Lebl, Sonnenberg and Williams to Address Opening Session

Kicking Off This Week's Emerson Global Users Exchange in Style

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Emerson Exchange 2009

The general session promises a veritable cocktail of business, inspiration and entertainment: Mix equal parts of pharmaceuticals, professional basketball and process automation—and who could ask for more?

In addition to the traditional welcome address from this year's conference chairman, Genentech's Christoph Lebl, you'll hear from Emerson Process Management's Steve Sonnenberg and our special guest keynoter, Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic.

Christoph Lebl began his career in the instrumentation/process control field in 1980 when he signed up for the 3-½ year apprenticeship program with Bayer AG to become a certified instrumentation and control technician. He completed his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1990, and in 1999 moved with his family to Clayton, N.C., as engineering lead for instrumentation and control of a manufacturing facility for the biotech business.

Since then he has worked for IDEC Pharmaceuticals as engineering lead for instrumentation and control through the construction of one of the largest biotech manufacturing facilities in the United States. In 2003, Biogen and IDEC merged to become BiogenIDEC, and in 2005 this facility was sold to Genentech, Inc. Lebl lives in Oceanside, Calif., with his wife Barbara and his children, Maximilian and Charlotte. He likes to play golf and has a passion for working with wood.

Since August 2008, Steve Sonnenberg has led the Emerson Process Management business, having served as president of Rosemount, as well as number of other Emerson acquisitions in the measurement arena since beginning his career with Emerson in 1979. He is uniquely qualified for the global business that automation has become, having spent 12 years of his career in foreign assignments in both Europe and Asia Steve received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MBA from the University of Virginia.

From Loops to Hoops

Given Sonnenberg's height, our guest keynoter just might give him a second look for the senior basketball tour. Pat Williams is senior vice president and co-founder of the Orlando Magic, the National Basketball Association franchise in Orlando. Williams is widely recognized throughout the sports world as a consummate promoter and astute talent scout. His zany antics and endless imagination have contributed to the Magic's success, which includes a trip to the 1995 NBA Finals.

While Williams enjoys a widespread reputation in worldwide sporting circles, many also consider him to be among this country's premier motivational and humorous speakers. Pat has addressed employees from most of the Fortune 500 companies and the Million Dollar Round Table. He has been a featured speaker at two Billy Graham Crusades, two Peter Lowe Success Seminars and universities around the nation.

Before assuming the reins of the Orlando Magic, Williams spent 12 years as the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, including the 1983 season when they were NBA champs. Prior to that, he was general manager for the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, after serving as business manager for the 76ers in 1968. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history.

In his NBA career, Williams traded Pete Maravich, traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Penny Hardaway, and won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993. He also drafted future stars Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins and signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. More than a dozen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, and numerous others have become assistant coaches.

Williams is the author of 38 books, the most recent being Coaching Your Kids to Be Leaders. He and his wife, Ruth, reside in Winter Park, Fla. They are the parents of 19 children (yes, 19!), ranging in age from 20 to 34, including 14 adopted from four nations. Pat helps teach an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts a weekly sports radio show. In the last six years, he has completed 33 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 10 times, and has climbed Mt. Rainier.

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