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PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR AWARD WINNERS

17 February 1997

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

Targeting international markets in the early 1990's is the reason leaders of two Baltimore businesses were honored Thursday by the World Trade Center Institute for their business achievements overseas.

Peter Bowe, president of Ellicott® Machine Corporation International, started targeting Asian business opportunities, including those in Vietnam, early in the decade and persisted until his company landed some major deals several years later.

Roy Higgs and John Clark, the chief executive officer and the president of Development Design Group Inc., bought out their Toronto-based parent company in 1991 and have built up international revenues from $500,000 that year to an estimated $10 million in 1996.

The heads of both companies, Bowe in the manufacturing sector and Higgs and Clark in the service sector, were each given a Maryland Award for International Business Leadership during a luncheon yesterday at the World Trade Center Institute.

William "Brit" Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland College Park, also was honored, winning the Governor's Award for his university's efforts in international studies and research as well as hosting more than 4,000 international visitors annually.

Tom Kelley, chairman of the committee and partner at Deloitte & Touche, said the leaders of both winning companies found creative ways to break into international markets and made deals that ultimately benefited Maryland's economy.

Development Design, Kelley noted, does 90 percent of its drafting and planning work locally even though 70 percent of its business is abroad, and Ellicott®'s use of the Port of Baltimore and local shipping companies has a ripple effect on the local economy.

Since then the business has sold equipment to numerous countries, including Russia and Indonesia. It was the first U.S. business to export capital equipment to Vietnam after America lifted its trade embargo against the country in 1994.

"We made some bets some years ago that have been paying off recently," Bowe said.


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