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Woodlands Chamber hosts 36th Annual Economic Outlook Conference

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The 36th Annual Economic Outlook Conference took place on Friday, February 11th, 2022. The annual event was once again hosted in-person at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center and a hybrid option was also offered. There were over 500 in-person and virtual attendees.

Nine distinguished speakers addressed economic topics related to The Woodlands community, Texas and the Nation. This year, there were two keynote speakers. The morning keynote speaker, David R. O’Reilly, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation, spoke about housing supply, as well as the severe lack of inventory in the residential housing market. He also mentioned future expected growth for the housing and commercial markets. The afternoon keynote speaker, Johnny Carrabba, owner of Carrabba Restaurants, talked about his journey navigating through the restaurant industry.

View photos from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook page below and here:

A view of the Economic Outlook Conference shared on the Hello Woodlands Instagram page:


Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Corporation was the conference’s Community Update speaker. Gil released information on The Woodlands’ major and mid-size employers. He announced healthcare was the #1 industry three years in a row in the area, which represents 11,144 jobs. Economic update speaker Patrick Jankowski, Senior Vice President of Research for The Greater Houston Partnership, provided updated job market numbers and stated that Houston has recovered 87.6% of jobs. He provided data on struggling sectors in the region, as well as those that have recovered.

The Chamber presented Congressman Kevin Brady, U.S. Representative Serving The 8th District of Texas with a tribute video for his years of service. Congressman Brady, the conference’s National Update speaker provided steps that he believed would assist with job growth nationally.

Glenn Hegar, 36th Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts provided the Regional Update. He mentioned the 2021 holiday sales tax revenue, which were over $3.9 billion and for the 10th month in a row Texas’ sales tax hit over $3 billion.  This year’s fireside chat included a Workforce Education panel consisting of Dr. Curtis Null Superintendent of Conroe Independent School District, Dr. Alisa White, President of Sam Houston State University and Dr. Stephen C. Head Chancellor of Lone Star College. The panel was moderated by Mr. JJ Hollie, President & CEO of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. The panelists discussed:

  • The effects of COVID on the education system
  • Changes in the education system
  • The advantages of trade school
  • Changes in education over the past 5 years and predictions for the future

The Economic Outlook Conference is planned annually by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce with the intention to provide economic updates and shareable, valuable information for business leaders. The event also offers a business expo that provides sponsors and attendees the opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversations.

For more information contact Margo McZeal, Director of Government Affairs at or Chazzette Adams, Director of Marketing & Communications at

Source: The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce