Economy is focus of conference |

Economy is focus of conference

by Sheila Gardner

More than 100 participants are expected Thursday for the sixth annual Business Council of Douglas County Critical Issues Conference at Carson Valley Inn.

“It’s going to be a really great conference,” said Sandy Cable, executive director of the Business Council. “We’ve opened it up to anything to do with the Douglas County economy.”

The keynote speaker is Michael Reed, dean of the College of Business Administration at University of Nevada, Reno. Other speakers include Mike Clarke, economist with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation; and Mary Walker, Carson City’s director of finance and redevelopment.

Cable said the conference is drawing a diverse group of participants.

“We’re really excited about it,” she said. “We’ve got people coming from Douglas County, Carson City, Reno and both sides of Lake Tahoe. Everything that happens up at the Lake definitely has an impact on what’s going on down here.”

Cable said the conference also will features displays and information from 12 organizations or businesses with an impact on Douglas County.

“They are going to be providing participants with materials about what they do for businesses. Some of our exhibitors include the Barton (Memorial Hospital) facility showing what they have with respect to health plans. GTE will talk about their phone service. NNDA (Northern Nevada Development Authority) also will be an exhibitor,” she said.

“We invited free of charge companies and organizations involved in economic development directly or peripherally an opportunity to come in and share with participants what they do. The response has been very positive,” Cable said.

She said the session is open to everyone.

“The conference covers the entire economy, you have to bring in tourism and gaming as well. We’ll be looking at long-range plans and economic development,” Cable said.

Other speakers include Gary Horton, state water planning economist and economic and financial consultant to Comstock Bank; Bill Henderson, director of sales and marketing for the Carson Valley Inn; Lew Feldman, of Stateline Redevelopment Partnerships; Stan Hansen, vice president of planning and government affairs for Heavenly Ski Resort; and Skip Sayre, marketing Liaison for the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority.

During the morning session, a panel discussion will be held regarding manufacturing and retail development. Panel members will include Robert Shriver, director of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development; Mary Lau, executive director of Retail Association of Nevada; Chris Barrett, economic development liaison for Sierra Pacific Power; Ray Bacon, executive director of Nevada Manufacturer’s Association; and Fred Jones, economic development liaison for Douglas County.

Admission to the conference is $45 per person which includes a buffet lunch. Cable said participants could register the day of the conference, but asked that they call her today to make reservations.

Registration and a continental breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m.

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