SSOE Group named ‘Large Exporter of the Year’ in OhioWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The SSOE Group of Toledo was named “Large Exporter of the Year” for 2010 by Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Department of Development (DOD) on Sept. 22.
Four Ohio firms were honored with Exporter of the Year Awards by the governor and DOD, with SSOE receiving the award in the large business category. Others were recognized in small and medium business, and nonprofit categories at a luncheon held during the Ohio Global Summit. Two other Northwest Ohio firms were among 16 to receive Excellence in Exporting Awards.
“We make things in Ohio and we believe the things we make can compete with goods made anywhere else, so we celebrate and support that Ohio businesses the produce the things and provide the services that the world needs,” Strickland said in a statement.
“We are committed to creating more jobs at home by investing in growing industries and developing strong partnerships to further expand Ohio’s global economic presence.”
SSOE receiving the award shows that being a major exporter does not always mean manufacturing goods. The local firm provides professional design, procurement and construction management services for projects around the world.
As one of the leading firms of its kind, the SSOE Group provides those services for global projects. In the past five years, the firm has tripled its non-U.S.-based revenues, doubled its overall revenue and increased its revenue from Asia by 800 percent.
“Expansion of our business globally is one of the key drivers of our growth strategy,” Craig Bowie, senior vice president and international operations manager for the SSOE Group, stated in an e-mail.
Bowie reported that international business was 8 percent of SSOE’s revenue in 2010. International revenue is projected to grow to 15 percent of the firm’s revenue in 2015 and 33 percent by 2020.
Despite the economy, fiscal year 2010 was the third best year in SSOE’s 62-year history, according to a company official.
The company established SSOE China in 2005 by opening an office in Shanghai. It’s now the firm’s second largest office, with 130 employees.
In 2011, SSOE plans to open two additional offices in China, two in India and two in Canada to handle its growing international business in those nations.
During its 60-year history, SSOE has executed projects in 30 countries for more than 40 different global clients. The firm operates 21 offices around the world. It was the third time that SSOE has received the award, having been recognized as Exporter of the Year in 2002 and 2006, according to the company.
Sixteen other firms were recognized with the Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Awards, given annually since 1986. The exporting awards recognize companies that have increased sales and Ohio-based employment as a result of exporting activity or those who have implemented a strategy to expand international sales, according to the DOD.