Johnson-Leipold to headline Economic Trends 2005


Helen Johnson-Leipold, the first member of the Johnson family to serve as a director for all four of its enterprises, will be the keynote speaker at the Northern Trust Economic Trends 2005 Breakfast.
The annual event, which provides insights about the upcoming year in business, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.
The event is presented by Small Business Times, IBA Wisconsin and TEC (The Executive Committee). The breakfast is sponsored by Michael Best & Friedrich LLC and WISN-AM 1130.
Johnson-Leipold is the daughter of the late Samuel C. Johnson, who passed away in May.
She is the new chairman of the board of the Johnson Financial Group and the chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Johnson Outdoors Inc. In addition, Johnson-Leipold is a member of the boards of directors of Johnson Diversey Inc. and S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
Johnson-Leipold has more than 25 years of marketing and senior management experience, as she directed advertising for some of America’s major consumer packaged goods companies, including Kraft, Sara Lee and Beatrice Foods.
Racine-based Johnson Financial Group is a $3 billion financial services corporation with companies in Wisconsin, Arizona, Europe and the Caribbean. The company’s four divisions include: Johnson Bank, Johnson Insurance, Johnson Asset Management and Johnson Trust.
Johnson Financial Group has grown from a single bank in Racine in 1970 to become the largest independent insurance agency in Wisconsin.
Johnson Outdoors Inc. is a global company that distributes and markets outdoor recreational products. The firm’s brand name products include Scubapro diving equipment, Old Town canoes and kayaks, Minn Kota electric motors and Eureka(r) tents.
In the community, Johnson-Leipold is a member of the board of the Johnson Foundation, a trustee of the S.C. Johnson Fund and the founder and chairman of the board of Next Generation Now. She also volunteers for several other social organizations.
Johnson-Leipold graduated from Cornell University in 1978 with a degree in psychology.
At the Northern Trust Economic Trends 2005 Breakfast, Johnson-Leipold will lead a panel that includes:
* Michael Knetter, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. Knetter, who has a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford, formerly served as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors for former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Knetter will provide an overview of the 2005 economic outlook.
* David Rayburn, president and chief executive officer of Modine Manufacturing Co., a Racine-based global manufacturer of thermal management solutions. Modine is a $1.2 billion company that specializes in thermal management systems and components, bringing heating and cooling technology and solutions to diversified global markets. The company’s products are used in vehicles, HVAC equipment, industrial equipment, refrigeration systems, fuel cells and electronics. Modine employs more than 8,500 people worldwide at 35 facilities. The company recently completed its acquisition of the Korean and Chinese assets of the Automotive Climate Control (ACC) division of WiniaMando. Modine also recently began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Rayburn will speak about the directions of the global economy and discuss how his company will compete on the global stage.
* Tony Warren, president and chief executive officer of West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., one of the fastest-growing property and casualty insurance firms in the nation. The company has grown to $1 billion in assets and $600 million in annual revenue, with 700 employees. About 75 percent of the West Bend company’s commercial clients are small and medium-sized companies. Warren will speak about the challenges businesses will face in 2005 and future trends of property and casualty insurance.
* U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville). Ryan is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Joint Economic Committee. He also is a member of the House Subcommittee on Oversight, the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures and the Subcommittee on Social Security. Ryan will discuss the nation’s key legislative economic priorities of 2005.
About 600 people attended the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast last year. For additional information about the 2005 event, contact Sarah Wilson at (414) 277-8181, ext. 129, or visit
October 29, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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