University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Business Forecast Luncheon

The 24th Annual Business Forecast Luncheon will be held on January 26, 2018 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Arkansas. The luncheon brings national and international experts to discuss the economic outlook for Arkansas, the nation, and the world. Every year, the event brings together more than 1,000 community leaders from across the state and region. We hope to see you on Friday, January 26 for an informative event. Doors will open at 11am for networking.

The event is sold out Thank you for your support of our outreach programs

BF Speakers 2018

This year the featured speaker is Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken. Mike has long been an important medical research and public health advocate as well as a legendary financial innovator. He will speak about current macroeconomic trends and about restoring the American dream for all citizens. Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow and former chief research officer for the Milken Institute, will moderate a Q&A with Mike at the end of his speech. Jim Walton, Chairman and CEO of Arvest Bank Group will introduce both Mike and Ross. Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, will provide the usual state and local economic forecast at the luncheon. Last year's program and event video are available for viewing: 2017 Business Forecast program or 2017 video.

 

Thank you to our 2018

Business Forecast Luncheon Sponsors!

Sponsor Levels

 Sponsorship opportunities include:

  • Walton Presenting Partner
    $10,000 includes two tables of ten with Level I priority seating and two tables for students
  • Walton Academic Partner
    $5,000 includes one table of ten with Level I priority seating and one table for students
  • Walton Corporate Partner
    $3,000 includes one table of ten with Level II priority seating
  • Walton Business Partner
    $2,000 includes one table of ten with Level III priority seating

For more information contact

Center for Business and Economic Research
CBER-WCOB-WJWH 538
Sam M. Walton College of Business
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
PH: (479) 575-4151


2018 Business Forecast Speakers


Michael Milken

Mike Milken

Michael Milken, Chairman of the Milken Institute, has been at the forefront of successful initiatives in medical research, education, public health and access to capital for more than four decades. Fortune called him "The Man Who Changed Medicine" and Forbes listed him among "Visionaries Reimagining Our Children's Future." In 1982 he formalized previous philanthropy by co-founding the Milken Family Foundation. The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University recognizes an Institute gift. As a financier, Mike is often said to have revolutionized modern capital markets by pricing and rewarding risk more efficiently. The thousands of companies he financed created millions of jobs. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Mike earned his MBA at the Wharton School. He and his wife Lori are members of the Giving Pledge and Founding Donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. They have three children and ten grandchildren and will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018. For more information see www.mikemilken.com.

 

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol is a Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation, a program enlisting subject-matter experts to conduct research and develop best practices that support the foundation's philanthropic efforts. DeVol studies national economic trends and how they impact the American heartland. He is assessing opportunities for regional innovation ecosystems which foster job creation, wage gains and economic growth for the non-coastal areas of the nation. DeVol will help identify the tools needed for a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in the American heartland. He will work with universities, colleges, the business community, public policy leaders and philanthropy to analyze resources supporting the startup community and identify workforce and talent gaps. DeVol is former chief research officer for the Milken Institute where he spent nearly 20 years, an economic think tank headquartered in California. He oversaw research on international, national and comparative regional growth performance; access to capital and its role in economic growth and job creation; and health-related topics. He has been ranked among the "Superstars of Think Tank Scholars" by International Economy magazine.

 

Mervin Jebaraj

Mervin Jebaraj-Interim Director

Mervin Jebaraj is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research. He was previously the assistant director at the center, where he has worked since 2007. During his time at the center, he has been instrumental in creating and executing economic studies for clients such as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Northwest Arkansas Council, the Walton Family Foundation, Arvest Bank, the University of Arkansas and many others. His work has been noted by the state's business media. The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal recognized him as one of its "Fast 15" and Arkansas Business put him on its list of "20 in their 20s." He is an exceptional source of business and economics-related expertise that journalists and business people alike rely on to understand how national and regional issues impact Northwest Arkansas and Arkansas as a whole. He makes presentations that share the center's expertise directly to over 5,000 individuals annually and tens of thousands more hear and see his economic analysis and commentary through TV, radio and print media.


 

 

Forecast Speaker Archive

Business Forecast 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
World Trade Center District - Rogers, Arkansas 

  • Moderator: John James, Founder, Acumen Brands
  • International Speaker: Carl Tannenbaum, Chief Economist, Northern Trust
  • Domestic Speaker: John Silvia, Managing Director & Chief Economist, Wells Fargo
  • Regional Speaker: Kathy Deck, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research

Business Forecast 2016

Friday, January 29
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
World Trade Center District - Rogers, Arkansas 

  • Moderator: Bill Dillard, VP, Dillards, Inc.
  • Global Forecaster: Michael Drury, Chief Economist, McVean Trading & Investments, LLC
  • Domestic Forecaster: Kevin Kliesen, Business Economist and Bank Officer, Research Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Regional Forecaster: Kathy Deck, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research

Business Forecast 2017

Friday, January 27
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
World Trade Center District - Rogers, Arkansas 

  • Moderator: Shelley Simpson, Chief Marketing Officer of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
  • Global Forecaster: Stuart Mackintosh, Executive Director of the Group of Thirty
  • Domestic Forecaster: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, served as the Secretary of Commerce's principal adviser on economic matters
  • Regional Forecaster: Kathy Deck, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research