Volk Optical Receives Presidential “E” Award for Exports

Four years of successive export growth for the company’s ophthalmic devices
Mentor, Ohio (May 18, 2011) – Volk Optical was awarded the Presidential “E” Award for Exports by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at the May 16, 2011 World Trade Week ceremonies in Washington DC. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

(From Left) Volk's vice president of operations Bernie Rykaczewski, president Peter Mastores, regional manager-global markets Arlinda Vaughn, and vice president of sales John Strobel receive the Presidential E award for export excellence.

(From Left) Volk's vice president of operations Bernie Rykaczewski, president Peter Mastores, regional manager-global markets Arlinda Vaughn, and vice president of sales John Strobel receive the Presidential E award for export excellence.

“Exports have been a major component of our company’s growth strategy and we are honored to receive the “E” Award.” said Pete Mastores, Volk’s president. “Even during the recent economic downturn, our international focus enabled us to increase sales and profits while creating jobs here in the U.S.  We appreciate the recognition of our team’s hard work and we hope the “E” Award encourages other companies to explore international growth opportunities.”

Volk manufactures ophthalmic lenses and imaging products that are used to diagnose and treat conditions of the eye. Its products are used by eye doctors in over 100 countries.

“Exports are a key driver of America’s economic recovery,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.  “President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 in support of several million American jobs, is a robust, forward-looking trade agenda with an emphasis on domestic job growth. Volk Optical is being honored today for making significant contributions toward fulfilling that agenda.”

A business client of the Department’s U.S. Commercial Service, Volk has benefited from export counseling, assistance with obtaining licenses to export to embargoed countries, and matchmaking services with potential foreign distributors.  With this assistance, exports have grown to account for over 60 percent of its business. In addition to Volk’s home office in Ohio, the company has sales representatives in China, India, Europe, and Latin America. Volk Optical has demonstrated a substantial increase in the volume of exports over a four-year period, a major criteria for the award.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service office network in 108 U.S. cities and more than 75 countries which helps U.S. companies export. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth, usually accompanied by a rising percentage of export sales within total sales. An applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in making the award.

All nominations are reviewed by the “E” Award Committee, which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, and includes representatives from ExIm Bank, and the Departments of Labor, State, and Transportation. A total of 27 U.S. companies were presented with the “E” Award at this year’s ceremony.

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.

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