At Blackboard, we pride ourselves in being a company that improves the educational experience for learners all over the world. So we were humbled and honored this month when we were notified that the company had won the prestigious Presidential “E” Award for exports. Presented to companies for their outstanding contributions to growing U.S. exports, strengthening the economy and creating American jobs, the “E” Award is the highest U.S. government honor given for increasing exports.
Tess Frazier, VP of Contracts and Jan Grimann, Director of International Channel Operations, were on hand to receive the award on Blackboard’s behalf last week at the 2011 World Trade Week ceremonies from U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez. Blackboard was one of 27 companies recognized with having four years of successive export growth and an inventive marketing plan that fueled a significant increase in exports.
Secretary Locke stated at the event “Exports are a key driver of America’s economic recovery. The President’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 in support of several million American jobs, is a robust, forward-looking trade agenda with an emphasis on domestic job growth. Blackboard is being honored today for making significant contributions toward fulfilling that agenda.”
Wondering who started the “E” Award tradition? President John F. Kennedy revived World War II’s “E” symbol of production excellence to honor American exporters. He established the program by Executive Order in 1961, marking 2011 the 50th anniversary of the program.