The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development recognized Jackson Kayak for its excellence in engaging in global trade. Jackson Kayak Founder and President Eric Jackson accepted the award on Nov. 14, during an Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development luncheon.

“Tennessee’s economy is more connected to the global economy than ever before, and I congratulate our GATE Award winners on their business acumen and their aggressive approach to global markets that has allowed them to tap new markets and maintain international competitiveness,” said Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner.

Jackson Kayak was joined at the recognition ceremony by fellow outdoor industry performance sock manufacturer Swiftwick and iconic guitar maker Gibson. All three companies are located in or near Nashville. Gibson is in Nashville, Swiftwick is in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood and Jackson Kayak is in Sparta, just 90 miles east of Nashville.

“Jackson Kayak is honored to receive this award and share the stage with such awesome companies as Swiftwick and Gibson,” said Jackson Kayak founder and president, Eric Jackson. “Tennessee’s progressive approach to economic development has helped Jackson Kayak grow to its top position in sales and reputation around the world. In addition to being a great state to do business in, White County is a wonderful place to call home.”

Within just two years of its first kayak sale in 2004, Jackson Kayak established sales bulkheads on five continents. Since then, the company has made many more distributor partnerships in countries around Europe, Asia and South America. The company most recently began exporting to Russia and China.

In 2013, Tennessee based companies tallied $32.3 billion worth of goods and services exported in 2013 making Tennessee tenth among all US states in export volume. Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find them on the web: tn.gov/ecd.

Founded in 2003, family owned and operated Jackson Kayak is the world’s leading maker of whitewater and fishing kayaks. Other user-design inspired products include touring kayaks, coolers and other paddling accessories. All Jackson Kayak products are proudly made in the USA with exclusively American made parts, people and manufacturing partners. For more info, visit the company online at http://jacksonkayak.com or like them on Facebook at facebook.com/jacksonkayak.