LeCOUNT Inc., a White River Junction tool manufacturer, has been named Exporter of the Year by the Vermont International Business Council (VIBC), a standing committee of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. LeCOUNT expanding mandrels and hydraulic workholding tooling are purchased by gear manufacturers in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, India, Japan, Canada, and China. The company is named after Charles W. LeCount, who patented his expanding mandrels in 1847.Presented to a company that has contributed significantly to Vermont’s international trade stature, the Exporter of the Year award recognizes the hard work, innovation, and vision displayed by companies competing in the global marketplace.LeCOUNT’s realization that it must compete in the global manufacturing market led management to develop a variety of foreign relationships, including exclusive distributor relationships, private label distribution agreements, and partnerships with much larger manufacturers to establish worldwide sales relationships. Chip Brettell, LeCOUNT Chief Executive Officer, noted: “The key to success is finding the right liaisons and supporting those affiliations in a proactive and efficient manner.”The Exporter of the Year award is given in recognition that flexibility and proactive marketing are keys to success in a global export market that is highly competitive and vulnerable to worldwide economic trends. Curtis Picard, Vermont Chamber Vice President of International Trade, remarked: “LeCOUNT sets the gold standard for the true test of a company’s success, measured by the ability to bring marketing, technical, and business ingenuity to the marketplace.”The VIBC’s mission is to advocate the use of international trade as an economic tool for Vermont businesses, and to encourage Vermont businesses to stimulate their economic well-being by participating in the global marketplace.Exporters honored in years past include Tubbs Snowshoes, Rock of Ages Corporation; Saint Michael’s School of International Studies; and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. LeCOUNT Inc. will receive the Exporter of the Year award at the May 27 International Trade Event featuring U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci. The international trade celebration is part of the Chamber’s Vermont Business and Industry EXPO. For more information about the International Trade Event or other EXPO special events, please log on to www.vtexpo.com(link is external).FACTSHHET: VERMONT INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COUNCIL EXPORTER OF THE YEARLeCOUNT, Inc.White River Junction, Vermont“Tooling Solutions Worldwide”LeCOUNT, Inc. is a tool manufacturer based in White River Junction, Vermont. The company’s expanding mandrels and hydraulic workholding tooling are purchased by gear manufacturers in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, India, Japan, Canada, and China.The Vermont International Business Council honors LeCOUNT, Inc. with the Exporter of the Year Award because:• It recognized early on that is needed to see the world as its marketplace;• It has developed and maintained quality sales channels around the world despite language, paperwork, legal, and cultural challenges;• It has proven that a small company in a rural state can compete with much larger companies on a global basis;• It has utilized state and federal resources in an efficient and timely manner;• It encourages others in its industry to understand the need to export in a shrinking United States manufacturing environment; and• LeCOUNT, Inc. and the jobs it provides would not exist if it were not for export sales.LeCOUNT, Inc. Highlights• The company is named after Charles W. LeCOUNT, who patented the expanding mandrel in 1847.• Founder and Chief Executive officer Chip Brettell worked for AT&T after receiving a BSME degree from the University of Vermont, and accomplished graduate work in the field of computer integrated manufacturing at Brigham Young University.• In 1990, Chip Brettell bought the assets (including early 1960’s-vintage machines) of a company called Tool Tech Corporation, where he had spent summers working as a teenager.• LeCOUNT, Inc. employs six people in the fields of sales and marketing, process engineering, assembly and inspection, engineering, accounting, and machining.• Gear manufacturers and end-users purchase LeCOUNT’s tooling, including makers of cars, jet engines, tractors, trucks, motorcycles, hand-held power tools, printers, exercise machines, airplanes, and machine tools.• The company manufactures a more precise version of the original LeCOUNT expanding mandrel, patented in 1847, as well as “special order” parts like hydraulic arbors, chucks, and chuck systems.• LeCOUNT, Inc. attends or is represented at tradeshows worldwide, including JIMTOF, a major machine tool exposition held in Japan; as well as shows in China, Brazil, and Germany.• Vermont Chamber of Commerce international trade specialists Curtis Picard and Chris Barbieri, as well as Susan Murray of the U.S. Department of Commerce Montpelier office, have assisted and advised LeCOUNT, Inc. in their efforts in Asia and the Pacific Rim.• Currently LeCOUNT, Inc. derives well over 50% of its annual revenue from export sales, enjoying a growth rate of about 5-7% per year over the past 4 years.