Springfield's first annual economic conference a hit

Oct 12, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 5, 2004 – Springfield is in the enviable position of having a diverse economy, an educated workforce and an airport to take business leaders to any market in the world, but the region’s future will hinge on its continued willingness to embrace technology as a business tool and a source for new business.

Those were the heady words of Brian Wesbury, renowned economist based in Chicago, who was the keynote speaker at the First Annual Economic Outlook Conference sponsored by the City of Springfield and the Springfield Business & Development Corporation.

Corporate sponsors for the event included Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin, Commerce Bank and The Signature Bank. The event was held Sept. 30 in Springfield.

The audience of almost 300 business leaders and owners were equally impressed with the candor of local leaders who addressed success and challenges in health care, manufacturing, retail and education. Jim Anderson, president of the Springfield chamber, led the local panel through an unscripted, lively discussion of their industries as well as their outlook for the region. Panel participants included Larry D. Wallis, recently retired chief executive officer, CoxHealth; Mike Briggs, president, Willow Brook Foods Inc.; Jim Hagale, president, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World; and John H. Keiser, Ph.D., president, Southwest Missouri State University.

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