Annual Economic Outlook Conference at ACU expands to
showcase economic trends, promote regional economic
For Immediate Release
Jan. 11, 2000
The economic outlook for Abilene, Taylor County and the
nation will be put into perspective for 2000 and the next
few years at the 2000 Economic Outlook Conference at Abilene
Christian University's Teague Special Events Center Jan. 25,
plus a special pre-session will offer insights to
diversifying the Texas Midwest's regional economy.
At a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dr. Nancy
Wentzler, director of the Economic Analysis Division of the
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, will provide a
national economic forecast. Also, Abilene's Ray Ferguson,
CPA, CFP, a partner of Condley & Co., will provide an
economic analysis for the Taylor County area.
"Wentzler's responsibilities keep her in touch with the
most current trends in areas such as banking, international
and national markets and strategic risks," said Dr. Gary
McCaleb, executive director of ACU's Center for Building
Community. "She is considered one of the nation's most
effective communicators on economic issues and the
implications on the local level."
Ferguson is a long-time Abilene businessman and former
member of Abilene's City Council who has researched the
local and area economy with Condley & Company.
McCaleb said Ferguson is well qualified to offer unique
insights into the economic fluctuations of this area.
Attendees will receive bound documents outlining
historic, current and projected economic fluctuations of the
Taylor County region.
Tickets for the luncheon are $20 per person. Tables for
eight can be reserved for $150. Reservations can be made by
Special advance pre-session:
Ticket holders also can take advantage of a pre-session
featuring two speakers: Sylvia Lovely, executive director
and CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities, and Frank Sturzl,
executive director of the Texas Municipal League.
The pre-session will start at 9:30 a.m. in Hart
Auditorium, located in ACU's College of Biblical Studies
building. It will conclude at 11 a.m., offering a 30-minute
break before the lunch session with Wentzler and Ferguson
Both Lovely and Sturzl will address building a regional
economy in the pre-session. Lovely will bring a regional
perspective based on what Kentucky cities have done to adapt
to an economy that has been strongly linked to a shrinking
"West Texas towns have faced similar situations as
Kentucky towns," McCaleb said. "In Kentucky, they have been
forced to diversify as we have. In Kentucky, the ties were
to tobacco. Here, the ties have been to oil and cotton. We
have all faced diversity out of necessity, and we can learn
from each states' experiences."
Lovely and Sturzl will address other issues such as
improving the quality of life in growing communities,
including aspects of civic involvement, revitalization and
McCaleb said the pre-session offers significant benefits
communities in the 22-county Texas Midwest region,
especially members of the Texas Midwest Community Network.
TMCN is a non-profit association of towns, businesses,
associations, clubs and individuals dedicated to a regional
communication and networking effort designed to address
mutual community problems, strengthen business, agriculture
and energy entities, develop marketing strategies and
strengthen participation on governmental boards and
The 2000 Economic Outlook Conference and the pre-session
sponsors include ACU's Center for Building Community;
American State Bank; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas;
First National Bank of Abilene; Hanner Chevrolet, Pontiac,
GMC SuperCenter; Hendrick Health System; Southwestern Bell
and West Texas Utilities.
A table will be reserved for working media. Tickets are
not necessary for working media.
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information about this release, please contact Tom
Craig, director of media and community relations, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call
915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).
- Last update: Jan. 12, 2000
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