September 14, 2000

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Two Virginia Companies Presented with Governor's International Marketing Award
--Students across Virginia obtain practical experience through marketing program- -

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that two Virginia companies have received the prestigious Governor's Award for Excellence for their participation in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's (VEDP) International Market Planning (IMP) Program. VEDP Executive Director Mark Kilduff presented the awards to the winning companies and their partnering students and professors today in Roanoke at the 52nd Virginia Conference on World Trade.

"Foreign trade is an integral part of Virginia's economy and the IMP program provides the perfect opportunity for Virginians to help each other," Governor Gilmore said. "Not only do the firms gain valuable insight into marketing strategies in global markets, but the students also gain unparalleled real world business experience. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the participants in this year's program."

Every year, the IMP program teams approximately 30 groups of graduate business students from Virginia's colleges and universities with companies in the state interested in beginning or expanding their export program. These students, supervised by professors and supported by VEDP Trade Managers, provide the company with an international marketing plan. The teams present an oral/visual executive summary along with a written document to the company's top management.

Below are summaries of winning companies, partnering schools, and descriptions of their achievements:

Butler Parachute Systems, Inc. of Roanoke, and Lynchburg College for developing a plan to market the firm's new parachute and recovery system in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. After contacting military attaches in each country the team reported that the greatest potential for new expansion existed in Brazil. The team further enhanced Butler's marketing plan by compiling an inventory of current military aircraft in key Latin American markets.

Datalux Corporation, of Winchester, and Shenandoah University for researching the market potential and accessibility of the corporation's durable compact computer hardware in Mexico and Mercosur countries. The team concluded that Mexico and Brazil emerged as the best markets. Datalux will be attending COMDEX Mexico next year as a result of the students' recommendations.
"We don't have a full time marketing staff, so we were very happy to participate in the IMP program," Manely Butler, President of Butler Parachute System, said. "The students provided us with a very thorough and informative report that we are using for the planning and execution of marketing techniques in Argentina and Brazil."

Mickey Rooney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Datalux Corp., was very pleased to have been chosen for the award. "The students that we worked with put in a lot of effort and the information from the IMP project will contribute to making informed decisions in the area of expanding our international marketing plan," Rooney said. "We have not focused our trade efforts on South America, and we will use the IMP data to decide which available market to enter first."

The IMP program has served as a valuable instrument for the companies involved and for the participating students. The selection of the awards was made from projects undertaken during the Fall 1999 and Spring 2000 semesters. The IMP program has served nearly 400 projects since it originated in 1988. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Virginia exports of goods, services and commodities totaled $15.5 billion and supported 201,500 jobs in 1999.


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