Ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO, former U.S. attorney general to speak at national conference in Charleston

By Warren L. Wise
From: The Post and Courier

Two nationally known figures will deliver the opening and closing keynote addresses during the State Financial Officers national conference in Charleston April 13-14.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and possible presidential contender Carly Fiorina will deliver opening remarks while former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft will give the closing speech.

“There is no better person to kick off our spring meeting than Carly Fiorina,” said Derek Kreifels, president of the State Financial Officers Foundation. “To go from a secretary to the first female chief executive officer to lead a Fortune 20 company is an amazing accomplishment. Fiorina epitomizes the American dream and what is possible with hard work and persistence.”

Fiorina headed the computer company from 1999-2005 and was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in California in 2010. She also served as an advisor to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Of Ashcroft, Kreifels said, “Only in America can the son of a Midwest minister rise in the political ranks to go from serving his home state of Missouri as state auditor, attorney general, governor, U.S. senator, and then his country as the U.S. attorney general.”

Ashcroft served as U.S. attorney general from 2001-2005 under President George W. Bush. He was governor of Missouri 1985-1993, and U.S. senator 1995-2001.

The group meeting in Charleston is founded on the belief that state financial officers can and should play a greater role in promoting conservative and fiscally responsible public policy. It also strives to meet with the nation’s top private-sector companies and organizations.

“We’re honored to host treasurers and top thought leaders from around the country right here in Charleston,” said South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis. “Charleston is not only rich in history and culture, but also financial and economic opportunities.”

Topics in previous meetings have included pension reform, municipal bankruptcies, 529 college savings programs, unclaimed property, financial literacy, banking and finance regulatory reform, and retirement savings issues.

“This conference brings state financial officers together with members of the corporate community to discuss some of the nation’s most critical financial issues,” Loftis said.

The two-day conference will be at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton on the Charleston peninsula.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.