2020 Exporter of the Year Award Nominees Announced

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber takes the opportunity to showcase an Orange County-based business that has expanded its markets through successful export strategies by recognizing as an Exporter of the Year

The 2020 Exporter of the Year award nominees are Benchmark FR, BIOLASE Inc., BruxMix, and Suavecito.

The Exporter of the Year award will be presented during a virtual session of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Forum, delivered digitally Tuesday, May 12 – Thursday, May 14.

Since its inception in 2002, Benchmark FR has been focused on making high-quality flame-resistant clothing that is safe and comfortable to wear against the skin. The company, based in Tustin, manufactures and sells its own brand of flame-resistant clothing made from innovative materials, independently testing every lot of fabric. Benchmark FR partnered with the U.S. Commercial Service’s U.S. and Saudi Arabia teams while developing a long-term distributor relationship, and have since successfully obtained large vendors in Saudi Arabia.

BIOLASE, Inc. is a leading provider of advanced laser systems for the dental industry. Headquartered in Irvine, the company develops, manufactures, markets, and sells laser systems that provide significant benefits for dental practitioners and their patients. Since 1998, BIOLASE Inc. has sold more than 41,000 laser systems in upward of 80 countries around the world with subsidiaries for distribution and sales in Germany and India. The company achieved 5% growth in international sales during the fourth quarter of 2019. Biolaase has nearly 208 United States and international patents issued and 56 pending.

BruxMix is the leading innovator of authentic Brussels and Liege waffles. Since its inception in 2010, operating out of Anaheim, BruxMix has expanded its market distribution to Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and South Korea. The company is currently poised to pivot and launch retail offerings throughout the U.S. and Asia.

Santa Ana-based cosmetic product company Suavecito was created in 2010. The founders began distributing their original product to friends and family, and have since scaled the company, successfully exporting to more than 55 countries around the world including Canada, Mexico, and Russia. The Suavecito brand now boasts more than 100 grooming and cosmetic products with export sales counting for 25% of the company’s revenue.

OCWTW will feature a keynote from Mark O’Connell, CEO, OCO Global, who will discuss Globalization: Pandemic, Populism, and Power.

Barry Cosgrave of K&L Gates LLPJohn Evans of Tractus Asia Ltd., and Ken Wengrod of FTC Commercial Corp. will lead the panel discussionNavigating the New Trade Landscape - China, BREXIT, USMCA.

OCWTW forum will also include an Orange County trade and export overview from a representative of the U.S. Commercial Service.

In addition to the Exporter of the Year Award, the Partner of the Year and Global Leadership awards will be presented digitally May 14 at the close of this year’s program.

Information and advice delivered digitally by a global lineup of speakers and panelists is even more relevant now as the world deals with disruptions caused by the health and economic crises caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since its inaugural event in 2015, OCWTW has convened thousands of attendees from Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of the business community, growing awareness of the impact of international trade and export in Orange County.

Registration is free, but space is limited. Participants will be able to access live content on a first-come, first-served basis. Some portions of the program will be recorded and made available following the conclusion of OCWTW 2020.

The District Export Council of Southern California is Presenting Sponsor of this year’s program.

More information on OCWTW 2020 can be found here.

For sponsorship, partnership, or with questions about the new digital format, contact Jessica Yip.

Category: Chamber News, International Trade, Economic Development, Events