Economic policy advisor to speak at next Community Forum

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 8, 2015

An economic policy advisor to the Southern Governors’ Association will speak March 25 at the second Rowan County Community Forum focusing on economic development strategies.

The forum will be March 25 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Agricultural Extension Center, located at 2727 Old Concord Road. The 2015 forum is the fourth event planned and implemented through the Community Forum Steering Committee. A news release stated the 2015 forum is designed to help business and community leaders and interested citizens understand and assess the foundational principles of a consolidated and effective economic development strategy.

The Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation has provided financial support for the community forums.

Ted Abernathy, the policy advisor, is the March 25 speaker.

He is a native of Dallas, N.C., and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who earned a master’s degree from John Hopkins University. He’s also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute and an Eisenhower Fellow for global economics.

His 34-year economic development career has included work for cities, counties, regions and the private sector. In his role with the Southern Governors’ Association, Abernathy is developing a new research policy agenda for Southern states and leading a public input process for re-imagining higher education. His economic consultancy focuses on information curation and helps places, organizations and leaders be more competitive, collaborative and successful.

As an economic futurist, Abernathy speaks to more than 100 groups annually on topics ranging from leadership to global trends impacting competitiveness.

The schedule for the March 25 forum includes:

• 7:45 a.m. Check-in, coffee and continental breakfast

• 8 a.m. Call to Order – Pete Teague, community forum chair

• Welcome – Greg Edds, Rowan County Board of Commissioners chair

• Education Update – Dr. Lynn Moody, Rowan-Salisbury School System superintendent

• 8:25 a.m. “Core Principles of a Vibrant Economy” and Assessment of Rowan County’s Economic Competitiveness – Ted Abernathy, keynote speaker

• 9:30 a.m. Economic Development Panel Presentation – Robert Van Geons, economic development director

• 10:30 a.m. Question and Answer Session — Abernathy and Panelists

• 11 a.m. Table Discussions — Defining Rowan County’s key actions

• 11:30 a.m. Report-out — groups

• 11:45 a.m. Closing Thoughts – Abernathy

• Noon Adjournment – Teague

There is no charge to attend the event; however, reservations are necessary. To pre-register, contact the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce by Friday, March 20, at 704-633-4221 or or register on the event link: