There was a cocktail reception on the trading floor of the NYSE. It was interesting to see the real thing in person and meet some of the people behind the scenes. Security was incredibly tight. The streets around the NYSE are closed to traffic with security guards everywhere. But, once inside we were able to explore anywhere we wanted to go.
Catherine Kinney, President & COO of NYSE-Euronext, gave a dinner speech about the history of the NYSE and its transformation into a global exchange. The NYSE recently merged with a French exchange to form EuroNext. The NYSE is on an aggressive plan for diversification and globalization. Interestingly, Catherine mentioned that every high tech IPO this year except one has listed on the NYSE, and 80 of the top 100 companies in the world are listed here.
Ceslie Armstrong of The Womens Network sat next to me at dinner. Ceslie has been a writer or editor for many of the top fashion magazines including Glamour, Cosmopolitan, In Style, and others. I asked her if "The Devil Wears Prada" was a realistic characterization of the fashion magazine world. To my surprise she said it was largely true, and the story was based on a real fashion magazine editor. One interesting tidbit; Ceslie said that the March and September magazine issues pay for the rest of the year. Ceslie left the fashion magazine business and started an online web and video network called The Womens Network. Ceslie jokingly referred to herself as "The Geek Who Wears Prada".
Keith Reinhard, (seated left in photo) Chairman Emeritus, at DDB Worldwide, a global advertising agency, was also seated at our table. Mr. Reinhard has taken on a new challenge leading Business for Diplomatic Action, a task force of business leaders focused on improving the image of America. As Keith said, it has never been worse. There are significant issues that need to be addressed, and others that are misconceptions. The group is focused on two things; work to change the issues that are true, and change the perceptions for those issues that are not true. Keith mentioned one startling statistic; 1% of world travel market share is worth $12.3 Billion. The image of America is important to all businesses, but especially the travel business. Learn more about how you can get involved at Business For Diplomatic Action.