Business & Economy Society & Culture

Forbes and Sumichrast to headline Dec. 3 Georgia Economic Outlook luncheon

Forbes and Sumichrast to headline Dec. 3 Georgia Economic Outlook luncheon with unprecedented and dire warnings for 2009

Athens, Ga. – Terry College of Business Dean Robert T. Sumichrast warned of three “recession triggers” when he gave his forecast speech at UGA’s Georgia Economic Outlook luncheon last December.

All three triggers were pulled in 2008. Bang. Bang. Bust.

The economy began to break apart under the weight of record-high energy prices and a housing market in freefall and then shattered this fall when the credit crisis and market upheaval left consumers and businesses ducking for cover.

At the Terry College’s 26th annual forecast luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 3, Sumichrast and magazine publisher Steve Forbes will offer their assessments of the state and national economy and some dire warnings for what lies ahead.

The program will start at noon in the Murphy Ballroom of the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. The luncheon will also feature opening remarks by Gov. Sonny Perdue and UGA President Michael F. Adams.

“Analyzing Georgia’s economy always involves massive amounts of data,” Sumichrast said, “but the financial volatility and unprecedented interventions in our economy have made this year’s predictions especially challenging.”

Sumichrast, who has served as the Terry College’s dean since July 2007, will deliver the state economic forecast produced by the Selig Center for Economic Growth and its director, Jeff Humphreys. Sumichrast holds the Simon S. Selig Jr. Chair for Economic Growth. From 2003 to 2007, he was dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University.

Forbes, who is chairman and CEO of Forbes Inc. and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, will discuss what November’s election results mean for the economy and financial markets. He campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination in both 1996 and 2000 on a platform that advocated establishing a flat income tax to replace the federal income tax system, health savings accounts, a new Social Security system utilizing Personal Retirement Accounts, school vouchers and free trade.

Since he became CEO of Forbes Inc. in 1990, the company has launched several successful ventures, including Forbes Asia and Forbes, the company’s flagship magazine, and Forbes Asia reach a worldwide audience of more than five million readers.

Following the opening program at the Georgia World Congress Center, the Economic Outlook goes on tour around the state, stopping in Columbus (Jan. 9), Swainsboro (Jan. 15), Jekyll Island (Jan. 16), Macon (Jan. 20), Savannah (Jan. 21), Augusta (Jan. 23), Albany (Jan. 28), Thomasville (Feb. 18) and Athens (March 4).

This year’s gold sponsor of the Economic Outlook series is Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

The series’ silver sponsors are Georgia Trend, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Power and RBC Bank. Bronze sponsors are Frazier & Deeter LLC, Jackson EMC, AgGeorgia Farm Credit ACA, Crawford & Co., the Espy Company, Peachtree Planning Corp., Porter Keadle Moore LLP, Hardin Construction, and Public Broadcasting Atlanta.

Additional community sponsors for the Atlanta program are the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

In Atlanta, registration fees are $80 per person, $640 for a table for eight guests or $1,500 for a priority table for eight guests. Fees include refreshments, lunch and Georgia Economic Outlook publications. Online registration is available at For more information, please contact Elizabeth Bohler at 706/425-3280 or