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April 24, 2014

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Industry, political leaders gather over dinner

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Melissa Arseniuk

The Consumer Electronics Association Leaders in Technology dinner Friday night at the Venetian.

Industry leaders and government officials from across the country gathered at the Venetian last night for the annual Consumer Electronics Association Leaders in Technology dinner.

In the supper-hour crowd Friday was a range of high-ranking politicians and government officials: Sen. John Ensign; Federal Communication Commission chairman Jonathan Adelstein; FCC commissioner Robert McDowell; Calif. Rep. Darrell Issa; and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission chairman Konrad von Finckenstein were all in attendance.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and NASA were also on hand.

The industry was also well-represented at the dinner with a wide assortment of high-ranking executives: Intel chairman Craig Barrett; Microsoft vice president Teresa Carlson; NBC Network and Media Works president John Eck; Dell vice president and general manager Michael Tatelman; Pandora founder Tim Westergren; and Panasonic chairman and CEO Yoshi Yamada attended the event.

Senior vice presidents from Sony Pictures, Warner Music Group, Panasonic, CBS, CW Television and Best Buy were there, as were representatives from Google, Audiovox, AT&T, Skype, Research in Motion, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Samsung, Microsoft and ESPN.

The evening began with an hour-long cocktail reception followed by a sit-down dinner in the Venetian ballroom.

CEA president and chief executive offier Gary Shapiro addressed the crowd at about 7:30 p.m. During his remarks, Shapiro encouraged government and industry collaboration and cooperation.

“We need to work together to protect consumers while promoting new technologies,” he said.

After Shapiro completed his remarks, the 400-person audience was given spinach and endive salads with orange honey pecan dressing. Dinner consisted of red wine-braised short ribs and a duo of jumbo shrimp, accompanied by truffle mashed potatoes and winter vegetables.

Once dinner was complete, Nokia president and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo gave the evening’s keynote presentation.

During his address, Kallasvuo told the crowd he did not believe “the doom and gloom of today’s economy” and instead thought that the current economic situation is rife with technology-related opportunities.

“I believe the future of our industry is bright,” he said.

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