FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2003

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us


Jill Vaughan
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES NEW INTERNATIONAL TRADE OFFICE IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
-VEDP names International Trade Manager based in Abingdon-


Richmond - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has opened an International Trade office in Southwest Virginia. Located in Abingdon, the office will work to increase the number of Southwest Virginia companies exporting and the volume of exports from the region. The Abingdon office joins VEDP’s International Trade offices in Richmond, Norfolk, Tyson’s Corner, Roanoke, and Harrisonburg.

“Virginia has excellent ports, airports, roads, and rail infrastructure,” said Governor Warner. “The new Abingdon office gives Southwest Virginia an extra tool from the Commonwealth to compete globally.”

Diane M. Thomas has been hired as the new International Trade Manager for the Abingdon office. Prior to joining VEDP, Thomas spent 18 years as the International Marketing & Sales Administrator for Bristol Compressors – one of largest exporters in Southwest Virginia. In this role, Thomas handled export shipments, customer relations with foreign buyers, and facilitated factory visits for foreign guests. The Abingdon office is located at 16325 Taylor Place, Suite 300.

As part of its mission to increase jobs in the Commonwealth, VEDP’s Division of International Trade assists Virginia businesses in their efforts to introduce and sell their products and services internationally. In 2002, Virginia’s international exports totaled $15.6 billion.

“VEDP’s trade representatives provide valuable, free-of-charge assistance to Virginia companies interested in exploring international opportunities,” said Mark R. Kilduff, Executive Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “The state’s strong commitment to rural economic development and international trade is evident by this new Southwest Virginia office.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business development and international trade.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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