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McDavid Knee Guard of Woodridge, Ill., Is Named Ex-Im Bank's Small Business Exporter of the Year


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- McDavid Knee Guard, Inc., of Woodridge, Ill., is to receive the 2008 Small Business Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 17.

A maker of sports medical and protective apparel products, McDavid Knee Guard increased global sales under an Ex-Im Bank multibuyer export credit insurance policy more than three-fold from $1.8 million to $6 million between 2004 and 2007.

Ex-Im Bank insurance helped us grow our total exports from practically nothing in 2002 to $7.7 million last year, and we anticipate exporting $9 million in 2008, said co-owner and Vice President Terry Fee. We have 230 people working in Woodridge, and 25 percent of them will be making products for export this year. Ten years ago, we had less than 100 employees overall.

Fee said McDavid Knee Guard also has at least 100 U.S. sub-suppliers across the country, most of them small businesses.

Fee and McDavid Knee Guard co-owner and President Bob McDavid, who were college friends, founded the company in Fee's mother's basement in 1980. McDavid began the business by manufacturing and marketing the first widely-used football lateral protective knee brace. The company now manufactures over 400 different products for active people and athletes, including protective apparel for team sports such as HexPad®, which fuses padding to performance fabrics. McDavid Knee Guard began exporting in 1985.

This innovative small business has used Ex-Im Bank insurance to grow its exports and in the process has dramatically increased U.S. jobs at its facilities and suppliers throughout the country, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. McDavid Knee Guard well deserves Ex-Im Bank's Small Business Exporter of the Year Award.

Without Ex-Im Bank, Fee said, we wouldn't have been able to obtain from our local bank, Park National, a line of credit on our foreign receivables. Without this financing, we'd be doing at the most a quarter of the exports we're doing.

Ex-Im Bank's 33rd annual conference on April 17 and 18 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 17 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 74th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. The Bank authorized $3.4 billion in direct support of small businesses for the year. The 2,390 transactions in support of small business during 2007 represented 85.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank transactions. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.