Van Buren-based Knesek Guns Inc. was recognized with the “E” Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The award, which was presented to Knesek employees by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on May 28, is given to companies “making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports,” according to a Knesek statement.
A total of 65 U.S. companies were presented with the President’s “E” Award this year, and Knesek was the only Arkansas company to receive an “E” award in the 2014 cycle.
Knesek Guns is a wholesaler and retailer of military and law enforcement type weapons. The company focuses on military and law enforcement weapons, optics, ammunition, and firearm accessories.
“Our continued focus on international sales has provided a great opportunity for us to support United States manufacturers of firearms and various defense articles” stated Max Rodriguez, senior vice president of KGI, said in the statement. “When we first began exporting, we only offered a few lines and our client base was quite limited, but in recent years we have grown to offer a full catalog of products and are exporting to a lot of new markets around the world.”
Four years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in making the award.
President John Kennedy revived the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters.
“Knesek Guns has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with Knesek Guns’ sales into 76 international markets. The company’s creative marketing of products previously found only in the United States was also particularly impressive,” Secretary Pritzker noted in a letter to the company announcing its selection as an award recipient.