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2014 Keynote Speakers
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Keynote Speakers

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Breakfast Keynote Speaker

David James

David James is president of Business Strategies International (BSI Corporation), a consulting and venture development firm in San Francisco, CA. His published works include The New Asia: Business Strategies for the Economic Region that Is Shaking Up the World, The Executive Guide to Asia-Pacific Communications, Doing Business in Asia, and numerous articles on legal, business, and technology issues.

He was chairman of business programs at the East-West Center, Honolulu, HI, and under a project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), he headed a team of U.S. advisers to the Government of Indonesia on the revision of its commercial laws and related subjects.

Earlier, James served as Honorary Consul of Malaysia in Hawaii and was general counsel or assistant general counsel of three large multinational corporations and a senior partner of a Chicago, IL-based law firm. He also was co-professor of a seminar on Asian law and society at Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA. James holds an A.B. degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL; and a Stanford Executive Program certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Stanford, CA.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lunch Keynote Speaker

Amy Liu

Amy Liu is a senior fellow, and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. She and Bruce Katz, the Institution’s Vice President, launched the program in 1996 to provide decision-makers with the latest trends analyses, policy ideas, and on-the-ground practices to help metropolitan areas, compete and prosper. Over the years, she has worked directly with neighborhood, city, suburban, and rural leaders within metropolitan areas; and government, business and civic leaders at the regional, state, and national level to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing our communities.

Ms. Liu is a frequent speaker on ways to advance U.S. economic competitiveness by harnessing the unique assets of regional economies. She particularly focuses on the importance of strengthening industry clusters, innovation, skills, and exports and trade to excel in the global economy.

Liu is leading a "practice” effort at Brookings to help civic, political and business leaders in metro areas adopt intentional, market-oriented strategies for growth, including the role of state and federal policies to align with those strategies. She is also advancing a Global Cities Initiative to help U.S. and international cities, with their state partners, act on their roles as engines of the global economy.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Breakfast Keynote Speaker

Al Bell

The legendary entrepreneur and businessman, Al Bell has been responsible for shaping the American music scene for over 40 years. From his humble beginnings as an on-air personality in Little Rock, Memphis, and Washington, DC, to his decades-long journey through the complex worlds of entertainment and business, Bell’s dynamic leadership style led him to become known as one of the premier business executives in the recording industry.

Bell successfully owned and operated STAX Records. STAX produced gold and platinum hits on such artists as Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MG's, the Bar Kays, Otis Redding, The Emotions, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstine, Albert King, The Dramatics, and a host of others. The BBC profiled Bell as "one of the icons of soul music” and "the driving force behind Stax Records.” His innovative promotional efforts promulgated the "Memphis Sound” internationally and made Stax the second-largest African American-owned business in the 1970s. Bell later became head of the Motown Records Group and worked with Berry Gordy in the sale of Motown to the MCA/Boston Ventures Group.

In 2011, Bell received the highest honor the recorded music industry offers: the prestigious Grammy Trustees Award, presented by the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). This award was given in recognition of Bell’s lifetime of influence, achievement, and success in his pursuit of musical excellence, as demonstrated through the creation, development, and successful marketing of "rare performing artists” that recorded "unique music art” and who with "passion and emotion” interacted with and entertained their audiences with a standard of excellence that classified them as entertainment icons. Throughout his career, Al Bell has been considered a visionary, a seer, an icon, a "music mogul,” and a communications and entertainment "maverick.”

Bell currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Memphis Music Foundation, which is dedicated to cultivating an economic engine for Memphis, TN and reinvigorating its music scene in an effort to help businesses grow, increase employment opportunities and improve the quality of life for residents. Several surveys conducted by the Memphis business community concluded one of the city’s distinct areas for future economic growth is music—an industry Bell is fully versed in. He is now responsible for enhancing the economic vitality of the city he helped brand as Soulsville, U.S.A.

A prolific speaker and trusted business advisor, Bell travels internationally sharing his wealth of knowledge as it relates to entering a new market, scaling a business and investing in today’s global economy. He advises executives, entrepreneurs and other professionals on how they can successfully navigate the new business landscape to compete globally, achieve operational efficiency and increase profitability. His passion is economic development & philanthropy, where his personal interests intersect with special projects worldwide. Bell’s work in Africa includes infrastructure and development projects that support sustainable growth objectives and projects on the continent.

  

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