March 26, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Four Companies Win Governor's Award for Excellence
--Students across Virginia obtain experience through marketing program--

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that four Virginia companies have received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Excellence for their participation in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s International Market Planning (IMP) Program. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal presented the awards to the winning companies and their partnering students and professors at a luncheon today in Richmond.

"Through the IMP program, students gain practical experience, while firms broaden their understanding of how to profitably access global markets," Governor Gilmore said. "I applaud everyone who participated in this year’s IMP program, as Virginians continue to work together to increase export activity."

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 expanding their exports. These students, supervised by experienced professors, assist the company in developing an international marketing plan. The teams present an executive summary along with a written document in an oral presentation to the company’s top management.

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

• Diversitec, Inc., of Midlothian, and Virginia Commonwealth University for developing technical specification and requirements needed in the telecom transmission and switching equipment industry. The project identified Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica as key markets for Diversitec’s initial exporting efforts.

• Fairchild International, of Glen Lyn, and Virginia Tech for researching the market for continuous mining systems in India and Indonesia. This project focused predominantly on coal seam characteristics, current coal mining methods and identified potential distributors and/or business partners for market penetration.

• Groendyk Manufacturing Company, of Buchanan, and Radford University for recommending that the company establish a web site on the Internet and become ISO9000 certified. The company is a manufacturer of silicone and organic rubber used in aerospace, automotive and appliance industries. The project focused on five key European markets: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

• Transaction Network Services, Inc., of Reston, and George Mason University for presenting a conceptual framework to operate successfully in international markets. TNS is a provider of data communications services for transaction–oriented applications. Their products include credit card authorizations, calling card validation and fraud control. The team identified Australia, Colombia and China as potential export markets.

Bob McCormick, Vice President of Business Development for Transaction Network Services, was very pleased with the outcome of the VEDP IMP Project. "We were especially impressed with the graduate students’ initiative and determination throughout the entire program. They were quick to learn about our market strategy and apply it to potential overseas markets," he said. "Their hard work has paid dividends to TNS as we are now aggressively expanding into a number of foreign markets."

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 Fall 1997 and Spring 1998 semesters. The IMP program has served over 300 projects since it originated in 1988. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Virginia exports of goods, services and commodities totaled $16.1 billion and supported 244,907 jobs in 1997.



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