For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2020
Contact: John Krahe
Retired U.S. Navy Four-Star Admiral William McRaven to Deliver
Keynote Address at Association’s 115th Annual Event
Special Operations Commander Oversaw Raid That Killed Osama bin Laden
ERIE — The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) is pleased to announce that retired U.S. Navy Four-Star Admiral William McRaven, one of the most decorated and inspiring U.S. commanders and former chancellor of the University of Texas System, will be the keynote speaker at the MBA’s 115th Annual Event, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 14, at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier. All media are invited to attend.
“We are truly honored that Admiral McRaven has agreed to address our members at our premier networking event,” said MBA President and Chief Executive Officer John Krahe. “He has exceptional leadership experiences, and we look forward to hearing his lessons and insights on the force of teamwork and personal initiative, resilience in the face of opposition, accountability and the unconditional importance of never giving up.” 
During his time in the military, McRaven commanded special operations forces at
every level, eventually taking charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command. His career included combat during Desert Storm and both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein and rescued cargo ship skipper Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009. McRaven is also credited with developing the plan and leading the Osama bin Laden mission in 2011.
As the chancellor of the University of Texas (UT) System, McRaven led one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education. As the chief executive officer of the UT System, McRaven also oversaw 14 institutions that educated 220,000 students and employed 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health-care professionals, researchers and staff.
McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. He currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the National Football Foundation, and the Board of Directors of ConocoPhillips.
According to his official biography, McRaven has been recognized for his leadership numerous times. In 2011, he was the first runner-up for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year.” In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named McRaven one of the nation’s “Top 10 Foreign Policy Experts.” In 2014, Politico magazine named McRaven one of the “Politico 50,” citing his leadership as instrumental in cutting though Washington bureaucracy. In 2015, he received the Intrepid Freedom Award for his distinguished service in defending the values of democracy. In 2016, McRaven was named the recipient of the Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award by the CIA Officers’ Memorial Foundation and, in 2018, he received the Judge William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award for a lifetime of service to the nation.
McRaven graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a degree in journalism and received his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in 1991. He is the author of three books including, SPEC OPS: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare and Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World , based on his 2014 UT Commencement Speech that received worldwide attention. His third book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations , released in May 2019, is a memoir full of inspiring and action-packed stories from McRaven's life in the special operations world.
A sellout each year, the MBA’s Annual Event is the tri-state region’s premier business networking event, featuring the nation’s most prominent figures in business, politics and journalism. Among the most recent speakers are American businesswoman Kat Cole (2019), “Shark Tank” stars Damon John (2018) and Robert Herjavec (2016), and legendary coach Lou Holtz (2017).
This year’s Annual Event is sponsored by Ridg-U-Rak, UPMC Health Plan, Logistics Plus, PNC, Howard Industries, MacDonald Illig, Greenleaf Corporation, Parker LORD Corporation, McInnes Rolled Rings, Insurance Management Company and Widget Financial.
Please note: The event will follow all safety guidelines as recommended by local and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For ticket information, contact the Association at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or visit .

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