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Michael J. Fox and Laura Bush Headlining in 2011

Filed under: ASI Shows, News About ASI

Like many of you, I grew up watching Michael J. Fox in “Family Ties” and the “Back to the Future” blockbusters. But he’s really earned my respect for the incredible work he’s done since his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. Already, the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has raised an astonishing $196 million.

I’ve followed his efforts closely because it’s an issue dear to my heart. My mother, who died in 2006 at 85, also had Parkinson’s. Like Fox, she never let it slow her determination. Optimism in the face of daunting odds is exactly why we chose Fox to inspire the crowd at our Orlando show this January.

If that wasn’t enough, former First Lady Laura Bush will speak at the ASI show in Dallas in February. And there’s more! ASI’s just-announced 2011 lineup includes comedian Wayne Brady (from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), NFL Super Bowl “Da Bears” great Mike Ditka – and a private bash at hip hop mogul Jay-Z’s Manhattan nightclub.

I’ve saved the best part for last: Every event is free.

We all took a hard hit the last two years, but with indications finally pointing to a recovery,we wanted to deliver an exceptional 2011 lineup to really re-energize everyone who attends our major shows across the U.S. Once again, we’re proving that ASI Shows are the destination for important suppliers, superior education, exciting keynotes and star-studded entertainment.

Here are details and registration links:

  • ASI Orlando: Michael J. Fox keynote, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, Tuesday, January 25 (co-sponsored by Evans Mfg., asi/52840, and Showdown Displays, asi/87188). Also, a brand-new gala at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the newest attraction at Universal Orlando, Monday, January 24. Click here to register.
  •  ASI Dallas: Former First Lady Laura W. Bush keynote, Life in the White House: Reflections from Mrs. Laura W. Bush, Friday, February 18 (Sponsored by Pepco Poms, asi/77280).  Click here to register.
  •  ASI New York: A private bash at hip hop mogul Jay-Z’s nightclub, the 40/40 Club Wednesday, March 23. And the industry’s biggest speed-networking session Thursday, March 24. Click here to register.
  •  ASI San Diego: Emmy award-winning comedian Wayne Brady performs Thursday, May 19.  Click here to register.
  •  ASI Chicago: Local celebrity and football coach Mike Ditka keynote, ACE: Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm, Thursday, July 21 (sponsored by BamBams, asi/38228). Click here to register.

 For more information, click here to read our press release.

Visit www.asishow.com for complete details and to make your hotel reservations. Discounted hotel rates are available through the official ASI show housing bureau, Travel Planners.

Let me know which events you’re planning to attend by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


  1. anon Says:

    I am surprised that ASI would pick a political figure as a keynote for this or any event you are doing.
    One can argue that a former first lady is not a political figure, but they would argue incorrectly for any of us that care and vote.
    George H.W. Bush was on a stamp for Planned Parenthood. He did more to promote and control over population issues in the world than any other person/group combined. After he became president, he did more to undue all of his efforts.
    George W. Bush was an extremely harmful president for our country and even more specifically for women and women’s rights.
    You may be offended and disagree with my opinion, just as I am offended by the idea of Laura Bush speaking on behalf of my rights. Now I am wondering what other kinds of political leanings ASI has.
    I would like to know if the money that I have to pay to ASI to offer promotional product services supports this event in anyway.
    If so, I want a credit back for that portion and some assurance that ASI will not select political figures from any background to support in any way.
    I have to pay membership into this organization (ASI), and I don’t have a problem with that as long as it is being used for business purposes only and not to further the political agendas of stakeholders in the organization.
    I would like to be advised at this point if ASI has a PAC or makes any other kind of political contributions and how they are distributed and to whom.
    I do not support financially not only causes I don’t believe in but additionally causes or people who I believe do actual harm.
    Please advise, so that I may act accordingly. It is my hope that this is an exceptional circumstance driven by the location of the event and someone thinking she would be good draw and that you could get her at a reasonable price, regardless of her speaking fees or her ability to sell seats, she is a political speaker, and I would hope ASI has a policy against endorsing any politics of any kind, right, left or otherwise.


    Thursday August 5, 2010
  2. Tim Andrews Says:

    thank you for your message. our primary process for selecting speakers is through extensive surveying of distributors, suppliers and decorators to determine their interests and their level of interest in specific people who are available for speaking engagements. we also measure any negative perceptions of speakers – for instance, while many people might like a specific speaker, many others might be equally opposed to that person appearing.

    in the case of speakers for 2011, our selections have scored incredibly high in our surveys. with laura bush, in general it seems that people think of her as less political than you might — and, since her husband left the white house, she has come out with opinions that are in opposition to his. for instance, she disagrees with his views on abortion and gay marriage.

    in terms of political speakers generally, we have had people of all viewpoints — bill clinton, colin powell and rudy giuliani all have spoken at past asi shows.

    our goal is to find people who are engaging, interesting, timely, topical and who can help people think about things in ways that might be different than the way they think today. there are many different viewpoints, and we try to provide a forum for ones that surveys tell us are of interest to asi members.

    also, to answer your specific questions, please be assured, that asi doesn’t contribute, directly or indirectly, to any political parties or campaigns, and we also don’t endorse any candidates for public office.

    thanks again for your commentl. i hope my reply provides some insight on our selections — of the first lady, as well as political figures on the other side of the aisle.


    Timothy M. Andrews
    President & Chief Executive Officer

    Thursday August 5, 2010
  3. Martha C. Says:

    Please I need your help, I really would like to attend the Michael J Fox event, it’s very important to me! I’m from Ecuador…but I can go to Orlando. Thanks 4 your time…hope u can help me!

    Thursday December 2, 2010

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