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Virginia Economic Leadership Conference begins

Hotel Roanoke Event Expected to Draw More than 200 Business Leaders

By David Nutter

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 14 - December 5, 1996

A distinguished group of business and governmental leaders, such as David Osborne, author of Reinventing Government, and former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, will keynote the Virginia Economic Leadership Conference today and tomorrow at the Hotel Roanoke.

"The purpose of the conference is to identify a set of strategies for Virginia that will significantly improve the commonwealth's ability to position itself for the coming decade," said Mike Hensley, director of the Virginia Tech Economic Development Assistance Center.

The conference will be structured around three focus areas: developing quality workers, developing Virginia's tourism potential, and renewing Virginia's physical infrastructure.

Virginia Attorney General Jim Gilmore and Lt. Governor Don Byer will be on hand to talk about their vision for Virginia's economic future for the 21st century.

The conference is being underwritten by a grant from Phillip Morris. While the conference is free, attendance is by invitation only.

Samuel E. Skinner, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and chief of staff to President George Bush, will give a keynote address on national infrastructure-development needs. Skinner is president of Commonwealth Edison Company and its holding company, Unicam Corp. Commonwealth Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities.

The strategy session on developing quality workers will include presentations by Kenneth Hansen, vice president and director of Learning Systems and Research at Motorola; Gordon Kinkead, director of corporate training for John Deere Harvester; and John Tobin, senior vice president for human development at Siemens Corporation.

The session on developing Virginia's tourism potential will include presentations by Edward Book, executive director of the United States National Tourism Organization; Sandra Fulton, vice president for industry relations for Opryland Hospitality and Attractions; and Patty Hubbard, vice president, Travel Industry Association.

The strategy session on renewing Virginia's infrastructure will include talks by David Luberoff, assistant director of the Alfred S. Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Tom Olson, enterprise development division, City of Indianapolis; and Paul Pryde, president of Capital Access Group.