Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to Deliver Keynote Addresses at 2010 Annual Business Growth Conference

Harvard Business School Association of Orange County, USC Marshall School of Business Alumni Association to Unite Local Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists

IRVINE, Calif.--()--The Harvard Business School Association of Orange County (HBSAOC) and USC Marshall School of Business Alumni Association today announced the keynote speaker line-up—including Bob McKnight, chairman of the board, CEO and president of Quiksilver, and Tony Hsieh, CEO and president of Zappos—at the upcoming Business Growth Conference. The annual conference—co-hosted by two powerhouse alumni associations in Southern California—Harvard Business School and the USC Marshall School of Business—unites business and industry influencers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and economic visionaries to match talent and business concepts with money and other resources. The all-day event takes place May 6, 2010 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. and has drawn the support of top sponsors including Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear LLP and e-Harmony, Inc.

“Business Growth Conference attendees will have ample opportunity to connect with the vibrant network, resources and energy of Harvard Business School, USC Marshall and business leaders from throughout southern California,” said Marc Kelly, Business Growth Conference co-chair and HBSAOC member. “We’re bringing in top business icons such as Bob McKnight and Tony Hsieh and other visionaries to share their insights and knowledge on how they led their businesses to great growth and success,” added Mark Easterday, Business Growth Conference co-chair and USC MAA member.

Tony Hsieh, a Harvard University graduate, will address the forum as the morning keynote speaker beginning at 8:30 a.m. Hsieh serves as CEO of Zappos.com, a company which under his leadership has grown merchandise sales from $1.6 million in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing relentlessly on customer service. In November 2009, the company was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded Venture Frogs with Alfred Lin. Venture Frogs is an incubator and investment firm that invested in Internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, Tellme Networks and Zappos.com

Bob McKnight will serve as the keynote speaker during the conference’s noon luncheon. As chairman of the board, CEO and president, McKnight has taken Quiksilver from a startup to the world’s leading outdoor sports lifestyle company. Quiksilver operates 18 brands, has 3,000 employees and sells its products in more than 90 countries. McKnight and his team have created more than a brand—they have created a culture that influences many facets of American life. McKnight holds a degree in business administration, marketing and management from the University of Southern California.

Tap into Today’s Business Issues

The 2010 Business Growth Conference will include a diverse array of sessions providing practical advice, “insider” information as well as business tools and techniques that can help entrepreneurs get out of the mere survival mode and grow their business. Sessions topics will range from money, management and marketing―including special sections on social media and green/corporate social responsibility issues. With a wide range of expert speakers, including Wing Lam of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Sasha Strauss, managing director of brand strategy at Innovation Protocol and professor at USC, and Mark Wilser of Global Capital Markets, this conference is a must-attend for elite business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Unprecedented Pre-Event Networking Opportunities

Leveraging the conference’s social media site, pre-registered attendees will have the advantage and option of networking with fellow attendees, panel speakers and moderators to maximize their participation in the conference via NING.

Early registration pricing is available from $299 (general admission) to $199 (HBSAOC and USC Marshall School alumni and affiliated business organizations) and $129 (enrolled students) by April 30. The first 100 paid registrants will receive a complimentary ticket to one of six USC Marshall Executive & Management Education programs, as well as one ticket to an HBSAOC Management Networking breakfast of their choice. Top event sponsors include Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear LLP, and eHarmony, Inc.

Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear LLP is a multi-year sponsor of the Business Growth Conference. The firm was founded in 1963, and serves clients from start-up phase to Fortune 500 firms, around the globe, regarding all areas of intellectual property law. The firm works closely with clients to identify and prioritize intellectual property assets in order to seek protection for them and enforce existing rights. Its attorneys are internationally recognized as leaders in their field.

Pasadena, Calif.-based eHarmony, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is a pioneer in using relationship science to match singles seeking long-term relationships. Its services, available in the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom, present users with compatible matches based on key dimensions of personality that are scientifically proven to predict highly successful long-term relationships. eHarmony, Inc. also operates a network of dating and relationship, wedding planning and parenting websites that give people resources and support to make better decisions at important times in their lives.

To register or for more information regarding the 2010 Business Growth Conference, go to: www.scbgc.org.

The Harvard Business School Association of Orange County (HBSAOC)

The Harvard Business School Association of Orange County (HBSAOC) is one of 116 alumni clubs of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (HBS). Its membership includes graduates of the school's MBA, doctoral and executive education programs. The Association serves more than 500 alumni in the greater Orange County, Calif. area. Additional information is online at www.hbsaoc.org.

UCS Marshall School of Business Alumni Association

The USC Marshall Alumni Association (MAA) with over 75,000 alumni in over 90 countries is a powerful worldwide business network designed to connect and engage alumni to each other and to the USC Marshall School of Business and USC Leventhal School of Accounting. For more information about alumni benefits including chapter and regional events, giving back, mentoring, leadership opportunities, career networking and more, visit www.marshall.usc.edu/alumni.


Jesse Gutierrez, 949-486-8960 x 237

Release Summary

Join more than 1,000 of Southern California’s elite business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs at the Business Growth Conference on Thursday, May 6, 2010.


Jesse Gutierrez, 949-486-8960 x 237