The Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s (VICA) 23rd Annual Business Forecast Conference, Oct. 28, will feature National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The Business Forecast Conference is known for dynamic and informative speakers and this year’s lineup will ensure the conference continues to live up to that reputation,” said VICA 1st Vice Chair David Adelman. “Mr. Shay is a vibrant leader who represents an industry that has indeed felt the far reaching impact of the economic downturn. I expect his comments to be insightful and relevant.”

Shay took the helm of NRF in May 2010. As top executive of the world’s largest retail trade association, he serves as the chief advocate for an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generate $2.4 trillion in annual sales. Beyond U.S. borders, Shay represents NRF’s global membership that includes retailers and industry partners in more than 45 nations. “Retail is a pillar of our economy and Mr. Shay has his finger on the pulse of this vital industry,” Adelman said. “We hope he can educate conference attendees about what the future holds for retailers and what that means for our economic recovery.”

Shay has been recognized by CEO Update as one of the top 50 nonprofit chief executives in Washington. He serves on a number of boards and committees, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 representing the nation’s leading trade and industry groups. The VICA Business Forecast Conference helps business leaders prepare for the economic opportunities in the upcoming year and address the region’s most pressing public policy issues.

This year’s theme is: The Big Economy That Should. An economic forecast breakfast will kick-off the day, followed by insightful panels addressing: technology, tourism, real estate, banking and finance, transportation, the viability of green jobs, unemployment and businesses leaving the State of California. The event concludes with a luncheon keynote. The conference (presented by Wells Fargo and Woodbury University) will be held 7:15 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 28 at the Universal Hilton Hotel, 555 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City. This year’s conference will be held in partnership with The Valley Economic Alliance.

“With the caliber of speakers confirmed we anticipate an enlightening and engaging day of public policy discussion,” said VICA President Stuart Waldman. “Everyone is uncertain about our economic future, so we hope this year’s Business Forecast Conference will leave attendees with valuable information that will guide them into 2012.” Cost for the conference is $175 for VICA members and $200 for non-members. Registration forms can be downloaded at (The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit for more information.)

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