In 2014 the company was acquired by Spanish financial services company BBVA and used those resources to grow even more. Today they have more than doubled their team and are moving into office space 6 times as large as where they began.
K&L Gates - Global Leader
In 2014, K&L gates revenues from regions outside the U.S. accounted for 23 percent of global revenue, up from 10% in 2011. But the financials are only part of the picture. K&L Gates has been a local leader in helping other Oregonians access international markets by providing informational sessions and training for Oregon businesses as well as inbound investors.
Beginning in 2012, K&L Gates has held an annual global business forum in Portland, attracting an audience of international business people, bankers, logistics and other service providers focused on global business. The event’s international panel of speakers and other seminars attracted more than 75 people last year.
The company has also sponsored or hosted events such as quarterly international networking events; a business reception for the Director of the US Export and Import Bank; and hosted dinners and visits in support of trade delegations and visiting dignitaries from China, Korea, France, and Israel, among others.
DePaul Industries - New Exporter
DePaul Industries was founded in 1971 as a small job shop for people with developmental disabilities. Today, it generates $38 million in revenue and employs more than 3,200 people each year. Two years ago, DePaul Packaging began exploring entering the export business. Since July 2014, DePaul’s export shipments of dried fruits and nuts products have totaled $500,000 in revenue. Another $250,000 in revenue is in production, and purchase orders are signed for another $500,000. Its forecast calls for an additional $3 million in revenue from dried fruit and nut exports by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2015). Its completed orders have added 10-12 jobs at its facility.
DePaul sources as many of its products as it can from Oregon suppliers; its dried fruits, for instance, are supplied by Meduri Farms and Yaquina Bay Fruit Processors. The company recently exported its first full container of DePaul’s Juniper Naturals brand cranberries to a Chinese customer. It is also adding a number of additional products to its portfolio and is seeking new opportunities in Korea. DePaul is also working with Chinese government officials who would like to adapt the DePaul model to help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in China.
Jeff Pinneo, Medical Team International - Individual Achievement
Medical Teams International provides medical and dental care, humanitarian aid and holistic development programs to people in need regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Responding to disasters here at home as well as around the globe, Medical Teams International sends teams of volunteer medical professionals and medical supplies to care for the sick and injured. Recently a team from this great organization went to Nepal to assist victims of the massive earthquake there. The organization also mobilizes long term health promotion initiatives, collaborating with established partners within each community.
First Stop Portland, Nancy Hales - Ambassador Award
Portland State University’s First Stop Portland manages the multiple international requests received each year to meet with the sustainability thought leaders in our community. They develop and lead study tours about Portland’s innovations in green urbanism and since 2009 have hosted 200 delegations from countries as far flung as Australia, China, Brazil and Uzbekistan. First Stop Portland is led by an advisory council made up of leaders from across sectors that have helped transform Portland in the last forty years and their expert staff brings decades of experience working with Portland’s green “brain trust” to ensure study tours are led by experts best able to address each delegation’s unique interests in Portland.