United Nations Foundation tourism advisor is featured speaker at annual symposium
April 29, 2010

Students in the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management learned about sustainable practices in the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries by attending the school's 6th annual Creating Consumer Experiences Symposium.  The event, sponsored by Target Corporation and the Hospitality Board of Governors, was held in the Silver Eagle Suite on April 27, 2010.


  • Erika Harms, executive director of the Tourism Sustainability Council and senior adviser on tourism at the United Nations Foundation, was the keynote speaker.  Her presentation highlighted innovative programs that promote sustainability for communities in and around sites that have cultural, natural, or physical significance.
  • Kirk A. Longo, vice president of supply chain operations for The Apparel Group Ltd. (TAG), provided students with an overview of sustainability and dispelled common myths surrounding corporate green initiatives. Through a strong commitment to social responsibility, TAG aims to reduce their environmental footprint on the global supply chain.
  • Pam Marcus, Co-founder of Lifefactory Inc., a design and manufacturing firm of green products for adults and infants, highlighted her experiences as the CEO of start-up company.  Marcus shared how Lifefactory Inc. successfully merges modern sensibility, eco-friendly composition, and exceptional utility to produce glass baby bottles, glass beverage bottles, and teethers that are free of known harmful chemicals including BPA, phthalates, and PVC.


In her closing remarks, Dean Forney emphasized the importance of creating sustainable consumer experiences across the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries and praised panelists for their individual and collective efforts. "Sustainability simply makes good business sense as evidenced by the companies and organizations here today who seek to design innovative products and craft strategic business process that ensure the livelihoods of communities for generations to come," says Forney. 

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