The Valley Industry and Commerce Association will hold its 16th annual business forecast conference, “Cracking the Economic Code,” on Friday, October 29 at the Warner Center Marriott. Sunne Wright McPeak, California Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agyency, will be keynote speaker for the event. Three local experts Daniel Blake, Director of CSUN’s San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center and Professor of Economics; Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and Ted Tanner, senior vice president of real estate for the L.A. Arena Company, will discuss the business landscape over breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Blake and Kyser are familiar faces to the conference, but Tanner is a new element this year, said Bonnie Herman, VICA’s executive director. “We’re looking to have a third element that’s new each year to focus on a new aspect of business that will impact the area,” said Herman of Tanner’s presentation this year. Between 10 a.m. and noon, there will be six panel discussions in three separate locations. The topics will be: “Deciphering the Presidential Race,” “Prognosticating on the Globalization of Los Angeles,” “Worker’s Compensation Revealed,” “Hospitals in Crisis,” “The Future Workforce” and “Unraveling the Mystery of Energy Sources.” Herman said she expect the presidential election panel discussion to be among the most well attended. “Because VICA is an advocacy organization, the presidential race panel will be very, very interesting for people to hear from the state party chairs,” she said. Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party and Duf Sundheim, Chairman of the California Republican Party will both be on the panel. In keeping with the election discussion, attendees will be able to participate in a Bush versus Kerry straw poll and hear the results announced at the program luncheon.