FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2008



Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
State Programs Prepare 17 Virginia Companies for Export
-AIM program graduates nine companies; VALET program graduates eight companies -


RICHMOND - A combined 17 companies from across the Commonwealth will graduate today from two state export programs, touting impressive results from their newly acquired tools to successfully export products and services overseas. The graduating companies will be recognized during a noon luncheon at the Richmond Omni Hotel.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Accessing International Markets (AIM) program will honor nine graduates. The nine companies that successfully completed the program include Air Systems of Chesapeake, Control Case of McLean, Northstar Express Freight of Falls Church, Riggins of Hampton, Vaughan Furniture of Galax, Blue Ridge Medical Imaging of Salem, Cherrystone Aqua Farm of Cheriton, Clever Sys. Inc. of Reston, and Sani-Tear Inc. of Fredericksburg.

During their year in AIM the nine graduates made a combined 12 trips to their AIM target markets and four reported signing new representatives, five reported new sales and one opened a sales office. Their collective AIM target market exports rose 64 percent from approximately $425,000 in 2006 to nearly $700,000 in 2007 and are on track to reach $1.96 million in sales in their target markets in 2008.

Collectively these companies have increased their total international sales by 69 percent during their year in the program. These companies began the program with $2.09 million in 2006 and graduated with a reported $3.55 million in 2007. They expect to exceed $6.38 million in total international sales in 2008.

“AIM’s systematic, proactive approach to exporting minimizes risks and maximizes returns,” said Elizabeth Morgan-Brown, AIM Program Manager. “I am confident that these nine graduates will take what they have learned in AIM and replicate their success in new countries overseas.”

Launched in December 2005, the year-long AIM program helps Virginia companies pursue leads in one new target country overseas. AIM accepts 20 Virginia companies per year and is highly competitive. The AIM program now has 30 graduates and 20 active participants.

Eight companies also will graduate from VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, including Base-X, Inc. of Fairfield, Bihrle Applied Research, Inc of Hampton, F.R. Drake Company of Waynesboro, Intelligenx of Herndon, MapTech, Inc. of Blacksburg, MicroAire Surgical Instruments LLC of Charlottesville, Old World Prints of Richmond, and UXB International, Inc. of Blacksburg. Collectively, these companies have increased their international sales by more than 91 percent during their two years in the program. These companies began the program with a reported $21 million in international sales and graduated with a reported $41 million in international sales.

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. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growth through export. The VALET program now has 65 graduates and 29 current participating companies.

“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. “These graduating companies have utilized all of the resources of the VALET Program and have really challenged themselves to grow their international businesses. This class of companies was one of the program’s strongest ever, and I am confident that they will see the return on their investment for years to come.”

Both export programs provide participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help them meet their international goals. Service providers such as attorneys, Web designers, bankers, translators and freight forwarders contribute essential expertise for expansion into international markets.
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 AIM and VALET programs, visit www.ExportVirginia.org.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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