WA export team receives 2021 federal public service award

SEATTLE, Wash.—Ellie He and Vern Jenkins, international trade business advisors with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network, have been recognized by the Seattle Federal Executive Board for their work as part of the Washington Export Outreach Team (WEOT) to support export trade during the pandemic.

On May 18, the Seattle Federal Executive Board announced that WEOT was awarded a 2021 Public Service Award for its ongoing, collaborative efforts to assist small business owners involved in international trade during the global pandemic.

The Washington Export Outreach Team was created in 2014 and includes staff from multiple state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations, including the U.S. Commercial Service, the U.S. Small Business Administration, EXIM Bank, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service, Export Finance Assistance Center of WA, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association, Washington State Department of Commerce and the Washington SBDC.

Vern Jenkins joined the Washington SBDC in 2011 after more than three decades in international trade and is located in Spokane. Ellie, He joined the Washington SBDC in 2019 and is located in Seattle.

Vern Jenkins, Washington SBDC International Trade Advisor
Ellie He, Washington SBDC, International Trade Business Advisor

Diane Mooney, director of the U.S. Commercial Service commended WEOT for coming together during the pandemic to reformulate their annual strategic outreach plan and put together a schedule of online trainings to continue connecting with small business exporters throughout the state.

During the award ceremony on May 18, Mooney said, “WEOT’s online training programs connected small businesses to vital business services during a challenging economic time to help keep doors open and deliver bottom-line economic results to the U.S. economy. Despite challenges and disruptions, WEOT has risen to the challenge and is on track to meet its quarterly outreach goals with a new and continuously evolving online format.”

The Seattle Federal Executive Board is part of a network of Federal Executive Boards created more than 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy to create better efficiency and collaboration within government services. The mission of the Federal Executive Board is to inform member agencies of each other’s initiatives and successes, reduce costs and improve efficiency, create increased partnerships with community groups and help coordinate emergency services.

The Washington SBDC is a network of more than 40 business advisors and two international trade business advisors who work one-on-one with small business owners and entrepreneurs working to start, grow, or buy/sell a business. The Washington SBDC is hosted by Washington State University and receives funding from the SBA, WSU, and other institutions of higher education, economic development agencies, and civic and business groups, including municipal governments.

For more about the Washington SBDC.

For more about the Washington Export Outreach Team (WEOT).