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MA Export Center SBDC, University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management Honored with Massachusetts and New England SBDC Service Center Excellence and Innovation Award

Release Date: 
Friday, April 21, 2017
Release Number: 
Norman Eng 617-565-8510

BOSTON – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has named the Massachusetts Export Center led by Paula Murphy, the winner of the 2017 SBDC Service Center Excellence and Innovation Award for Massachusetts and New England.

The Massachusetts Export Center earned the recognition for exceeding goals, successfully organizing the annual Export Expo, expanding the Compliance Alliance Initiative, and developing a variety of training programs for businesses in the region. The Export Center offers a full-range of targeted, customized services to Massachusetts businesses at any stage in the export process, including: export strategy and business plan development; assessment of export markets; international channel development; international payment and financing; export regulatory compliance; export logistics and supply chain; free trade agreement compliance; and more.   

“Under Paula Murphy’s direction, the center supported over $162 million in export sales and $987K in capital infusion,” said Robert Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director. “On average, over a thousand companies participate in the Export Center’s training programs annually. They are an amazing resource for our small businesses that want to expand or grow a global presence."

At the core of the Export Center’s effectiveness are the employees, who are staff of UMass Amherst Isenberg -- all holding private sector international business experience and stay up-to-date on the latest issues, regulatory changes, market trends, and credentials.  Kathleen Newell is the international trade compliance manager who: provides one-on-one technical assistance, coordinates training programs, manages the market research program, and manages operations for the Export Center’s Compliance Alliance initiative – a membership-based forum for exporters to share best practices.  The alliance has since grown from 60 member firms during its launch in 2009 to nearly 100 members today.

“Mass Export Center successfully convenes international business leaders – from private industry, federal and state government, and the non-profit sector – to share knowledge, pursue partnerships, and help local companies.” said Kristen Rupert, Executive Director for Associated Industries of Massachusetts/International Business Council.

The Massachusetts Export Center has successfully led the STEP (State Trade Export Promotion) program with the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment for the past 5 years – helping companies in the region apply for funds that support international trade.  Randolph Engineering is a multigenerational family-owned and operated manufacturer of eyewear that has worked with the Export Center since 2009 and leveraged the STEP program to expand into global markets.  With the expertise of the knowledgeable staff, Randolph Engineering received help identifying channel partners in new markets, streamlined its export operations, ensured compliance with global trade regulations, and established its brand at leading overseas trade shows for the optical sector. Today, exports represent over 40% of Randolph Engineering’s revenue – selling to over 50 countries through distributors, direct military sales and direct dealer sales.

“The exceptional service and tremendous impact by the Massachusetts Export Center is also illustrated by the Massachusetts Export Center being a recipient in 2008 of the President’s “E” Award,” said James Paul, Director for Boston U.S. Export Assistance Center/U.S. Commercial Service. “This prestigious recognition is the highest honor the federal government can give to American people, firms or organizations that have made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. 

Paula Murphy, Executive Director will be honored at an SBA awards lunch along with the other 2017 Massachusetts Small Business Week winners at Granite Links Golf Club on May 2, 2017.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  To learn more, visit


About Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers:

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network provides one-to-one free comprehensive and confidential services focusing on, business growth and strategies, financing and loan assistance as well as strategic, marketing and operational analysis. In addition, low cost educational training programs are offered across the state targeted to the needs of small business.  The MSBDC network is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and a consortium of higher education institutions including UMASS Amherst and the Isenberg School of Management.     For more information on Massachusetts Export Center, please visit: