News Release

International Center Receives Presidential Award for Export Service
Posted: 5/22/2017 6:00 PM

​On May 22, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the Lafayette International Center with the President’s “E” Star Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Accepting the award for the International Center and for Lafayette Consolidated Government were Dave Domingue, the Center’s Operations Coordinator, and Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, pictured here with Secretary Ross (far left) and Acting Under Secretary for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt (far right).

The President’s “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 2011, the Lafayette International Center, also known as Le Centre International de Lafayette, was awarded the President’s “E” Certificate for Export Service. The “E Star” Award, which was authorized by the Secretary of Commerce, highlights continued export promotion efforts during the past four years.

“Lafayette International Center has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with Lafayette International Center’s case studies highlighting its contributions to the export growth of Louisiana companies. The Center’s support of international trade missions was also particularly notable. Its achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Ross in his congratulatory letter to the International Center announcing its selection as an award recipient.
Of the 32 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country which were honored this year by Secretary Ross, Lafayette’s International Center was one of only five presented with the President’s “E” Star Award, one of only two for export service, the only honoree from Louisiana, and the only local government entity in the entire country to be selected.
Dr. Joby John, Chairman of the Lafayette International Center Foundation stated: "We are the only city-sponsored entity that supports ‘all things international’ in the entire State of Louisiana. Thanks to Philippe Gustin, its first and only director, and his staff, the current and past mayors of the city, and community leaders and citizens, this International Center has punched above its weight since inception almost 30 years ago."
“With today’s financial uncertainty, exporting helps to diversify our economy in the best way possible,” said Robideaux. “I am especially proud of the unique partnership between LCG and the International Center, and that the federal government recognizes this partnership as a model for all communities.”
U.S. exports totaled $2.21 trillion in 2016, accounting for nearly 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs nationwide in 2015, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration.
The Lafayette International Center was founded in 1989 as the international trade division of Lafayette municipal government. Its mission is to provide export assistance to small and medium-sized businesses by identifying potential markets, offering export counseling services, hosting “matchmaking” events, site visits with foreign buyers, and educational seminars and webinars on topics relevant to exporting. The Center’s efforts, through increased exporting and incoming international tourism – the Center’s other target – have introduced over $50 million into the city and parish economy since the Center opened in 1990.
About the “E” Awards - In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients. 
U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department’s International Trade Administration. With offices across the U.S. and in embassies and consulates around the world, the International Trade Administration lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process by promoting and facilitating exports and investment into the U.S.; administering Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and removing, reducing, or preventing foreign trade barriers.
For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit