Experts to discuss region’s economy at breakfast

Economic forecast event will be Tuesday in Vancouver

By Courtney Sherwood, Columbian freelance writer



If you go

• What: The Columbian 2012 Economic Forecast Breakfast with featured speaker John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

• When: 7 a.m. Tuesday.

• Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.

• Register: Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at 360-694-2588 or Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

What will it take to get Southwest Washington’s economy growing at a healthy clip, and what do national data say about how to get us there?

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and regional experts will explore these questions Tuesday at The Columbian’s 2012 Economic Forecast Breakfast.

John Williams, whose seat on the Federal Reserve board involves setting U.S. monetary policy, will be keynote speaker at the annual event. He’ll be joined by a select group of local economic experts representing industries such as high-tech, banking, real estate and health care, who will discuss growing Clark County’s economy in breakout sessions following Williams’ speech.

Online reservations close at noon Monday, though phone and on-site registration will still be possible.

The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Tuesday with the keynote, to be followed by sessions featuring The Columbian’s forecast panelists.

The panels will tackle issues surrounding Clark County’s efforts to boost economic growth, along three themes:

• “Place: Changes to Where We Live, Work and Shop” will examine changing property values and what it means for owners and occupants of commercial and residential real estate.

• “Jobs of the Future” will look into which job sectors are growing, which are shrinking, and which industries Clark County should recruit.

• “Connections: Infrastructure that Underpins the Economy” examines how industrial land, roads, rail, the river and our electric grid are meeting the needs of business today — and where we need to improve.

Those who attend the breakfast will also receive advance copies of panelist-written articles that delve into specific challenges and opportunities for Clark County in 2012 and beyond. The “Getting to Growth” publication containing these analyses will be included in the Jan. 15 Columbian.

Keynote speaker Williams joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2002 as a research adviser. His past experience includes time as a senior economist with the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and as an economist and senior economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He has conducted research into monetary policy, innovation, productivity and business cycles.

Reservations for The Columbian’s 2012 Economic Forecast Breakfast will be handled by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at or 360-694-2588. Tickets are $50 per person.