White House Business Council – Trade Fly-In Briefing
NOW International was invited to the White House Business Council – Trade Fly-In Briefing. Briefings such as this are held periodically and receiving an invitation is rare. In this case the Administration is focusing on companies that are actively engaged in international trade. As a winner of the E-Star Award for continued excellence in exports, and through continued engagement with the International Trade Administration, the Department of Commerce and the District Export Council, NOW is fortunate to be on their list.
The briefing was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday, January 13 from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM with companies from around the nation present. The briefing was about international trade and the Obama administrations’ position on several key trade issues, among them: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im).
Several senior members of the White House staff from the National Economic Council as well as the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office briefed the invited guests on trade issues. They discussed the status of several current trade negotiations and the benefits of improved trade agreements.
Fred Hochberg, Chairman of Ex-Im Bank, was joined by Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the SBA, and both spoke about their programs and how they support small businesses with loans and other financing. Chairman Hochberg also discussed Ex-Im Reauthorization and his outlook on whether this will pass. While he was upbeat, he did say there was a vocal opposition.
The last panel spoke about the resources available to help businesses grow their exports. This panel was made up of Arun Venkataraman, Policy Director, ITA; Doug McKalip, Sr. Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs from the White House; and Antwaun Griffin, Deputy Asst. Secretary for Domestic Operations, ITA. They spoke of the programs offered and opportunities overseas.
They were followed by the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, who spoke at length about trade and why it is important. Secretary Pritzker focused on three themes:
- Why Trade is important.
- What the Administration is doing.
- How we can help move the Trade Agenda forward.
Here are some of the highlights from her remarks:
- 11.3 million jobs are supported by trade.
- Wages in trade-related jobs, on average, pay 18% better.
- Trade agreements work to level the playing field for American businesses.
- Trade agreements help to establish the rules of the road and TPP and TTIP are examples.
- The Obama Administration is coordinating their efforts on trade.
- They will send officials around the country to discuss trade issues.
- They need success stories.
The Secretary also called out individual companies who have been successful in exports. NOW International was called, and Secretary Pritzker spoke about the success that NOW has had over the years in export markets. There were approximately 40+ companies present, and to be called out by the Secretary of Commerce was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise.
The group was then joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. She thanked us all for our efforts in promoting American business and exports. She also spoke of the commitment of this Administration to moving their trade agenda forward.
Illinois Honors NOW International for Export Excellence
On June 29th, 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented NOW International, the global arm of NOW Foods, with the Governor’s Export Award for Mid-sized Agriculture. This distinguished honor recognizes businesses who exemplify significant contribution in the fields of export and manufacturing, service, and agribusiness to Illinois’ economic development. NOW International is no stranger to acclaim, however. This most recent award marks the second major recognition bestowed upon NOW’s International division in the past 18 months. In May 2008, the group was invited to the White House and presented with the President’s “E” Award for achievement in Export; the highest single award a business can receive from the United States government.
When asked what back-to-back export awards says about the recent surge of accolades, Philip Pittsford, NOW International Sales Manager, said, “This award speaks to the dedication of our international team and the support of the company. No one person can take credit, it truly takes a commitment at all levels to go out, seek, and engage in international business and we are doing this.” Clearly, the ongoing efforts of Pittsford and his team have not been in vein. NOW has made progressive strides in the global health market since the turn of the new millennium.
Pittsford went on to say, “Since Oct 2000 our company has actively sought out export markets. In doing so we have utilized many of the services offered through the state of Illinois including the Illinois Trade Office and also the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture. Both have been instrumental in helping us to achieve the success that we have had. Over this period we have grown our export sales six-fold and today we are actively engaged in over 60 countries worldwide. Our vision is to be a global leader in our industry and we are moving to make this a reality.”
NOW International, the export arm of NOW Foods, currently sells nutritional products to over 60 countries on six continents. They offer products in over 15 languages, and have translated their product literature, such as NOW’s Quality Catalog, to provide a local voice to a global brand name. NOW believes that this high level of commitment to global brand-building is an important factor in growing its sales an average of 26% over the past 6 years.
For more information on NOW International, please contact Philip Pittsford at extension 401, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW Foods Named ‘Exporter of the Year’ by U.S. Export Promotion Magazine
Bloomingdale, IL (May 13, 2009) – NOW International, Inc. has been named a 2009 Exporter of the Year award winner by ThinkGlobal Inc., publisher of Commercial News USA, the official export promotion magazine of the U.S. Commerce Department.
Award recipients were selected based upon criteria such as increase in sales, company commitment to exporting and customer service, and innovation and originality in marketing. A total of 12 awards were bestowed, with one company selected in each business category. NOW received the honor in the Health, Beauty and Fashion division.
“We’re extremely pleased to receive this Exporter of the Year award,” said Philip A. Pittsford, International Sales Manager. “Exporting has added diversity to our revenue stream and it has established our company as a global leader in the natural products industry. International customers are looking for quality American made products, particularly in this industry, and our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, GMP certification, and sophisticated in-house testing program instill confidence in NOW’s products among our customers.”
This prestigious award comes just months after NOW was honored at the White House with the Presidential “E” Award for Export Excellence
“Philip’s team has done a fantastic job of getting NOW products into over 65 countries. It’s exciting to see the NOW label all over the world,” said NOW President Al Powers. “While the awards and accolades are nice, it’s great to know that Philip and his staff are fulfilling the NOW mission of empowering people to lead healthier lives – worldwide!”
NOW Honored at White House Ceremony
On Tuesday May 20th, 2008, President George Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez presented NOW International with the Presidential “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting. Created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the Presidential “E” award is the highest honor that the federal government can give to any American company or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. Click here to read more about the Presidential "E" award in pdf.
“NOW International is helping to keep America competitive in the global marketplace, and I commend them for contributing to last year’s record in goods and services, said Secretary Gutierrez. “Thanks to NOW International and the thousands of others that compete in the global market, U.S. exports last year rose 12.6 percent over the previous year to more than $1.6 trillion, making an important contribution to U.S. economic growth.”
Al Powers & Jim Emme with NOW International Sales TeamOn hand to accept the award, was Al Powers, NOW Foods President and Philip Pittsford, NOW International General Manager. Joining them at the White House was Jim Emme, NOW’s Chief Operations Officer, along with several members of NOW International’s division, including Ashli Blauser, Vanessa Brandt, Morgan Coghill, and Reyna Tenneriello. Following the ceremony, Al Powers and Philip Pittsford met with President Bush in the Oval Office for a brief discussion and photo opportunity. During their conversation, President Bush revealed that he takes several vitamins every day.
Al Powers commented, “Our entire organization is very proud to receive this prestigious award. The efforts of many departments are helping NOW achieve our vision of becoming the leading global brand of natural foods and nutritional supplements.” He added, “We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate the capability to accelerate our growth, expand our manufacturing capabilities, create new jobs, and export NOW products around the world.”Al Powers, Philip Pittsford & Jim Emme
This award recognizes NOW International’s growth over the past 4 years. According to Philip Pittsford, it is a task that could not be accomplished alone. “This award is the result of the combined efforts of all that work to fulfill our mission at NOW Health Group,” said Pittsford. “While NOW International is out opening new markets and following up on our orders, the rest of the company is working to provide the service and support needed to ensure their satisfaction.”
NOW International, the export arm of NOW Foods, currently sells nutritional products to over 65 countries on six continents. They offer products in over 15 languages, and have translated their product literature, such as NOW’s Quality Catalog, to provide a local voice to a global brand name. NOW believes that this high level of commitment to global brand-building is an important factor in growing its sales an average of 23.5% over the past 4 years.