The International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service awarded BuzzBallz/Southern Champion an Export Achievement Certificate in a virtual presentation and ceremony on Thursday, March 31. The award recognizes U.S. businesses that have benefited from U.S. Commercial Service export assistance to make their first export sale or expand into a new foreign market.
Jessica Gordon, Director of theU.S. Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth Office, stated, “I congratulate BuzzBallz on its significant achievement in expanding into new international markets and reaching new heights with its global business expansion efforts.”
David Royce, Senior International Trade Specialist of the U.S. Commercial Service Dallas-Fort Worth Office nominated BuzzBallz/Southern Champion for the exporting award after counseling the company in 2019, looking to connect the alcohol manufacturer to exporting support organizations such as the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) for State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funding.
Merrilee Kick, Founder and CEO of BuzzBallz/Southern Champion thanked the U.S. Commercial Service team for its many hours of due diligence in connecting BuzzBallz/Southern Champion to potential international markets and buyers and introducing BB/SC to additional support organizations like SUSTA. SUSTA provides cost-effective international trade show access, which allowed the company to exhibit at SIAL China in 2019. With the support of international trade resources, BB/SC made key contacts in the Asian market. Texas STEP funds also allowed BB/SC to translate its website into multiple languages.
The Export Achievement Certificate was presented by U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne. She commended Kick for taking care of her employees and community during the pandemic while continuing to grow the business. Van Duyne stated that BuzzBallz/Southern Champion is an example for companies across the country.
In the spring of 2020, BuzzBallz/Southern Champion produced and distributed 20,000 gallons of sanitizer to the medical community, first responders, postal service, retailers and airlines. In August 2020, the company turned a conference room into a classroom as a solution for the employees who would have to leave young children unattended at home while schools went virtual. The company named it The Nest, a virtual learning school of sorts to accommodate the elementary school-aged children of employees. The children attended virtual classes with the aid and supervision of a Texas Education Agency-certified teacher and teacher’s aide.
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