February 05, 2004

Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Experienced executive joins VEDP to promote Virginia products and services in European markets -

RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has appointed Guillermo Parodi, a business executive with extensive experience in international management consulting and sales, as its trade representative in Europe. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Parodi joins VEDP’s other global trade representatives – located in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil – in developing new markets for the Commonwealth’s exports. Virginia’s office has been located in Europe since 1968 – longer than any other U.S. state economic development or trade office.

“Guillermo Parodi’s global background and extensive international business experience will allow him to successfully lead the state’s international trade efforts in Europe,” said Paul Grossman, Director of VEDP’s Division of International Trade. “As the European Union continues to grow, Virginia companies will find increased export opportunities in these new and expanded markets.”

Prior to joining VEDP, Parodi was a sales, marketing and project management consultant with PlanetA & C.E.C. in Prague, Czech Republic. He has also held positions in sales, marketing and project management for Tetra Pak in Moscow, Russia; IKEA International in Prague, Czechoslovakia; and DuPont International in Brussels, Belgium and in Frankfurt, Germany. Parodi earned a B.A. in business administration from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from UFSIA University in Antwerp, Belgium. He is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish and speaks Russian, German and Czech.

Western Europe is Virginia’s top export destination with a 35 percent share of Virginia’s overall exports for a total of $3.68 billion for 2002. Virginia’s top five export destinations in Western Europe include Germany ($1.2 billion in 2002), the United Kingdom ($653.7 million in 2002), Belgium ($475.9 million in 2002), the Netherlands ($316.6 million in 2002), and Italy ($239.6 million in 2002). In 2002, the state’s top exports to Western Europe included industrial machinery, electrical machinery, tobacco, mineral fuel/oil, military apparel, and aircraft parts.

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 recruitment, expansion and international trade development.


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