Durant to keynote PEI Convention kickoff breakfast

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Michael Durant, an author, motivational speaker and the inspiration behind the film “Black Hawk Down,” has been announced as keynote speaker for the 2011 Kick-off Breakfast at the PEI Convention. The PEI Convention will take place Oct. 1-4 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

In 1993, while piloting an MH60 Blackhawk in Mogadishu, Somalia, Durant’s craft was blasted off course by an enemy grenade and sent hurtling out of the sky. With his leg broken and his rescuers shot down, Durant was taken captive by hostile forces for 11 excruciating days before his release.

A highly decorated soldier, Durant’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, one with Valor device, the POW/MIA ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart. Durant recently was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.

The Kick-off Breakfast will be held Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 a.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Tickets for the Kick-off Breakfast can be purchased on the PEI website, www.pei.org/show, or by calling PEI at 918-494-9696.

Early PEI Convention registration, which includes admission to all educational sessions, the Trade Show, the PEI Industry Reception and NACS Welcome Reception, is $295 for PEI and NACS members and $495 for all other attendees. This Early Bird rate is available through July 22. A daily rate also is available. For companies registering five or more for full registration, PEI offers additional discounts. This year, spouses qualify for group registration.