University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Business Forecast Luncheon

The 25th Annual Business Forecast Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2019 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in the World Trade Center District in Rogers. To register, please visit the Business Forecast webpage or follow the registration links below. For questions or other registration options, please call 479-575-4151. We hope to see you on Friday, February 1st for an informative event.

Business Forecast Luncheon
February 1, 2019

BF Speakers 2019

Moderator Steve Gibbs, is senior vice president, chief accounting officer and controller at Tyson Foods, Inc. Steve is responsible for leading, coordinating and directing Corporate Finance and Accounting to provide complete, accurate, timely and actionable financial information that contributes to the achievement of business and strategic objectives.

International Forecaster Carolyn Evans, is head economist and senior data scientist at Intel Corporation. Prior to joining Intel, Carolyn held the positions of Associate Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University, Senior Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Senior Staff Economist for International Trade on the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Domestic Forecaster Ross DeVol, is a Fellow at the Walton Family Foundation and is currently transitioning to lead the new Core Economic Institute (a think and do tank) improving economic performance in the center of the United States. The Institute will pursue its mission through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented convening and impactful policy recommendations.

Regional Forecaster Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, will provide the usual state and local economic forecast at the luncheon.

Please call 479-575-4151 for registration availability

Individual tickets are $85.00 each with the option to purchase a table of ten for $850.00. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registration is January 25, 2019. Reservations can be made by registering online or by calling 479-575-4151. For sponsorships opportunities,  please call our office or complete the Business Forecast Sponsor Packet. Additional sponsorship information and speaker bios are below.

Thank you to 2019 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 549
Sam M. Walton College of Business
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
PH: (479) 575-4151


2019 Business Forecast Speakers


Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs
Steve Gibbs is senior vice president, chief accounting officer and controller for Tyson Foods, Inc. He is responsible for leading, coordinating and directing Corporate Finance and Accounting to provide complete, accurate, timely and actionable financial information that contributes to the achievement of business and strategic objectives. Most recently Steve served as Vice president and Chief Accounting Officer for Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., a $4 billion (revenue), publicly traded consumer products and durables company and maker of the Keurig single serve coffee system. In that role, Steve managed all aspects of accounting, reporting, tax and treasury for the company's operations, which experienced up to 100% annual growth. Steve's tenure included the installation of SAP and leading several transformational initiatives, including zero-based budgeting and working capital optimization, which significantly increased cash flow. Prior to that role, Steve gained valuable experience as Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller at Scientific Games Corporation, a global gaming company, as well as roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Arthur Andersen and Deloitte & Touche.
Steve is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Florida A&M University. He serves on the board of trustees of Champlain College, a private liberal arts college in Burlington, Vermont, and on the board of directors of the Bighorn Basin Paleontology Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to paleontology and earth science research, education, and outreach in Red Lodge, Montana.

Carolyn Evans

Carolyn Evans

Carolyn L. Evans is head economist and senior data scientist at Intel Corporation. Prior to joining Intel, Carolyn held the positions of associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University, senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, senior staff economist for international trade on the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She has published academic articles and books in the areas of international trade, political economy, global macroeconomics, and corporate finance. Carolyn holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics and a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, all from Harvard University. She also holds a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. Carolyn is a member of the Conference of Business Economists, the Harvard University Discussion Group of Industrial Economists, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and the American Economic Association. She serves on the Board of Directors of NABE and the Advisory Board for the MS in Business Analytics at Santa Clara University.

 

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol is a Fellow, Walton Family Foundation, a program enlisting subject-matter experts to conduct research and develop best practices that support the foundation's philanthropic efforts. He is assessing opportunities for regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster job creation, wage gains and economic growth for the American Heartland. He works 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. DeVol is transitioning to lead the new Core Economic Institute (a think and do tank) whose mission will be to improve economic performance in center of the United States. The Institute will pursue its mission through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented convenings and impactful policy recommendations.

 

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, EVP, President of Integrated Capacity
  • Global Forecaster: Stuart Mackintosh, Executive Director, The Group of Thirty
  • Domestic Forecaster: Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Chief Economist, Office of Secretary of Commerce
  • Regional Forecaster: Kathy Deck, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research

Business Forecast 2018

Friday, January 26
John Q. Hammons Convention Center
World Trade Center District - Rogers, Arkansas 

  • Introductions: Jim Walton, Chairman and CEO, Arvest Bank Group
  • Keynote: Michael Milken, Chairman of the Milken Institute
  • Question and Answer Session: Ross DeVol, Walton Fellow, Walton Family Foundation
  • State and Regional Forecaster: Mervin Jebaraj, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research