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Summit highlights.

FEI's 2004 Summit, "Sailing Toward a New Horizon," drew strong praise from those who made the trip to the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego in late April. The format featured no breakout sessions, but a high-level roster of keynote speakers that included luminaries from the corporate world and beyond. The event drew 767 paid attendees, the highest number for a summit in many years.

Among the first-day speakers were: Dr. Arthur Laffer, inventor of the famous "Laffer Curve," a conservative economist who opened the conference with a humorous, energetic and engaging take on the economy and economic growth, as well as personalities like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Don Soderquist, retired vice chairman at Wal-Mart, who spoke eloquently about ethics and how they intersect with leadership; John Connors, CFO of Microsoft Corp., who addressed how the software giant has restructured its finance organization to align it with a larger business reorganization; James M. Schneider, CFO of Dell Inc., who talked about how the computer firm has worked to improve transparency and develop a more mature and careercentric culture; and Samuel DiPiazza, CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who talked about a "widening crisis of legitimacy" in corporate America and about initiatives he thinks are needed to help overcome it.

The second day kicked off with some personal and very thoughtful ideas and reminiscences from Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary, about his experiences with President Bush and the president's leadership style. Lynn Turner, the former chief accountant with the Securities and Exchange Commission and now a professor at Colorado State University, followed with 10 ideas for improving financial reporting. Following a talk by Susan Schmidt Bies, a governor of the Federal Reserve, on innovation in financial markets and banking relationships, Forbes CEO Steve Forbes closed the conference with a wide-ranging speech about the economy, the Iraq situation, other world events and the 2004 presidential election.

Also on the Summit's second day, Myles Kelly, a member of the Orange County Chapter since 1978, was given FEI's Distinguished Service Award, which honors volunteer leaders who have made significant contributions to FEI's development at the local or national level.

Kelly received the award for his long-term contributions to FEI and for his exemplary volunteer work in the organization. Since joining the Orange County chapter, he served in numerous leadership positions, including Chapter President, Membership Chairman, Retention Chairman and Career Services Chairman. He also serves on the boards of many nonprofit organizations in his community.

Kelly retired in 1991 from Ameron International Corp. (formerly Ameron Inc.) after 29 years. His last position was Controller for the Marine Coatings Division. As membership and retention chair for the Orange County chapter, Kelly was responsible for numerous major initiatives to drive membership and retain members.

The citation reads, in part, "Myles is a highly energetic and positive force, and he consistently promotes FEI to the financial community. His rapport with chapter members is exemplary. His outgoing personality lets him easily make friends of both members and guests, and he is diligent about reaching out to members who may have strayed from regular chapter involvement. His energy and fresh ideas are boundless, and his sense of humor, truly awesome!"
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Title Annotation:FEI News; Financial Executives International
Publication:Financial Executive
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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