KICKING OFF THE CONFERENCE

NEW YORK — Attaining growth in this age of e-commerce, finding ways to connect with consumers, improving customer service and bolstering business are among the topics that will be discussed at Conference 2000, the curtain-raising session for the International Hosiery Expo.
Billed as “What the Whole World Wants,” the event bows on April 8 and is hosted by The Hosiery Association, the expo’s organizer.
On the agenda:
J’Amy Owens, president of Retail Group Inc., a Seattle-based consulting firm, will talk about ways to tap into the complex psyche of today’s shoppers.
Dr. Jaime Zabludovsky, subsecretary of commerce for Mexico, will discuss Mexico’s rapid expansion in global trade agreements.
Ray Burke, business administration professor at Indiana University’s School of Business, will address “Technology Paths for Competitive Advantage.”
The conference will wrap up with a panel discussion about hosiery trends. Jesus Garcia, director general of Textil de Tepeji of Mexico; Nerino Grassi, president of Golden Lady and chairman of the Kayser-Roth Corp., and Luis Restrepo, managing director of Crystal SA of South America, will lead the discussion, which will be followed by a fashion show, a first for the event.
On another front, the Hosiery Association has also set up morning sessions each day.
Gene Kranz, NASA’s flight engineer for Apollo 13, will start the program on April 9 with his presentation, “Failure Is Not an Option.”
Sid Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Hosiery Association, said that one of the astronauts from the Apollo 13 mission is slated to make a special appearance. He declined to say which one.
When a fire broke out on Apollo 13, Kranz’s challenge was to get the three astronauts on board back to earth alive. He managed a team of engineers whose average age was 27 and kept them focused on solving the crisis.
“Gene will talk about managing a team and keeping them focused,” Smith said.
On April 10, Denise Landman, vice president of merchandising for Victoria’s Secret, and Jack Smailes, vice president of general merchandising for Kmart, will participate in another discussion, “Hosiery: The Retail Perspective.” A hosiery buyer from Banana Republic is also expected to join the presenters, said Smith, adding, “They will offer their insights as to how hosiery works into floor plans.”
Clyde Parker, president of Star Leadership Development Inc., will host the final THA-sponsored seminar, which will address exploring new ways of manufacturing in today’s changing market, where e-commerce is becoming more important.
“He will talk about managing a team productively in constant and unabating change,” Smith said. “It will focus on retooling, which is something that all companies go through.”

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