Registration closes this week

NORTH BAY -- Registration for the SSU Economic Outlook Conference, produced in collaboration with the Business Journal, closes on Friday. The event is on Feb. 25 from 7:30 to noon, and tickets are $49 per person and include continental breakfast. To register, contact Linda Perkins at or 707-521-5264, or register online at

The conference will center on the need for business leaders to come together and take action on creating a regional economic development organization, including strategies for spurring growth at a local level. An outlook for the local and national economies will also give information on how businesses can best prepare for what is to come, and a panel discussion will examine in detail modes of stimulating job creation, retention and entrepreneurism. Speakers and topics to be covered include:

Brian Pretti, senior vice president at Mechanics Bank, will provide a macroeconomic forecast indicating a dramatic shift from past economic cycles and suggestions for how businesses should prepare differently for the future.

Dr. Rob Eyler, chair of economics at SSU and director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis, will give a North Bay economic analysis and discuss SSU's role in forming a regional economic development corporation.

Brian Sobel, principal consultant for Sobel Communications, will talk about the local and national political climate and its impact on conducting business.

Tracey Grose, vice president of research and strategic development at Collaborative Economics, will share numbers on the emerging green economy, describe the core concepts of a green economy and outline the opportunity that exists for North Bay policy makers to spur business growth.

Naheed Ali of the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program will cover how this program has translated into economic development, generating money going into the community.

Michael Ammann, president of the Solano Economic Development Corp., will discuss how Solano has structured its economic redevelopment according to the broader context of growing clusters in the greater mega-region.

Jeri Gill, CEO of Sustainable Napa County, will give an example of successful private-public-NGO collaboration in Napa