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ITAC Receives Statewide Top Performance Award for 2010
Presented at Ohio Small Business Development Center Annual Conference

December 14, 2010

The Northeast Ohio International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC), a division of the Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC), was recently named the 2010 top performing ITAC center in the state of Ohio. The honor was presented to ITAC director Kimberly Holizna and Director of Operations John Senese by the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) during its annual conference in Columbus.

The Northeast Ohio ITAC is hosted by NEOTEC under the Ohio Small Business Development Center program through the Ohio Department of Development. As part of this program, the ITAC staff offers export counseling assistance at no cost to help small- and mid-size companies throughout Northeast Ohio to pursue export opportunities.

The annual performance award is based on entries of the number of counseling hours and number of companies that have been counseled in the past year.

“This award reflects the dedication of the ITAC staff to provide the assistance and resources necessary for Northeast Ohio companies to succeed as exporters,” said Ron DeBarr, president and CEO of NEOTEC.

According to ITAC director Kimberly Holizna, there are tremendous opportunities available in the global marketplace for companies to increase their sales through exporting. “As a result, the need for export counseling is now greater than ever,” Holizna said. In the fiscal year ending September 30, Northeast Ohio ITAC staff members spent more than 900 hours individually counseling more than 125 companies in various stages of exporting. In addition, more than 700 business professionals received important training regarding key exporting topics by attending several ITAC seminars during the year.

The Northeast Ohio ITAC covers a 12-county region including Ashtabula, Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, Trumbull, Portage, Summit, Medina, Wayne, Stark and Mahoning counties. ITAC staff members offer more than 50 years of combined international trade experience.

The ITAC program is funded in part through grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Ohio Small Business Development Centers. Its parent organization, NEOTEC, is a multicounty regional economic development partnership based in Kent on the campus of Kent State University, which partners with NEOTEC in its economic development efforts.

In addition to the ITAC program, NEOTEC administers Foreign-Trade Zone 181 to assist companies engaged in international commerce, and the Northeast Ohio Logistics Network to help improve regional market access.

For more information on ITAC, visit www.itacneotec.org, or contact ITAC at 866-253-4358 or via e-mail at itac@itacneotec.org.

The Northeast Ohio International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC), a division of NEOTEC, was recently honored with a 2010 Performance Award from the Ohio Small Business Development Center. The award honors ITAC for its exporting counseling accomplishments during the recent fiscal year. Accepting the award are ITAC staff members John Senese (left) and Kimberly Holizna (right). At center is Karen Shauri, director of the Ohio SBDC.