World Trade Week Awards


As a national observance since 1935, World Trade Week has a long standing tradition of celebrating international trade and promoting its importance.  In honor of this purpose, each year World Trade Week Southern California chooses to highlight a few select companies that have done an outstanding job in promoting global trade. 



The 2016 Southern California World Trade Week award recipients are as follows:

World Trade Week Export Achievement Award 

  California State University, Northridge Tseng College 

A vibrant university offering certificates, training, bachelors, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 200 fields, many of which are nationally recognized for their excellence and distinction, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) serves as an engine of innovation, economic growth, creativity, discovery, and scholarship through robust applied teaching, learning and research. Serving more than 45,000 students per year, CSUN is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the United States.

CSUN’s academic programs and numerous Centers and Institutes enjoy international recognition for their excellence. The University partners with more than 100 institutions of higher education in 22 countries around the globe. It attracts the second-largest international student population of any U.S. master’s-level institution. The University’s fully online degrees have international reach.

Additionally, through its Tseng College, CSUN is one of the largest providers of English- language and college-preparation instruction for international students in the United States. It is also a leading supplier of educational programs and specialized development services to partnering international institutions and businesses.

Situated on a 356-acre park-like setting in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, CSUN is a welcoming university that champions academic excellence, student success, accessibility and diversity. CSUN also values its place in the global context. 

    Combustion Associates Inc.

Combustion Associates Inc. (CAI) is a minority, woman-owned business that provides engineering and advanced manufacturing solutions to the energy, process and environmental Industries worldwide.

CAI is led by a first-generation immigrant couple whose combined talents of technical and entrepreneurial expertise have made this small business a respected exporter of equipment and turn-key engineering solutions. The company’s export achievements were recognized by President Barack Obama at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit 2014 – See video: http://cai3. com/us-africa-leaders-summit.

CAI offers packaged gas turbine power generation systems that are dependable, cost- effective and energy-efficient. The company is also a systems integrator specializing in skid-mounted automated process systems for chemical, oil and gas, plastics and waste- to-energy industries. CAI designed power plants are used by public and private sectors in independent power production, mining, chemical and food processing plants, paper and textile industries, landfills, oil rigs, agricultural, industrial parks, and facilities requiring on- site independent power generation. CAI’s products are engineered, manufactured and tested right here in Corona, CA.

Over the years, the company has significantly expanded its export capabilities allowing it to deliver products and engineering services anywhere in the world. Export sales in 2015 represent over 70 percent of CAI’s total revenue.

CAI has supplied its innovative, self-developed SpiritTM line of power generation systems and auxiliary equipment to clients in the U.S., Canada, Belize, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.

In Sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging economies, where electrical outages cripple life, CAI’s SpiritTM line of power generation equipment provides solutions for blackouts and brown-outs with reliable power not only for cities and infrastructure building, but also for rural electrification, micro-grids and remote areas. CAI’s power plants are enabling thousands of families and businesses thrive in otherwise desolate situations. One such example is CAI’s 80 MW, state-of-the-art, power plant in the Republic of Benin which provides affordable electricity to thousands.

  Micronova Manufacturing Inc.

Micronova Manufacturing Inc. was established in Torrance, CA in 1984.

Recognizing the need for specialized tools to address critical cleaning in the emerging electronics and aerospace industries, the company – through its founder Audrey Reynolds – developed a range of cleanroom mops, wipers and detergents to service cleanrooms and controlled environments in the Western U.S. and further afield. Since many of those first customers were part of international organizations, the company had an ear to the global marketplace from its early days.

In the late 1990s, the company allocated resources to research and enhance its overseas presence. At the same time the product line was fine tuned to address the requirements of the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

Support for regulatory matters –in recent years REACH, Harmonization of SDS, and various trade requirements –Certificates of Origin and Harmonization Codes, have found the company turning to services offered by the local chamber of commerce and trade groups such as California Manufacturing Technology Center. The same CMTC group was instrumental in helping Micronova start its ISO 9001:2008 qualification– an important step in showing quality compliance in a worldwide market.

Although the end user market is highly technical, Micronova maintains their appeal to the customer by keeping the products simple and straightforward.

Growth in recent years can be attributed to the realization of a truly interactive ‘global’ market. Blue Chip customers have established branches overseas that want to copy exact procedures –and corresponding products – used in the U.S. This has allowed the company to build new markets in Europe as well as India and the Pacific Rim.

Manufacturing is still carried out in the Torrance, California facility, where the manufacturing footprint was doubled in 2013-14 to support the consistent growth in sales.


World Trade Week Foreign Direct Investment Award

 Kinkisharyo International L.L.C.

Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. is the Los Angeles based subsidiary to The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd. of Osaka Japan. We are an American railcar company with a Japanese heritage.
We are the industry leader in designing and manufacturing low floor light rail vehicles (LRV’s) for North America. We are known throughout the rail industry for our innovation
and unique ability to integrate advanced technologies in combination with superior safety, maintenance efficiency and high quality craftsmanship. Our greatest strength and our growth is the result a reputation that was earned from delivering high quality and reliable vehicles on time and on budget.

  Kuehne + Nagel, Inc.

Kuehne + Nagel is one of the world’s leading logistics companies, providing seafreight, airfreight, overland, contract logistics and integrated logistics solutions. We deliver highly flexible logistics services through partnerships with leading carriers, as well as easy visibility, monitoring and reporting of freight movements via KN login, our real time and web-enabled global information system. These well-established relationships guarantee capacity and the ability to adapt to growing trade volumes, quickly and efficiently.

Our local offices serve as connection points for customer access to our global reach and logistics expertise. Kuehne + Nagel operates with the same processes and on the same standardized systems at each of our 1200 locations in more than 100 countries, enabling us to consistently deliver high-quality service worldwide. Our customers benefit from our consistent quality standards and deep understanding of local market logistics and regulatory issues.


Bob Kleist Leadership Award 

   International Trade Education Programs, Inc.

International Trade Education Programs TM (ITEP) is a Southern California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides brighter futures. Through partnerships with ports, transportation, logistics, and related industries, ITEP prepares high school students for diverse career

opportunities in high-growth job sectors. ITEP develops innovative programs that integrate internships and career mentoring with the curriculum of area high schools. The programs encourage young men and women to envision brighter futures and enable students to achieve those goals through scholarships, career exploration, business skills training, and more.

Launched in 1999 with the International Trade Academy at Phineas Banning High School in Wilmington, today ITEP serves more than 4,500 students in 16 career pathways across 10 Southern California high schools. Students who complete the ITEP Internship Program boast a 97 percent graduation rate, up to 10 percent higher than their peers. 89 percent of ITEP graduates enroll in college or vocational programs. Last year, generous partners contributed 8,568 volunteer hours, creating 6,574 meaningful student interactions.

ITEP’s industry advisory boards actively engage business, government, and educational leaders across multiple industries. Volunteers from local businesses offer students the insights and competence to thrive in the growing economy. Students build context between their studies and the real world through hands-on learning and carry that experience with them into the workplace. Likewise, industry partners build lasting relationships with the communities they serve and learn how to engage with and invest in the future workforce. ITEP reinforces a learning environment that motivates students, rewards ambition and creates opportunity.

To learn more about ITEP, please call (424) 368-7100 or visit


Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award

This prestigious plaque recognizes an outstanding member of the world trade community in Southern California who has contributed above and beyond job requirements throughout a long career in international trade. 


Click here to see video of Fred Latuperissa receiving the Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award. 

Mr. Fred Latuperissa is a U.S. Navy Veteran, and is fluent in Dutch and Indonesian. He holds a master’s degree in International Business Administration from West Coast University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Redlands in California. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, he held the position as head of corporate export-import operations for Hughes Aircraft Electronics, General Motors.

His temporary assignments overseas include acting senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan; acting commercial attaché for Belgium and Luxembourg; acting deputy principal commercial officer, Toronto, Canada; and advance team member for the Secretary of Commerce during the 1994 Presidential Trade Mission to China and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 1999, Latuperissa established a historic agreement with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the first export assistance on Native American Land, which resulted in him receiving the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade (ITA) Administration Memorial Award for supporting an underserved group and the ITA Bronze Medal for foreign direct investment from the Secretary of Commerce.

Latuperissa serves as a founding member and Executive Secretary for the California Inland Empire District Export Council, a regional advisory group of business leaders that are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Latuperissa is a member of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the U.S. Civilian Response Corps, Reconstruction & Stabilization; the Boy Scouts of America; and Rotary International. He is past President of several Rotary International clubs, and as an invited speaker, he presented on international trade ~ Pathway to Peace ~ on the importance of trade in the pursuit of conflict resolution between nations.

His other contributions include invitations to teach international business courses as an adjunct associate professor at East Los Angeles City College; Grossmont College; University of La
Verne; West Coast University; and CSU-San Bernardino. Over the years Latuperissa not only has taught about international trade but also has mentored local and international students at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Latuperissa has worked a number of domestic assignments in L.A., San Diego and Orange County. Latuperissa currently serves as the International Trade Administration - U.S. Commercial Service Director of the United States Department of Commerce in Ontario, California, the agency that promotes international trade for expansion and economic growth.



Click here to see video of Ilse Metchek receiving the Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award. 

Ilse Metchek, President of the California Fashion Association (CFA), created the organization in 1995, with assistance from the major financial and manufacturing participants of the region’s apparel industry. The CFA provides leaders of the Southern California’s manufacturing and textile community with the opportunity to share information about the business of conducting business in the current global economy.

CFA’s current international roster includes representatives from Canada, Colombia, Italy, Peru, China, Hong Kong, UAE, with presentations made to visiting delegations from Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, Chile, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Since 2014, Metchek has spoken on the topic “Global Trends in the Fashion Industry” at conferences for the Alibaba organization in Hanzhou, China, the Global Internet Conference in Wuzen, China, the Intermoda trade event in Guadalajara, Mexico and the opening of the first retail effort showcasing California brands for Moonbasa in Shanghai.

Prior to the formation of the CFA, Metchek was executive director of the California Market Center (then called the California Mart), and before that, she was president of White Stag Inc., a division of Warnaco Industries. Her career in manufacturing began as the designer for Anjac Fashions for the Needleman corporation; and 17 years later, she owned the company, changing its name to Ilse Mc. Inc.

Metchek has been the keynote speaker on fashion industry issues for the State of California’s Home Economics Careers and Technology Educations Annual Leadership and Management conference, as well as the International Textile and Apparel Association Conference in Los Angeles (ITAA), a professional educational association composed of scholars and global educational institutions.

Her current affiliations include Board Membership of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, Board Member of the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Council of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and President of Image Makers L.A.; a consulting group to apparel industry businesses.

Previously, Metchek was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Exporters’ Textile Advisory Committee (ETAC), and has served on the Advisory Board of the UCLA Extension School and the Board of Trustees for Woodbury University.

Her public service includes her work for student scholarships as the executive director of the California Fashion Foundation, and as a member of the Fashion Industries Guild of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where she was honored as the ‘Person of the Year’ at their annual gala event some years ago. Last year, Metchek was honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and the Los Angeles Business Journal as the ‘Industry Icon.’

Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Past Recipients

View a pdf of award descriptions.

For the list of last year's award recipients, please click here


For more information, contact Global Initiatives Senior Manager Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.


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