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George Vlahakis
University Communications

Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2008

IU Business Conference on March 5 to offer global strategies for Indiana companies

Jan. 29, 2008

BLOOMINGTON. Ind. -- In discussions about the state's economy, the topic quickly turns to global challenges -- international competition, public policy, regulation, expansion, financing, sales and marketing. At the 2008 Indiana University Business Conference, six leaders will elevate the conversation by adding their insights and strategies for bettering Indiana's global game.

Mitch Daniels

Gov. Mitch Daniels

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, IU President Michael A. McRobbie, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and Chief Executive Officer Anton "Tony" George, Langham Logistics Inc. President Catherine A. Langham, Simon Property Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David E. Simon and FedEx Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Frederick W. Smith will speak at the March 5 conference in Indianapolis.

The conference is presented by IU's Kelley School of Business, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC). It will begin at 9 a.m. at the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave.

The theme for the conference is one the Kelley School considers crucial for the state, individuals, businesses and the university -- "Building Indiana's Competitive Edge in the Global Economy: Strategies That Work." With a program designed to benefit companies of every size, this conference will offer analysis, assessment and tactical ideas at both the firm and individual executive levels.

The morning session consists of a lively panel discussion moderated by Kelley School Dean Daniel C. Smith, featuring presentations, discussion and a Q&A session with George, Langham, McRobbie, Simon and Smith. During the luncheon session, Gov. Daniels will give a capstone presentation, addressing public policy dimensions and describing his vision of the state's economic future.

Opportunities will be provided throughout the conference for networking.

The registration fee is $130 by Tuesday, Feb. 19, and $140 after that. Table registrations are $1,200 for 10 people or $625 for five people and include reserved seating at lunch and all conference sessions. Information and registration are available at or 812-855-6340.

Registrations can be mailed to Annual Business Conference, Kelley School of Business, 1275 E. 10th St., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-1703. Credit card registrations can be sent by fax to Conference Registrar, Kelley School of Business, 812-855-3535. Make checks payable to the IU Kelley School of Business Alumni Association.

About the speakers:

Gov. Mitch Daniels Jr.

Daniels, Indiana's 49th governor, was elected in 2004 and is running for re-election. Prior to running for public office for the first time in his life, he served in top leadership positions in business and government. Today, he is using this experience to focus on strengthening Indiana's economy, reforming state government and restoring the fiscal integrity of the state.

Daniels previously served as president of Eli Lilly and Co.'s North American pharmaceutical operations and CEO of the Hudson Institute. As governor, he created the public-private partnered IEDC, became chairman of its board, and ordered it to act at the speed of business, not the speed of government, to attract new jobs.

During its first year, the IEDC closed more transactions than in the previous two years combined. In 2006, the IEDC topped its 2005 results in only ten months. Indiana became the only state in the nation to land three high-profile automotive investments -- Toyota, Honda, and Cummins. The governor's focus on renewing Indiana's agricultural sector and strengthening its rural communities moved Indiana to the forefront in the biofuel and clean energy areas.

Daniels also has served as chief of staff to Sen. Richard Lugar, as senior adviser to President Ronald Reagan and as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bush. He created Indiana's first Office of Management and Budget to look for efficiencies and cost savings across state government.

In 2005, Daniels led the state to its first balanced budget in eight years and, without a tax increase, turned the $600 million deficit he inherited into a $300 million surplus in a single year. He used this surplus to repay hundreds of millions of dollars the state had borrowed from Indiana's public schools in previous administrations.

Tony George

Anton "Tony" George

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Anton "Tony" George

Since 1989, George has been president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. and its parent, Hulman & Co. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home since 1911 to the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. George also founded the Indy Racing League and is one of the owners of Vision Motorsports IndyCar Series race team.

An aggressive program of expansion and investment has marked George's tenure as IMSC president and CEO. Extensive reconstruction and redesign of various track components has preserved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's reputation as the world's premier racing facility. Each year, the track plays host to the Indianapolis 500 and, since 1994, the Nextel Cup Series' annual Allstate 400 at the Brickyard race, the world's second-largest single-day sporting event. Later this year, the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP will be conducted at the IMS, kicking off the celebration of the track's centennial.

George also serves as president of Hulman & Co., established by family patriarch Hermann Hulman in 1850. Hulman & Co. produces Clabber Girl Baking Powder and includes substantial interests in real estate, energy, communications, banking and investments. He serves on the board of directors of First Financial Corp. and Vectren, both Indiana-based companies.

Cathy Langham

Catherine A. Langham

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Catherine A. Langham

Co-founder of global logistics firm Langham Logistics Inc., Langham focuses on business development, fast-growth strategy and critical industry issues such as cargo security. She provides her 20-plus years of logistics expertise to business leaders in a wide spectrum of industries, including pharmaceutical, food & beverage, automotive and other industries with complex supply chains.

Prior to launching the company that bears her family name, she was a two-time franchise owner in the transportation industry. She founded Langham with her sister and brother, who continue to be involved in the organization with her. Langham's third-party logistics company, now 18 years old, has charted double-digit growth, has expanded its client base around the world, and has grown to more than 80 full-time employees.

Langham's visibility as CEO of a fast-growing woman-owned business enterprise earned her firm a visit from President George W. Bush. In 2005, she accepted a role on the Indiana Economic Development Corp. at the invitation of Gov. Daniels. She also is former chair of the Air Forwarders Association and is the immediate past chairperson and member of the board of directors of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. She received the Kelley School's Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in 2007.

Michael McRobbie

Michael A. McRobbie

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Michael A. McRobbie

McRobbie, IU's 18th president since last July, has an extensive record of accomplishment in various roles as a senior administrator at IU as well as strong academic credentials. His broad expertise in fostering research partnerships and his collaborative leadership style have enhanced the educational and research missions of the university and have strengthened the university's already glorious traditions in the arts.

When McRobbie came to IU as vice president of information technology in 1997, then-IU President Myles Brand asked him to create a modern information technology environment throughout the university that would make the university a leader "in absolute terms for uses and applications of IT." As a first step, McRobbie prepared the IU Information Technology Strategic Plan, an ambitious plan that has served as a model for institutions across the nation. He also played a major role in the creation of the School of Informatics, the nation's first university program to combine all aspects of information technology into a single discipline.

McRobbie drew on his extensive background in high-performance computer networking as he directed the development of I-Light, an integrated, high-speed optical fiber network that links IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Purdue University, and a number of other universities. His foresight led to IU's involvement and management of the Internet2 Abilene network, a national, high-speed data network that supports research among universities across the country and has fostered relationships for high-speed connections around the world. He also founded IU's Pervasive Technology Laboratories, funded in 1999 by a $30 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

In 2003, McRobbie was given additional responsibilities as vice president for research. His aim was to increase external funding for IU programs with the goal of doubling such funding by 2010. He has been instrumental in securing multimillion dollar grants for life sciences initiatives such as the Indiana Metabolomics and Cytomics Initiative (METACyt) and the Indiana Genomics Initiative at IU (INGEN), as well as for the popular New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Program, which supports the creation of major new works of art in a variety of genres.

In 2006, he helped the university reach a deal with IBM to acquire one of the world's 20 most powerful supercomputers, ensuring IU's continued leadership in national research initiatives such as the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid, which links the nation's most powerful supercomputers.

That same year McRobbie was appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at IU Bloomington. In that role, he pursued priorities for the arts and humanities, life sciences, and the recruitment and retention of students and faculty. He also worked to develop an international strategic plan to help create and nurture global relationships that support the university's academic programs and provide opportunities for faculty and students. Leading university delegations to China and Japan in 2006, McRobbie helped establish and renew cooperative research ventures with several of those nations' premier universities. As IU's president, he traveled again to China last fall.

David Simon

David E. Simon

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David E. Simon

Simon is chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., a member of the S&P 500 and the largest U.S. publicly traded real estate company. Simon Property Group is engaged primarily in the ownership, development and management of retail real estate, primarily regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers® and community/lifestyle centers. It currently owns or has an interest in approximately 285 properties in the United States; more than 50 properties in Europe; five Premium Outlet Centers® in Japan; and one Premium Outlet Centers® in Mexico.

Simon joined the organization in 1990. In 1993, he led the efforts to take Simon Property Group public with a nearly $1 billion initial public offering that, at the time, was the largest real-estate stock offering ever. He became CEO in 1995. Since that time, he has orchestrated $21 billion in strategic acquisitions that, together with ground-up development, have allowed the company to assemble a portfolio of top-tier shopping centers that serve as home to virtually every top national and international retailer. Today, the company's market capitalization is more than $48 billion.

Before joining the organization, Simon was a vice president of Wasserstein Perella & Co., a Wall Street firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.

Simon is a member and former chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts board of governors and is a former trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He has received numerous industry honors, and in 2000, he was inducted into the Kelley School's Academy of Alumni Fellows.

Fred Smith

Frederick W. Smith

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Frederick W. Smith

Smith is chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp., a $36-billion global transportation, business services and logistics company. He is responsible for providing strategic direction for all FedEx Corp. operating companies, including FedEx Services, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Kinko's.

FedEx serves more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 669 aircraft and more than 75,000 vehicles. More than 280,000 employees and independent contractors worldwide handle more than 6.5 million shipments each business day. Since founding FedEx in 1971, Smith has been an active proponent of regulatory reform, free trade and "open skies agreements" for aviation around the world.

FedEx has continued to strengthen its industry leadership over the past 34 years, and has been widely acknowledged for its commitment to total quality service. FedEx Express was the first service company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990. FedEx has consistently been ranked on Fortune magazine's industry lists, including "World's Most Admired Companies" and "America's Most Admired Companies." FedEx is in the "Hall of Fame" for claiming a spot on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list consecutively from 1998-2006.

Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Mayo Foundation Boards. He was formerly chairman of the board of governors for the International Air Transport Association and the U.S. Air Transport Association. Smith is a member of the Business Roundtable and the CATO Institute. He served as chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and is the current chairman of the French-American Business Council.

In addition, Smith was named 2006 Person of the Year by the French-American Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, served as co-chairman of the U.S. World War II Memorial Project, and was named Chief Executive magazine's 2004 "CEO of the Year."

The Platinum level corporate sponsor is FedEx Corp. Gold level sponsors include: BKD LLP, Deloitte, Eli Lilly and Co. and Simon Property Group, Inc. At the Silver level sponsors include: Clarian Health, Crown Corr Inc., Cummins Inc., Duke Energy, the IU Center for International Business Education and Research, Johnson Ventures Inc., the National Collegiate Athletic Association, The Pampered Chef, Ltd. and Whirlpool Corp. Langham Logistics, Inc. is a Bronze level sponsor.