May 18, 2013
By Tom Watts for The Macomb Daily
McKeon Products, Inc., a Warren-based manufacturer and supplier of hearing protection, will be presented with the 2013 President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony today at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
McKeon Products, which exports the Mack’s line of products to 57 countries, will be one of 57 firms and organizations from 22 states to be recognized for their contributions to increasing American exports.
“We are honored and privileged to be recognized for our efforts in exporting,” said Jennifer True, international sales director for McKeon Products. “We feel exporting McKeon Products helps local businesses in metro Detroit.
True said McKeon Products Inc., which was founded in 1962 on the basis of supplying innovative hearing protection, sleep aids and swimmer’s ear prevention, currently has 70 employees based in Warren.
“As we expand our staff of 70 people, this helps to bring other services and goods to be sold in countries outside the U.S.,” True said from McKeon Products headquarters. “Of the 57 companies being recognized, 33 of them were manufacturers like us.”
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will present the 2013 President’s “E” Awards to the firms and organizations for their contributions to increasing American exports.
Of the 57 award recipients, 47 are small or medium-sized enterprises, 33 are manufacturers, and 31 companies are in both categories.
“We are the No. 1 doctor-recommended brand, and to take our product outside the U.S. helps the company to diversify,” said True, who has been with McKeon Products for six years. “We are one facility able to reach out to so many different corners of the world.”
The Mack’s line of products includes a full range of ear plugs styles for sleeping, swimming, showering, snore blocking, studying, shooting sports, traveling, and loud noise and flying discomfort. Products also include sleep masks, ear drying aids, lens wipers and earwax removal products.
“We expect to reach 70 countries and already have exported to places like Canada, Australia, Europe, United Kingdom, Central America and Asia,” True said. “We have 14 different languages we deal with: Russian, Finnish and Spanish, to name a few.”
McKeon Products started its international export shipments to Mexico in 1989 and True said they expect to reach 70 countries perhaps by the end of the year.
“Next up are countries like South Africa, Egypt and get into the Asian market more in depth,” True said.
The President’s “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms, and organizations that significantly contribute to U.S. exports.
Blank said this aligns with President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to expand exports in an effort to create and support millions of U.S. jobs.
The ceremony is one of the highlights of World Trade Month, a period set aside to reflect upon the benefits international trade brings to the U.S. economy. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the awards.