FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 04, 2009



Suzanne West
VEDP
(804) 545-5806
Charlottesville 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 Charlottesville company, Aker Wade Power Technologies, 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.

Aker Wade joins the program as part of the 15th 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.

Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aker Wade is the leading developer and supplier of fast chargers and fleet energy management software for electric vehicles. Thanks to the company’s commitment to innovative design, fast charging has emerged as the next-generation replacement for traditional charging systems, increasing productivity, reducing fleet running costs, improving safety, and lowering greenhouse emissions. Today, Aker Wade industrial chargers power the fork lift fleets of Fortune 1000 companies across North America, Europe, and Australia, delivering annual savings that approach $1 million per 100 forklifts. Aker Wade is cooperating with leading international companies to bring its fast charging technology to the emerging on-road electric vehicle sector enabling a cleaner, greener future.

"Being selected to participate in the VALET program will make a real difference for our company, enabling us to deploy our international strategy even more effectively,” said Bret Aker, CEO. “Building overseas business is a great way to strengthen our economy right here at home.”

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 Aker Wade 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 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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