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Speaker Lineup Announced for 2017 Economic Outlook Conference

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The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the speaker lineup for the 2017 Economic Outlook Conference, Fully Charged: Moving Forward on Friday, January 27, 2017.

“The 2017 Economic Outlook Conference features our largest line up of speakers in the 31 year history of the conference,” says JJ Hollie, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO.

The day will begin with the popular ‘Community Update’ presented by Mercedes Benz of The Woodlands. We will hear from area leaders including Texas State Senator Brandon Creighton, followed by our presenting underwriter, Gil Staley, Chief Executive Officer of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership. Alex Sutton and Tim Welbes, Co-Presidents of The Woodlands Development Company, Gordy Bunch, Chairman of The Woodlands Township and U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady of the 8th District will complete the community update.

The Chamber is excited to have Heidi Cruz, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs as the morning keynote speaker presented by Stibbs & Co., PC Attorneys. Ms. Cruz is the managing director of the Investment Management Division and previously served as region head of Houston. Her public-sector experience includes George W. Bush administration as the economic director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice. She also served as a director at the US Treasury Department and as special assistant to Robert B. Zoellick, then US Trade Representative.

“We look forward to having Heidi’s perspective on what we can expect for 2017,” says Nicole Robinson Gauthier, Director of The Lone Star College Foundation and Team Leader for the Economic Outlook Conference.

Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar will conclude the conference as the keynote luncheon speaker presented by Cypressbrook Company. Elected in November 2014, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar serves as Texas’ treasurer, check writer, tax collector, procurement officer and revenue estimator. Before becoming Comptroller, Hegar served in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, and served as chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission, which works to eliminate inefficiency in government agencies.

“We are honored to have Glenn Hegar as our 2017 keynote speaker,” says Angela Storseth-Cooper, Director of Special Events and Governmental Affairs at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, “Mr. Hegar has a keen insight on how the economic changes have impacted Texas.”

The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce previously announced that Former Texas Governor Rick Perry would be the keynote speaker. However, his new role as Energy Secretary of The United States prevents him from joining us on January 27, 2017. The Chamber is very proud to have Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar give his insight on the economic outlook in the state of Texas.

This event is sponsored by presenting underwriter, The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, luncheon keynote speaker sponsor, Cypressbrook Company, our morning keynote speaker sponsor, Stibbs & Co., PC Attorneys, community speaker sponsor, Mercedes Benz of The Woodlands and finally our luncheon sponsors, Lone Star Corporate College, The Woodlands Development Company, Wright Business Technologies, and Strike, LLC.

The conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center from 7:30am till 1:00pm. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available for purchase online at or please contact, 281.367.5777.