The Informs Annual Conference in Philadelphia has begun. As a long-time OR practitioner, I personally like this forum for the practical perspectives it brings from a variety of application areas and industries. These project findings, best practices, and novel working ideas are presented by knowledgeable professional engineers and scientists, and equally importantly, by professors and researchers from academia. At an INFORMS Revenue Management conference earlier this year, where I had presented an empirical method for solving a certain problem in statistical estimation, the first person in the audience to show interest in our work, encourage our commercialization efforts, and wish us luck was a distinguished professor in the academia. Such feedback is treasured, and an INFORMS conference works best when minds from industry and academia interact, teach, and learn from one other. I enjoyed the talks (especially the Phillip McCord Morse lecture by Prof. Bertsimas) and professional interactions at San Francisco last year, and expect the same from Philly over the next few days.