Jackson Kayak receives Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence

WHITE COUNTY – Jackson Kayak in Sparta has been named a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence (GATE).

Jackson Kayak, the medium company winner, manufactures kayaks, coolers and accessories for its own brand name, in addition to creating custom moldings for other companies. Eric Jackson founded Jackson Kayak in 2004, and he created sales on five continents within just two years of business. Since then, Jackson Kayak has made many more distributor partnerships in countries around Europe, Asia and South America. The company most recently began exporting to Russia and China.

The GATE honors small, medium and large companies who have achieved excellence in engaging in global trade. Jackson Kayak is the first UC company to win the Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence since 2012, when Global Industrial Components Inc. in Cannon County was named in the small company category.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. Brentwood’s Swiftwick and Nashville’s Gibson were also honored.

The winners will be presented their award Friday at the 61st annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development at the Renaissance Nashville hotel.

Tennessee companies exported $32.3 billion worth of goods and services in 2013, and Tennessee’s export growth of $6.3 billion from 2010-2013 ranks No. 10 in the nation. Top export commodities include transportation equipment, chemicals, computer and electronic products, miscellaneous manufactured commodities, and machinery. Top export markets include Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Belgium.

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