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October 22, 2014

The South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) hosted its 24th-annual Economic Summit in October, focusing on the region’s economic outlook, priority sectors and employment trends.

“The South County EDC provides the Summit as an opportunity for attendees to learn about our bi-national economy,” says Cindy Gompper Graves, President and CEO of the SCEDC. “We are honored to such high caliber speakers participate in our event.”

Held at the San Diego Convention Center, the event included an Economic Outlook Panel that focused on growing opportunities as the region recovers from the Great Recession. The panel featured Kelly Cunningham, Senior Fellow and Economist with NUSIPR; Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. James Gerber, Professor of Economics at San Diego State University. The speakers covered a variety of topics, including the area’s leading industries by GDP; how San Diego compares to other metropolitan areas by employment data; the military’s impact on the region; San Diego’s global competitiveness; South County assets and opportunities; how to attract talent to the region; and more.

Approximately 15 elected officials from both sides of the border came together for a panel discussion, addressing a variety of topics, from infrastructure to today’s business climate. Participants included Congressman Juan Vargas, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, National City Mayor Ron Morrison, Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney, Chula Vista Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan, Tecate Mayor Cesar Moreno, Congressman Juan Manuel of Gastelum, Mexico, among others.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (pictured) offered remarks as well, focusing on cross-border collaboration, entrepreneurship and a growing economy. 

The Summit featured a presentation by Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, focusing on what is being done in Washington, D.C., to keep the economy moving forward. “We debate policy in Washington D.C.—there is debate about investments an scarcity of resources,” he says. “At the end of the day, it’s the work that is being done here on the front lines, at the grassroots level, that is really what is helping to power the economic recovery that we are experiencing.”

There was also a presentation by Mike Dee, President and CEO of the San Diego Padres, addressing the Padres’ economic impact on the region.

Linden Blue, Vice Chairman of General Atomics, and John Reilly, President of SeaWorld San Diego, offered keynote speeches that addressed their career paths and insights into the future of their businesses and industries. 

For more information about the event, visit the SCEDC’s event page.

Read the U-T’s coverage of the event here.

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