WCCO Belting CEO earns Global Ambassador Award from North Dakota Trade Office

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford presented the award to Tom Shorma at a ceremony held during the Global Business Connections event on May 24.

Tom Shorma award
Tom Shorma, president and CEO of WCCO Belting in Wahpeton, North Dakota, makes remarks after receiving the Global Ambassador Award from the North Dakota Trade Office. The award was presented on May 24 by Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford.
Image: Courtesy of North Dakota Trade Office
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WAHPETON, N.D. • WCCO Belting President and CEO Thomas “Tom” Shorma earned the Global Ambassador Award from the North Dakota Trade Office.

The award was presented by Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford at the awards ceremony held during the organization’s Global Business Connections event on May 24.

The award, which the company announced on Wednesday, June 8, recognizes an individual or organization that selflessly assists in the promotion of North Dakota products worldwide and helps strengthen the relationships between North Dakota companies and their international partners.

“In 2001 when I came back into the family business, WCCO was a small organization comprised of 30 people with an influential board that challenged me to expand the business globally,” Shorma said during his acceptance speech at the event. “Over the years I have spoken to many business leaders and students. I tell them, ‘If you don't look globally to grow your business, you’re eliminating up to 97% of your business potential.’”

As CEO and president, Shorma knew early in his career that he should help grow the North Dakota economy internationally. He was involved when the ND District Export Council was created and served as the chairman of the organization for 16 years. Shorma supported hiring a full-time, state-based trade specialist, and after two years of lobbying, the position was created.


“There are three entities in North Dakota to help with global expansion,” Shorma said, “including the NDTO that will help generate international business; the U.S. Commercial Service, to help conduct research about potential customers; and the North Dakota District Export Council to help advocate for exporting. These organizations have been instrumental in helping WCCO Belting sell to people across the world.”

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