Experts to explore possible solutions for economic hotspots at Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Lacey - A line-up of experts in fields relating to the health and vitality of the Northwest economy will gather May 19-21 to explore how best to aid regional economic recovery from the collapse and structural weaknesses in key industries at this year’s Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference. The conference will be at Tacoma’s Sheraton Hotel.

The 38th annual conference, whose theme this year is “New Formulas and Partnerships Emerging,” will also concentrate on economic factors affecting the region, including unemployment rates, state and local budget shortages and increasing international competition, said economist and educator Riley Moore, Ph.D., conference chairman.

Keynote speakers for the event will be:

- Author Josh Farley, Ph.D., of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, who will deliver the conference’s May 19 opening speech, “Beyond the Economics of Fish and Timber: Ecosystem Services, Information and the Tragedy of the Non-Commons.”

- Washington State University Professor Emeritus Desmond O'Rourke, president of Belrose Inc., an agricultural consulting firm, who will deliver the May 19 noon address, “Playing the Ag Survivors Game: Will the Pacific Northwest Be Voted off the Island.”

- Bill Gates Sr., chairman of the Washington State Tax Structure Committee. Gates is a founding partner of Preston Gates & Ellis and has served as president of both the Seattle/King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. Gates’ speech, on May 20, will be "An Evaluation of Washington's Tax Structure."

- David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, based in New York. Wyss is responsible for the company’s economic forecasts and publications, and co-authors the monthly Equity Insight and the weekly Financial Notes. He also manages research projects, especially in financial risk. His speech, also on May 20, is "End of the Recession, But When Will Jobs Come?"

- Geoffrey Hewing, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory; professor of economics and geography and urban and regional planning, University of Illinois. Hewing’s May 21 speech will be “Trade and Economic Security: A Spatial Perspective.”

A series of panel discussions on issues ranging from health care and electricity crisis response to port and border security and water management will be held throughout the three-day event.

Conference sponsors are the Northwest Power and Conservation Council; Mundy Associates; Stimson Lane Vineyards and Estates; Saint Martin's College; and Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies.

The Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Council is a non-profit organization that promotes research and education on the economy of the Pacific Northwest states - Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho - and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The conference brings together academic, government and private-sector professionals to better understand the region’s diverse economy.

For more information about the conference, contact Moore at 360-438-4511; rmoore@stmartin.edu. To see the full conference program or register, visit the council’s website at www.pnrec.org.

For more information:
Riley Moore, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, economics and finance
360-438-4511; rmoore@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow
Office of communication
360-438-4541; dpartlow@stmartin.edu