IBD Success Stories

The International Business Development program honors its exceptional clients in a variety of ways. They are often program success stories and one company is honored yearly as an exporter of the year. Frequently, these business have particaitioned in a business and trade mission to China through the IBD program.

2014 New York SBDC Exporter of the Year - Brotherhood Winery

Evergreen Timber, an Albany SBDC, visiting China with the IBD program

Brotherhood Winery, America’s Oldest Winery, a producer of New York wines and importer of wines from other states and other countries, has been in continuous operation for 175 years. Beginning in 2012, Thanks to the New York SBDC’s NYS Wine outlet in Shanghai, the company has been involved in an aggressive export program to expand and diversify its market footprint. Brotherhood recognized the market potential in China and decided it was a great opportunity. During 2012, exports reached 3,000 cases, and in 2013 they increased the exports to more than 5,000 cases, opening the doors to a market that it is just starting to gain familiarity with wine. With the assistance of the IBD, Brotherhood is planning to open more markets in Asia. All of the exports are wines from New York that are manufactured and bottled at Brotherhood’s facility in Washingtonville. The resulting increase in export sales is already motivating a business expansion in New York State.

Brotherhood recognizes the value of exports as a driving force behind economic development at home and is grateful to the Mid-Hudson SBDC and the New York SBDC International Business Development program for their continuous support.


2009 New York SBDC Exporter of the Year – Gorbel

Brian Reh

Gorbel is an innovator and the leading builder of cranes and ergonomic lifting devices with more than 30 years experience providing overhead handling solutions to customers in a wide range of industries. Gorbel is a manufacturer and a net exporter; a rare combination in America today. They serve the North American and Chinese markets through facilities in Fishers (NY), Pell City (AL), Detroit (MI) and Tianjin (China). Jinshui Zhang assisted them with market research and information about the Chinese market, facilitated meetings and negotiations, and promoted Gorbel products and services.

In 2006, the company celebrated the grand opening of a new plant in the Tianjin economic development area (TEDA) in China. The company was named International Business of the Year by the Rochester Business Alliance that year. Gorbel employees pride themselves on delivering world class service and the highest quality products. The Gorbel team is willing to take on any challenge with vigor and only settles for success. The company tag line is "A Class Above", defines everything they do, especially in how they treat their peers and customers. Gorbel’s president, Brian Reh, is currently serving on SBA’s District Advisory Board (Buffalo District).


Success Story: Cooperstown All Star Village

From left, Robert Tian (UAlbany MBA student intern), Bill Brigham, Jim Riccardi (owner of Materials Recovery Company), Jinshui Zhang

Cooperstown All Star Village was founded in 1999 by Martin Patton with a vision to provide baseball players with a major league baseball experience. With over 30 years of continuous business experience, Martin Patton has developed one of the most prestigious youth baseball camps in the World - America’s first and only baseball resort and tournament camp where players compete in week-long tournaments and families have fun, too!. Cooperstown All Star employs top level training staff for players, coaches, managers, and passes on professional instruction from local youth leagues to high school and national elite programs.

Mr.Patton joined several business missions to China organized by the New York State SBDC to do market research and introduce his business model to China.  With the assistance of the IBD, Mr. Patton is successful in introducing and promoting his model to the Chinese sports organizations and groups, identifying the right partners for business development and cooperation, setting up demonstrations to stimulate and show the Chinese a sport such as baseball that is popular around the world and will become an Olympic sport soon, and bringing in top level training staff to train coaches, players and umpires.

With the assistance of the IBD, the Patton’s goal is to expand and develop his business in China and build world-class facilities with professional ball fields and uniforms for the players, and using his business model to generate income through Olympic sports to benefit the communities they are located in while putting Chinese people to work and making the business profitable.