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DENVER-Gary Hart tells GlobeSt.com he knows what people are thinking. “I know the feeling on the part of a lot of people right now is that we won the war in Iraq, we won it easily, and nobody has attacked us,” Hart tells GlobeSt.com. “So now that concern can go away.” But Hart, who predicted that the U.S. was vulnerable to a terrorist attack long before Sept. 11, said the country is still at risk from terrorists.

Hart, whose name is being put on the list of presidential candidates, will be the keynote speaker at a commercial real estate seminar on emergency preparedness on June 19 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. By that time, Hart, a former U.S. Senator from Colorado and former two-time presidential candidate, might even make his decision to run for the 2004 Democratic nomination for president official.

“(The seminar is) two months away, and for me that’s like two years,” Hart quipped to GlobeSt.com, in his first interview regarding the seminar. The seminar is organized by Mark Sisselman, who heads the locally based National Center for Real Estate Research. It costs $495 for individuals to register, and $395 each for group discounts. People can register at his Web site at wwww.emergencypreparednessseminars.com.

After the Denver seminar, which Sisselman expects to draw almost 1,000 attendees, he plans to hold similar seminars in other cities across the country. In addition to Hart, speakers will include: Al Martinez-Fonts, special assistant to the secretary of Homeland Security; Andrew Ternay, a chemical weapons expert who founded the Rocky Mountain Center for Homeland Defense at the University of Denver; and Joe Airey, of the domestic terrorism unit for the FBI.”We went out and tried to find the No. 1 experts in their fields,” Sisselman tells GlobeSt.Com.

Sisselman says in the post 9-11 era it is hard for players in commercial real estate to get their hands around how they should prepare for a disaster. He says he expects a fair number of attorneys to attend, because they will receive continuing legal education credit for the seminar. He also expects to draw across the entire spectrum of real estate including: office building owners and their tenants; mall managers; apartment and hotel managers; and even school district and hospital administrators.

He notes that one panel session will include Patrick Hilleary, property manager for Brookfield Properties, owner of the tallest building in Denver, the 56-story Republic Plaza, as well as Denver’s World Trade Center buildings; Scott McCoy of Xcel Energy; Dave Heller from Qwest; and Mike Benson, of Kroenke Sports, owner of the Pepsi Center.

He says they can give real world answers to questions. “If you go to the Pepsi Center, should you feel safe? If we do have a natural or man-made disaster, are my telephones going to work? Is my power going to work?” Sisselman says when he takes the seminar to other cities, he will have similar themes, but not identical panel members.

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