Following on the heels of the 2014 Economic Summit in Santa Barbara, UC Santa Barbara’s Economic Forecast Project heads up north for a second day of talks at the 2014 North Santa Barbara County Economic Summit. The event, on May 9, will be held at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive, in Santa Maria.
The North County summit features talks by Kevin Walthers, president of Allan Hancock College; Sean Reilly from SpaceX; and economic blogger Megan McArdle. Also featured are Mike Bryan from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and, in his fourth year as executive director of the Economic Forecast Project, UCSB professor and economics department chair Peter Rupert.
The summit will begin at 7:30 a.m. with check-in and breakfast, followed by a welcome and opening remarks from David Whitehead, chair of the Economic Forecast Project’s North County board. At 8:05 a.m. Walthers will kick off the talks with a presentation on the current state and future role of higher education with respect to the economy. As superintendent and president of Allan Hancock College, Walthers oversees four individual campuses in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Vandeberg Air Force Base. Prior to joining the community college, he had executive roles with the Utah State Board of Regents, the College of Eastern Utah, and most recently with the West Virginia Community and Technical College system and with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Walthers will be followed at 8:25 a.m. by Reilly, Vandenberg launch operations director for SpaceX. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based space transport services company has been operating out of Vandenberg Air Force Base since 2011, launching its first rocket from the base in September of 2013. Reilly will discuss the mission, goals and economic impact of SpaceX, a company co-founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors.
At 8:45 a.m., McArdle will take the stage to discuss the art of turning failure — particularly economic failure — around, and reclaiming prosperity and financial security. A Washington-based journalist who writes about economics, business and public policy for Bloomberg View, she has also written stories for publications such as Newsweek, The Economist, The Atlantic, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Her book, “The Up Side of Down,” on how to use failure as the springboard to success, was published by Viking in February.
Bryan will take over at 9:05 a.m., with his presentation on the national economy. As vice president and senior economist in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he is responsible for organizing the Atlanta Fed’s monetary policy process. Bryan currently teaches in the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago.
Rupert will round out the discussion at 9:35 a.m. with a talk focused on the local economy, the annual overview of the local and regional economic picture for business, industry and households. A specialist in macroeconomics, monetary economics, labor and family economics, Rupert was a senior research adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years. He is also associate director of the Laboratory of Aggregate Economics and Finance at UCSB.
Rupert and Bryan will field questions from the audience after the local economic forecast, and Rupert will close the program at approximately 10:30 a.m.
The UCSB Economic Forecast Project was established in 1981 by the Department of Economics to provide the community with information on economic, demographic, and regional business trends. This year’s main sponsor is Union Bank.
The summit is open to the public and admission is $50 per person. A copy of the 2014 North Santa Barbara County Economic Outlook report is included with admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling (805) 893-5148, visiting the UCSB Arts & Lectures website, or purchased at the door on the day of the summit. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) are accepted.