FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2008



Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
Virginia Export Program Wins Global Award for Excellence
-Virginia Leaders in Export Trade Program recognized for second time-


RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) today announced that its Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program has been recognized as a premiere export program. NASBITE International, a multi-national professional trade organization, awarded its Program Excellence Award to the VEDP Division of International Trade’s VALET program at NASBITE’s annual conference March 7.

The Program Excellence Award is given to recognize innovation and originality in international trade education, counseling, training and research. According to NASBITE officials, the VALET program stood out because of its successful pairing of resources, state funding and private-sector support to promote and expand international sales for Virginia companies.

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. Each company selected to participate in VALET’s two-year export acceleration program receives reimbursement of up to $10,000 for export-related expenses and is eligible for pro bono professional services from VALET Program Partners. These partners form an extensive network of service providers who can assist with a variety of issues that exporters encounter when doing business internationally.

“The VALET Program accelerates the development of international business by connecting companies with the practical tools needed for successful export sales,” said Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager. “An award like this recognizes the commitment the Commonwealth and its private-sector partners have made to helping Virginia companies succeed in the global marketplace.”

NASBITE International is a professional organization for the global business community. Formerly known as North American Small Business International Trade Educators, its members include global business educators and trainers at academic institutions; trade specialists at federal, state and local trade assistance organizations; and practitioners who engage in or facilitate global business activity.

NASBITE’s Program Excellence Award is the second recognition the VALET program has received. The VALET program was honored 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 LParpart@YesVirginia.org or visit the services tab at www.ExportVirginia.org.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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