Registration deadline Friday for MTSU Economic Outlook Conference

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Friday is the deadline to register for the 20th annual MTSU Economic Outlook Conference.

The half-day conference will be held Friday, Sept. 21, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. Among the featured speakers will be Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions.

Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. with the conference to kickoff at 9 a.m. The registration fee for the general public is $50 and the last day to register is Friday. To register and for more information, please go to

“The Economic Outlook Conference is an excellent opportunity for anyone in business or governmental positions to learn about what is going on locally, regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Jim Burton, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU.

“With speakers such as Commissioner Greg Gonzales of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, Professor David Penn of the Business and Economic Research Center in the Jones College of Business at MTSU, and well-known expert commentator Dr. Donald Ratajczak, participants will get specialized information on banking, regional issues, and national trends. This is a very fast-paced conference and well worth the investment of a half-day.”

Organizers say bankers, business owners and managers, community officials and leaders, business people, business and economics faculty members, students, and those interested in the future economic growth of this region will be particularly interested in attending the conference.

Gonzales began serving as commissioner in 2005 and was reappointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to lead the department charged with overseeing state-chartered financial institutions and responding to complaints involving those entities. Gonzales has served in the department since 1986.

Penn, director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center, will share statistics and insights about the Midstate and regional economy.

“The presentation will review the past year’s economic performance for Tennessee and the Nashville MSA, highlighting major changes in areas such as job growth, unemployment, the housing market, and retail sales,” Penn said. “The presentation will also examine significant threats to the area economy due to the upcoming fiscal cliff.”

Returning to share his insights will be Ratajczak, a nationally known economist and regent’s professor of economics emeritus at Georgia State University.

Also, MTSU alumnus J.B. Baker, owner of Sprint Logistics and chairman of the board for Volunteer Express Inc. and Associated Companies, will be presented the Jennings A. Jones Champion of Free Enterprise Award.

Baker has received many awards of recognition for his outstanding contributions to the Tennessee Trucking Association. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Pinnacle Award from the association. An avid participant in the Boy Scouts of America, he received the Silver Beaver Award from the Middle Tennessee Council.

The Jennings A. Jones Chair of Excellence in Free Enterprise, the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center, and the Weatherford Chair of Finance will cosponsor the event.
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Business, Economic Outlook Conference, Economy, MTSU
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