Cask Noticed by the Free Lance Star – “Stafford firm joins export push”

Cask is proud to announce that we have been selected for the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade Program by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

BY CATHY JETT / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

A national company whose largest office is in North Stafford was recently accepted into a state program that will help it export its services.

Cask LLC is one of 47 firms participating in Virginia Leaders in Export Trade, or VALET. The two-year program is run by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization the General Assembly created to help the state’s economy by increasing exports.

Cask has an office in Europe and has been working on exporting its services for several years. It saw VALET as an opportunity to use state resources to accelerate those efforts, said Erin Coady, the company’s VALET project manager.

Cask helps officials in the public and private sectors decide on the best investments to make in such things as technology for their department or business.

“We help clients determine not only the costs, but also the benefits, which are hard to quantify, so they get a real sense of the return on their investment” Coady said.

Cask also helps clients implement whatever products or services they decide to buy—or had already purchased—from third-party vendors so that they get the best results.

While in the VALET program, the company would like to enter three new foreign markets and then build on that momentum after it graduates, Coady said.

Exporting is big business in Virginia. In 2010, Virginia’s service exports totaled $13.8 billion and supported 125,012 jobs, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s website, exportvirginia.org.

The next year, the most recent for which figures are available, the total value of Virginia exported of goods reached $18.1 billion. That’s a 5.5 percent increase from 2010.

VALET jump-starts companies’ export efforts by providing access to $15,000 in reimbursement funds from the state, and helping them target markets, develop marketing plans and do such things as update their websites.

To be eligible, a company must have at least 20 employees, $2 million in annual sales, a $20,000 annual commitment toward export trade and have completed international market research.

Cask is headquartered in San Diego, but its largest office in terms of business and revenues is in Aquia Towne Center in North Stafford. About 50 people work there.

“Cask is in the right place and the right size to be a good candidate for the [VALET] program,” Coady said.

To date, more than 200 Virginia companies have been accepted into the program. On average, they experience an 88 percent increase in international sales during and immediately after the program, according to exportvirginia.org.

VitaTech Electromagnetics, a Stafford company accepted into the program last year, already has some prospective clients, said Christina Vitale, its business development manager. “It’s a wonderful program,” she said, “and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407, cjett@freelancestar.com

For more information on the article, please reference fredericksburg.com

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