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Co-Chair of Iraq Study Group and Vice Chair of 9/11 Commission, Home Depot Vice President Headline OPEI’s 56th Annual Meeting

May 10, 2010

Alexandria, VA – June 11, 2008 – The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) today announced several high profile keynote speakers who will address national security, green research and global competition at its 56th annual meeting to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada from June 19-21, 2008.

OPEI is proud to welcome former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton to this year’s meeting. Mr. Hamilton is one of the foremost experts on international affairs and served by Presidential appointment on the Iraq Study Group and 9/11 commission.

“As a former staff member to Congressman Hamilton, it is my great pleasure to introduce him to the OPEI family,” said Kris Kiser, Vice President, Public Affairs, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “He is respected not only for his grasp of international affairs, but also for his academic, bipartisan and honest approach to problem solving and public policy development. OPEI members will benefit from hearing him explain how the current and future international political climate will impact their global business.”

Other featured speakers include: Ralph G. Trombetta, senior member of the Value Innovation Network, Dr. Michael P. Kenna, director of the U.S. Golf Association’s Green Section Research, and Bill Boltz, Home Depot’s Merchandising vice president for Lawn and Garden Outdoor Living.

“Our keynote speakers will discuss the most pressing issues facing our members and our country – international security, global climate change issues and market competitiveness,” said Kiser. “Our goal is to have our members leave the meeting with more insight and “intelligence” to help their business prosper in this challenging marketplace, and this year’s lineup certainly will do just that.”

Keynote speakers in more detail:

Lee H. Hamilton, Former U.S. Congressman and Current President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Mr. Hamilton will speak on U.S. foreign policy and industry interests in the world economy, providing a unique and informed vantage point. Hamilton will also discuss U.S. intelligence and security interests in the world economy against the backdrop of the U.S. political landscape and the 2008 elections. Mr. Hamilton served as Co-Chairman of the Iraq Study Group alongside Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and was Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission. He also served as chairman of the house committee on foreign affairs, the permanent select committee on intelligence and the joint economic committee.

Dr. Michael P. Kenna, Director of the U.S. Golf Association’s Green Section Research
Dr. Kenna supports the USGA’s turfgrass and environmental research program. His presentation will focus on the search for turfgrass’ carbon footprint, carbon sequestration research, water sustainability and irrigation dynamics, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the science and politics of “Being Green.”

Bill Boltz, Home Depot’s Merchandising Vice President for Lawn and Garden Outdoor Living
Mr. Boltz will discuss how companies can use innovation to differentiate their organizations in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace. He will discuss Home Depot’s innovation programs, including sustainability initiatives that have helped make Home Depot one of the largest retailers and companies in the world.

Ralph G. Trombetta, Senior Member of the Value Innovation Network
Mr. Trombetta will discuss ways for companies to combat narrowing profit margins and to become more competitive and successful in a changing global economy. Trombetta will show how companies have broken out of intensely competitive industries by breaking buyer compromises, expanding the boundaries of established markets and redefining buyer groups.

More information about OPEI’s 56 Annual Meeting and speakers can be found here.

About OPEI
OPEI is an international trade association representing the $15 billion landscape, forestry, utility and lawn equipment manufacturing industry. OPEI is committed to ongoing efforts to ensure consumer safety and access to outdoor power equipment in order to maintain and enhance outdoor landscapes. OPEI works with federal, state and local groups to ensure that equipment operates efficiently, effectively and is fully emission compliant. For more information on OPEI visit