ALEXANDRIA, VA-The 2005 APICS, The Association for Operations Management, International Conference and Exposition is scheduled for October 16 to 18 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in

New Orleans.

General session speakers include Mike Ditka, former coach of the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints, and Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson Motor Co. director of communications. Ditka will speak about key characteristics to achieving personal and professional goals. Schmidt will speak to attendees about his experience building a new corporate culture and relations with new and existing customers.

Norman Bodek, president of PCS Press and author of Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean, as well as Gary Maxwell, senior vice president merchandise and replenishment, U.S. Wal-Mart Stores Division, also will speak at the conference. In addition, approximately 100 educational sessions will focus on topics such as lean strategies, operations improvement and project management.

The exposition will feature more than 130 companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing. For more information visit