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Florida Regional Independent Inventors Conference - Speakers

  Florida Regional Independent Inventors Conference, April 27-28 in Tampa



Ms. Teresa Stanek Rea


Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property 
and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Teresa Stanek Rea is Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Rea oversees an office that encourages innovation and technological advancement, and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace.

Ms. Rea joined the USPTO in 2011 as Deputy Director. She is a leading attorney in the field of intellectual property with more than 25 years of legal experience and a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Rea was a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP’s Washington, D.C., office where she focused on intellectual property and dispute resolution related to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life science issues. Rea has experience in drafting infringement and validity opinions, as well as experience in interference and licensing matters.

Ms. Rea also worked for Ethyl Corporation from 1980 through 1984 and for patent boutique firm Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis in Alexandria, Va.

Ms. Rea is a member of many technical and legal associations and has been a frequent lecturer and publisher on patent topics including biotechnology, nanotechnology, licensing, technology transfer, patent practice, export control and interferences.

Ms. Rea received a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan.


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Mr. Drew Hirshfeld

Drew Hirshfeld

Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Mr. Hirshfeld serves as the authority on patent laws, rules, and examining practice and procedure, and provides administrative oversight and direction for the activities of the Office of Petitions, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of Patent Cooperation Treaty Legal Administration, and the Office of Patent Quality Assurance.  Further, Mr. Hirshfeld establishes patent examination and documentation policy standards for the Commissioner for Patents.

Prior to serving as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, Mr. Hirshfeld was the Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. Mr. Hirshfeld began his career at the USPTO in 1994 as a Patent Examiner.  He became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 2001, and was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2008 as a Group Director in Technology Center 2100, Computer Architecture and Software.

Mr. Hirshfeld received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.


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Ms. Susan Anthony


Staff Attorney, Office of Policy and External Affairs
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Susan Anthony is an attorney with the Office of Policy and External Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alexandria, Virginia.  Susan handles policy matters relating to trademarks, domain names, and copyright issues within the U.S. and internationally and has a broad range of experience and expertise in almost all facets of intellectual property.  She is a member of the USPTO China Team and the USPTO Africa Team.   

Susan is a strong and very enthusiastic proponent of helping small businesses to understand how intellectual property can be used to promote economic growth.  She is actively involved in the USPTO’s educational outreach efforts for small- to medium-sized businesses (“SMEs”), including the USPTO “IP Basics” programs and the USPTO China Road Shows, as well as the USPTO’s educational outreach initiative for Native American communities. 

Prior to joining the USPTO in November 2003, Susan co-managed the Copyrights and Trademarks Team of the international communications company, MCI, and also had primary responsibility for policy issues involving intellectual property on the Internet.  She began her career in trademarks and copyright in the litigation arena, as a member of the trial team representing a well-known pet foods manufacturer in a landmark false advertising case.  She later expanded her career in private practice to include trademark and copyright counseling. 

She is a serious student of the American Civil War, focusing on women and domestic culture, and she frequently lectures to groups of fellow Civil War historians about copyright issues in research, writing, and speaking.  She also focuses on copyright issues for teachers.  Susan is a graduate of The George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, DC, and a long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia, USA. 

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Mr. Rick Baker

Picture of Rick Baker

Vice President of Economic Development 

& Director of Innovation Partnerships

Rick Baker presently serves as Vice President for Public Policy at the University of South Florida.   In that capacity he supervises USF’s Government Relations and the Innovation Partnerships. 

From 2001 through early 2010, Baker served as mayor of St. Petersburg - Florida’s fourth largest city.  He led the city through an historic renaissance period – in downtown, midtown, the neighborhoods and the public schools. In 2008, Mayor Baker was named America’s Mayor/Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine.  In 2011 he was noted as “America’s greatest mayor of the decade” by senior political columnist John Avlon in Newsweek Magazine/The Daily Beast

Baker practiced corporate law for nineteen years, with extensive experience in business acquisitions, and was president of St. Petersburg’s oldest law firm.  He was active in founding and leading many civic, cultural, and charitable organizations and in 2000 wrote a book on the history of the St. Petersburg and Florida entitled Mangroves to Major League.  He holds a BS in Management, an MBA, and a Juris Doctor (with honors) from Florida State University where he was Senior Class President.  Baker studied a summer semester of comparative law at Oxford University and served as a legal intern to Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben Overton.  He and his wife Joyce are raising two teenage children.

Baker is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership based in New York City; and recently released his second book “The Seamless City” which was published by Regnery Publishing in Washington D.C. The book is about city leadership and an approach to urban revitalization in America.

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Dr. Pamela Riddle Bird

Dr. Pamela Riddle Bird

Founder and CEO
Innovative Product Technologies, Inc.

Dr. Pamela Bird is an internationally recognized commercialization expert.  She was recently selected as a "Product Evaluator" for ABC television's new series titled, "American Inventor."  She is the Founder and CEO of Innovative Product Technologies, Inc. (IPT, Inc.). IPT, Inc. is a product and technology based market commercialization corporation located in Gainesville, Florida with a branch office in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Dr. Bird is a key player in the technology-transfer process. She is a liaison between inventor organizations, venture capital organizations, entrepreneurial networks and research park facilities. In fact, Dr. Bird was interviewed and has served as a consultant to the ABC television network program "20/20" as a national new product development and commercialization expert. She works diligently with her clients (inventors) to bring new products to the end consumer with “hands on” experience by working with national buyers in retailing, pricing, promoting, packaging, and distributing products. She also works with manufacturers regarding production of new products and with investors to capitalize new business ventures. 

Dr. Bird is the author of over 70 publications and has been quoted and featured in numerous newspapers throughout the country including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s - The Dow Jones Business and Financial Weekly, Forbes Magazine and the Miami Herald. She has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows including the GOLDEN LIFESTYLES TV Show.

Dr. Bird is the author of Inventing for Dummies® published by Wiley Publishing Company, owner of the Dummies® series.  At the request of the U.S. Consulate, Dr. Bird served as the “keynote” via satellite conference with China officials regarding new product commercialization and evaluation in the United States.

Dr. Bird is the founder of the Inventors Educational Foundation. This is a non-profit public charity to assist in the educational, as well as commercialization needs of innovators and entrepreneurs with new ideas, products and technologies from all ages and walks of life. She co-branded the first credit card in the nation with MBNA (one of the largest credit card companies in the world) to start the first credit card for innovators, patent attorneys and patent agents. All proceeds Dr. Bird receives from this card are donated to the Inventors Educational Foundation. 

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Mr. Wayne Brass

Mr. Wayne Brass

Certified Business Technology Consultant

Wayne Brass is the Pinellas County area manager for the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg. He specializes in the areas of marketing, business planning and technology.

Wayne recently received the prestigious 2010 Regional Certified Business Analyst Award from the SBDC at the University of South Florida.

Wayne holds many different qualifications and experiences to assist businesses with technology and new product introductions which include: Certified Business Technology Consultant, Certified FastTrac TechVenture Facilitator, Certified Marketing Executive, and Certified Business Analyst.  He is a member of the National Business Incubator Association and the Florida Business Incubator Association.  Also a founding member and currently serves on the statewide steering committee for the SBIR Phase 0 grant program. 

Mr. Brass is a founding member of the Center for Entrepreneurship on the Tampa Campus of USF and the Gazelle Lab at College of Business - USF St. Petersburg.  He is and active supporter of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance at the College of Business - USF St. Petersburg.

Prior to taking this position, Wayne was the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator at the University of South Florida. He has been involved for more than 40 years in new technology based business ventures.  He owns a consulting firm providing national consulting services plus previously was an owner of two start-up companies.


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Ms. Catherine Cain


Staff Attorney, Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office


Catherine Pace Cain is a Staff Attorney in the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before joining the Commissioner’s office in February of 2006, Catherine served as an Examining Attorney with the USPTO for six years. Prior to attending law school and joining the USPTO, she enjoyed a lengthy career in the publishing industry, working at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in New York and Little, Brown and Company in Boston, and as a freelance copy editor.

Ms. Cain received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Marymount Manhattan College and a J.D. from the New England School of Law.

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Mr. John J. Calvert

Mr. John J. Calvert

Senior Advisor
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office


John has responsibility of the Inventor Assistance Program, which includes inventor outreach and university outreach initiatives.  The USPTO has made outreach and education a high priority due to the increased interest in intellectual property both by business and education.  Mr. Calvert has expanded the Inventor Assistance Program to include educational initiatives for students, inventors and small businesses and has created inventor assistance through pro bono and pro se initiatives both inside the USPTO and through working with universities and bar organizations.

Prior to being named Administrator, John was responsible for supervising as many as 25 examiners in the areas of textile technology and absorbent products. He also served as Acting Director for the Office of Independent Inventor Programs.

John graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Technology in May 1971. He worked for Milliken and Co. and J.P. Stevens prior to returning to N.C. State University to pursue a Master of Science degree in Textile Management. In February of 1990, John joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as an examiner specializing in textile technology. In February 1995, John became a Primary Examiner and in October 1998, he was named a Supervisory Patent Examiner. He has worked on various details and work assignments during his career at the USPTO.

Mr. Calvert has received numerous achievement awards, including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for superior Federal service and the United States Patent and Trademark Office Exceptional Career Award. Mr. Calvert completed studies in the Syracuse University, Maxwell School certificates program of Advanced Public Management and completed the Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management.

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Ms. Sandra Campbell


Director of the Tampa Bay Export Assistance Center U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce, based in Clearwater, Florida.  Since 1998, Sandra has counseled and developed export strategies for small and medium-sized companies with U.S. products and services throughout the Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida region.  International projects/assignments have included Brazil, Panama, the Czech Republic, Canada, Poland, Germany, and Italy.

Sandra is a cum laude, honors program graduate from the University of South Florida, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Marketing and International Business, and minor in Italian.  Sandra also attended Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England and the Università per Stranieri di Perugia in Perugia, Italy. 

Sandra is the Executive Secretary of the Florida District Export Council West Florida Chapter.  She is also a member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).  And she is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional since 2006.




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Ms. Elizabeth L. Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty

Director of Inventor Education, Outreach and Recognition
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is an Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  In this capacity she is responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and legal staff who serve as the legal policy advisors for the U.S. Patent Corps.  Ms. Dougherty and her team devise and implement training for the Patent Corps and the public, draft and disseminate legal policy memorandum and guidance documents for use by the Patent Corps and the public, and assist in the development and handling of special application issues and USPTO patent initiatives.                                                                

Previously at the USPTO, Ms. Dougherty served as the Special Assistant to the Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as  a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy,  as a petitions attorney in the Office of Petitions, as an Executive Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, and as a patent examiner.  During her tenure as a patent examiner, Ms. Dougherty was responsible for the examination of patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing. This included a wide variety of devices ranging, for example, from transducers for measuring torque, pressure, impact, and flow to meteorological devices and inventions measuring physical strength.

Ms. Dougherty is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, on the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Ms. Dougherty received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996.

She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Ms. Dougherty enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history. 


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Mr. Kevin Harrington


Chairman and Founder of TVGoods, Inc.

Kevin Harrington, chairman and founder of TVGoods, Inc. and chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc., is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and principal architect of the infomercial industry.

In 1984, Kevin produced one of the industry's first 30 minute infomercials. Since then, he has been involved with over 500 product launches that resulted in sales of over $4 billion worldwide with 20 products that reached individual sales of over $100 million.

Kevin founded Quantum International, Ltd. in the mid 1980s, which merged into National Media Corporation in 1991. Under his leadership as President, National Media reached $500 million in annual sales, distributing in over 100 countries and 20 languages. This company's success has been chronicled in a case study at Harvard/MIT for over a decade.

Kevin was also CEO of several other entrepreneurial companies including HSN Direct, a joint venture with Home Shopping Network, in 1994 and Reliant International Media in 1997. Reliant International Media was sold in 2007.

In 2011, Kevin's company TVGoods, Inc. acquired the web property represents a highly trafficked catalog of direct response products with over two million customers, 700,000 email registrants and hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month. Kevin is now chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc.

Throughout his career, Kevin helped to establish two of the most important and recognized global networking associations: the Entrepreneur's Organization, or EO (formally known as the Young Entrepreneurs' Organization) and the Electronic Retailing Association, or ERA. Today, the EO has 113 chapters in 38 countries and more than 924,000 members. The ERA represents the $125 billion electronic retailing industry and is comprised of over 450 member companies and subsidiaries that use the power of electronic retailing to sell directly to consumers via television, radio, Internet and wireless media in over 100 countries worldwide.

Due to his extensive resume, Kevin was selected as an investor "Shark" on the ABC television series Shark Tank produced by Mark Burnett. The show gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their products to a panel of acclaimed judges in hopes of turning their ideas into a successful business reality. He recently released a book entitled "Act Now: How I Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products" that chronicles his life and experiences in the DRTV industry.


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Ms. Darnell M. Jayne

Ms. Darnell Jayne

        Supervisory Patent Examiner, Technology Center 3600
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Darnell received a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Central Florida in 1990. Darnell received a Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law in 1997 and is a member of the Colorado Bar.  She joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1990.  As a primary examiner,  Darnell worked mainly in the lock, closure fastener and safe technologies. Darnell became a Legal Advisor for the Office of Patent Legal Administration in 2001.  In 2005, Darnell accepted a position as a Training Quality Assurance Specialist (TQAS) in TC 3600. In 2010, Darnell became the supervisor of Art Unit 3637 which examines mostly furniture, support rack and table technologies.  Darnell resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, Dave and daughter Laura.

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Mr. Mark Jensen


Inventor, 3-D Composite Braiding

Mark Jensen is the inventor of 3-D composite braiding machines for producing composite lattice IsoTruss® structures, which he manufactures in Utah Valley.  He started his company, Altus Poles, during his senior year of chemical engineering at Brigham Young University. As a senior, Mark was able to win several undergraduate and graduate collegiate business competitions, including: Ball State, Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas Austin, and Singapore Management University. He was also the 2010 winner of the Collegiate Inventors Competition (operated by Invent Now and sponsored by the USPTO). Mark remains the president of Altus Poles, which continues to work developing advanced composite structures for the Department of Defense. Continuing his hobbies and passions, he has started 3 more companies, helping quench his need for always developing products.


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Ms. Valerie Landrio McDevitt, J.D.


Assistant Vice President for Division of Patents & Licensing
U.S. Registered Patent Attorney
Division of Patents and Licensing

Valerie McDevitt, Esq. is currently the Assistant Vice President for Research at the University of South Florida.   In her role as Assistant Vice President for Research, Valerie is responsible for developing and directing all programs, services, and activities of the Division of Patents & Licensing.  USF’s Division of Patents & Licensing is the contact for industry partners and start-up companies interested in intellectual property licensing and technology transfer.   Valerie also was appointed by Governor Crist and served on the Task Force for the study of Biotech Competitiveness and currently sits on the USPTO’s Patents Public Advisory Committee.  During her greater than ten year tenure at USF there has been significant improvement and advancement in licensing, revenue, and commercialization of early stage technology.

Prior to joining USF, Valerie served as assistant patent counsel and a research chemist for Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals in Tampa, Florida.  Valerie also participated in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship program sponsored by American Chemical Society and worked as a science advisor with a House subcommittee in Washington DC.  

Valerie received her BS in Chemistry from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, MST in Chemistry at the University of Florida, and a JD at Emory University School of Law.  She is a certified licensing professional through LES, a member of the Georgia and Florida bars, and is admitted to practice before the Federal Patent and Trademark Office.

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Mr. John Miller

Picture of John Miller

Workgroup Manager, Technology Center 2400
United States Patent and Trademark Office

John Miller is a graduate of Virginia Tech University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1991.  He joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1992 as a patent examiner working in the art of Television.  Explosive growth in the field of video distribution led John to work in patent applications directed to cable and satellite television and streaming video over the Internet.  John received a Master’s Level Rating in the art of Video Distribution and became a Primary Examiner in 1999.  He became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 2001 and Workgroup Manager in 2011, and in this capacity he currently provides operational support to the Multiplex Communications group.  John lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia with his wife Kacki, son Ethan, and daughter Zoe.

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Mr. Mark Reyland


Executive Director
United Inventors Association

Since childhood, Mr. Reyland has successfully traversed the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship, inventing, and product development several times.

He began his professional career and several creative ventures while serving in the United States Air Force and then with the National Security Agency (NSA) as an Intelligence Analyst, A classified technology Inventor, and Executive in charge of technology innovation programs. 

Mr. Reyland’s long list of accomplishments include: Director of Classified Technology Development for a fortune 500 company, National Security Agency liaison to the Korean government and the US Air Force Special Programs Office, and a successful manufacturing technology and product inventor.  

Founding nine companies since high school, Mr. Reyland is currently the Founder and CEO of Obvious Ideas LLC, a private product development company specializing in providing fully developed products to traditional retail and the direct response industry.

Additionally, Mr. Reyland serves the inventor community as Executive Director and Executive Committee Member of The United Inventors Association of America.  In addition to being the largest non-profit inventor organization in the world, the UIA is a team of well respected professional inventors, executives, and product suppliers providing education and guidance to its members through the many inventor outreach programs under Mr. Reyland’s leadership.

Residing in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Debra, Mr. Reyland has four grown children and two beautiful grandchildren.  He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and The National Cryptologic University in Washington D.C.

Mr. Reyland’s technology inventions and retail products have been widely published in magazines and trade journals around the world.  You can often hear him as a guest lecturer at universities, media programs, and inventor forums, or read his daily Inventor blog,, where he posts valuable educational information for new inventors.          


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Mr. William C. Vaughn, Jr.

William C. Vaughn, Jr.

Supervisory Patent Examiner
Technology Center 2400

William C. Vaughn, Jr. joined the USPTO in March 1998 examining patents in the field of Memory and Multicomputer Data Transferring.  He has a B.S.  in Mathematics from Prairie View A&M University. Since coming to the USPTO, he has obtained Master’s Level status in 2003, Full Signatory Authority in 2004, and was awarded a Bronze Medal in 2005 for superior Federal service. 

He is a member and Education Chairperson for the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization (SPECO), a member of the Patent and Trademark Office Society (PTOS). He has also served as a Quality Enhancement Meeting (QEM) Team Leader, a Trainer and a Mentor in Technology Centers 2100 and 2400.  Mr. Vaughn is currently a Supervisory Patent Examiner in Technology Center 2400 which he supervises examiners in the area of Recording and Compression technologies.  Mr. Vaughn is frequently called upon to lecture at the Office of Patent Training (OPT) Academy.  Prior to joining the USPTO, he served in the U.S. Army.  He also taught middle and high school mathematics.  Outside of the USPTO, he is very active in his church and his fraternity.  He enjoys coaching kids in youth sports.  He resides in Woodbridge, Va. with his wife, and their two sons.  Both of his sons are very active in travel soccer, where they are a part of the D.C. United Academy Program and Prince William Courage Soccer, Inc.

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Last Modified: 4/19/2012 2:04:23 PM