The Economic Outlook Conference

Posted: Friday, December 5th 2014 at 4:29 AM

The 39th Annual Economic Outlook Conference, presented by Northern Arizona University’s Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center, was held on November 6, 2014. Several students from The W. A. Franke College of Business (FCB) attended, providing them the opportunity to meet business members from the local community as well as listen to insights on the local, state, and national economy for 2015. Students represented the FCB’s Business Leadership Program, Student Managed Investment Fund, and Johnson Scholarship Foundation.

The event began with remarks by Sherri Slayton, executive V.P. and Northern Region manager of Alliance Bank, who called on the business community to nurture the future business professionals of Flagstaff through internships, guest lectures, or financial support. Dean Craig Van Slyke introduced NAU president Rita Cheng, who spoke to the attendees about her optimism for both the future of Flagstaff and for NAU.

Next to speak on topics at the regional level was Dr. Ronald Gunderson, professor of economics and a veteran of the EOC. Dr. Dennis Foster, senior lecturer of economics, offered his review of interest rates and the long term effect on economic growth. Elliott Pollack, CEO of Elliot D. Pollack & Company, spoke to Arizona economic trends with his topic: “The Anemia Continues.”

Mr. Gene Sperling, former director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President for Economic Policy who served under two U.S. presidents, Clinton and Obama, was the keynote speaker. One problem he noted is that many politicians are unwilling to compromise when it comes to making a decision about how to implement fiscal policy.

Student Takeaways

“[Mr. Sperling’s] remarks battled the other economists in the room and led me to some critical thinking and independent research on the topic,” said junior Brendan Moore.

“I thought all of the speakers were entertaining and educational, and it was clear that they were very knowledgeable. I was one of the lucky few who got the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Sperling and his insights into the economic and political state right now were incredibly valuable to me,” said senior Ryan Newland.

“Certainly, economics is a social science and forecasting can be much like telling the weather, but it was interesting to see how economic forecasts can be so different,” shared junior Kimberly Shaffer.

From the outlook of the local economy, to the workings of the White House, to how the national economy fits into the global picture, interesting information was heard by all.

More on the Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center's Economic Outlook Conference HERE

Categories: flagstaff business news nau business news fall 2014 2014 december 2014 the economic outlook conference sherri slayton alliance bank business outreach center alliance bank rita cheng dr. ronald gunderson dr. dennis foster gene sperling brendan moore ryan newland kimberly shaffer