Two advisors with the Washington Small Business Development Center have been awarded a NASBITE International Program of Excellence Award for their work expanding international trade opportunities in Eastern Washington.

Allan Peterson, SBDC business advisor, and Vern Jenkins, SBDC international trade business advisor, will be presented with the award at the NASBITE conference in Savannah, Georgia, on April 11. NASBITE is the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators and the country’s premier organization for encouraging education and training in support of global business.

Jenkins and Peterson have organized both inbound and outbound trade missions since 2015. Their work is supported by the Economic Development Council of Grant County and the Washington SBDC. Washington State University is the statewide host of the Washington SBDC and provides administrative support for the 22 SBDC advising centers located across the state.

The Grant County/Washington SBDC outbound trade program is unique because of the extensive pre‑departure education and advising that Jenkins and Peterson guide clients through as well as the practical assistance provided in country and the on‑going assistance available after the visits.

Jenkins and Peterson built on Grant County’s existing Sister City relationship with Gunpo, South Korea to organize the first inbound and outbound trade events, and the program has since grown to include trade missions to Japan and China, including Macau and Hong Kong. More than 24 Eastern Washington businesses have participated in the program over the past three years and it has become a model for expanding export opportunities in rural communities. The fourth outbound trade mission is scheduled for fall 2019.

According to the award letter, “The Selection Committee acknowledges that your program is worthy of the Award in regards to its uniqueness, success in meeting clearly identified objectives, strength and quality of program, impact, benefits to program participants, and strategic alliances and partnerships formed.”

Find more information about the Washington SBDC.