German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama invited Natalie Kaddas, CEO of Utah’s Kaddas Enterprises, to represent small business interests in international trade at a special event for some of the world’s top political and business leaders. Discussion topics ranged from economic growth promotion to energy and climate, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The meeting was concurrent with Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is providing a number of Utah companies, including Kaddas Enterprises, the opportunity to exhibit.

“Congratulations to Kaddas Enterprises for this exciting opportunity to showcase not only the company but also the state of Utah as a leading example of best practices,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “Natalie’s invitation to this meeting is indicative of the fact that small business has a place at the table in our global economy.”

The evening’s attendees included executive leaders from U.S. companies such as Microsoft, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, along with top German business leaders, various government officials and foreign dignitaries. Kaddas was able to promote a high-quality manufacturing business model and present American-made products as industry-leading examples.

“The Kaddas Enterprises team is dedicated to developing some of the most sought-after products available in the global market,” Kaddas said. “Commitment to quality and perseverance in customized strategy are at the heart of small business. It has been an honor to represent that at such a prestigious event.”

Kaddas Enterprises is one of six companies exhibiting at the Hannover Messe through Utah’s State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP), a U.S. Small Business Administration program aimed at helping small companies expand into foreign markets. The company is a second generation, family-owned business specializing in thermoform plastic manufacturing. In operation for more than 50 years, Kaddas Enterprises has joined GOED on a number of trade missions and shows and has tripled international sales since 2013.

“Kaddas Enterprises is a true trade mission success story,” said Franz Kolb, regional director in GOED’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office. “Our trade missions and participation in trade shows are designed to open doors for these companies, and then they do the rest. Natalie has stepped up in an admirable way and serves as an excellent example of utilizing programs like STEP and opportunities like GOED trade missions to grow globally.”

Hannover Messe begins today and will run through April 29.