The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

May 5, 2013

West Virginia’s ‘Exporter of the Year’

Engart Inc. recognized by Small Business Administration

Engart Inc., a Beckley-based business, is considered small, but it does business on a big scale.

And, Engart Inc.’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed by the United States Small Business Administration — it’s been named the West Virginia Exporter of the Year.

Natalia Olson-Urtecho, SBA Region III administrator, offered her congratulations to Engart President Tim Warden in a Thursday visit to Beckley. Olson-Urtecho is based in Philadelphia and directs SBA district offices in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.

Judy K. McCauley, West Virginia director of the SBA, joined Olson-Urtecho and they discussed that Engart is now in the running to be chosen as the SBA Region III Exporter of the Year.

Warden explained that Engart specializes in dust extracting equipment — particularly combustible dust — and its 22 employees conduct business in far-flung countries in the world, including South Korea, Mexico, Colombia and Australia. Engart is currently working toward expanding its markets in Canada and opening exports with China, Brazil and the Philippines.

Warden said Engart began 10 years ago and now being named as the state’s Exporter of the Year is “amazing.”

“We work really hard and have got a lot of really great people, and it’s just good recognition for our people,” Warden commented. “We have an expertise that is unique and they (companies in need of dust extraction) don’t see us as small, they see us providing a solution and providing expertise that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s been good to be a little guy going up against some pretty large companies that we compete with and still be successful at what we do.”

Engart collects “fugitive” dust and converts it to water to ensure both the safety of employees at work locations and environmental protection standards.

“Our specialty is combustible dust,” Warden said. “In fact, I don’t think there’s anybody in the world that has the expertise we have to control combustible dust. Water is totally explosion proof and all of our motor components are explosion proof. So, there’s no chance the dust can explode back to the extractor.”

Olson-Urtecho explained that in order for Engart to receive the award, it has to be “really innovative” and have taken advantage of SBA resources in order to market its product to the rest of the world.

“Engart has been doing such a great job of opening up markets,” Olson-Urtecho said. “In the U.S., we’re not exporting as much as we could. ... Ninety-five percent of consumers exist outside the U.S.; so, the fact that Engart has been able to take advantage of growing, emerging markets, like Colombia, Mexico ... is something that we need to promote, support and make sure that other small businesses learn their story. They’ve been able to make profits, grow and add to the workforce because of the demand from abroad.”

Engart manufactures in Bluefield and completes sales and administration work at the Beckley office.

The company and Warden will officially receive the award during an awards banquet later this month in Morgantown.

— E-mail: chiggins@register-herald.com

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