2021 Governor's Export Award Winners Announced

February 9, 2022

Earlier today, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced 8 winners of the 2021 Governor’s Export Awards, ranging from a sportfishing boat manufacturer to a Telecommunications equipment supplier.

“North Carolinians make outstanding, high-quality products that are sold in markets around the world,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “The companies we honor today demonstrate the importance of international trade to our state’s economy and offer great examples of how businesses can grow through global commerce.”

Each of the manufacturers being recognized has worked with the state to increase its international sales. These free services are delivered through the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), which selects award winners from the more than 600 companies its international trade team supports each year.

The 2021 Governor’s Export Award winners are:

  • JPS Interoperability Solutions, Inc. in Wake County
  • Barnhardt Manufacturing Company in Mecklenburg County
  • Regulator Marine, Inc. in Chowan County
  • Tanner Pharma Group in Mecklenburg County
  • Oaks Unlimited, Inc. in Haywood County
  • Equilibar, LLC in Buncombe County
  • IBT Online, LLC
  • Allocca Enterprises, Inc.

“Over the last five years, EDPNC has proudly celebrated the success of exporters from all over the state,” said John Loyack, EDPNC Vice President of Global Business Services. “After a very challenging 2020, it was amazing to see North Carolina exporters bounce back with such resilience. These companies have reached new levels of success in exporting and that has an incredible impact on our economy.”


More information on the 2021 award recipients:

Governor’s Award of Excellence ― Equilibar, LLC in Fletcher. – Equilibar is a manufacturer specializing in pressure control products for demanding applications in back pressure, vacuum, and electronic pressure control. The company’s patented technology allows them to create products that deliver reliable performance for some of the world’s most complex process conditions.

“I work with the EDPNC at least once a quarter”, said Julie Detmering, Equilibar Export & Compliance Manager.  “In a word, they make everything easy.  They make training readily available, free, and easy to learn.  They’ve helped us with translations, an international trade show and all sorts of day-to-day details that come with doing business in a global marketplace.  They are just a huge help in every way.”


Top Small Business Exporters ― JPS Interoperability Solutions, Inc. in Raleigh.   This Raleigh-based company, designs, manufactures and sells electronic hardware and software products that enhance radio interoperability with a variety of different protocols.

“We value EDPNC as a true partner in our endeavors to expand our North Carolina business beyond US borders”, says Ramona Myers, Director of International Sales for JPS Interoperability Solutions.  “We look forward to continuing our successful relationship for years to come!”


Top Rural Exporters ― Regulator Marine, Inc. in Edenton. Regulator Marine has been manufacturing console boats since 1988. They have worked with the EDPNC on new market research projects, marketing translations, attended tradeshows and much more.

“As we work to grow our business, attract great talent, and continue building the finest in offshore center console sportfishing boats, EDPNC’s support is an essential component of our success”, says Joan Maxwell, President and Co-Founder, Regulator Marine.


Top Global Reach Exporters ― Tanner Pharma Group in Charlotte. For nearly 20 years, Tanner Pharma has been a purpose-driven and trusted partner to organizations around the world. Leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies partner with Tanner Pharma Group to license and commercialize their products in challenging international markets, and develop and manage their Global Access Programs.

“We are extremely grateful for the assistance of the EDPNC and their support in helping us positively impact health equity on a global scale”, said Gaby Bedoya, Business Development Manager of Tanner Pharma Group.


Top Large Business Exporters ― Barnhardt Manufacturing Company in Charlotte.  Established in 1900, Barnhardt Manufacturing Company is a privately held, family business, run by the fourth generation. The company currently owns or operates seven manufacturing facilities in the United States and a major part of their revenues come from international sales.


E-Commerce Award ― Oaks Unlimited, Inc. in Waynesville. – Based in Waynesville, Oaks Unlimited, Inc. is a supplier of Red Oak, White Oak and Poplar lumber locally, nationally and internationally.

“When the pandemic made travel impossible, EDPNC helped us adapt and provided assistance to improve our website and create an “Oaks Unlimited Tour“ video with the Global Opportunities Center”, said Mark Taylor, Export Sales Manager at Oaks Unlimited. “With EDPNC’s assistance we are meeting the challenges of a new market environment and our export sales continue to grow.”


Export Service Provider Award ― IBT Online, LLC – IBT Online helps businesses create a localized business development website, designed with an international focus, so the company will be found, be understood, and be easy to do business with. They offer international online marketing programs, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Reporting and Analytics Programs, so businesses can grow their traffic, engagement, and conversions.

“At IBT Online we want to thank the EDPNC for the support and opportunity in working together to serve them in fulfilling its mission to support North Carolina companies in leveraging online business development tools to grow their exports, sales, brand, and business globally”, said John Worthington, CEO of IBT Online.


Sharyn Koenig Export Partner Award ― Allocca Enterprises, Inc. – Allocca Enterprises is a premier provider of on-site and web-based international trade compliance education and training.

“Working with the EDPNC has been an amazing experience.  Not just for me, but for all of the North Carolina companies they have and continue to assist”, says Mike Allocca of Allocca Enterprises. “I wish all states had such a robust agency to assist companies with exporting.”



About Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) is focused on recruiting new businesses to the state, supporting the needs of existing businesses, connecting exporters to global customers, helping small business owners get their start, and attracting tourists and visitors from all over the world. In pursuit of sustainable job-creation and investment in North Carolina, the EDPNC works closely with public- and private-sector partners at the state, regional and local levels. As a nonprofit public-private partnership, the EDPNC operates under contract with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, while receiving additional financial support from the private sector. Governed by an 18-member board of business and industry leaders representative of the entire state, the EDPNC proudly serves as North Carolina’s statewide economic development organization, committed to serving all those looking to invest in, visit or do business with North Carolina.


Media Contact:

Shanta Morton
EDPNC Sr. Marketing Manager