The 23rd annual Athletic Business Conference and Expo is set for Nov. 10-13 at the Orange County Convention Center in sunny Orlando, FL. The conference will have the usual three days of buying, selling and learning, featuring about 300 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees.

This year, keynote speakers include a notable group, including baseball hall-of-famer Cal Ripken Jr., former Navy Commander D. Michael Abrashoff and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team Captain Mike Eruzione.

Baseball's Iron Man will talk about his record-breaking career and how those “Keys to Success” on the baseball field also apply to the business world. Abrashoff, former commander of the Navy's $1 billion USS Benfold, will offer a keynote session entitled “It's Your Ship” that will talk about how to create an organization where every person takes ownership and responsibility for organizational success. His session's inspiration comes from his book, It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. The Facility of Merit Awards Ceremony will feature guest speaker Eruzione, the hockey team captain that beat all odds and captained the U.S. hockey team to the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. He will present “Going for the Gold.” He is currently the director of development for athletics at Boston University.

More than 75 seminars will be offered during the conference including those on aquatic programming and management; programming, marketing and customer service; military fitness; new managers and supervisors; facility management and operations; leadership, people management and personal development; financial and risk management; youth sports administration; and facility design and construction.

In conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference, the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) will for the second year hold its conference, “Active Aging 2004: Catching the Wave.” The conference will educate professionals in the fitness, recreation, retirement, assisted living, rehabilitation and wellness fields who are working with a 50-plus demographic. All Athletic Business registrants can attend any of the ICAA's 36 seminars for free. Seminar topics range from biomechanics to tai chi to addressing psychosocial barriers in older adults' participation in physical activity.

New for this year is the Medical Fitness Association's (MFA) 10th Anniversary Conference in conjunction with the Athletic Business Conference. The conference, “Celebrating the Medical Fitness Difference,” will focus on hospital/clinical fitness and wellness, and will include seminars, special events, facility tours and an Industry Awards Ceremony. Athletic Business and ICAA registrants can attend MFA seminars for $35 each.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, November 9

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Registration

Wednesday, November 10

7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Registration

7:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Preconference Tour: Parks & Recreation Facilities

8:00 a.m. - noon: Preconference Workshop: Design & Construction 101: Building a Facility from Concept to Completion — David Body and Robert Johnston

8:00 a.m. - noon: Preconference Workshop: Exploring Leadership: Understanding and Applying Your Leadership Talents — Nance Lucas

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Preconference Workshop: Practical Pool Management — Tom Griffiths and Shawn DeRosa

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Preconference Tour: University of Florida Gainesville Recreation and Athletic Facilities

11:15 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.: 3rd Annual Athletic Business Golf Classic at Champions Gate Golf Club

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Preconference Workshop: Happy Customers, Empowered Staff and Huge Profits Through Effective Teams — Tom Alber

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Colorado-Missouri Rec School Preconference Workshop

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Preconference Workshop: Elements of a Successful Change Initiative — Ruby Newell-Legner and Jill Bartholomew

1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Preconference Workshop: Designing Your Dream Facility: Survival of the Fittest — Chris Chivetta and Erik Kocher

Thursday, November 11

7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Registration

8:45 a.m. - noon: Educational Seminars

Noon - 1:15 p.m.: Lunch Break

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.: Educational Seminars

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Keynote Address: Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Trade Show Grand Opening

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Welcome Reception, The Rosen Plaza Hotel

Friday, November 12

6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.: Early-Morning Workouts

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Registration

8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.: Educational Seminars

Noon - 1:00 p.m.: Keynote Address: Cal Ripken Jr.

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Trade Show

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Educational Seminars

5:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Facility of Merit Awards Reception, Orange County Convention Center

Saturday, November 13

6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.: Early-Morning Workouts

8:15 a.m. - noon: Registration

8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.: Educational Seminars

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Trade Show

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certification Exams

For more information and for a list of exhibitors, visit

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