PALMDALE, CA (February 16, 2017) – ANTELOPE VALLEY BOARD OF TRADE’S 45th Annual Business Outlook Conference To “Fire up the Future’ with Exceptional Speakers on February 24, 2017!  This all-day event is filled with informative and engaging presentations from a diverse cross-section of industry thriving in the Antelope Valley!  More than 40 exhibitors will welcome visitors, teach and inform about the best this region has to offer.  The program will begin at 8am with a welcome message from the morning Master of Ceremonies, Antelope Valley College Foundation’s Dianne Knippel.  The first order of the day is to present an esteemed citizen and businessman, Dante R. Simi, the CEO and President of Learn4Life Charter Schools, with an award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement.  The Board of Trade has only presented this award one time before, to former Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, in recognition of his more than 30 years of service to our region.

 LA County 5th District Supervisor, Kathryn Barger  This past year, the Antelope Valley got a new representative in LA County, Kathryn Barger.  Barger is dedicated to providing effective, responsive representation to the residents of Los Angeles County, Kathryn began her career in public service as a college student intern in the office of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and rose to become his Chief Deputy Supervisor in 2001, where she served until her election to the Board this past November.  Barger is a dynamic and engaging speaker!

Vice-Mayor Marvin Crist, Councilman Raj Malhi, and Consultant Paul Silvern, City of Lancaster will discuss the economic and quality of life opportunities presented by Lancaster’s “Medical Main Street” project to redevelop the AV Hospital area

 Jim Purtee, City Manager City of Palmdale will update attendees on current and future plans for workforce development efforts, business expansions, new jobs and quality of life additions within the City of Palmdale. 

Antelope Valley Education Showcase  The Antelope Valley is home to several distinct public school districts, including the Antelope Valley Union High School District, Lancaster School District, Palmdale School District, Westside Union School District and Eastside Union School District.  The superintendents of these districts will join us on stage to showcase the best and brightest their students have to offer, from creative partnerships with industry to innovative specialized academies preparing our local kids for bright futures.  Featured panelists will be Dr. David Vierra from AVUHSD, Dr. Michele Bowers (LSD), Raul Maldonado (PSD), Regina Rossall (WSD) and Dr. Mark Marshall (ESD).  Be prepared to be amazed at what’s going on day to day in our local classrooms!

US House of Representatives Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy cannot always attend the Outlook Conference, due to his busy schedule in Washington DC.  It is a treat when he can make time to spend the day with us, and this is just such a year!  Congressman Kevin McCarthy proudly serves California’s 23rd district and is currently the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2006 and is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident.

 Returning Speaker Sarbjit Nahal: Head of Thematic Investment Strategy Bank of America Merrill Lynch    Rapidly changing global trends that influence everything from Wall Street to Main Street will be the focus of internationally known thematic investment strategist Sarbjit Nahal. His appearance is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  Nahal’s global strategy research team addresses from perspectives of both opportunity and risk, what are called “thematic issues.” Included among those are: Education, energy efficiency, extreme weather and climate change, longevity, obesity and health & wellness, safety / security, waste and water.


Brigadier General Carl E. Schaefer, 412th Test Wing Commander leads a wing of 7,847 personnel in the developmental test and evaluation of the F-35, KC-46, F-22, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-17, C-130, KC-135, Global Hawk, joint remotely piloted aircraft and emerging technologies.  Additionally, General Schaefer is the installation commander responsible for operating the base and supporting more than 12,000 active duty, reserve, civil service and defense contractors at Edwards, the second largest base in the U.S. Air Force.  Edwards AFB is the largest employer in the Antelope Valley. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for F-35 Integration.


Following a 45-minute lunch break, the afternoon will kick off with a word from our afternoon Master of Ceremonies, Fox News’ Trace Gallagher.  Gallagher is based in Los Angeles and has covered major news stories for the news organization for more than 20 years.

 Kimberly Maevers will present this year’s Roundtable Report from the greater Antelope Valley economic Alliance(GAVEA) and local economic updates.

 Mark Troth of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Troth Realtors originally delivered his regional Real Estate Report at the 2015 AV Business Outlook Conference, and is back by popular demand! Mark will again deliver the kind of information that is always so well-received due to its clarity, scope and insights on the regional real estate market. 

David McBride: NASA Armstrong FRC  David D. McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, is expected to bring the latest information on NASA’s key programs and projects.  McBride oversees management, strategy, and operations at NASA Armstrong, one of 10 field centers of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  He was appointed director on Jan. 4, 2010, having served as acting director since April 2009.  NASA Armstrong is the agency’s lead center for atmospheric flight research, operations, and testing, and continues to accelerate advances in science, technology and exploration.  Armstrong supports the agency by providing flight research and development for NASA aeronautics, and global flight operations and development for NASA science in support of astrophysics and earth science.  This year, McBride will also be the seventh recipient of the Antelope Valley Board of trade’s prestigious Navigating Change Award.

 Captain Sunita L. Williams: NASA Astronaut has spent a total of 322 days in space and ranks sixth on the all-time US endurance list, second all-time for female astronauts. With 50 hours and 40 minutes, she also holds the record total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut. In 2007, she also ran the Boston Marathon from the International Space Station.  This impressive astronaut is currently assigned to the cadre of astronauts training to fly the initial test flights for America’s first commercially built spacecraft for Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon. Captain Williams and her crewmates are working closely with the commercial providers to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will eventually provide roundtrip crew transportation services to the International Space Station beginning this year.

 KEYNOTE: Sports Legend/ Author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a six-time NBA champion, is also one of a handful of influential and respected black men in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for The Washington Post and Time Magazine, where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today. After 50 years as an athlete, activist, and New York Times bestselling author, he offers his perspectives as a nationally recognized speaker who regularly appears on the lecture circuit. His new political book, Writings on the Wall – Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White was released Fall 2016 by Time Books and offers his personal perspectives on political issues facing America today. At the end of 2015, his Emmy Award-winning HBO Sports documentary, Kareem: Minority of One, debuted as HBO’s most watched and highest rated sports documentary of all time. Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning. His most recent projects include the second novel of the Mycroft Holmes action/mystery series based on Sherlock Holmes’s savvy older brother—(Titan Publishing). In addition to the success of his first novel, his comic book series, Mycroft Holmes & the Apocalypse Handbook was released during Comic-Con in San Diego in July 2016 and continues to be a bestseller. His next book will be a memoir: Coach Wooden & Me – our 5 Year Friendship is set to debut May 2017. To cap an already event-filled year, on November 16, 2016 President Barack Obama awarded Abdul-Jabbar the nation’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom. And the momentum continues in 2017. An avid numismatic coin collector, in January Abdul- Jabbar was appointed as the first African-American to the CCAC (Citizens Coin Advisory Council). Then a few weeks later before President Obama left office, he appointed Abdul-Jabbar to the President’s Council on Sports & Fitness.

The day ends with a hosted after-hours reception and book signing with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the exhibit hall, in Van Dam Pavilion.  Tickets are still available at www.avbot.org for $150 for members and $175 for non-members.

The Conference is supported this year by Premier Sponsors: High Desert Medical Group, Los Angeles County, the City of Lancaster, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Millennium Sponsors: AVTA, Choices In Learning, Learn4Life, LAMAR, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin

Diamond Sponsors: Mojave Air and Space Port, The Boeing Company, Southern California Edison, Antelope Valley College, Antelope Valley Hospital

Platinum Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, the Greater Antelope Valley Association of Realtors, Western Pacific Roofing, Palmdale Regional Medical Center, BYD, the Valley Press, JT3, AV College Foundation, Streamline System Designs and Aerotech News & Review

Gold Sponsors:  Rio Tinto, ClancyJG, Waste Management, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, AVAQMD and City of Hope Antelope Valley




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