FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008



Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
Rocky Mount Company 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 a Rocky Mount company, MW Manufacturers Inc., into its two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. Launched in January 2002, the program assists exporters in the Commonwealth that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as an expansion strategy.

MW Manufacturers joins the program as part of the 14th 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 100 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.

MW Manufacturers Inc. is part of Ply Gem, a $1.5 billion exterior building products corporation with operations throughout North America. Since 1939, MW has delivered comprehensive window and patio door solutions to builders and remodelers designed to enhance the performance and aesthetics of their homes. MW is a vertically integrated, low-cost manufacturer of wood, clad wood and vinyl window and patio doors products available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and configurations.

“With the recent decline in U.S. housing demand we decided to invest in VALET to help us jump start our export efforts,” said Mark S. Montgomery, Sr. Vice President. “We have great products, great people and a value proposition that is grounded in excellent service. We are confident this solid platform will help us to penetrate new markets and continue our growth initiatives.”

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 MW Manufacturers into the program,” said Leslie Parpart, VALET Program Manager. “We look forward to working with its international team over the course of the next two years to assist the company in exceeding export goals.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Division of International Trade earned the coveted President's "E Star" Award for Export Service. The President's "E Star" Award was created in 1969 to recognize continued superior performance in increasing or promoting exports. Only previous recipients of the "E" Award are eligible, and the period of consideration covers the most recent three years of export operation. During the 2005-2007 period of consideration, VEDP's International Trade Division assisted more than 100 Virginia companies through its export development programs, Accessing International Markets (AIM) and Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET).

NASBITE International, a multi-national professional trade organization, awarded its 2007 Program Excellence Award to the VEDP Division of International Trade’s VALET program. The Program Excellence Award is given to recognize innovation and originality in international trade education, counseling, training and research. 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.


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 programs tab at www.ExportVirginia.org.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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