Portland Conference Brings Business, Education, Government Leaders Together


CORVALLIS, Ore. – The leader of a multi-million dollar investment company and the director of development for DreamWorks Animation are among the key speakers at a conference hosted by Oregon State University’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

The conference, “Toward 2020: Addressing Tomorrow’s Problems Today,” will be held Thursday, May 3, at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

This is the second year OSU has held the conference, which focuses on how government, education and private industry use creativity and innovation to develop proactive solutions to current and upcoming issues.

The luncheon keynote speaker will be Wesley R. Edens, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortress Investment Group. Edens, an OSU College of Business alumnus, co-founded the company in May 1998 and it now manages $30 billion in assets. Fortress emerged as one of the nation’s hottest initial public offerings recently when it became the first private-equity and hedge-fund manager to sell shares on U.S. markets.

Edens will talk about innovation in financial markets and offer his predictions for the future of the investment industry.

Keynote speaker Jeff Wike, director of research and development at DreamWorks Animation, has worked on numerous animated films, including “Flushed Away,” “Over the Hedge,” “Madagascar,” and “Shark Tale.” His talk will focus on creativity and innovation in digital animation.

Other features of the conference include a presentation on the state’s perspective on creativity and innovation, highlighting initiatives from the Oregon Innovation Council; presentations demonstrating the role of Oregon universities and their partners in creating solutions; panel sessions with leaders from government, education, and private industry; and a presentation of business plans by OSU business students.

Registration is $100 by April 18 and $125 after that date. For more information or to register, go to http://www.bus.oregonstate.edu/programs/2007aep_conference.htm.