VALET Graduates Enjoy Speedy Success in International Sales Market
-Company realizes 70 percent growth in international sales during two-year program-
RICHMOND - In two years, Universal Fiber Systems LLC, a leading producer of fibers and yarns for carpet, upholstery, automotive, industrial and other textile applications in Bristol, Virginia has increased international sales by 70 percent, established several new international customers and created a global sales network to increase the company’s coverage in China, Japan, Australia and throughout Southeast Asia.
The company is two years ahead of schedule in achieving its international sales goals—exports are predicted to reach 20 percent of total sales in 2006—thanks to a lot of hard work and the assistance of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program.
“Universal Fiber Systems understands and appreciates that our success has much to do with the support that the state of Virginia, and specifically the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, has offered us through the resources of the VALET program and the support for our facility expansion,” said Bill Goodman, Commercial Development Leader. “We are thankful for the support of the Commonwealth. Without this extra capacity, we would not be able to meet the demands of our new international customers.”
Launched in January 2002, the VALET program assists exporters in the Commonwealth that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as an expansion strategy. Universal Fibers is one of six companies that successfully completed the VALET program and graduated today. The other graduating Virginia companies include:
• Innovative Concepts, Inc. (McLean), a provider of wireless data communications and information technology services, HW/SW engineering, systems integration and satellite technology systems support.
• Printpack, Inc.’s Rampart Packaging Division (Williamsburg), which produces barrier containers and thermoforming sheets for shelf-stable food products.
• Solo Incorporated (Newport News), a manufacturer of power garden and lawn equipment.
• Web Equipment, Inc. (Stafford), a manufacturer of forklift parts and equipment.
• WESCO Marine Engineering (formerly CCA Marine) (Hampton), a manufacturer of automation control components and engineered control solutions for industrial and marine markets.
VEDP hosted a graduation luncheon at the Downtown Club in Richmond to recognize the success of the graduating companies and to welcome the eight new companies that will participate in the VALET Class of January 2006.
“Each of the six graduating companies represents a success story—this was an active, engaged and ambitious class and we commend all of the graduates for the results they achieved since starting the program two years ago,” said Kimberly Weir, VALET Program Manager. “We look forward to continuing our support for these flourishing Virginia businesses with VEDP International Trade Division services and we challenge the new companies to follow in their footsteps by taking full advantage of the VALET Program’s structure and resources.”
Representing a variety of industries throughout the Commonwealth, the following companies were accepted into the VALET Class of January 2006:
• CHEMetrics, Inc. (Calverton), which develops industrial water analysis kits.
• Core Engineered Solutions (Herndon), a manufacturer of fuel tanks for above or below ground storage.
• Franklin Equipment Company (Franklin), which manufactures timber harvesting equipment and other heavy equipment.
• Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc. (Glen Allen), a manufacturer of small electric appliances.
• Sleepmate Technologies (Midlothian), a maker and distributor of therapeutic and diagnostic devices and training programs.
• VFP, Inc. (Duffield), a manufacturer of custom designed portable equipment buildings.
• Virginia Transformer Corporation (Roanoke), a manufacturer of transformers and other associated electrical equipment for utilities, heavy industry, OEM's, construction and other industries.
• WEXCO Corporation (Lynchburg), a manufacturer of key components for plastic injection molding machines.
The VALET Program offers support to the participating companies by offering four distinct resources. First, VALET helps each company develop a clear Plan of Action to reach its international sales goals, and this Plan is used to measure the company’s success throughout the two-year program. Second, VALET offers limited financial resources, via reimbursement, to defray the cost of developing sales in new markets. Third, the program provides frequent networking opportunities for exporters from across Virginia to meet and share experiences and lessons learned. Finally, VALET includes the qualified services of a team of private-sector service providers who can assist the companies with their international marketing and sales transactions. The following 22 service providers are VALET Program Partners:
• ActiveMedia (Great Falls), a Web marketing and promotions company.
• Allegheny Brokerage Company (Dublin), an export control compliance/customs brokerage/forwarding company.
• BB&T (Richmond), a financial services company.
• Bank of America (Richmond)
• China Channel Limited (Petersburg), which offers approaches to seeking business in China.
• CV International (Norfolk), an ocean/air freight forwarder/transportation provider.
• ExactLingua, L.L.C. (Williamsburg), a multi-language translation and interpretation service.
• FOCUS Enterprises, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), a corporate development, finance and growth consulting company.
• The Global Law Group (Roanoke and Richmond), a legal services company.
• The Language Group (Virginia Beach), a translation and interpretation company.
• Lasa Monroig & Veve (Washington, D.C.), a legal services company.
• LeClair Ryan (Richmond), a legal services company.
• Marsh USA, Inc. (Richmond), an insurance company.
• Piascik & Associates (Glen Allen), certified public accountants.
• SunTrust Bank (Richmond)
• *Technology International, Inc. (Richmond), a provider of global regulatory consulting services to help companies register their products with regulatory agencies in overseas markets.
• TNB Enterprises (Roanoke), a language translation, interpretation, situation and cultural training company.
• Trade Show Training, Inc. (Richmond), a trade show planning company.
• Transition Success Consulting (Alexandria), a cross-cultural education and training company.
• UTi, United States (Sterling), a freight forwarding/customs/ international transportation/logistics/warehouse and supply chain management company.
• Virtual Strategies, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), a corporate development consulting firm.
• Williams Mullen (Richmond), a legal services company.
* New program partner, January 2006
The VALET program was recognized as a national model in November 2004 by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) for VALET’s innovation in bringing the public and private sectors together to achieve a benefit for the public. The VALET program was the only winner of the 2004 NCPPP Public-Private Partnership Award in the Innovation category.
To participate in the VALET program, eligible businesses must meet several quantitative criteria and complete an application process. To date, 64 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program. To learn more about the VALET or other International Trade programs, visit www.ExportVirginia.org.
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 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.