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Also:  Green Toys gets export certificate; Boeing honors MicroSource; Raydiance names new CEO

Petaluma-based Labcon North America, which makes laboratory supplies designed to be more environmentally friendly, was among 27 companies nationwide to receive the prestigious President's "E" Award for U.S. Exporters on May 16.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke presented Labcon with the award during a ceremony held at the Commerce Department headquarters 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."

"Exports are a key driver of America's economic recovery," said Secretary Locke.  "President Obama's National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 in support of several million American jobs, is a robust, forward-looking trade agenda with an emphasis on domestic job growth.  Labcon North America is being honored today for making significant contributions toward fulfilling that agenda."

Criteria for the award, started by President Kennedy in 1961, are four years of successive export growth, rising percentage of export sales to total sales and demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports.

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"With our emphasis on sustainability in packaging and reduced carbon content, we have created an attractive alternative to competitive products based solely on price," said Jim Happ, president of Labcon North America.

Tom Moulton, the director of marketing said, "Labcon North America is honored to be awarded the President's "E" Award for U.S. Exporters in recognition of our strong sales overseas."

Labcon North America has benefited from export counseling, trade shows and distributor partnering to greatly expand its export sales. Europe and Asia represent a significant portion of the company's foreign sales, but the firm does business in several other regions of the world as well.

Labcon obtained ISO certification for exports and last year purchased its building to deepen its local roots. It employs about 200 here.

Winners of the "E" Award are authorized to fly the blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation which is signed by the Secretary of Commerce in the name and by the authority of the President, to wear and issue to employees an "E" lapel pin, and to refer to the award in their advertising.

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Mill Valley-based Green Toys Inc., maker of toys made from recycled plastic milk containers, on May 9 received the Commerce Department's Export Achievement Certificate, granted to companies that use the U.S. Commercial Service to make their first international sales or expansions.

"Through the Commercial Service's export counseling, we have been able to successfully secure representation in multiple international markets in far less time than had we tried on our own," said co-founder and Vice President Laurie Hyman. "As a result, we have been able to expand our company while adding new jobs at our California headquarters."

Green Toys now exports to Canada, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Hong Kong and several other markets.

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Boeing picked MicroSource, the Santa Rosa-based division of Giga-tronics Inc., as one of 16 suppliers out of pool of 17,500 contenders in 50-plus countries to receive Boeing's 2010 Supplier of the Year award.

The award, presented May 18, focuses on "superior performance" and high levels of customer satisfaction.

Boeing noted MicroSource's planning, implementation and risk assessment in 100 percent on-time, failure-free performance for avionics delivered for both the F/A-18 and F-15 fighter aircraft. AS9100-certified, MicroSource has invested in electronic configuration management databases for drawings, work instructions and process documentation and has implemented cut factory costs to meet Boeing goals.

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Petaluma-based Raydiance, developer of ultrafast laser systems, named Dick Pierce chief executive officer. Founder Barry Schuler now is chairman.

"Dick Pierce has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to lead companies through rapid growth phases," Mr. Schuler said.

Mr. Pierce's career includes marketing and top management posts at high-tech companies. He started at Intel and ended up running marketing for a $3 billion division. He helped found software maker Inktomi, which grew to $250 million in revenue in five years and went public in 1998. Before joining Raydiance, he was CEO of Orbital Data Corp., a software-over-networks developer Citrix acquired in 2006.

Raydiance's laser system is targeted at makers of medical devices and therapies, industrial lasers as well as bioscience and defense contractors.