Annual Economic Outlook Conference at ACU features morning session and Outlook luncheon

For Immediate Release
Jan. 18, 2001

For more information contact:

Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations

The economic outlook for Abilene, Taylor County and the nation will be put into perspective for 2001 and the next few years at the 2001 Economic Outlook Conference at Abilene Christian University.

The luncheon portion of the conference will take place at ACU's Teague Special Events Center Jan. 30, plus a special morning session will offer insights to the management of the emerging role of technology in the 21st century economy. Tickets can be reserved by calling (915) 674-2156.

At the luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dr. Edmond J. Seifried, professor of economics and business at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn., 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.

Seifried is a professional labor arbitrator and frequently appears as a guest speaker at regional and national conferences. He also acts as a consultant to the banking industry and is an author of both academic and popular articles and books

"Dr. Seifried's approach will help us make better sense of the sometimes confusing published economic indicators and financial news releases ," said Dr. Gary McCaleb, executive director of ACU's Center for Building Community. "His presentation will provide direction on how to recognize key economic signals and prepare strategies to cope with the changing economic environment."

Ferguson is a long-time Abilene businessman and former member of Abilene's City Council who has annually surveyed the local and area business expectations with Condley & Company. This year Karr Ingham will join Ferguson to provide insights from the quarterly economic index he prepares. The Abilene Chamber of Commerce regularly publishes Ingham's data.

McCaleb said Ferguson is well qualified to offer unique insights into the economic fluctuations of this area. Attendees will receive bound documents outlining the economic fluctuations of the Taylor County region.

Tickets for the luncheon are $20 per person, and that price includes the special morning session. Tables for eight can be reserved for $150. Reservations can be made by calling 674-2156.

Special morning session

Ticket holders also can take advantage of a morning session featuring Judith Pepper, executive director of La Plaza Telecommunity in Taos, N.M.

The pre-session will start at 9 a.m. in the Hilton Room, located in ACU's McGlothlin Campus Center. It will conclude at 11 a.m., offering a 30-minute break before the lunch session starts in the Teague Special Events Center.

Pepper has 20 years of experience in the administration and management of non-profit private and public agencies. Her current responsibilities include interfacing with community organizations and private citizens; and evaluating Taos County (New Mexico) information technology needs to develop services and programs. She also interfaces with national, state and local governments on a regular basis.

"Ms. Pepper's presentation will address the role that technology will play in the economy of the entire West Texas area with special implications for small towns and rural areas," McCaleb said.

The 2001 Economic Outlook Conference and the morning session sponsors include ACU's Center for Building Community; AEP-West Texas Utilities, American State Bank; Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Texas; First National Bank of Abilene; Hanner Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC SuperCenter; Hendrick Health System; Southwestern Bell and ACU's College of Business Administration.


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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Tom Craig, director of media and community relations, at or call 915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).

Last update: Jan. 18, 2001
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