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Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - Alumnus wins regional award for global marketing savvy
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Yannick Greiner, a graduate of Oakland University’s post-master’s program in international business, won the Individual Platinum Award from the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit. Greiner is the international sales director at Rugged Liner, a Michigan-based manufacturer of truck bed liners and helped lead the company toward unprecedented growth by pursuing new markets and product sales.

Greiner, who earned his post-master’s certificate in 1999, said he was drawn to OU’s program because it allowed him to balance educational pursuits and job responsibilities. 

“I was looking for a way to increase my skills that would fit in with my work schedule,” Greiner recalled. “Oakland’s program fit very well with my professional life and also gave me more in-depth knowledge about international business.” 

After joining the company in 2010, Greiner created a sales and marketing plan to introduce Rugged Liner’s products to overseas customers and initiated sales to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) customers for the first time. Along with conducting extensive market research, Greiner participated in overseas trade shows and utilized the U.S. Department of Commerce and State of Michigan programs to promote export sales. The company’s digital and print media were translated into foreign languages.

As a result of these efforts, Rugged Liner’s export sales now comprise 35 percent of annual sales revenues with products distributed to more than 50 countries. The company’s sales growth has led to investments in new facilities and hiring of additional employees. Greiner is a member of the East Michigan District Export Council, which strives to help Michigan companies develop export sales. 

A native of France, Greiner earned a master’s degree from the University of Strasbourg and is fluent in four languages. He credits his time at Oakland with broadening his perspective and helping him gain more confidence working with other professionals. 

“The more things you do, the more confidence you get, especially when you are an immigrant,” Greiner said. “Oakland’s program allowed me to meet a whole new cast of characters and network with people involved in my field. International business is definitely gaining more importance as companies pursue opportunities abroad. Ninety-five percent of the total market is outside the U.S., so if you want to grow, you need to think globally.” 

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