The Antelope Valley Board of Trade is proud to announce the addition of Costco Wholesale President and CEO, Craig Jelinek, as a speaker at its 41st Annual Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference, taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.

“We’re excited to announce the addition of Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek as a keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Attendees are sure to get a great value from his experiences and knowledge of the business climate” said AV Board of Trade President Drew Mercy.

Conference Chair, Scott Cummings, added, “We are very excited to welcome back one of our own (AV residents). Mr. Jelinek represents the definition of business success. His insight on working his way up to running a successful retail giant and perspective on economic issues is sure to be interesting and beneficial.”

Jelinek, a former Antelope Valley resident who joined Costco in 1984 as the manager of its sixth location, has long been cited as a key, behind-the-scenes player in the rise of one of the world’s most successful retailers. He assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer from company co-founder, Jim Sinegal in January of this year.

With its “members-only” policy and no frills warehouse stores, Costco has turned its high-volume, low-cost business model into some impressive numbers. Today, Jelinek oversees an international company with over 600 membership warehouse locations in eight countries employing approximately 150,000 workers and serving over 50 million members. The company rang up over $88 billion in sales last year.

In 2012, Costco Wholesale ranked 24th on Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies and Jelinek was named the 10th most powerful person in the food business according to industry publication, Supermarket News. As a sign of Costco influence, Jelinek recently join top business leaders from Apple, JP Morgan Chase and Boeing in advising President Obama on economic issues.

Jelinek graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1970 and San Diego State University in 1975. He held management positions with retailers Fed-Mart and Gemco before joining Costco during its second year of operation. Jelinik went on to hold numerous senior management positions in warehouse operations and merchandising, including the position of Executive Vice President and COO of Merchandising as well as President and COO before being named President and CEO of Costco in 2012.

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