Global business conference NASA

Globalization has arrived, and companies are looking for ways to retool growth strategies in the expanded business world. At the same time, a formidable  credit crunch has eroded confidence.

What steps can business executives take to sustain growth during this economic downturn?

UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business and the Orange County Business Council will provide answers at a Nov. 17 conference, “Global Business Strategies: Navigating Today’s Economic Challenges.”

“This year, our conference is focused on expanding a global footprint amid challenges in the marketplace,” says business school dean Andrew J. Policano. “The strategies delivered at this conference will be invaluable, and I urge businesspeople and entrepreneurs to take this opportunity to learn from so many high-profile, successful business leaders during this one-day, information-packed event.”

Paul McCulley, managing director of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond manager, is scheduled as keynote speaker. His talk, “The Paradox of De-leveraging: A Diagnosis of the Current Crisis and a Prescription for Recovery,” will provide insight on steps to recovery.

Conference participants also will hear from some of Orange County’s most influential business leaders. Topics include:

  • Anticipating changes in the global market to stay ahead of the competition. Speakers include David Pyott, chairman and CEO of Allergan; John O’Connor, director of Global Supply Chain for Cisco Systems; Stephen Marlow, Toshiba America Electronic executive vice president and board member at UCI’s Center for Unconventional Security Affairs; and Kate Gutmann, vice president of UPS’ Worldwide Strategic Accounts. The session will be moderated by Michael Aghajanian, managing director of PRTM management consulting firm and conference co-chair.
  • Developing strategies for accessing capital through government programs that help participants expand their businesses. Speakers include Bijan Kian, director of Export Import Bank; Thomas Hardy, chief of staff for the U.S. Trade Development Agency; and David Crane, economic and jobs adviser to Gov. Schwarzenegger. Wayne Gross, partner at Snell & Wilmer and conference co-chair, will moderate the session.
  • Understanding Orange County’s influence in the global economy. The discussion will include leaders from four distinct business areas: Steve Tully, president of Quiksilver Brands for the Americas (surf and skate); Aram Bassenian, chairman and CEO, Bassenian Lagoni Architects (real estate); Michael Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences (medical devices); and Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort (arts and entertainment).

Other speakers include Robert E. Wollan, global managing partner at Accenture, discussing shifts in global consumerism, and Wallace Walrod, vice president of research and communications for the Orange County Business Council, providing an overview of the county’s economic development.

The event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Irvine Marriott Hotel. Those interested can register online.