University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- On May 3, 2016, Mary Ma, the Director of Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Governors State University (ITC at GSU), was honored to attend Governor Bruce Rauner‘s meet and greet hosted at the State Capitol in Springfield with her client Sophia Leaguedi, founder and President of Ameroc Export Inc. Sophia was named the SBA Exporter of Year for 2016. Governor Rauner hosted this special event to congratulate the SBA award recipient for her export business growth and achievements. Mark Petrilli, Illinois State SBDC Director, also attended the event to acknowledge Sophia’s accolades and show his support for the impact she is making through the SBDC network. She was also recognized at a visit to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Office (DCEO) earlier in the day.
Ameroc Export, based in Glenview, Illinois, is a fast growing international trade business selling folk lift tires and equipment to Morocco, Israel, and other overseas markets. Sophia Leaguedi was thrilled to have this opportunity of meeting with Governor Rauner. She recently returned from a trade mission to Costa Rica two days ago, which was also supported by the Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. She wrote an article sharing her experience working with the ITC at GSU, “My strong belief is that this prestigious award would not have been possible without the help and assistance from the SBDC International Trade Center at Governors State University.” Go here for more information.
According to Governor Rauner, Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest in the U.S. It is important to recognize the contribution Illinois exporters are making to the economic health of the state. Small and medium-sized companies play a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic growth in Illinois.
The Governor also praised the remarkable work the ITC at GSU has done to support local small businesses who are exploring the global market. Mary Ma expressed her gratitude for the recognition, “It is a great honor and privilege for our ITC to attend the Governor’s meet and greet. Since the ITC’s inception in 2011, the center has supported more than 300 new-to-exports and experienced export businesses to grow global sales by $3.7 billion. The businesses have created and retained an estimated 1,000 jobs involved in exports.”
Under Mary Ma’s leadership, the ITC at GSU has also received the 2015 President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Export. In 2012, another ITC client, PARC Corp. was also honored with the SBA Exporter of the Year Award.
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