Export Achievement Awards

The Export Achievement Award recognizes U.S. businesses that have benefited from the export assistance services of the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service to make their first export sale or to open into new foreign markets.


City of San Jose


The Hon. Chuck Reed, Mayor, San Jose

The Hon. Zoe Lofgren, Member of Congress, CA-16

Joanne Vliet, Director, Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center

Kim Walesh, Director of Economic Development & Chief Strategist, City of San Jose


San Jose State University
- San Jose State University was presented with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate in November of 2011. The university has engaged with the Commercial Service for the last 15 years to expand their international student population and international partnerships around the world. The U.S. Commercial Service’s global network of trade professionals and programs has supported San Jose State University’s efforts through trade counseling, business matchmaking, and the recruitment of academic delegations and partnering activities with educational organizations in countries such as China, India, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, among a number of other markets. The assistance of the U.S. Commercial Service has helped to grow San Jose State University’s international student population to more than 2,000 international students enrolled in the university’s degree programs, as of fall 2011. Furthermore, the growth of international student enrollment has enabled San Jose State University to hire ten new employees for its international admissions department.

- SolFocus is a leading supplier of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems. Featuring a reflective optical system to concentrate sunlight at 650 times onto very small high-efficiency multi-junction PV cells, the company's high efficiency and high performance systems provide the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in high sun regions. With the lightest environmental footprint of any solar technology, SolFocus CPV meets the need not just for clean energy, but a superior cradle-to-cradle footprint. With the help of the Commercial Service, SolFocus won contracts in Australia and Mexico. The 2011 installation in Mexico will give the company twenty percent of the installed solar capacity in Mexico. The company has installations in Australia, Latin America, and Europe, and these export successes
have opened doors to other countries.

- Echelon is the world’s leading energy control networking company. Echelon technologies connect more than 35 million homes, 300,000 buildings and 100 million devices to the smart grid, and help customers save 20% or more on their energy usage. With more than 20 years of experience in energy control, Echelon delivers a wide range of innovative solutions to commercial and electric utility customers. They lead the world wide integration of smart meters into grid infrastructure, notably in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Echelon holds smart meter market shares of 95 percent in Italy, 60 percent in Denmark, and 40 percent in Sweden. The company has been awarded the largest deployment undertaken in Norway to date, which encompasses 100,000 smart meters. In 2011, Echelon also signed agreements with large utilities in China and Brazil.

DeVry University –

DeVry University, one of the largest, private sector universities in North America, with more than 90,000 students enrolled in the United States and Canada, was presented with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate for its international student recruitment efforts. In 2008, DeVry University initiated an international student recruitment program and contacted the U.S. Commercial Service in Northern California for assistance in developing an export strategy for the university’s associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at more than 90 locations across the United States and online. The assistance of the U.S. Commercial Service helped to grow DeVry University’s international student population from approximately 300 students in 2008 to more than 1,400 international students enrolled in the university’s degree programs, as of fall 2010. Furthermore, the growth of international student enrollment has enabled DeVry University to hire eight new employees for its international admissions department.


Sylvan Source
- Sylvan Source is the inventor and provider of a proven, patent-pending water purification system. Their distillation and steam separation technologies are innovative and unique to Sylvan Source. With their technology they eliminate more contaminants and more effectively than any other competitive technology. Sylvan Source began working with the US Commercial Service soon after their founding in 2003. In the five years of collaboration, Sylvan Source attended two trade missions and used the Business facilitation service multiple times. They are in on-going negotiations with major conglomerates for $100 million+ purification projects in India and the Middle East.


Bay Bio – BayBio received the Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate during their annual event "BayBio2009: Navigating the Storm" in South San Francisco. BayBio, based in South San Francisco, CA, has been an active partner of the U.S. Commercial Service since 2006. BayBio and the U.S. Commercial Service have worked together to support the international growth of the region's vibrant biotech industry. Through its International Committee, BayBio assists cross-border business development opportunities, provides member briefings on global life sciences communities and leads and participates in in-bound and out-bound international delegations. Their active support of international trade has encouraged many of their members to seek overseas markets. "California's life sciences industry has developed into one of the premier exports of American innovation," said Matt Gardner, President and CEO of BayBio. "In our efforts to serve our members effectively, we want to provide opportunities for their growth. The international community recognizes the importance of innovation and is making significant in-roads to create relationships with California-grown companies. We are honored for this recognition and hope our companies continue to improve the lives of people around the world."


Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- On Friday, April 25, 2008, the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce received the Commerce Department’s Certificate of Appreciation in Trade during the Chamber’s Building Greater Businesses 2008 Expo.   The award recognizes local organizations which have played an important role in promoting international trade in their communities.  The Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with the Silicon Valley USEAC on a number of trade initiatives. The Chamber has been an active partner of the Silicon Valley USEAC since 2005.  The Chamber was also presented with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition, on behalf of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s Office, recognizing the Chamber’s efforts in international trade promotion.  San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed joined the Commerce Department in presenting the award to Carlos Figueroa, CEO of the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


San Mateo County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Farm Bureau and Harbor District

On Monday, January 29, 2007, the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the San Mateo County Farm Bureau and the San Mateo County Harbor District were recognized with the Commerce Department’s Certificate of Appreciation in Trade for their pioneering and collaborative work to launch the new, “As Fresh As It Gets” culinary tourism initiative.  The U.S. Commercial Service has supported the San Mateo County SVB in its efforts to garner international exposure for the campaign through complimentary overseas advertising placements.  The local office of Congressman Tom Lantos, CA 12th District, also presented the organizations with a Certificate of Accommodation for their accomplishments.

- Membrane Technology and Research received the Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate on April 18, 2007, presented by Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Franklin L. Lavin.   Membrane Technology and Research, a client of the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center since 1998, develops custom-designed membrane systems, which are employed at more than 100 petrochemical and natural gas processing plants throughout the world, and are utilized in the recovery of valuable raw materials, purification and recycling of purge gases, such as nitrogen and hydrogen, and the reduction of emissions. MTR was awarded for their exports to Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. "The US Commercial Service has provided invaluable counsel to MTR on a variety of export related issues," said Marc Jacobs, Membrane Technology and Research Director of Sales and Marketing. "Indeed, with their guidance, we are able to reduce our risk on doing business overseas and improve our chances for success. We are very appreciative of their assistance"

Jazz Pharmaceutical
- On January 16, 2007, Jazz Pharmaceuticals of Palo Alto, CA, received the Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate for their recent exports to Nicaragua. In September 2006, Nicaragua faced a major medical crisis when hundreds of its citizens became ill due to the accidental ingestion of methanol. With assistance from the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center, Jazz shipped 1,200 vials of Antizol injection to the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, and as a result, many citizens were successfully treated.



- Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA - 16) presented an Export Achievement Certificate on behalf of the U.S. Commercial Service to Propel Software Corporation, San Jose, an active client of the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center, on January 24, 2006. The company develops internet user optimization products, including an application that accelerates dial-up browsing by as much as five times. Propel listed over fifteen markets where it received Commercial Service assistance and specifically praised the Commercial Service for helping it win deals with customers in Thailand and Russia. Silicon Valley USEAC trade specialists Keith Hwang and Gabriela Zelaya had nominated the company for the certificate after it had commissioned more than 25 separate Gold Keys and International Partner Searches from various Commercial Service posts around the world.

Japanese-American Chamber of Commerce - On April 15, 2006, the U.S. Commercial Service presented a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade to the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley (JACCSV), acknowledging the organization's impact on the growth of international business in Silicon Valley. The award was presented to the Chamber at their Ten Year Anniversary Celebration. In attendance of the gala event were many elected officials, including San Jose City Council Members Linda LeZotte (District 1), Forrest Williams (District 2), Cindy Chavez (District 3 and Mayoral Candidate), Chuck Reed (District 4 and Mayoral Candidate), Ken Yeager (District 6 and County Supervisor Candidate), David Cortese (District 8 and Mayoral Candidate, Judy Chirco (District 9), Nancy Pyle (District 10), and Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss (District 5) Joyce Iwasaki presented certificates to JACCSV on the behalf of California State Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (District 22). The JACCSV has been a strong supporter and partner with the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center to promote exports from Silicon Valley.

Applied MicroSctructures Inc
Applied MicroStructures, Inc. of San Jose, California received this award on August 23, 2006.
Applied MicroStructures, based in San Jose, CA, produces equipment that applies Nano-Scale coatings of just several atoms thick. Proprietary molecular vapor deposition processes are applied to Nano-Devices and Micro-Sensors such as car airbag accelerometers and cell phone microphones to dramatically improve performance and extend operating life in many critical applications. Aiming to penetrate Europe and Asia's burgeoning semiconductor, microsystems and nanotechnology markets, Applied MicroStructures leveraged the export promotion expertise of the federal government in Spring of 2004. Through the help of the Silicon Valley USEAC, Applied MicroStructures signed its first distributor agreement.  These orders contributed to the company's growth by helping support new hires at Applied MicroStructures' manufacturing facility in San Jose. "We sincerely appreciate the Commercial Service's help and guidance. It has significantly reduced the time taken for us to gain recognition and orders in off-shore markets," said Jeff Chinn, Applied MicroStructures' President and CEO.



- On August 4, 2005, Silicon Valley USEAC client, Supracor, received an Export Achievement Certificate presented by Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15) in San Jose. Aiming to sell into Japan's burgeoning home healthcare market, Supracor utilized assistance from the Silicon Valley USEAC and the U.S. Embassy in Japan to sign a distribution agreement that led to more than $80,000 in export sales. These orders contribute to the company’s growing export sales that help support 75 jobs at Supracor’s manufacturing facility in San Jose.

University of California, Santa Cruz
- On October 25, 2005, Chris Damm, the Acting Director of the Monterey Bay Export Assistance Center, co-sponsored an awards luncheon in Monterey with the Monterey Bay International Trade Association. Congressman Farr presented an Export Achievement Certificate to the University of California Santa Cruz, English Language Extension Program. UC Santa Cruz participated in two Gold Key programs, one in Japan, and one in Taiwan. As a result of these two programs they signed on two recruiting partners in Taiwan, one recruiting partner in Japan, and signed a university in Japan (to an exchange student contract.) The school has seen an increase in the number of students attending their programs from both countries, attributing much of this increase to the Gold Key Service program. UCSC Extension Director Steve Faustanau received the award from Congressman Farr.



AmEnglish – AmEnglish is small, family-run company that develops English pronunciation, business idioms, and online distance learning software products. David Hans, the founder, originally met Silicon Valley Export Assistance Center Trade Specialist Marie Felton at a workshop where she was the organizer/presenter of a program entitled "Doing Business with the Japanese" co-sponsored by the US Export Assistance Center and the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce. Between 1999 and 2003, Mari assisted David by forwarding trade leads and referrals, providing relevant market research, facilitating AmEnglish's participation in a City of San Jose sponsored trade mission to Taiwan, and coordinating Gold Key Services in Japan. Mari also introduced David to both Monterey Institute of International Studies faculty and Commercial Specialists from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and India. As a direct result of Mari’s assistance, the company has claimed export successes in India, Japan, Korea and most recently, Saudi Arabia.

Raytek – Raytek Systems employs 250 people worldwide, and is based in Santa Cruz, California. Raytek is a leading manufacturer of hand held and fixed temperature measuring equipment. Their equipment is used on factory assembly lines, in a variety of industrial sectors and can also be used to conduct localized temperature monitoring through their hand held systems. Raytek has been a client of the Monterey US Export Assistance Center since 2001. Upon using the US Commercial Service’s Gold Key Service in the Philippines and Thaliand, Raytek found new distributors and increased international sales. Raytek sold approximately U.S. $44,000 of their temperature measuring equipment to the Philippines through a distributor (Sensing Technologies) found during the Gold Key Service.



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Founded in 1989, Abaxis develops, manufactures and markets portable blood chemistry analyzers for use in any patient-care setting to provide clinicians with rapid blood constituent measurements. The system can be operated with minimal training and perform multiple tests on whole blood using either venous or finger stick samples. The system provides test results in less than 14 minutes with the precision and accuracy equivalent to a clinical laboratory. Abaxis has been a client of the San Jose Export Assistance Center (EAC) since 1998 and has worked with several Trade Specialists over the years. The Santa Clara and San Jose EACs have provided Abaxis with country commercial guides, international market insights, and industry sector analysis reports. In addition, Abaxis participated in various trade shows, local seminars, and other trade programs including hosting overseas delegations. The San Jose EAC has worked closely with the company in identifying buyers and distributors. As a result of our assistance, Abaxis has completed 13 export sales transactions to 13 different countries with a total value of $4,081,000. Abaxis’ VP of Business Development, Vladimir Ostoich, stated that the San Jose EAC “[has] proven instrumental in our ongoing success overseas, providing assistance in matters ranging from securing payment for international accounts receivables to helping us locate distribution partners in Japan, the Middle East and Europe.”

Teddy Bear English
- Teddy Bear English has been a client of the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center since 1997. The Cupertion-based company sells English language software, designed to teach elementary school children the English Language. Their software program is very versatile and they have a "home market" version for the consumer market and an enhanced "private school version" for schools and special language schools. They have been a pro-active participant on USDOC programs such as the Children’s Book Faire in Italy, the Cairo Educational Faire in Egypt, as well as the Milia show in Cannes, France. Teddy Bear English has also worked with the Export Assistance Center to resolve payment issues in Jordan, and has been involved with a number of our programs in Japan, Germany and China. Many of these programs and trade shows, have allowed Teddy Bear English to meet new international business partners and to make sales overseas.

Tiffany Marble Molds - Tiffany Marble Molds offers a number of different marble molds packages, including molds to manufacture Tiffany Marble bathtubs, kitchen and bathroom sinks, kitchen counters and tables, bathroom tiles, marble floors etc. Tiffany Marble has been a very active client of the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center. In 2002, they participated in at least 8 Virtual Matchmakers / Video Gold Key programs to Egypt, India, South Africa, Columbia, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Last year alone, Tiffany Marble went on four U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) led trade missions to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and China. Most recently they signed up for a number of USDOC catalog trade shows across Russia. The company, owned by P.W. Thompson, has had a great deal of success worldwide and stated that the majority
of their new customers were found through U.S. Department of Commerce events and programs.

UXL - The final company to receive an award is UXL (Universal Exports Limited). UXL is a consultant company that assists a wide variety of small U.S. environmental firms to enter foreign markets. During the past few months the company has participated in four Gold Key programs to Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Thailand. As a result of UXL's Gold Key in Taiwan, they have signed three separate distribution agreements with 3 different Taiwanese Companies, with further sales agreements pending. The three agreements so far have been with the, "Yen Ren" firm, the "Panda Brothers Company" and the "Jia Jou Group". Initial export shipments/sales to these firms have been made, with sales currently totaling over U.S. $9,000.00. The firm also reported export sales in Hong Kong as a result of the Gold Key. Leigh Lindenbaum, the CEO and President of UXL mentioned that, "so far the Gold Key’s have been wonderful and they have paid for themselves!"

LaserCard -
LaserCard Systems Corporation markets optical memory cards and optical/smart cards, card drive units, card management systems, and application software. These cards, which can store any biometric information currently used commercially, such as fingerprint, hand geometry, voice recognition, signature dynamics, and others, are used in a variety of commercial and government applications such as ID cards, electronic visas, homeland security, and immigration cards. Working with the local Commercial Service staff at the Silicon Valley U.S. Export Assistance Center in San Jose, the company participated in a Commercial Service trade fair in Spain, where they were put in touch with several potential distributors in Madrid. As a result of this export counseling and support, LaserCard Systems Corporation signed a distribution agreement with a Spanish firm, SentryNet Ingenieros in May 2003. “Partnering with the Commercial Service gave us access to a global network of export and marketing assistance in a timely and cost-effective manner, helping us make our first sale to Spain," says LaserCard Systems Vice President of Business Development, Stephen Price-Francis. "We think this contract will be a springboard for future opportunities in the European Community.”

Surgical Optics - Surgical Optics is a small firm located in Santa Clara, California that sells new and refurbished endoscopic instruments. The Silicon Valley Export Assistance Center has been working closely with Surgical Optics since August 2000 and recently assisted the firm with opening operations in Korea. The Commercial Service office in Seoul provided background information on potential partners, lists of accounting and law firms for small businesses, and market research reports. As a result of nearly 8 months of consistent counseling and correspondence with the client, a joint venture partner was identified in Korea. It is estimated that the Seoul office will generate an additional $800,000 to one million dollars in revenues for Surgical Optics. The Silicon Valley Export Assistance Center also referred Surgical Optics to ExIm Bank's Export Credit Insurance program, to which the firm applied shortly after meeting with ExIm Bank. ExIm Bank's Export Credit Insurance program eliminates the risk of non-payment by foreign buyers and allowed Surgical Optics to pursue their worldwide sales with confidence. The firm has utilized ExIm Bank's Export Credit Insurance Policy for export sales to Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Korea and Tahiti.



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Cenatek Inc
– based in Morgan Hill, CA, is the designer and manufacturer of the “Rocket Drive” solid-state computer hard-drive. The Rocket Drive functions as a hard-drive storing data using memory chips rather than magnetic media and has no moving parts. The Cenatek product is designed as a system component, and is engineered to have the most minimal footprint. As a start-up company, Cenatek is a new client of the Commerical Service. The company was referred to the San Jose USEAC by a local venture capital company through outreach by Commercial Officer Joe White. Cenatek has just begun manufacturing solid-state Rocket Drive units for the domestic market and – with the help of Commercial Officer Joe White at the Silicon Valley USEAC – was beginning to explore the prospect for international sales. White

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– located in San Jose, California, is a biometrics company that manufactures fingerprint access control products. Secugen Corporation initially contacted Trade Specialist Chris Damm in August of 1999 requesting an ICP request for Israel. After learning that Secugen was also interested in the Japanese market, Chris referred them to Trade Specialist Mari Felton who was organizing Commercial Service involvement at World PC Expo in Tokyo. Mari provided Secugen with research on the biometric and IT markets in Japan and introduced them to Mami Schmidt with the State of California's Office in Tokyo. Mami developed a customized packet on resources and potential contacts in Japan, which she sent to Secugen in advance of the show. The Japanese American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley also sent information to the company on prevailing Japanese business practices and provided other cross-cultural advice. While at World PC Expo, Commercial Specialists Takuya Ogawa and Yasue Morimoto arranged Secugen's Gold Key appointments and, as a result of their participation the USA Pavilion and their Gold Key meetings, Marvin Neu reported that they were able to sell several of their evaluation kits, totaling $1000. On December 14th, 1999, Secugen announced "Secure Generation Japan", a joint-venture partnership with a Japanese company the company had met at the show through arrangements made by the Department of Commerce. As of July 7th, 2000, Marvin reported that Secugen had made $25,000 in sales to Japan, a successful and new market for the company. In October of 2000, Secugen, with their Japanese partner, participated in World PC Expo in their own booth which dwarfed the USA Pavilion and generated over 10,000 trade leads.

BioMed Diagnostics – Since 1989, BioMed Diagnostics has manufactured and marketed “gold standard” in vitro diagnostic products for the detection of infectious diseases and fungi in the human clinical, veterinary, and industrial markets. Their products provide the flexibility to inoculate, incubate or transport and subsequently read results without further exposure to the biological specimen. The InPouch, InTray, and PetriSeal are cost effective alternatives to and offer several clinical advantages over conventional culture methods or wet-mount procedures. Trade Specialist, Larry Tabash, met the BioMed executives in 2000 at a trade show. Following their chance meeting, the Silicon Valley Export Assistance Center worked closely with the company. As a result of consistent counseling sessions, BioMed Diagnostics signed a distributor in Milan, Italy with an initial export sale of $7,380.

MediaSolv –
headquartered in San Jose, California, is an internet software company that provides a one-browser based modular choice of products, which was previously available from an array of providers. Users are usually individual subscribers and organizations in vertical markets such as health care, capital management, transportation, travel, and utilities. The company’s software features groupware, messaging, and other information access applications. Mediasolv has been a client of the Silicon Valley EAC since early 2001. They participated in CommunicAsia 2001 in Singapore, where the ASEAN US Foreign and Commercial Service offices launched Showtime Asia. Through their participation in Commercial Service programs while at the show and support from CS Korea, Mediasolv signed agreements with expected sales generation of $1,000,000. Mediasolv continues to work with the Export Assistance Center to grow their overseas sales.

Export Achievement Awards

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