Customer Focus, Creative Edge, Customized Success

The International Trade Council - a peak-body, non-profit, international chamber of commerce. Dedicating to assisting businesses overcome technical barriers to trade, expand into new markets and connect with other businesses.Most every company’s dream is to make a product beyond compare. Yet finding the formula isn’t always so easy. A hand-picked crew of 40-plus sales and marketing experts, designers, and engineers, well, that definitely helps.

To take an industry that is often seen as niche, and create a concept that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker brandishes as impressive for its “customization of products for export markets,” truly takes thinking out of the box.

“What I focused on was advancement through innovation…honing in on the customer to really create a competitive edge,” says John Young, former SVP International Sales for Cybex, the health-and-fitness sector’s fifth-placed company.

In his role, Young embraced the idea of reaching for the highest level of customization possible, raising the global offer beyond other industry giants that surpass in turnover. “A customer centric sales approach and listening to the customer needs,” was, and still is, Young’s motto.

A mere 123 companies were recognized this year for the 54th annual award that was revived by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Kennedy’s executive order to resurrect the World War II “E” symbol of excellence is a full-out salute to America’s “for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world,” Secretary Pritzker said at the May awards ceremony in Washington D.C.

Cybex International has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” Prtizker said in a congratulatory letter to Cybex.  The award is the highest recognition a U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of American exports.

In 2015, U.S. exports totaled $2.23 trillion, accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. Nationally, exports contributed to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 11.5 million jobs.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, with offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries. Winners are selected for years of successive export growth and a demonstration innovative international marketing leading to increased exports.

For more background and to contact John Young, see

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit