The Maine International Trade Center is recognizing four companies for their commitment to grow their businesses in international markets.

The public-private trade organization provides services to businesses that want to export products. Last year, 2,262 Maine companies exported $2.7 billion in goods and services to 176 countries, according to a news release from MITC announcing the annual award winners.

The honorees are:

Maine Coast of York, a lobster dealership, which received the Exporter of the Year award.

The company, which employs nearly 50 people full time, experienced 125 percent growth over the past three years. Revenue in 2017 was nearly $57 million. Last year it shipped 7 million pounds of lobster from its facilities in York and Boston, with 60 percent of that exported overseas, to 29 different countries.

“I think worldwide demand will increase, and we intend to be poised to continue to support that growth, and our customers,” said Tom Adams, Maine Coast CEO, in a statement. “Being named Exporter of the Year is a great honor. It is representative of what my team has accomplished over the last seven years.”


• Planson International of New Gloucester, which is MITC’s Service Provider of the Year.

The company works with the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for projects in developing countries, supporting food security, health, education, children, peacekeeping, conservation, refugee resettlement and emergency response to natural disasters. Last year, it completed a $26 million contract to supply computer labs to 889 high schools across the Philippines. Planson provides IT equipment and services to more than 150 countries. In 2017, it reported $52 million in revenue and employed 45.

“Receiving this award underscores our company commitment to provide solutions, not simply sell goods,” said Connie Justice, Planson International CEO.. “Efficiently sourcing and consolidating IT equipment, shipping it safely to customers in high-risk regions, making sure it all works correctly under difficult conditions, and partnering with local companies to support our customers is a complex bundle of services. It is an honor to be recognized for this.

Fiber Materials Inc. of Biddeford, which designs, develops, and manufacturers high-temperature composite materials primarily for defense and space uses, received the Innovator of the Year award.

It recently collaborated with NASA, designing a heat shield system for the Mars 2012 rover mission and is currently working on new systems for the Mars 2020 rover mission and the New Frontiers program.

The nature of FMI’s defense work has meant a low profile for the company, which has been operating in Biddeford for over 40 years. New markets, including international customers in high performance auto racing, will allow the company to share more about its products.


“FMI has been a hidden gem in Biddeford, but now that we are diversifying into other markets and exploring commercial applications for our products, we can be more visible,” said Dan Godbout, director of worldwide sales and marketing. “This award speaks highly of the team here at FMI and their dedication to quality and innovation.”

St. Croix Tissue of Baileyville received the Foreign Direct Investor of the Year award, which recognizes foreign-owned companies that have invested in Maine by either opening a plant or enhancing their existing operations here.

In 2016, the parent company, International Grand Investment Corp., a U.S.-based company for a Chinese investment firm, invested $120 million in two new tissue-making machines that has resulted in more than 80 new jobs at the mill and hundreds of indirect jobs. Sixty percent of the new hires were low-income earners, providing economic opportunity for people in Washington County. Jobs at the mill pay between $18 and $35 per hour. Thirty percent of the workforce are women.

“Investments have been made to give this facility a good head start for a sustainable future,” said Marco L’Italien, vice president U.S. East Operations for IGIC. “We … credit our employees at St. Croix Tissue for their hard work helping to revitalize Maine’s proud paper making industry.”

The awards will be presented during MITC’s Trade Day on May 18 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. This year the trade conference will focus on accessing markets in Asia. In 2017, Maine exports to Asia totaled $769 million, about 30 percent of total exports. More information about the conference is available at

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