WRITTEN BY PHILLIP WARD | STAFF WRITER
The Fermanian Business and Economics Institute (FBEI) predicted the future during its annual Economic Out- look Forum for 2016.
Each year in February, the FBEI hosts a community event in which they present their predictions for the economy this coming year. The effort is headed by Cathy Gallagher, executive director for the FBEI, who said that she started the event with the desire to promote University public relations with the community.
“We wanted to create an event that the community can come to, wants to come to, looks forward to coming to,” Gallagher said. “Not to be necessarily a money maker but more of, actually, a PR value for the university.”
The forum consists of a presentation by Dr. Lynn Reaser on her predictions for the economy in the coming year. Dr. Reaser has been doing predictions for the FBEI since 2010, but has been predicting the economy for much longer. She has served as the chief economist for Bank of America’s Investment Strategies Group, has served as chairman of numerous organizations including American Bankers’ Association’s Economic Advisory Council and more currently the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
She started out the event by taking stock of her hits and misses from last year’s forum and went on to share her key predictions for 2016. She finished the event by opening up some time for questions and offering some action points for the coming year.
This year’s forum saw over 200 guests, a good turnout according to Jesse Olsen, the student employee in charge of marketing and social media for the FBEI.
“We had really good numbers this year,” Olsen said.
Some of these attendees may even become clients for the FBEI.
“It’s given us some really good contacts,” said Executive Director Cathy Gallagher “It’s actually opened the door to a few of our client projects.”
The FBEI does individual consulting for local businesses. Their clients include the California State Treasurer, San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), Building Industry Association (BIA) San Diego, Terrapin Bright Green, National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and others. Many of these clients came from connections made at the Economic Outlook Forum.
Gallagher said they wouldn’t have been able to reach the community the way they do now without the contributions of PLNU students.
Students are involved in the creation of the Economic Outlook Forum from start to finish. From contributing research to the economic analyses to marketing for the event and even preparing the venue.
“The undergraduates have a huge part in [the] process,” Gallagher said. “We couldn’t really do what we do without our undergraduate support.”
Dr. Lynn Reaser, chief economist for the FBEI, said undergraduate students have made a great impression on the attendees and on the community in general.
“They are such a wonderful representation of our university,” Reaser said.
She went on to recount an experience she had with George Chamberlin, business media guru in the San Diego area, in which he praised Point Loma events as being “a cut above the rest of the other universities in the San Diego region.”
The Economic Outlook Forum has fulfilled its goal this year more than ever before, sharing economic enthusiasm with increasing numbers of the San Diego community.
photo by Jonathan Soch