CHICAGO (February 17, 2012) - Each year, NeoCon taps the brightest minds and industry innovators for its keynote presentations and this year’s show, to be held June 11-13 at Chicago’s famed Merchandise Mart, is no exception. Show organizers have lined up four incredible and informative keynote speakers including Richard M. Daley, former Mayor of the City of Chicago, Primo Orpilla, Principal of Studio O+A, Gary Lee, Principal of Gary Lee Partners, and Ian Schrager of Ian Schrager Company. Keynote programs are free to attend, open to trade professionals only, and merit 0.1 CEU credit.
Richard M. Daley
Former Mayor of Chicago and one of the most pivotal politicians in American history
8 a.m., June 11
The longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s history, Richard M. Daley has earned an international reputation as a leading innovator in urban development, fiscal policy and government stewardship. As the former mayor, Mr. Daley enhanced Chicago’s quality of life, improved the public school system and infrastructure, strengthened the economy, reduced crime, improved transportation, and made Chicago one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the world. During his 22-year tenure as mayor, Chicago became a prominent player in the 21st century global economy, now ranking among the top economic centers and most influential cities worldwide. Mr. Daley continues to speak internationally on the issue of sustainable urban development and work with global leaders on building the cities of tomorrow. Mr. Daley’s keynote program is sponsored by Allsteel.
Distinguished “Designer of the Year 2011”
8 a.m., June 12
Primo Orpilla co-founded Studio O+A in 1991 with his partner (and wife) Verda Alexander because they recognized the need for a design firm in the Bay Area with the ability to respond to dynamic changes in the local tech-based economy. For Orpilla, design should always reflect the client’s philosophy, sensibilities and story. With this in mind, Orpilla focuses on transforming the way people work and live as more successful spaces that encourage collaboration, playfulness and inspiration. His remarkably diverse client roster includes technology and communications firms, financial institutions, government agencies, developers, non-profit entities, and multi-national corporations. Since its inception in 1991, O+A has directed design and construction for millions of square feet of space throughout the United States. Most recently, the duo was named “Designers of the Year” by Contract magazine. Mr. Orpilla’s keynote program is sponsored by OFS Brands.
Chicago-based Interior Design visionary
1 p.m., June 12
Gary Lee, President of Gary Lee Partners, is an interior design visionary who has earned accolades and rewards including the prestigious Interiors Designer of the Year and membership in the highly selective Interior Design Hall of Fame. With his innate ability
to communicate a vision for projects, Lee begins the design process with a sense of how the environment will function for the client’s business, how the space will feel, and in planning that considers rhythm and volume before style. A pillar of the design community, Lee is equally respected by the clients who often return with multiple assignments and by a loyal team of collaborators who have worked closely with him for years. Gary Lee Partners celebrated the opening of Atelier Gary Lee, a new multi-line showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart in January 2012, which features his private-label furniture and other classic contemporary pieces. Mr. Lee’s keynote program in sponsored by Knoll.
Pioneer of the boutique hotel concept
Noon, June 13
Ian Schrager, creator of the boutique hotel concept, has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized both the entertainment and hospitality industries. His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts: The hotel as home away from home, the hotel as a theater, "cheap chic", "lobby socializing", the indoor/outdoor lobby, the urban resort, and the urban spa. Schrager’s keen instincts for the mood and feel of popular culture were honed during the 70's and 80's, when he and his late business partner, Steve Rubell, created the legendary Studio 54 and Palladium nightclubs. They soon turned their attention to the hotel business opening Morgans Hotel Group in 1984, setting their sights on revolutionizing the hospitality industry. In 2005, Schrager sold Morgans Hotel Group, a company he founded, to create Ian Schrager Company which owns, develops and manages hotels, residential and mixed use projects. He is currently working on launching two new hotel brands in various 24 hour gateway cities around the world.
Continuing education and professional development have always been an integral component of NeoCon. This year’s conference schedule includes 120 CEU-accredited seminars and industry association forums, giving trade professionals the opportunity to discover the newest trends and products from some of the top-names in the industry.
Visit www.neocon.com for a complete listing of tours, seminars, association forums and special events.
Registration will be available at www.neocon.com in March, 2012. NeoCon attendees are encouraged to pre-register by June 4th to save time and money. As part of an effort to increase online pre-registration, attendees who register at www.neocon.com by June 4th will be admitted into the show at no charge. Attendees who wait to register on-site will be charged $25 for a show badge.