*ERA Elects New Chairman, Kicks Off 10th Annual Conference

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LAS VEGAS -- The 10th annual Electronic Retailing Association Conference & Exposition kicked off Saturday with the appointment of Jeff Giordano as board chairman for 2001. He is only the third person to fill the role in the organization's history.

The board also named Ray Wysocki as chairman elect. He will take over for Giordano in 2002.

On Sunday, outgoing board Chairman Earl Greenburg delivered the conference's keynote speech by extolling the changes in the organization in the past decade.

Greenburg detailed the change from a loosely assembled group called the National Infomercial Association to its present ERA form, an organization "totally primed to be the dominant force in utilizing all participants in the electronic retailing industry."

Greenburg highlighted two key factors in the organization's growth -- an agreement with R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Chicago, that will net the ERA thousands of new small-business owners as members and the alignment of the ERA with key members and commissions in government.

Backing up this claim, the ERA announced a January 2001 seminar co-chaired by the ERA and the Federal Trade Commission on legal issues surrounding e-commerce and Web marketing practices.

The conference will conclude Tuesday night with an awards ceremony celebrating the past year's best short- and long-form infomercials.

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