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Stars of screen and industry to address NEW Forum

Wednesday, January 30, 2013  
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Actress and activist Geena Davis; Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; and Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN Inc., will share their personal and professional experiences at the seventh annual NEW Executive Leaders Forum, July 23-25 at the Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. More than 250 senior executives in the consumer products and retail industry are expected to attend the invitation-only event.

The Academy Award-winning Davis founded the nonprofit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004. The Institute is a research-based organization working to reduce stereotyping and broaden female characters in children's entertainment. Its programming arm, See Jane, spotlights gender inequalities through education, training, strategic guidance and advocacy programs.

"I felt, as a mother, kids should be seeing boys and girls sharing the sandbox equally,” Davis said in a recent interview. "There are so few female characters that have positions of authority that are playing the important politicians, business leaders, law partners. That's what we want to work on, because if kids don't see it, they're not going to think of wanting to become that when they grow up.”

In 1989, Davis received the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan's "The Accidental Tourist.” She was again nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott's "Thelma and Louise.” She is a former trustee of the Women's Sports Foundation, serves on the Board of the White House Project, is an appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and is an official partner of UN Women in its effort to change the way media represents women and girls worldwide.

Kent will offer his global perspective on the power of women. "Muhtar Kent is a bold leader and more intentional about advancing women than most of the CEOs in the consumer products and retail industry,” said NEW Forum conference designer Trudy Bourgeois, founder and president of The Center for Workforce Excellence. "He recognizes women’s value as consumers and as leaders -- and it’s paying off for The Coca-Cola Company, which continues to thrive as the world's most recognized brand. He has experienced extreme success and is a role model for leading with a desire to empower women globally.”

Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978, holding a variety of marketing and operations leadership positions over the course of his career, including general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia, president of the company's East Central Europe division and senior vice president of Coca-Cola International. In 2005, Kent was named The Coca-Cola Company’s president and chief operating officer of the North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group. Less than a year later, he became president of Coca-Cola International, leading all of the company's operations outside North America. He has also served as The Coca-Cola Company’s president and chief executive officer and, earlier, as its president and chief operating officer.

Active in the global business community, Kent is co-chair of The Consumer Goods Forum, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Business Roundtable, a past chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and and chairman emeritus of the U.S.-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Council.

HSN's Grossman will open the Forum

Grossman, the event’s opening keynote speaker, will share her insights on succeeding through bold action with integrity. "Mindy Grossman is fearless,” Bourgeois said. "She is a demonstration of the power of aligning your passion, purpose and a desire to serve others. She is a visionary who dared to go where no one else had the courage to go in terms of redefining the retail business model. We are excited to have the opportunity to listen and learn from a great woman of wisdom.”

Grossman oversees a retail portfolio that generates more than $3.2 billion in revenue and encompasses HSN, a leading interactive multichannel retailer that offers an assortment of exclusive products and top brand names, and Cornerstone, a dynamic multichannel retailer of lifestyle brands, including Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Ballard Designs, Grandin Road, Improvements, Chasing Fireflies and TravelSmith. Grossman also serves on HSN’s board of directors.

Since joining HSN in 2006, Grossman has been responsible for transforming HSN into a lifestyle network, diversifying its portfolio of brands and personalities, and spearheading efforts to evolve the linear network into a multi-platform business. She oversaw the launch in 2010 of a second 24-hour television shopping channel, HSN2.

Before taking the company public in 2008, Grossman served as CEO of IAC Retailing, a business segment of InterActiveCorp. She previously served as global vice president at Nike Inc. and was responsible for the development and growth of Nike's global women's business and served as co-chair of its Women's Leadership Council. Prior to Nike, Grossman was president and CEO of Polo Jeans Company and held executive roles at Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, Warnaco Inc., Tommy Hilfiger and Oxford Industries. 

In 2012, Forbes magazine named Grossman one of the world’s 100 most powerful women, an honor she has received three times. In 2011, she was named Corporate Innovator of the Year at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Florida Awards, and was recognized as one of Fast Company's Top 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2010 and 2011, Grossman was ranked by the Financial Times as one of the top 50 women in world business.

The NEW Forum is designed for senior-level leaders. Contact your NEW Ambassador for details. 

 Geena Davis

Muhtar Kent

Mindy Grossman 

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