Trend pro coming to summit

Daniel Levine to talk about global trends at conference

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— Grant Fenton is excited about the top speakers at this week's Economic Summit in Steamboat Springs.

Fenton helped organize the summit, called "Thriving in Tough Economic Times," scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Fenton is chairman of the group putting on the summit, the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council. He said he was particularly looking forward to a presentation from Daniel Levine.

Levine is billed on his Web site as an international trends expert. His speech will focus on turning economic challenges into profitable opportunities, Fenton said.

"I think it's safe to say he's just an incredibly high-caliber speaker, and we don't get that opportunity very often here in Steamboat," Fenton said.

Levine's Web site states that the session is "packed with brilliant examples of where culture and consumer-oriented business are headed, this essential presentation shows you how to take advantage of the new reality in ways that your competitors have yet to even imagine."

Representatives from Levine's company, the Avant-Guide Institute, did not return a call seeking comment Monday. His site offers credentials:

- MasterCard chose him to be the spokesman of a TV campaign.

- Deutsche Telekom AG hired Levine as a trends marketing consultant to help them understand what's happening in the world of restaurants, nightlife and retail.

- HBO and NBC turned to Levine when they needed a trends expert to produce international segments for prime-time lifestyle shows.

Other speakers at the summit include economist Carl Steidtmann; Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs; Sprig Toys CEO Craig Storey; and former Denver Bronco Karl Mecklenburg.

Breakout sessions Thursday will offer information about building Web sites, social networking and how businesses have succeeded amid the recession.

"In talking to a lot of speakers who are coming and sort of the attitude and all the panels and everybody else, I think everybody's just excited to talk about something positive and to be in a positive environment," Fenton said.

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