Governor's International Marketing Award Presented to Three Virginia Companies
--Students across Virginia obtain practical experience through marketing program- -
Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that three 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 International Trade Development Director Paul Grossman presented the awards to the winning companies and their partnering students and professors today in Norfolk at the 51st Virginia Conference on World Trade.
"Through the IMP program, students gain practical experience, while firms broaden their understanding of how to profitably access global markets," Governor Gilmore said. "I congratulate 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 descriptions of their achievements:
Ciba Specialty Chemicals, of Suffolk, and Old Dominion University for assessing opportunities for marketing Ciba's wastewater treatment products in South America and for identifying favorable markets in Brazil, Chile and Peru. As an outcome of the study, the company advanced marketing activity in South America by participating in a Water Environment Federation trade show (WEFTEC) in Brazil and through the development of important trade contacts in Washington, D.C.
Trident Tool, Inc., of Front Royal, and James Madison University for researching international markets in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Columbia for the company's water well drilling tools and supplies. The company was motivated to participate in Governor Gilmore's 1999 trade mission to South America where the firm made valuable contacts.
Taylor-Ramsey Corporation, of Lynchburg, and Virginia Tech for expanding the firm's export market to Saudi Arabia. The company procures and processes hardwood and pine lumber and currently exports to 43 countries. As a veteran exporter, this was the company's second IMP project. The company's participation allowed it to research additional worldwide markets.
Ed Ramsey, vice president of Taylor-Ramsey Corporation, 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 our company as we are now aggressively expanding into a number of foreign markets."
"The IMP program has to be one of the best kept secrets of Virginia's very serious efforts to encourage Virginia companies to export," Trident Tool Vice President Gary Branchaud added. "The program is top notch."
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 1998 and Spring 1999 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 1998.