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Join us Friday, February 21, 2020, for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Economic Outlook Conference event featuring a keynote presentation by Renu Khator, University of Houston System Chancellor and University of Houston President. Khator will provide expert insights into the outlook for the Houston region economy in 2020.
A highlight of this year's event is the Innovation Panel where four executives will discuss how the latest trends in innovation are helping businesses to solve economic issues.
Innovation panelists include: Clint Brinkley, CEO, Your Business Solutions; Ashok Gowda, president and CEO, Biotex, Inc.; Deanea LeFlore, senior director of corporate and community engagement, The Ion; and Tony Nash, founder and CEO, Complete Intelligence.
The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership CEO Gil Staley will provide a regional update detailing the job growth and economic vitality of The Woodlands area; and U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady of the 8th District of Texas will deliver a National Update sharing local and global economic priorities that we will face in 2020.
In addition, attendees will hear an Economy Update from Jesse Thompson, senior business economist of the Houston Branch of The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
7:30 a.m.: Registration
8:00 a.m.: Welcome
8:20 a.m.: National Update
9:00 a.m.: Community Update
10:00 a.m.: Economy Update
11:00 a.m.: Innovation Panel
12:00 p.m.: Keynote Luncheon
1:00 p.m.: Adjournment
Meet the Speakers
Renu Khator, Chancellor, University of Houston System and President, University of Houston
Renu Khator holds the dual titles of chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston. The UH System's first woman Chancellor and the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive research university in the United States, she assumed her post in January 2008.
As chancellor of the UH System, Khator oversees a four-university organization that serves nearly 71,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion, and produces a $6 billion-plus economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.
As president of the University of Houston, she is the chief executive officer of the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities. As the system's flagship institution, UH enrolls approximately 44,000 students, offers 280 undergraduate and graduate programs and awards more than 9,200 degrees each year.
During her tenure, UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private support. As part of an ongoing $1-billion campus construction program, UH launched its 74-acre Energy Research Park, which is now home to several start-up companies, research enterprises and academic programs. UH also opened its 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium, home of the Cougar football team, and increased student residence hall capacity to 8,000, the second-highest in Texas. In addition, UH has completed an $80 million expansion and renovation of its Student Center.
Panelist: Clint Brinkley, CEO, Your Business Solutions
A self-described problem-solver on a tireless chase for success, Clint Brinkley is widely-known as a self-made man who understands that nothing good in business -- or life, for that matter -- comes without sharp determination and a thirst to excel.
As the CEO of Your Business Solutions, an industry-leading Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Cyber Security firm he founded in 2004, Clint knows that, for some, success comes in the form of forging the path for your own venture, learning from the mistakes of your predecessors, and building a business all your own.
Through collaboration, observation, and taking several notes on what not to do, Clint developed Your Business Solutions in 2004. Now, Your Business Solutions is expanding from its headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas into multiple cities and proudly serves dozens of clients across the continental United States.
Panelist: Ashok Gowda, PhD, President & CEO, Biotex, Inc.
Dr. Ashok Gowda is a founder and CEO of the Houston-based medical technology developer and manufacturer, Biotex, Inc. To date, under his direction, the company has raised over $20 million in non-dilutive funding, successfully licensed numerous early-stage technologies, spun out three separate companies (Visualase, Inc., Base Pair Biotechnologies, Inc., E-SAFE Medical, Inc.), all of which successfully raised private capital.
At Biotex, Gowda oversees internal development programs as well as partnering activities, where the company works with other entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop and bring novel medical technologies to market.
Previously, Gowda co-founded and served as chief operating officer at Visualase, Inc., which was acquired by Medtronic for up to $105M in late 2014.
Panelist: Deanea LeFlore, Ion Houston
LeFlore oversees The Ion’s community and corporate engagement strategy and related programming. With a passion for promoting Houston as a place to invest, work and live, LeFlore is proactively identifying Houston’s business challenges and developing new programming to take local businesses and entrepreneurs to new heights with the help of The Ion.
Prior to joining the Ion, LeFlore served as the Director of Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Education at Station Houston, where she focused on creating high-impact programming and providing opportunities for Houston’s diverse communities to participate in the innovation economy. Prior to that LeFlore served as chief of protocol for the city of Houston and Vice President of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, serving under four mayors over 17 years.
Panelist: Tony Nash, Founder & CEO, Complete Intelligence
Tony Nash is the founder and CEO of Complete Intelligence. Using advanced AI, Complete Intelligence provides highly accurate cost and revenue forecasts fuelled by billions of enterprise and public data points.
Previously, Tony built and led the global research business for The Economist (EIU) and the Asia consulting business for IHS (now IHS Markit). He has also been a social entrepreneur, media entrepreneur, writer and consultant.
Tony is a frequent public speaker and leader of closed-door dialogues with business and government leaders on markets, economics, risk and technology. He is a contributor to leading global media (BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, etc) and has served as an advisor to government and think tanks in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Washington DC and others.
Speaker: Gil Staley, CEO, The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership
Gil Staley has been with The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership for over 15 years and serves as CEO. He is responsible for directing recruitment of new businesses as well as directing the business retention and expansion program. Gil also oversees the operational aspects of the EDP while maintaining the financial integrity of the organization.
Prior to joining the EDP, he was the District Sales Manager in Houston for Delta Air Lines. In this role, he was responsible for marketing, corporate sales and community affairs for Central and South Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Gil was with Delta for over 26 years.
Gil is a 2009 Center for Houston's Future Business/Civic Leadership Forum graduate, as well as a 2006 Leadership Montgomery County graduate and a 2013 Hometown Hero. He serves on numerous community boards including Montgomery County Food Bank, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, Conroe North Houston Regional Airport Board of Directors, Small Business Development Center, Gulf Coast Economic Development District and Gulf Coast Workforce Board.
Speaker: U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady is the third Texan in history to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. A national economic voice for Republicans, he led the first reform of the tax code in more than three decades which has catapulted America to the most competitive economy in the world.
As chairman he negotiated for Speaker Paul Ryan an end to the 40-year ban on selling U.S. crude oil overseas which has led to America?s energy independence. His initiatives which are now law, include the first reform of the IRS in two decades and recently the SECURE Act, which is the most sweeping overhaul of America?s retirement system in a decade.
A longtime leader in free trade, he helped lead the successful passage of 13 U.S. trade agreements including the recent modern trade agreement with Mexico and Canada which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support and is projected to create 176,000 new jobs in America.
In health care he led the repeal of four Affordable Care Act taxes - including the unpopular individual mandate - totaling over $600 billion in savings to America?s families and businesses.
Prior to his election to Congress representing the 8th District of Texas, Kevin worked as a chamber of commerce executive for 18 years and served six years in the Texas House of Representatives.
Speaker: Jesse Thompson, Senior Business Economist, The Houston Branch of The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Jesse Thompson serves as senior business economist at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Thompson, who joined the Bank in 2010, performs research and analysis on issues affecting the Houston and Gulf Coast economy. In particular, he studies issues surrounding area hydrocarbon industries.
He also collects information for the Dallas Fed?s Beige Book summary of current economic conditions.
He is author of the monthly Energy Indicators, the Houston Economic Indicators, and contributes to the quarterly publication Southwest Economy.
Thompson earned an MA in economics, with emphasis on empirical microeconomics, and BA in philosophy and economics from the University of Houston.