Monday, June 30, 2008

The LOHASIAN Journal:
Inside LOHAS 12 Forum - The Arrival


--Op-Ed--

I arrived off the plane in Denver, after a 45 mt delay on the runway at Laguardia. Touch down, taxi, phone on - place call to Horst Rechelbacher's (Founder of Aveda) PR person. I was due to interview Horst upon arrival at LOHAS 12, over a casual dinner scheduled in NY after an inspiring press event for his new new product line Intelligent Nutrients. Now with the delay, dinner became drinks, and a civil shower and a change of clothes would have to be replaced with a superhero style change of wardrobe in the airport bathroom.

Jumping into the cab, in a fresh pair of jeans and a spritz of my new favorite scent (FOCUS essential oils mix by none other than, yes Intelligent Nutrients), I offered a New York style directive to my driver,

"if you can get me to the St Julien in the next 45 mts I'll give you the best tip of the day."

With a big smile and an ambitious step on the gas, my Nigerian chariot driver sped down the highway with determination, as I sat in the back seat prepping to meet Horst, while plotting my schedule for the next two days, I wondered - after attending nearly dozens of industry conferences after almost fifteen years working in media..how would a conference on a lifestyle of health and sustainability differ ? Would a business conference focusing on a market rooted in authenticity, transparency and social consciousness - really offer something unique. How authentic, would LOHAS 12 really be ?

Forty three minutes later I pulled up to the front door of the St Julien, an upscale hotel mixing just the right blend of earthiness and elegance. As I walked into the lobby I scanned the room and noticed an interesting approachability to the people drifting in the lobby with name tags for the event. A few unexpectedly generous and warm introductions welcomed me to the press area. It's hard to pin point exactly what the specific event or exchange was that tipped me off...but I knew right from the moment I signed in to LOHAS 12...this would be a conference unlike any other.

I walked diagonally across the room to past a few familiar names Woody Tasch of Investors Circle (who I would meet with for a fascinating interview the following morning), Andy Baker of MOBIUM, Ted Ning of LOHAS himself, and in the distance a team of folks from Elephant magazine (who were doing video coverage of the event). I stopped, turned and waited for the infamous Horst Rechelbacher with his effervescent PR head Chris Molinari...until in the distance in an elegantly tipped hat and an outfit speaking of joie de vivre arrived the man himself - with a big smile and a warm welcome.

"So here you are finally...welcome," he said in a distinct Austrian accent...as we walked into the bar for an inspired chat on the future of the personal care business.



Tomorrow:
The Lohasian Journals from LOHAS 12 - One on One with Horst Rechelbacher


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