A New Twist

With Honors

Porcelain refinishing opportunity Kott Koatings Inc. made history in December when it became the first business opportunity to receive the U.S. Department of Commerce's highest honor for American exporters.

The Foothill Ranch, California-based company was one of six U.S. firms given the president's "E" Award for Excellence in Exporting. Established in the 1960s by President Kennedy, the award recognizes American companies' outstanding achievements in global markets and contributions to the U.S. economy.

Kott Koatings measures up to that standard: Founded in 1953 by John T. Kott, the family-owned business first took its concept across borders in 1989 and found such great success that today its licensees have entered no less than 40 countries. Vice president John M. Kott says he is "extremely thrilled" to receive the award and especially to be the first business opportunity so honored. "The president is coming to realize that [business opportunities are] a very valuable export," says Kott.

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor (pictured, center) presented the "E" Awards to recipients at an awards ceremony held at the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC.

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This article was originally published in the May 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A New Twist.

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