See you in September Featured

5:42am EDT August 31, 2004
September has always been a month that I favor. It has the best weather of the year, to my liking, at least.

When I was a youngster, it was usually pretty clear by September who was going to be in the World Series, and the new football season was being ushered in. The fall TV season meant the end of reruns and summer replacements and the rollout of shows for both new series and the popular ones that had survived.

And while I would never have admitted it then, I usually looked forward to the start of the school year. The auto manufacturers began to roll out their new models in September at a time when styling changed recognizably from year to year and rendered the prior versions passé.

I haven't been in school for many years, and harbor only a passing interest in professional sports. The car companies don't restyle their cars every year anymore. With hundreds of cable channels and a dizzying array of programming, most of which is pretty uninspired, I greet each new season with little anticipation.

In recent years, however, there has been a September event that I look forward to -- the St. Barnabas CEO Leadership Conference, this year scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Kean Theatre on the St. Barnabas campus. The conference invites the region's CEOs and their second-in-commands to witness business, government, academic and civic leaders discuss the region's economic development concerns and offer prescriptions for improvement. Once again, Smart Business has chosen to participate as a sponsor of this year's conference.

This year, the conference's theme is "Mad as Hell," a half-day program that promises to encourage a lively discussion centered around local government reform and restructuring proposals, and solutions to encourage economic growth in the region.

This year's keynote speaker is Dick Thornburgh, former governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General in President George H.W. Bush's administration. Discussion panelists include Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, Ted Arneault, CEO of Mountaineer Racetrack Gaming & Resort, and U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart.

If you are a CEO or a second-in-command at your company, you owe it to yourself to attend this year's CEO Leadership Conference. You can register by calling (724) 443-0700 ext. 258 by Sept. 17.

Maybe you'll see a few models that will inspire your imagination and won't go out of style by next year.