November 9, 2017 the Northern Arizona University Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center hosted its 42nd Annual Economic Outlook Conference (EOC). In his opening remarks, Don H. Garner, CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona, talked about Alliance Banks’ commitment to educating our future workforce. “Our bank supports many community interests, but we put a primary focus on education initiatives. I think we all recognize that an educated workforce is critical to a thriving economy,” he said.
NAU President Rita Cheng noted that for the past 42 years, the EOC has served as a chance to identify the industries and the factors that will shape Arizona’s fiscal stability in the future. She also announced that on January 1, the Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center will change its name to the Alliance Bank Economic Policy Institute, more closely aligning its name with the expertise it provides.
Dr. Ronald Gunderson, emeritus professor of economics at the NAU-The W. A. Franke College of Business, provided the regional economic forecast (see summary below).
Dr. Dennis Foster, senior lecturer of economics at the NAU-The W. A. Franke College of Business, provided the forecast for interest rates and inflation (see summary below).
Elliott Pollack, CEO of Elliott D. Pollack and Company, provided insight on economic issues for the State of Arizona and overall, he was optimistic (see summary below).
David Walker, senior strategic advisor for the Global Public Sector Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, provided the keynote address.
In introducing Walker, Dr. Wade Rousse, director of the Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center, cited Walker’s strong backround as evidenced by this political assignments: “…appointed by Democrats, appointed by Republicans, and he served during four presidential administrations. We are so honored to have him up on the hill,” said Rousse.
Walker opened with his positioning statement:
Government has grown too big, promised too much, and needs to restructure.
His history lesson and call to action for the future is worth review (see summary below).
The last question from the audience provided the opportunity to summarize his overall stance.
We are living based upon the past rather than preparing for a better future.
As the conference came to a close, the business community buzzed with discussion, a sign of yet another successful Economic Outlook Conference.