The Maine International Trade Center is recognizing four organizations with its 2017 International Trade and Investment Awards, including Yale Cordage as its Exporter of the Year. The awards will be presented during Maine International Trade Day on May 25 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Yale Cordage, based in Saco, makes high-performance synthetic ropes and rope systems that are used in national defense, science and industry, sport and recreation, and professional arboriculture. The company exports its products to more than 30 countries, with a concentration on markets in the European Union, according to a news release from MITC.

“The change in the Euro value to the U.S. dollar is an area to watch, and the effects of Brexit are of particular interest,” William Putnam, president of Yale Cordage, said in the news release. “Our historical export business to the UK has been very strong, and we are very concerned about currency changes between the USD, Euro and GB pound. We feel that strong relationships with our customers, great products, and the guidance and assistance from MITC to explore new markets can help navigate the changing economic climate in the EU.”

In other recognitions, MITC named Verrill Dana as its Service Provider of the Year, recognizing the law firm’s established and international presence. In particular, its work to support connections among Maine and countries within the North Atlantic region and the Arctic Council was lauded by the trade group.

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono won the Innovator of the Year for its research and development work, and in anticipation of its new lab opening this summer. The Alfond Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory for Structural Thermoplastics is a demonstration lab that will test new ways to improve manufacturing. Thermoplastics are recyclable materials that will transform composite materials used in cars, ships, boats and aerospace applications. The center works with entities from around the world to bring advanced materials into construction.

Bangor-based C&L Aviation Group won MITC’s Foreign Direct Investor of the Year award. The company is being recognized for making a strategic decision to invest in Maine. The aircraft maintenance facility has grown from a few dozen workers seven years ago to more than 200 today. The facility has grown from a one-hangar operation to four, and also has a world-class aircraft painting facility, aircraft interiors shop and corporate offices, with more facilities growth scheduled.

Trade Day also will include a presentation called “Charting a Course in the Changing EU,” given the impending changes to the European market. Maine saw a 20 percent increase in exports to the EU in 2016. Now, Brexit is changing the landscape in the EU, providing both challenges and new opportunities for Maine companies.

During the event’s luncheon, individual awards will also be presented. The President’s Award will recognize MITC Board Treasurer Joe Mooney, TD Bank, and MITC Board Chairman John Wolanski of GAC Chemical Corp. for exceptional support to the Maine International Trade Center. Former MITC intern Luke Middleton, of Presque Isle and Topsham, will receive the Future Global Leader Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts as a research assistant.

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