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Wendy Reuer, Published October 01 2012

Kindred company honored for international sales work

KINDRED, N.D. – Jon Engelstad, a sales manager at Superior Inc. here, is learning to speak Russian.

It’s a challenging language, but for the man in charge of international sales at Superior, the ability to communicate with clients is a priority.

Superior, a manufacturer and transporter of grain storage and handling products, operates in five countries, with hopes of adding more.

The 35-year-old company owned by Claire Rauser was honored Monday for its work in the international market with the presentation of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Certificate.

Heather Ranck, U.S. Commercial Service North Dakota director, said Superior has become a “pro-active exporter in a short period of time.”

Expanding into the global market is not easy, she said. “You have to be willing to get on the plane to find that investment.”

Ranck has worked with Superior through her position with the U.S. Commercial Service, which helps connect companies with international buyers.

“We’ve learned firsthand that companies need to commit to building long-term relationships in order to succeed in global markets,” Engelstad said.

Superior employs about 140 people at the rural Kindred plant, where metal bins, dryers and other grain equipment is manufactured year-round.

“We keep pretty busy in the winter because we’re gearing up for the next selling year,” Rauser said.

U.S. Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., presented the award on Monday, saying Superior is an example of North Dakota’s can-do attitude.

“This is the first step in saying you’re on the right track. Keep going,” Berg said.

Berg said a company located “in the middle of the world,” such as Superior, and selling its product to countries like India and China, is “exciting.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530