By Debbie Monterrey

The changing of the leaves, the start of school, and the World Trade Center St. Louis‘ Growing Global event at the Ritz-Carlton–all signs of autumn for me!

For eight of my past ten years in St. Louis, I’ve had the honor of emceeing this event, which recognizes area companies who’ve succeeded on a global scale.

It was my pleasure to announce the winners of the 2013 Global Growth AwardYurbuds. The ear-buds that don’t fall out or hurt your ears.

Straight from my Growing Global script: In 2009, only one year after its inception, yurbuds was named Forbes 9th Most Promising Company in America…In Singapore, one store sold 162 pairs of headphones in one day. yurbuds has expanded into Latin America, Australia, Asia, and even Africa. Most recently, they opened an office outside of London as a European headquarters. Congratulations to President and CEO Seth Burgett, COO Richard Daniels and Director of International Sales, Damon Johnson.
GG13 web graphic sm
The Global Ambassador Award went to Denny Coleman of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and Zsolt Rumy of Zoltek Companies for launching World Trade Center St. Louis 20 years ago. The Global Business Person of the Year award went to Essex Industries CEO Keith Guller. Essex Industries, a leading supplier to the aerospace/defense, first response, safety and medical markets has seen global sales increase 50% since 2011.

Gov. Jay Nixon took the stage after St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to announce his “Export Missouri” international trade initiative, which among other things will open additional foreign trade offices in Singapore, Toronto and Hong Kong. It’ll also boost online resources for Missouri exporters, hire more trade specialists, and help fund businesses’ participation in international trade shows/missions.

The St. Louis community has not one, but two, 2014 Eisenhower Fellows. World Trade Center executive director Tim Nowak and St. Louis Language Immersion Schools founder Rhonda Broussard were two of just eight fellows named by this organization, chaired by General Colin Powell. Tim will travel Malaysia and Indonesia for five weeks, meeting with business and government leaders.

Tim Nowak, WTC STL

Tim Nowak, WTC STL


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