Sen. Chuck Hagel presented the President’s "E" Award for Excellence in Exporting to Lincoln-based Norland Int’l. Inc.
Norland is the first Nebraska-based company since 1992 to receive the "E" Award, and only the 14th since the award’s introduction in 1961. On average, from 10 to 15 companies a year receive the award nationwide.
The President’s "E" Award was established during the Kennedy Administration to honor U.S. companies for their competitive achievements in world markets and for their role in increasing U.S. exports abroad. Norland’s international business makes up about 70 percent of the company’s sales.
Award recipients are judged on a series of criteria, including: demonstrating a substantial increase in the volume of exports over a four-year period; demonstrating breakthroughs in especially competitive international markets; showing evidence of overcoming export problems; and showing that exports make up a significant part of the company’s business.
Applications are then reviewed and judged by the President’s "E" Award committee, comprised of representatives of the U.S. government’s various international trade interests. Final selection is made by the Secretary of Commerce, in the name and by the authority of the President of the United State, according to U.S. Department of Commerce sources.
"At Norland, we work hard to excel in every aspect of our business," says Mike McFarland, president and company co-founder. "We appreciate this important award recognizing our efforts in building the company’s international trade."
Mike McFarland, Sam Noordhoff, and a small group of investors founded Norland in 1993. The company serves the bottled water industry through an integrated approach to the business, from new-business consultation and plant design to a full line of turnkey small (PET) and large bottle equipment (for 3-to-5 gallon bottles), commercial distillers, blow-molders, cappers, labelers, case packers and shrink-wrapping equipment.
Photo caption: From left: Mike McFarland, Norland president and co-founder; Sen. Hagel, Bruce Kucera, Norland vice president; and Meredith Bond, director of the Omaha office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.