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The 1999 Annual Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Conference will be held at the Carambola Hotel on St. Croix on Saturday, June 19, 1999. The conference will run from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. and will be followed by a networking reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carambola.
Virgin Islands Capital Resources Inc., a community development venture capital fund that operates exclusively in the US Virgin Islands, and the University of the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center are the conference sponsors.
The conference is one element of a more extensive program designed to promote entrepreneurial orientation and provide entrepreneurial training and venture financing for start-up and expanding businesses.
Michael Fields, chairman and chief executive officer of The Fields Group, a management consulting firm that focuses on emerging companies in the information technology industry, will keynote the conference. Fields was the founder of OpenVision, a leading supplier of systems applications for open client/ server computing environments and raised $70 million in venture and private placement funds to build OpenVision. In 1996, OpenVision successfully completed an Initial Public Offering that raised $44 million. In 1997, OpenVision merged with Veritas Software, a company that designs, develops and markets storage management and high availability software systems. The combined company is now the world's largest open system storage management software company with a market capitalization exceeding $3.0 billion. Fields is a former president of Oracle USA. He serves as a board director for seven privately held technology companies and is the chairman of three. He also serves on the advisory board of the Ford Motor Company, Customer Service Division; Beacon IT, the largest Japanese enterprise software company; and New Vista Capital, a venture capital firm. Fields' wife Sandra Brodhurst Fields is a native of St. Croix. The Fields maintain homes both on St. Croix and in Blackhawk, California.
This year's conference will also feature an opening address by Donna Christensen, V. I. Delegate to Congress and member of the House of Representatives Small Business Committee.
Industry practitioners, off-island lenders and venture capitalists will address the role of entrepreneurial activity on economic growth in the Virgin Islands; opportunities for action, event, heritage and ecological tourism; opportunities for software, information system and computer-based businesses; and business opportunities linked to existing local industries.
Conference registration is possible by calling the office of the University of the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center on St. Croix a 692-5270. The pre-registration fee is $35.00 for the day-long event.

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