A German manufacturer of vinyl films, a cosmetics and health care company, an international education center and a professor at Emory University’s business school were the winners of the World Trade Center Atlanta’s 2008 governor’s international awards Aug. 23.

More than 280 guests attended the Governor’s International Awards Gala, which celebrated the achievements of Georgia-based companies and individuals in four categories: international investment, international trade, international educational program and individual contributions to the international community.

Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, represented Gov. Sonny Perdue at the black-tie affair held downtown for the third consecutive year.

Oracal USA Inc., a manufacturer of vinyl films and related adhesive products and a corporate partner of the German company Orafol Europe, was the winner in the international investment category. The company is located in Southeast Georgia near I-16 in Ellabell, Bryan County.

Nioxin Research Laboratories Inc. in Lithia Springs was the winner in the international trade category. The company manufactures cosmetics, toiletries and other beauty and health care products and exports them to some 40 countries.

The Southern Center for International Studies, which was founded in 1962 by Peter White, was the winner in the international education program.  The center is dedicated publishes educational materials and conducts corporate training events.

Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt professor of marketing in the Goizueta Business School of Emory University, was the winner in the individual contributions to the international community category.

Dr. Sheth is founder of the India, China and America Institute and a prolific author and member of the board of Wipro Ltd., an Indian firm that has opened a software development center in Atlanta.

Mr. Stewart provided an overview of the state’s increasing involvement in the global economy and noted that three fourths of the state’s counties have companies engaged in international trade.

“Georgia is holding its own in tough economic times,” he said.

According to Mr. Stewart, in fiscal year 2008, international companies provided 16.5 percent of the state’s new project locations, generating 36 percent of the new jobs and 33 percent of the total investment for the year.

He said that the state had undertaken 58 trade missions abroad in the 2008 fiscal year in comparison to 42 in fiscal year 2006.  Meanwhile, the number of official foreign delegations had grown from 32 in fiscal year 2006 to 73 in fiscal year 2008.

Other finalists in the international investment category were Arcapita Inc., an Atlanta-based holding and real estate company that is wholly owned by the Arcapita Bank located in Bahrain and IKEA, a privately held, international home products retailer that sells furniture, accessories, bathrooms and kitchens which opened a store in Atlanta in 2005.

Other finalists for the international trade category were Big Time Products LLC, a Rome, Ga.-based manufacturer of hand protection products and Atlanta-based Crawford & Co., a provider of claims management and related solutions to the risk management and insurance industry with a global network of more than 700 locations in 63 countries;

Finalists for the international educational program were the Savannah Music Festival to be held next year from March 19-April 15 and the University of West Georgia’s banking and finance program.

Finalists for individual community contribution award were Thomas J. Harrold Jr., a member with law firm Miller & Martin PLLC.

Mr. Harrold serves as secretary and is a member of the board of directors of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States. He is also on the boards of the Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Indonesian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Nancy Musselwhite, senior consultant at Atlanta-based Geo Strategy Partners LLC and former senior business development manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, also was a finalist.

They were selected through a nomination and evaluation process conducted by members of the World Trade Center’s board of directors.