| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Rust-Oleum Honored with Export Award

Friday, June 1, 2012

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Protective coatings maker Rust-Oleum Corp.—the company launched by a sea captain’s mishap—has received a 2012 Presidential “E Star” Award for its ongoing contributions to increasing U.S. exports.

A subsidiary of RPM International, Rust-Oleum was the only paint and coatings company among this year’s 41 ‘E’ Award winners, who were honored last month in a White House ceremony.

 Rust-Oleum Corp.

 Photos: Rust-Oleum Corp.

Founded in 1921, Rust-Oleum has a broad portfolio of well-known brands, including Painter’s Touch, American Accents, EPOXY SHIELD, Varathane, Zinsser, Wolman Wood Care Products and Watco.

Rust-Oleum’s near-century in protective coatings development began serendipitously in 1921, when Scottish sea captain Robert Fergusson spilled raw fish oil on the rusty metal decks of his boat. Fergusson noticed that the oil stopped the spread of corrosion and went on, so the story goes, to develop the world’s first corrosion-fighting paint.

Today, Rust-Oleum’s broad product portfolio includes industrial coatings, epoxy garage floor coatings, primers, wood finishes and decorative fashion paints. Its well-known brands include Painter’s Touch, American Accents, EPOXY SHIELD, Varathane, Zinsser, Wolman Wood Care Products and Watco.

‘Significant Contributions’

“I am pleased to recognize Rust-Oleum Corp. for receiving the President’s ‘E’ Award, which honors companies that make significant contributions toward increasing U.S. exports,” U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson said at last month’s ceremony.

“This Administration is committed to leveling the playing field for American businesses and workers to help U.S. companies build things here and sell them around the world.

“‘E’ Awards winners like Rust-Oleum Corp. have excelled in this effort, demonstrating four years of successive export growth. It is companies like this that are helping to grow our economy and put more Americans back to work.”

WWII Roots

The “E” honors trace their roots to World War II, when more than 4,000 "E Pennants" were presented to war plants in recognition of production excellence. The famous flag emblazoned with the big "E" became a badge of patriotism in action.

 Sea captain Robert Fergusson founded Rust-Oleum after accidentally spilling fish oil on his rusty metal decks—and noticing that the substance stopped corrosion from spreading.
Sea captain Robert Fergusson founded Rust-Oleum after accidentally spilling fish oil on his rusty metal decks—and noticing that the substance stopped corrosion from spreading.

In 1961, President Kennedy revived the "E" symbol of excellence to recognize America's exporters, establishing the "E" Award Program by Executive Order 10978. In 1969, the "E Star" Award was added to recognize "E" Award winners who made continuing efforts toward export expansion.

Rust-Oleum, based in Vernon Hills, IL, was honored with an “E” Award in the program’s very first year. This year, the company was one of 10 to receive the “E Star” Award.

‘Committed to Growing Globally’

“We were honored 50 years ago to receive the first-ever ‘E’ Award from President Kennedy in 1963, and are equally as proud today,” said Tom Reed, Rust-Oleum’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are committed to growing our business globally, and this award is confirmation of our efforts.”

A business client of the Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service, Rust-Oleum says it has benefited from export counseling, trade shows, market research and business matchmaking to greatly expand its export sales.

While Europe represents a significant portion of the company's foreign market sales, the company also does business in several other regions of the world. Rust-Oleum demonstrated a substantial increase in the volume of exports over a four-year period—a major criterion for the award.

About the Award

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service office network in 108 U.S. cities and more than 75 countries. Applicants must demonstrate a significant, measurable, innovative, sustainable contribution that broadly impacts U.S. export expansion. 

Nominations are reviewed by the “E” Award Committee, which is chaired by the Department of Commerce and includes representatives of ExIm Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, State and Transportation.


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Primers; Protective coatings; Rust-Oleum Corp.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films

Jessup Manufacturing Company
More Traction for Extreme Marine Conditions

Jessup Safety Track® 3800 Military Grade peel-and-stick non-skid tapes and treads provide extra slip resistance for decks. MIL-PRF-24467C Type XI, Black & Gray.

International Paint LLC
Premium Low VOC Polyurethane Finish

AkzoNobel introduces Interthane 990V as a 250 g/l HAPS free polyurethane with outstanding color and gloss retention. 990V is fast curing and applicator friendly.

Thermion Inc
Buy Back Program

We are offering $5,000
credit for your old Model
This drive system is
being discontinued by
the manufacturer.
More information at

Polyval Coatings
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

Polyflex™ new Polyurea Geotextile Membrane System has been specifically engineered to protect the environment in containment applications.

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings

With 4,000 distribution points and 3,700+ years of experience, Sherwin-Williams delivers the products, support and expertise you need, right where you need it.

Carboline Company
Fireproofing Solutions

Pyroclad® X1 Thermo-Lag® Pyrocrete® – protecting against hydrocarbon and jet fires, explosions, and cryogenic spills.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail