Automation Alley Receives President’s E Star Award For Excellence In Export Service: Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, received the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service Monday in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Automation Alley is the only nonprofit organization in the Midwest to receive the “E-Star” Award since the program’s inception more than 50 years ago. To date, Automation Alley has led 18 trade missions to locations around the world, resulting in more than $282 million in export sales for local companies. 124 companies have participated in Automation Alley trade missions. Automation Alley staff recently returned from a trade mission to Mexico with nine local companies, and a trade mission to Indonesia and Singapore is planned for the fall. Automation Alley’s international trade missions yield a high return on investment for small to medium-sized companies and allow them to explore opportunities to expand and diversify into high-growth markets. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank presented Automation Alley with the award at a ceremony held in the auditorium of the Herbert C. Hoover Building, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Award for Export Service through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, which has offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries to help U.S. exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients. A key component of Automation Alley’s trade missions are the matchmaking meetings. Automation Alley arranges meetings for participating companies with potential clients, customers and partners in advance of the trade mission through the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matching Service, maximizing the time participants spend abroad. In addition to matchmaking abroad, Automation Alley hosts pre-mission workshops to educate participants on international business culture and the opportunities and challenges of doing business internationally. More at http://www.automationalley.com.