MARCH 21, 2001

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu


First economic summit moved to larger venue


An overwhelming response has prompted organizers of the first Kern County Economic Summit to move the summit to the Dore Theater on the California State University, Bakersfield campus.

The March 29 conference, jointly hosted by CSUB and the Kern Economic Development Corp., had originally been scheduled in the multipurpose room in the CSUB Student Union. That was when organizers expected about 110 attendees. However, more than 200 people have registered for the summit, prompting the move to the Dore Theater, which can accommodate a much larger crowd.

The summit will begin at 7:45 a.m. with a continental breakfast in front of the theater. Lunch will be served outdoors in front of the theater beneath large tents before attendees return to the theater for the keynote address by Lon Hatamiya, secretary of the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency.

Hatamiya will share his views on the state's economy and Kern County's role in it. The California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency is the state's principal promoter of economic development, job creation and business retention efforts.

CSUB President Tomas Arciniega and KEDC board Chairman Brent Dezember will open the summit, and a pair of panel discussions will precede Hatamiya's address. Hatamiya's keynote talk and the observations of the panelists will provide summit attendees with information on the state of the local economy, and expert perspectives on how regional, state and national issues affect local economic growth and development.

"The purpose of the summit is twofold," KEDC President Patrick Collins said. "We want to provide a vehicle for better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our local economy within the context of larger economies, and to discuss the ways we can bring about and sustain economic prosperity to our region, which is experiencing rapid population growth."

Abbas Grammy, CSUB economics professor and chair of the Economics Department, echoed Collins. "The summit will provide an opportunity to learn how the key economic sectors help Kern County create jobs and achieve prosperity. Also, the summit will present perspectives on the strategies of economic development that would benefit the community."

Once the summit opens, Grammy will present his findings on "The State of the Economy" in Kern County. His report will summarize the information in the next issue of the Kern Economic Journal, which will be a special issue focusing entirely on Kern's economy. Copies of the Kern Economic Journal, which is published quarterly by the Center for Economic Education and Research at CSUB, will be provided to attendees. Grammy is the journal's editor.

Two panel discussions will follow:

· Perspectives on economic issues will examine national, state, regional and local outlooks, with observations by Bharat Trehan senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Vernon Crowder, senior vice president, Bank of America Commercial Banking Group; Susan Hood, vice president-operations, State Farm Insurance Cos.; and Collins. Panel moderator is CSUB economics professor Craig Gallet.

· Economic development in Kern County will look at the different economic engines in Kern: energy, manufacturing, agriculture and technology. Panel members are energy, Gene Voiland, president/CEO, Aera Energy LLC; manufacturing, Mike Miller, president, Kern Tech; agriculture, Jeff Green, general counsel, Grimmway Farm; technology: Michael Galloway, president, webBASIS. Panel moderator is CSUB economics professor Sriram Khe.

Anyone interested in Kern County's economic development is invited to attend, both Collins and Grammy said. Registration is $30 in advance, or $50 at the door, and includes breakfast and lunch. Mail checks payable to CSUB Foundation to Grammy at CSUB Economics Department, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield 93311-1099.

For more information, please call Dawn Carlon at CSUB, 661/664-2460, dcarlon@csub.edu; or Rory Davies at KEDC, 661/862-5150, daviesr@kedc.com.


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