Neeley hosts summit to prepare area businesses for economic challenges

In response to the growing economic crisis, the Neeley School of Business, along with the Luther King Capital Management Center for financial studies and the Fort Worth Business Press, will host an economic summit for the local business community today at the Brown-Lupton University Union.

Robert Francis, editor of the Fort Worth Business Press, said the idea for the summit came from the number of Fort Worth Business Press readers who focused on articles written on economic issues and questions that bankers have received from customers.

“We haven’t been as hard-hit as the rest, but we’re starting to feel the effects,” Francis said in reference to Fort Worth. “I hope people will be proactive.”

The summit aims to prepare the Fort Worth business community for the upcoming economic and credit challenges. The forum will open with economist O. Homer Erekson, John V. Roach Dean at the Neeley School of Business.

Joseph Lipscomb, director for Luther King Capital Management Center, said the summit is designed to prepare businesses for changes that will take place in the banking system and its effects on the business community.

There will be four breakout sessions in the later half of the event which will focus on oil and gas, finance, real estate and risk management, Lipscomb said.

The sessions will have a panel of professionals from each field to talk to business leaders. Lipscomb said the summit will shed light on challenges ahead for businesses.

“I think it gives the business community the opportunity to hear from a lot of lenders,” Lipscomb said.

Panels will feature industry experts such as Larry Brogden, adjunct professor at the Energy Institute and partner in Four Sevens Oil, who will speak on the oil and gas industry.

The panels will consist of four or five different bankers that will talk about what’s going to happen in the next six months, Francis said.

Brian Happel, Fort Worth market president of Compass Bank, will speak on the financial industry along with Greg Morse, chief executive officer of Worthington National Bank. Bankers will give insight on what new strategies are available to customers for financing their businesses.

Charles Reynolds, local president for Hub International, will speak on the risk-management industry along with two other business leaders in that industry. Rick Jenkins, Fort Worth market president of Southwest Securities, will be one of the panelists for the real estate industry.

The event is free and open to the business community. A continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., and the forum begins at 8 a.m. at the BLUU.

Economic summit hosted by the Neeley School of Business

When: 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Today

Where: Brown-Lupton University Union