'Heads of State' Hold Court at XBIZ LA

LOS ANGELES — Several prominent industry figures mixed with XBIZ LA attendees in one of the featured networking sessions of the three-day event on Wednesday as “Meet the Heads of State” unfolded at the plush Stone Rose Lounge inside the Sofitel Hotel.

The high-profile gathering included a diverse group of "Heads of State" special guests. Among them were: Diane Duke, executive director of Free Speech Coalition; Michael Klein, president of LFP Inc.; Allison Vivas, president of Pink Visual and TopBucks Mobile; Greg Clayman, president and co-founder of Video Secrets; Shap, president of Twistys.com; online industry entrepreneur Brad Gosse; Tim Valenti, CEO of Naked Sword; Ron Cadwell, president of CCBill; Allan Henning, CEO of Dating Gold; and Joan Irvine, CEO of ASACP.

The casual event format was designed to maximize interaction between the featured “Heads” and conference attendees who talked business over complimentary coffee, tea and gourmet pastries.

“This is a good time to follow up on some conversations you were having earlier in the week,” said Dating Gold's Henning, who founded the Stockton, Calif.-based company in April 2002.

Speaking of the late-morning start for the session, Henning joked, “There’s no one under 30 here because it’s too early and they couldn’t wake up in time.”

Henning said that among the keys to Dating Gold's success has been its "reliability."

“We’ve done eight years straight of timely payouts and we're constantly evolving our products,” he said.

It was no surprise that at least one executive from the U.K. made it to the gathering that drew more than 100 XBIZ LA participants. Harry Reilly, the CEO of Friend, traveled to L.A. from his home in Birmingham, England, to talk about his anti-piracy services.

He said his company is "low-profile" in Europe, even though he has some high-profile clients such as the Olympics, which recently utilized his services.

Diane Duke told XBIZ she had just returned from the latest Cal-OSHA meeting on Tuesday in Oakland, Calif., where she represented the adult industry’s interests on behalf of FSC. She said she is planning a series of articles in XBIZ Premiere and XBIZ World in the coming weeks that will further explain FSC’s position on .XXX.

The session brought together adult entertainment professionals from every industry sector, including video and novelty. Adam Burns, president of the Phoenix-based XHale Glass, and Rich Miller, director of international sales for MyWorld Group, were spotted. So was Girlfriends Films president Dan O'Connell and VP and director of sales, Moose.

“It’s been a good show. I’ve learned a lot,” Moose said, adding that Tuesday's keynote address by Pink Visual's Vivas was a highlight. "Hearing Allison talk about Pink Visual's history was interesting.”

O'Connell, meanwhile, said that as the Girlfriends Films brand grows stronger he always remembers what has worked along the way.

"I'm very hands-on," said O'Connell, who can often be seen with Moose breaking down his booth during closing time at any given trade show. “... I still buy the douches. I book the talent. I write the stories. I don’t want to mess with the equation.”

XBIZ LA is the gold standard of adult digital media trade conferences and coincides with the ninth annual XBIZ Awards, scheduled for tonight at the Hollywood Palladium, and the first-ever XBIZ Retail Expo & Conference that started today and continues through Friday at the Sofitel.