May 25, 2019  

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USM to Hold Economic Outlook 2017 Forum at Two Locations

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Economic trends and forecasts will take center stage during the Economic Outlook 2017 Forum hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi at two different venues this year -- the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach on Thursday, Jan. 12 and the Hattiesburg campus on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The USM College of Business is coordinating the annual forum that brings together experts from banking, finance, and academia to explore a number of issues and research related to the economic outlook for 2017.

“We are delighted to once again partner with The First to bring this important economic forum to the residents of South Mississippi,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, Dean of the USM College of Business. “We have assembled a distinguished list of experts who can certainly provide helpful insights into economic forecasts for the upcoming year.”

The First  - A National Banking Association is serving as the title sponsor. The Gulf Park forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at Hardy Hall, while the Hattiesburg forum will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Thad Cochran Center. Both events are free but seating will be limited.

“The Economic Outlook forum continues to grow every year, and we expect another large turnout,” said M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, president and CEO of The First, A National Banking Association. “We are pleased to partner with Southern Miss in sponsoring this event. It gives us an opportunity to visit with people from the Gulf South region, to find out what is going on and how our company can be of service. We believe the conference gives those in attendance a solid foundation of economic expectations upon which to plan the upcoming year.”

Speakers for the Gulf Park session include:

  • Adrienne Slack, Vice-President and Regional Executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Orleans Branch
  • Ashley Edwards, President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Business Council

Speakers for the Hattiesburg session include:

  • Stan Harrell, Vice President, CFO and CIO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Chad Newell, President of The Hattiesburg Area Development Partnership

A light breakfast will be served at the Gulf Park event; lunch will be provided at the Hattiesburg event. To register, visit: or contact Becky Vinzant at 601-266-4849 or email: