Arkansas Economic Development Commission


Governor presents four companies Excellence in Global Trade Award

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (May 22, 2013) - Governor Mike Beebe today presented four Arkansas companies with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade during an awards luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion. The award honors companies for their leadership in exporting goods and services throughout the world.

This year’s winners are:

•             Agribusiness – Tyson Foods ( Springdale)

•             Small Manufacturer Exporter – Conway Machine Inc. (Conway)

•             Medium Manufacturer Exporter – Alliance Rubber Company (Hot Springs)

•             Large Manufacturer Exporter – Welspun Tubular (Little Rock)

“Arkansas’s exporting companies are ambassadors to the global marketplace,” Beebe said. “These companies understand that competing effectively around the world is good not only for their bottom line, but for our state’s economic health as well.”

This is the fourth year for the program which is co-sponsored by the Arkansas District Export Council, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, U. S. Commercial Service, and the Arkansas World Trade Center.

Judging criteria was based on factors such as most recent percentage of export sales to total sales, growth of export sales over the past three years, the company's goals and commitments internationally and the number of jobs saved or created due to the company's export performance if applicable.

Previous winners include successful Arkansas companies such as Coleman Dairy, Little Rock; Trump Tours, Bentonville; Riceland Foods, Stuttgart;  Amercable, Inc., El Dorado;  Cobb-Vantress, Inc., Siloam Springs; Weldon, Williams, & Lick, Inc., Fort Smith; Keith Smith Company, Inc, Hot Springs; Allen Engineering, Paragould; Power Technology, Inc., Alexander; Pernod Ricard USA, Ft. Smith; and Keo Fish Farm, Keo.

"Exporting is a secure way for Arkansas businesses to grow their sales to world markets using techniques available to small and medium size companies," said S. Graham Catlett, Chairman of the Arkansas District Export Council.

The Governor’s Awards highlight the importance of international trade on the state’s economic stability and growth.  According to Census Bureau data, Arkansas’s export shipments of merchandise in 2012 totaled $7.6 billion – an increase of 36 percent over 2011 totals.  Arkansas’s largest markets in 2012 were Canada ($1.7 billion), Mexico ($845 million), China ($720 million) and France ($365 million). More than 14 Percent of Arkansas manufacturing workers depend on exports for their jobs.

1,627 Arkansas companies exported goods or services in 2012. 78 percent of these companies were small to medium sized.

The Arkansas District Export Council is composed of business leaders appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service's export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.



Tyson Foods, Inc.


Tyson Foods, Inc., with headquarters in Springdale, is one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to be involved with son Don Tyson leading the company for many years and grandson John H. Tyson serving as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tyson Foods produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves.  The company provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries.  It has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.  Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members.  The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

Conway Machine, Inc.


In the late 1960s, Conway Machine moved from Wisconsin to Arkansas.  In 1972, Conway Machine, Inc. was formed. Six years later, CMI entered the packaging industry, manufacturing after-market parts for die cutters. In 2001, CMI acquired a local turning company and relocated it to Conway. In the years since, CMI has achieved ISO Certification and WOSB Certification, continues to upgrade its equipment and technical knowledge all while serving a growing customer base at home and around the world. Over the past 40 years, CMI has built a strong reputation for its quality products and excellent customer service.

Instead of giving up in the tough economic times of 2009, Conway Machine “doubled down” and invested in their sales and marketing efforts. Over the last few years, the company created new marketing materials (in three languages), increased its international web presence, and invested in a large overseas tradeshow in Dusseldorf, Germany. The company grew its international sales by 19 percent, and 2012 was their best sales year in more than 10 years.

Alliance Rubber Company

Hot Springs

Alliance Rubber Company is well-known for its high-quality products and innovative product development. Since 1923, Alliance Rubber Company has been committed to helping hold the world together. Proud to say “Made in the USA”, Alliance Rubber Company services customers in 28 countries with more than 2,100 skus of mailing, shipping, office and packaging products.

In the competitive market of rubber band manufacturing, Alliance Rubber has been able to effectively compete against its Asian competitors. Alliance has overcome supply chain disadvantages and has managed to increase international sales steadily over the last 3 years. Some of this success can be attributed to investments into dual language sales representatives and into Gold Key Service initiatives through the US Commercial Services. Over the last three years, these investments helped add five new markets to the 23 markets previously served.

Welspun Tubular

Little Rock

Welspun Tubular LLC (a subsidiary of $3.5 Billion Welspun Group) was established to enhance the company’s global enterprise’s ability to serve clients more efficiently in and around the North America market. Situated on an 800-acre site adjacent to the Little Rock Port, Welspun broke ground on their facility in mid-2007 and inaugurated it on April 28, 2009, at a glittering ceremony attended by local, state and federal dignitaries, customers, and company officials. The facility initially employed 300-plus workers, providing an important economic boost to the region. On Welspun’s first anniversary, another expansion of $30 million was announced hiring 230 more jobs.

Welspun recently announced the commissioning of a new small-diameter pipe facility. With the addition of this new state-of-the-art HFIW pipe mill, the facility boasts close to 750 workers and is one of the new large Arkansas manufacturers.

Welspun is a great example of how direct foreign investment (DFI) can create jobs in Arkansas. Since investing several hundred million dollars in a manufacturing facility at the Port of Little Rock, Welspun has been exporting high-quality pipe to the oil and gas industry from India. An amazing 70-plus percent of this pipe is exported to various countries.