February 21, 2008

Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
Two Southwest Virginia Companies Selected to Participate in Virginia’s VALET Program
-Two-year program provides resources to support international business-

RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) today announced the acceptance of two Southwest Virginia companies into its two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. The companies are Hoover Color Corporation of Hiwassee and Turman Sawmill of Hillsville. 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.

Hoover Color Corporation of Hiwassee and Turman Sawmill of Hillsville join the program as part of the 13th class of VALET companies. To participate, each eligible business must meet several quantitative criteria and complete an application process. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growth through export. Currently, more than 90 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.

For 84 years Hoover Color has supplied high quality pigments for use in a wide variety of products including paints, plastics and building materials. The company’s core products are based on naturally occurring iron oxides which are mined and processed into a broad variety of earth colors, such as umbers, siennas and ochres. While these products can be used in many applications, they are most highly valued as staining pigments for coloring wood furniture. Hoover Color also works with many customers to achieve their specific coloring needs. The company’s most recognized special “coloring” relationship is with Crayola LLC; Hoover Color manufactures all of the color Crayola needs for its crayons.

“In 2006 Hoover Color worked with VEDP as part of their AIM program,” said Charles Hoover, Jr., Chief Operating Officer, Hoover Color Corporation. “That program was of immense help in grounding our sales program in China. It is our hope to continue the successful work that we began in the AIM program with the VEDP’s VALET program. The VALET program allows us to expand our focus beyond China to a wider region of potential customers. While China will continue to be of major importance, we will utilize the benefits of VALET to pursue opportunities throughout Asia. The people at the VEDP continue to be a very important resource for Hoover Color as it continues its growth as a world-wide supplier of colored pigments.”

The Turman Group is a multitude of lumber facilities, land development, and other vertically integrated companies. The Turman Group encompasses eight sawmills, including Turman Sawmill, a hardwood flooring facility, an award-winning modular builder, log home facility, two dry-kiln facilities, and a mulch yard. The Turman Group currently produces 70 million board feet of lumber and dries 50 Million board feet annually. The Turman Group employs more than 450 employees.

“VEDP and its programs have changed the way our company does business,” said Ryan Turman, Business Development, The Turman Group. “In a globalized economy, that’s a good thing. We are looking forward to continuing to develop our international business through the resources and expertise of the VALET program.”

The VALET program incorporates services from a team of experienced international service providers who assist the VALET companies with their international goals. Service providers such as attorneys, Web designers, bankers, translators and freight-forwarders contribute essential skills for expansion into international markets.

“VALET welcomes these impressive new companies into the program,” said Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager. “We look forward to working with their international teams over the course of the next two years to assist them in exceeding export goals.”

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.

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, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

To learn more about the VALET program, contact Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager, at or visit the programs tab at


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