Area Business Receives “President’s ‘E’ Award for Exports” from U.S. Commerce Dept
One company in our region has recently received the President’s “E” Award for exports. Allegheny Mountain Radio travelled to the Lewisburg area and talked with the President of that company about the award and how they achieved it. First we’ll let Mr. Crandall introduce himself and his company.
“Hi, I’m John Crandall, President and Co-Founder of Falcon Analytical Systems and Technology” said Crandall. “We’re a small company in Lewisburg, West Virginia that has a couple of inventions and we produced a product called the Calidus Vast Gas Chromatograph System.”
“It’s gas chromatography” Crandall explained. “Gas means that the experiment takes place in the gas phase. Chromatography really has to do with color separations, and basically the technique is a method whereby you sample a gas or a liquid –so it’s sampling, separation and detection. And what that gives one is a very versatile and powerful analytical instrument that’s capable of measuring the properties of gasoline, the properties of crude oil, even the properties of wine and distilled spirits”
Crandall says gas chromatography also has uses in the pharmaceutical industry, making plastics and polyester products and many other industries.
I asked Crandall what makes his Calidus system unique.
“The thing that makes our product unique and the reason for some of our export success is the idea to make an instrument that you can put in the hands of a non-expert user and have them succeed at an expert level” said Crandall. “Most of the products in the world require a PH D or at least a chemist to successfully perform the work and our device is in the hands of great unskilled people that we are able to train.”
Crandall showed me the instrument which is very portable and simple and he described how it performs 10 to 50 times as fast as any other gas chromatographs in the world. The company’s Logo is a Falcon, one of the fastest birds. They named their product “Calidus” which is also the name of a very tough sub-species of the Falcon which lives above the Arctic Circle. He says the name is appropriate since the Calidus Gas Chromatograph is the fastest, toughest one in the world.
Crandall describes how this award came about.
“The State of West Virginia came to us about a year ago and asked us what our business was and what we are doing in the world” said Crandall. “They said we should apply for export awards for the State of West Virginia. So we signed up and it turns out we have 14 or 15 countries that we export to. The State of West Virginia has given a plaque with the lowest denomination of paper currency for each of the countries we have exported to, which is pretty nice.”
After a attending a very successful trade mission in Japan this past November, Falcon Analytical sold 55 of their units to the UK and Ireland for the purpose of having their tax agents test diesel to ensure the dye has not been removed to avoid taxes. The units are portable enough to travel with the agents as they patrol the highways.
After hearing about that, Enybe Diaz of the West Virginia Economic Development Commission suggested Falcon apply for the President’s “E” Award for exports. They did and were selected. John Crandall and others from the company travelled to Washington D.C. and received the award from Commerce Secretary Pritzker at a ceremony on May 16th at the Department of Commerce.
Crandall says the company is located in Lewisburg because they like the mountains, the people the work ethic and because this area is the place where gas chromatography was invented and has the greatest concentration in the world of experts in gas chromatography. Crandall says he also loves Pocahontas County where he enjoys skiing and bicycling.
“I love going to Pocahontas County and going snow skiing” said Crandall. “I love Greenbrier County as well, but there’s something special about heading up (Rt.) 92 and getting on a bicycle and riding to Green Bank.”
So congratulations to this great local business.