| Feb 1, 2012 |
NeoCon keynotes to include Chicago Mayor & Ian Schrager
Boh staff
By Staff

The contract furnishings trade show NeoCon takes place June 11-13 in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for its 44th year with more than 40,000 expected attendees, 120 CEU-accredited seminars, thousands of new products from more than 700 manufacturers, and an impressive line-up of keynote speakers.

Speakers include Richard M. Daley, former Mayor of the City of Chicago, Primo Orpilla, Principal of Studio O+A, Gary Lee, Principal of Gary Lee Partners, and Ian Schrager of Ian Schrager Company.

The longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s history, Daley has earned an international reputation as a leading innovator in urban development, fiscal policy and government stewardship. As the former mayor, Mr. Daley enhanced Chicago’s quality of life, improved the public school system and infrastructure, strengthened the economy, reduced crime, improved transportation, and made Chicago one of the most environmentally- friendly cities in the world. Sponsored by Allsteel, his keynote will take place on Monday, June 11 at 8 a.m.

Orpilla co-founded Studio O+A in 1991 with his partner (and wife) Verda Alexander, directing design and construction for millions of square feet of space throughout the United States. His remarkably diverse client roster includes technology and communications firms, financial institutions, government agencies, developers, non-profit entities, and multi-national corporations. Most recently, the duo was named “Designers of the Year” by Contract magazine. His keynote, sponsored by OFS Brands, will take place on Tuesday, June 12 at 8 a.m.

Lee, an interior design visionary, has earned accolades and rewards that include the prestigious Interiors Designer of the Year and membership in the highly selective Interior Design Hall of Fame. With his innate ability to communicate a vision for projects, Lee begins the design process with a sense of how the environment will function for the client’s business, how the space will feel, and planning that considers rhythm and volume before style. His keynote will take place on Tuesday, June 12 at 1 p.m.

Schrager, creator of the boutique hotel concept, has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized both the entertainment and hospitality industries. His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts: The hotel as home away from home, the hotel as a theater, "cheap chic", "lobby socializing", the indoor/outdoor lobby, the urban resort, and the urban spa. He is currently working on launching two new hotel brands in various 24 hour gateway cities around the world. His keynote will take place on Wednesday, June 13 at Noon.

A full day of workshops will provide a comprehensive overview of LEED, and is designed to prepare individuals to pass the introductory LEED credentialing exam, LEED Green Associate. It will be presented on Sunday, June 10th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by Michelle Cottrell, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ID+C, Vice President & Director of Education at Green Education Services, Author of Guide to the LEED” Green Associate Exam (Wiley, 2010).

The show will also feature Fine Design and LuxeHome featuring over 200 showrooms and boutiques dedicated to residential furnishing, kitchen, bath and building product resources.

The Furniture Revolution Gallery will return to NeoCon to find America’s next great designer. The Gallery, located on the NeoCon show floor, offers design students and young designers just out of school the chance to get their unique product in front of the world’s top manufacturers.

Celebrating its 23rd year, the "Best of NeoCon” (BON) honors new commercial interiors products. These products are introduced to the market in 42 categories ranging from Architectural Products to Workplace Technologies. Forty-six jurors who are interior designers, architects, and facilities management professionals review approximately 325 products in 22 hours over three days before NeoCon begins. In late May 2012, all products that entered the Best of NeoCon will be available for viewing at www.contract-network.com.

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