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Idaho Export Excellence – Where in the World is Your Next Customer?

export excellence blank    exportech graphic

Sept 7 & 21 – October 19 – November 16

Download an Export Excellence 2017 Flyer

The Idaho District Export Council (DEC) is thrilled to have recruited seven Idaho companies for Export Excellence 2017.  Each is a growing company with in-demand products interested in developing a proactive process for accelerating profitable exports.

Between September 7 and October 19, the selected companies will work with  DEC Coaches and Boise State International Business Interns to create an Export Action Plan. Export Excellence will help each company:

  1. Learn and implement a systematic process for accelerating profitable export growth.
  2. Expand your export team to include Idaho’s top export experts who will help you address your specific export obstacles and challenges.
  3. Create and implement a peer-reviewed export plan.

Idaho DEC members and friends listen to an Export Plan presentation in the EMBA Room at Boise State University.

On November 16,  ExEx teams will meet with seasoned DEC export professionals to their export plans and the steps they are taking to implement it. Members of the DEC make themselves available to address any export issues or obstacles that stand in the way of exports.

Since 2008, nearly 50 Idaho exporters have used the Export Excellence Program to create proactive export plans for developing export markets that add customers, smooth sales cycles and accelerate profitable growth. Export Excellence helps companies create actionable plans for selling to the 6.5 Billion consumers with 70% of the world’s purchasing power who live outside the USA.

“Export Excellence and the relationships developed there have been pivotal in helping KLIM reach our ambitious export goals. The program helped us develop a KLIM specific Export Plan that we can continue to use on future plans. I would recommend this program to any business looking to export successfully.”
Joseph (JT) Miller International Logistics Manager, KLIM Technical Riding Gear, Rigby, ID


Ideal candidates exhibit at least one of the following traits:

  • Company responds to export requests but want to be more proactive in developing export markets.

    DEC Chair, Alison Kelsey of Rekluse (L), presents completion certificates to the Kingston Fresh Team that created a plan to export Idaho potatoes to Kuwait to meet the demand for fresh cut French Fries. The team included, from left to right, Hakeem Muhamad & Yara Slaton of Boise State, Nick Proia of Kingston and Hillary Dovey of PakSense.

  • Company sells into some export markets but would like to identify the best markets for your products.
  • Experienced exporter who would like to implement a more proactive process for developing profitable export markets.

The Process

  • Selection – Through Spring of 2017,  the Idaho DEC will select companies, interns, and coaches for the program.
  • Teamwork – Beginning in September 2017, companies will work with a DEC Coach, a Boise State Intern, and the entire DEC Team to craft an effective export plan.
  • Course Work – Company teams will meet for informational presentations and activities in Boise on September 7 & 21. Each team will present an export plan on October 19. Teams will discuss the execution of their export plan during a final wrap-up session on November 19.

Post Program – DEC Export professionals and key partners will be available to help companies prepare for state or federal trade missions or in executing a Commercial Service Gold Key engagement.  Export Excellence will give you the opportunity to develop working relationships with local experts who can address key export issues.

Costs and Benefits

  • The program cost of $500 per company covers attendance, materials & food for up to THREE senior executives per company.
    The full $6,000 cost of the program is offset by donations of time, money, food and facilities from our DEC members & sponsors.
  • Each participant receives a binder of reference materials that will help them create their Export Plan.
  • Daily light breakfast, snacks, beverages & lunch provided courtesy of Idaho Department of Agriculture & FedEx.
  • Financial support of Commercial Service Gold Key or Partner Search program is intended to encourage companies to implement the Export Action Plan.
  • The Idaho DEC works with Boise State University College of Business & Economics to recruit international business students to support Export Excellence. The students are highly qualified and have a variety of language, cultural, travel and business backgrounds. The students are invaluable in helping companies research and craft their Export Action Plans

Program Information & Registration (Registration is closed for the 2017 Program)

For additional information, contact Jennifer at (208) 334-2650 Ext 2117 or .

Potential Export Excellence 2018 Companies can click the button below to complete an application for the 2018 program. All information provided is held in the strictest confidence.

Company Application for Export Excellence 2018

We are still taking applications for 2017 Interns. Click the button below to apply.   For information on the program, contact Professor Mark Buchanan of Boise State COBE IB or Bill Mullane of TechHelp and Boise State.

Intern Application for Export Excellence 2017

Testimonials & Success Stories

1,4 Group

“I wanted to know what our options were, make contacts and learn some new stuff – better ways to do it. And Export Excellence did that. They said, ‘here are all the pieces you need to know about.’ Export Excellence got us to think about all the different scenarios. The most valuable part is the contact list. It is so beneficial – the networking side. It opened doors with knowledge rather than just showing us how to do it. Before Export Excellence, we didn’t have resources to ask. Export Excellence showed us that we’re not alone; there are other companies dealing with similar issues. We can talk about problems together. Now we have 2 offices in Mexico and 1 in Scotland. I think small companies would benefit – the ones struggling with exporting because they don’t have the manpower. They’ll learn that they don’t have to do everything in-house, they can outsource some of it.”
Brian Ware, Controller, 1,4Group Inc


Ed Meyer produces the Rodenator pest elimination system at his plant in Emmet, Idaho. Export sales that had grown to 40% of the business balanced out sales lost due to the U.S. recession. Meyer used Export Excellence to focus on additional foreign markets that would stabilize the business. “In the past, I’ve had lots of information thrown at me, but this class helped me pull everything together, write a plan, and develop clear goals,” said Meyer. “The interactive approach and small class size were perfect for lots of one-on-one discussions with the pros that they brought in. They enabled me to fast track my international business plan. “Export Excellence asks for just a small investment of time to see what your potential is. It has been invaluable to me. As an entrepreneur, I’ve never enjoyed the details of planning and paperwork, but this class helped me see a clear vision of our potential and develop a concrete plan for getting there. The class is a tremendous value, and I hope more people take advantage of it.”Soon after the class, Meyer established new distributorships in South Africa, Spain, and France. He plans to add two new distributors each year to reach his goal of 75% international business.Link to Rodenator Success Story Here »

High Country Fusion

“Export Excellence helped outline the process we needed to follow and complete for our Export program, by asking the right questions. The key value was being able to bounce ideas off other people, ask questions, make sure the concept was sound, and we were making good decisions. For a company that wants to expand, Export Excellence is a great starting point. Knowledge from the Export Council is very valuable. You learn from someone who’s been through the program before and has experienced successful results. After Export Excellence, we established a  partnership in Australia resulting in $10 million of new sales with $3 million of that attributed to Export Excellence.”

Gene Thomas, International Sales Manager, High Country Fusion

Export Excellence - Rekluse Motor Sports

Gerd Uitdewilligen and Alison Kelsey

Rekluse Motor Sports

2012 Export Excellence Participant and SBA Exporter of the Year, Rekluse, had been selling overseas since it opened in 2002, but growth was mainly unplanned. Marketing Manager, Alison Kelsey, said, “We sold into 34 countries, but we had never had someone dedicated to building a distributor network. A lot of what I did the first two years involved laying the groundwork with distributors so we would be good partners.” Among the first decisions she made as export manager was to enroll in Export Excellence. The program matched Kelsey with veteran exporter Gerd Uitdewilligen, Director of International Sales with PakSense, a temperature-monitoring system used by shippers. The program also tapped the brainpower of business school students at Kelsey’s alma mater, Boise State, who provided customized market research.

For three months, Kelsey met every few weeks with Uitdewilligen, focusing on writing a business plan to expand exports. “In general, my advice to Alison was to pick one market and try to do it well; don’t try to be everything to everybody,” recalls the Dutch-born professional. “And, make sure all your agreements with distributors are written down.”  Uitdewilligen oversaw the local students’ research efforts, which identified Germany, France, and Italy as top candidates for an investment of attention and resources, based on demographics and recreation trends.

On Uitdewilligen’s recommendations, Kelsey connected with the Idaho Department of Commerce and received $18,000 in STEP program matching funds that helped finance a pair of overseas marketing missions. The first was to Europe, culminating in a new agreement between Rekluse and a distributor in France, and what Kelsey calls “strengthened relationships” with the company’s other European partners. The export manager also traveled to South America to research Brazil and Chile’s market potential.

Since 2012, Rekluse’s export footprint has increased to 42 countries from 34, and its overall share of exports has risen to 27 percent. In the first quarter of 2012, international sales rose 52 percent—a surge that helped the company earn SBA’s National Exporter of the Year designation. In 2012, Rekluse received the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Kelsey decided to pay it forward and registered with Export Excellence with plans to mentor others. In September she began working with another young export manager at a nearby auto after-market manufacturer. In 2014, Alison Kelsey’s export journey came full circle when she was elected as Chair of the Idaho District Export Council. She now leads the organization that helped take Rekluse to the next level of export success and is in a position to help other Idaho companies soar.

In 2017, Rekluse was recognized by NIST MEP as a “Hero of American Manufacturing”. See the video here. 

Coyote Design

“I was very pleased with what we got out of Export Excellence. Most valuable was the opportunity to be forced to take a good hard look at how we do stuff: planning, communication, etc. 3 days is not a big deal. For small businesses, you have to create a deadline to get something done; give key personnel an excuse to sit down and evaluate processes and your market. It was extremely valuable to us. Afterward, we got a distributor on board in the region we chose – and they became our top distributor.”

Matt Perkins, President & CEO Coyote Design


“After Export Excellence – all the resources and connections I had made – I still use today. Right after Export Excellence, tons of questions came up, but I knew who to ask, and they helped. The most valuable thing was having a mentor: we had meetings outside of classes and we still talk to this day. Export Excellence gave me a template for researching and going after markets, how to look up the markets. Now I can do a lot of research before I even get [to the country]. International has really grown since then. We were very successful and we are very happy with the program.”

David Hannah, President Nu-Vois


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  • 7 Sep, 2017
  • exportidaho
  • export, idaho export, Idaho Export Excellence, international business,

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