Fisher Global Council members hold up recognition plaque

Demonstrating the nationwide reach and engagement of the Fisher alumni network, a group of graduates, friends, faculty and staff gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate Fisher’s distinction as a national leader in exporting and export education.

The D.C.-area Fisher Global Council joined Dean Anil Makhija and college leaders for an evening that recognized Fisher’s receipt of the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

At a ceremony at the Department of Commerce Headquarters earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented Dean Makhija and Joyce Steffan, director of Fisher’s Office of Global Business, with the “E” Award for its creation of Fisher’s Global Trade Network.

Ohio State, via Fisher, was one of just three universities represented among the 32 winners from 23 states and Guam.

“The entire Fisher College of Business community and our many partners within the Global Trade Network are honored to receive the President’s “E” Award,” Dean Makhija said. “As part of a modern land-grant institution, Fisher strives to address our society’s most compelling needs, build Ohio’s future, and connect the state, its business, our partners and students with valuable opportunities — including those beyond the nation’s borders. The Global Trade Network demonstrates our continued commitment to this foundational tenet and our dedication to building leaders who are globally aware.”

The award recognizes the creation and efforts of Fisher’s Global Trade Network, a collaboration among state and federal agencies, university partners, economic development entities, and small- to medium-sized businesses in Ohio that are focused on expanding their global footprint. The network was made possible, in part, by Fisher’s decades-long partnership with the Title VI federally funded Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

 Fisher Global Council - Washington D.C.

The Fisher Global Council recognition event illustrated the tremendous affinity Fisher alumni have for the college and the signature programs and partnerships that are creating the next generation of global business leaders. The reception provided guests the opportunity to network and to learn more about the ways Fisher is providing students with opportunities to learn and practice business on an international scale, including through the Global Trade Network.

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A key component of Fisher’s Global Trade Network is the Global Trade Consulting Group, composed of students who have successfully completed the Ohio Export Internship Program (OEIP) and an export-focused internship. The OEIP began as a collaboration between Fisher, the Ohio Development Services Agency, other Ohio universities and small- to medium-sized businesses across the state that has increased Ohio’s expected export sales by an estimated $25.5 million.

Students in the Global Trade Consulting Group engage with real clients to provide higher-level, strategic global trade consultation. The group worked with the City of Dublin (Ohio) Economic Development Team on a strategy to increase global opportunities for companies considering expanding or enhancing their export capabilities. Davenport Aviation, located in central Ohio and the only other “E” Award winner from the state, also plans to host another OEIP intern this summer.

Additionally, the Global Trade Network has partnered with Columbus 2020 and Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers on a number of programs, including the Global Trade Speaker Series and a Global Summit that explored international expansion in the Americas. This past year, the speaker series connected students, faculty, staff and business partners with trade leaders including the Ambassador of Japan and the Consul General of Korea.

“The futures of so many businesses lie in global trade and export, and Fisher’s Global Trade Network is building bridges to connect our students, faculty thought leaders, business partners and export professionals across the U.S. in this strategic frontier,” Steffan said. “We’re proud to be recognized among select organizations that are advancing U.S. exports.”

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Fewer than five universities have received the award in the last five years. The other two 2017 university recipients are University of Colorado Boulder and Western New England University.

“The 'E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with Fisher College of Business’ work to train and develop the next generation of international business leaders while providing valuable support to Ohio companies,” Ross stated in the initial award letter to the college. “Fisher College of Business’ achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”