Looking North

In the second of two events, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project’s Economic Summit focuses on life in North Santa Barbara County

With five presentations outlining the unique perspectives and workings of North Santa Barbara County, and a panel discussion that ties them all together, UC Santa Barbara’s Economic Forecast Project (EFP) presents its North County Economic Summit.

The event takes place on Friday, May 6, at the Radisson Santa Maria, 3455 Skyway Drive. Following a 7:30 a.m. breakfast and check in, EFP Board Chair Valerie Moya will introduce the program and presentations.

UCSB professor and chair of the Department of Economics Peter Rupert will kick off the talks with his presentations on the local and regional economy. Rupert is the executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project and the associate director of the UCSB Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance with Nobel Laureate Finn Kydland. He served as senior research advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years.

Following Rupert’s presentation, Rick Haydon, city manager for the City of Santa Maria, will give his boots-on-the-ground perspective on local growth and development and their impacts on city finance. As city manager for the largest city in the county, he is responsible for overseeing 10 city departments, over 700 employees and an annual budget of $186 million.

Kevin Walthers, president of Allan Hancock College, will take the spotlight next to give his talk “California’s Education Desert: Challenges and Opportunities for Northern Santa Barbara County.” An educator whose career has spanned the educational spectrum from school teacher to executive positions in state institutions, Walthers believes education, and particularly education from Allan Hancock College, is instrumental in the progress of families in the North County community.

After Walthers, Henry Dubroff, chairman and editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times, will share his viewpoint from years spent watching the ebb and flow of business in Santa Barbara County in a presentation titled “Doing Business in North and South County.” In addition to his work with Business Times, Dubroff provides daily commentaries on KCLU and writes on economic issues for The Sunday Denver Post. Before founding the Business Times, Dubroff was editor at The Denver Business Journal and business editor at The Denver Post.

For the final presentation, journalist Dan Walters will then take a more macrocosmic view, discussing the political differences between northern and southern California. A journalist for more than a half-century Walters joined The Sacramento Union in 1975 and, in 1981, began writing the state’s only daily newspaper column devoted to California political, economic and social events. He moved to The Sacramento Bee in 1984. He has written more than 7,500 columns about California politics and his syndicated column now appears in more than 50 newspapers.

Following the presentations, Rupert will return to moderate a panel discussion featuring the guest speakers. The event concludes at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The UCSB Economic Forecast Project was established in 1981 by the Department of Economics to provide the community with information on economic, demographic and regional business trends. The main sponsor for this year’s event is founding sponsor Union Bank.

The summit is open to the public and admission is $50 per person. A copy of the 2016 North Santa Barbara County Economic Outlook report is included with admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling (805) 893-5148 or visiting artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu; they can also be purchased at the door on the day of the summit.


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