German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama reached out to Utah's Natalie Kaddas, CEO of Kaddas Enterprises Inc., in April to represent small business interests in international trade during a special White House event for some of the world's top political and business leaders.
The White House gathering was concurrent with Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial trade fair, and Kaddas Enterprises was one of six Utah companies invited by the Governor's Office of Economic Development to exhibit at the fair. The other participating Utah companies were Saygus, Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI), Spectra Symbol, Tycon Systems and US Synthetic.
Attendees at the White House event included top political and business leaders from such companies as Microsoft, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, who discussed economic growth promotion in such sectors as energy, climate and more. Kaddas presented her company's manufacturing business model and American-made products as industry-leading examples. Since 2013, the company has grown its export business by an average of 400 percent. The company continues to focus on new products and areas to expand its custom solutions for reclosers and power pole mounted equipment.
"It was truly an honor to meet President Barack Obama and have the opportunity to represent Kaddas Enterprises and the State of Utah at this White House event," said Kaddas. "As a small business, breaking into the global market can feel intimidating, but there's a need and a place for us, too. Through trade missions and programs like Utah's State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP), Kaddas Enterprises is able to showcase its strengths and, hopefully, inspire other small businesses to do the same."
Kaddas Enterprises is a woman-owned, family business specializing in thermoform plastic manufacturing. The company has been a leader in thermoform plastic manufacturing since 1966, utilizing high-quality materials and innovative designs to develop products and solutions for a wide variety of industries, including medical, transportation and utility. The company has made a name for itself in domestic and international markets by providing full-service engineering, from consultation and drafting through prototype creation and final production, while also maintaining sustainable business practices.
A graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Kaddas has leveraged her business acumen, the Utah trade missions and programs like STEP to grow her business globally and establish the company as a trade mission success story, tripling international sales since 2013.
The European Union is Utah's largest trading partner, with $4.3 billion worth of exports from Utah to the EU in 2015 and a 54 percent increase in trade between the EU and Utah from 2014-2015. GOED has conducted four Utah trade missions to Europe in the past five years, with Hannover Masse being the fifth to bring more business to Utah companies.