2022 Economic Outlook Summit recap
Once per year, Utah Business hosts an Economic Outlook Summit to dive into the important issues facing our business communities. On November 17th, attendees gathered to learn from local leaders about company culture in a post-Covid world, how Utah’s growth is affecting real estate, funding and investing in Utah, the future of energy and sustainability, and so much more.
This year’s summit brought together experts who inspired us to build bigger companies, create a better culture, and affect change in our state. Below are just a few highlights from a handful of panels during this year’s event.
Peter C. Foy | Chairman, Founder, & CEO | PCF Insurance Services
“People say, ‘How did you get this culture when you went from 50 employees to 4,000 employees in four years?’ It’s because of the view that we take and believe in: Servant leadership makes culture special.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]Building Utah: How Utah’s growth is affecting residential and commercial development
During this panel, local real estate, building, and city development experts talked about the extreme growth Utah is experiencing and what it means for our state.
Alan Matheson | Executive Director | Point of the Mountain State Land Authority
“If our population is going to continue to grow at this rate—double in the next 30 years in the Wasatch Front—people expect that we’ll build a doubling of roads that we see now. Of course, that’s just not an option. So we’ve got a lot of different solutions. One of them is the patterns of growth. We need to grow more compactly so that we don’t have to rely as much on transportation systems.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]High inflation and possible recession: How do businesses prepare?
During this panel, national and local experts in inflation, wealth management, and the economy spoke about our new reality and how to move forward.
Dana Peterson | Chief Economist | The Conference Board
“You have entire industries, for example—healthcare, restaurants, hotels, transportation, warehouses, manufacturing—where they don’t have the workers. [Businesses are] throwing money at the problem and raising wages. But the thing is, somebody has to pay for that. It’s you and I; it’s households.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]The building of national brands: How Utah brands have become household names
During this panel, representatives from five major Utah e-commerce brands shared inspiring stories and advice about their businesses sweeping the nation.
Jeff Kearl | Co-founder & Chairman | Stance Socks
“The best brands in the world stand for something much bigger and more than the products they sell. [They] associate a bigger abstract purpose with the brand, not the products they sell.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]Web3 is bringing power back to the people
During this panel, Web3 gurus talked through scams, blockchain, Web3, and DeFi and taught how this technology can allow us to regain power over our personal finances.
Eric Parker | Co-founder & CEO | Giddy
“We have to do better going forward, and honestly, that’s a lot of what regulation is trying to do. Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, [it has been] to put rules in place that might not always make sense to everybody, but they’re trying to prevent 8 billion dollars of real people’s money from being conned.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]Utah’s problem with women’s equality in the workplace
We know that Utah ranks dead last in women’s equality in the workplace. During this panel, speakers helped us push toward the solutions of the future.
Jenni-Lee Crocker | SVP, Growth | PCF Insurance Services
“Instead of leading with, ‘Okay, let’s focus on this problem and how we can change the gap,’ I really think it’s about looking at the culture of your company and repeatedly making this part of the dialogue and nomenclature every single day. When we are a diverse company, we are better. We are financially sound. There’s not a statistic in the world that won’t lead to the same pattern. Every time you look at a diverse company, companies that have women on boards, they are better-run companies. They are more financially viable.”
[su_spacer size=”30″]Higher education and its influence on the employment market
During this panel, education leaders spoke on the labor market, career preparation, and the importance of higher education in an increasingly competitive world.
Daniel Horns | Dean, College of Science | Utah Valley University
“Training does not expand the economy; it fills jobs. Education expands the economy.”