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Industry leaders make economic forecast
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LARGO – The Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce will present Focus on 2013: A Tampa Bay Economic Forecast on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, 1160 Gulf Blvd. in Clearwater.

This annual signature event features a panel of business experts who will share predictions and provide insight on significant global, national and regional issues destined to impact the Tampa Bay economy.

This year’s panelists of industry leaders and their topics include:

• Financial Industry Forecast, presented by Richard F. Moody, senior vice president and chief economist of Regions Financial Corporation. Moody serves as the principal spokesperson on all economic issues for Regions. He has an extensive background in economic analysis and forecasting on the regional, national and international levels. He joined Regions in 2010 to establish and manage the Applied Market Research Group, which is responsible for identifying and monitoring economic, market, and industry specific risks to Regions’ real estate and commercial loan portfolios. He was named as Regions’ Chief Economist in July 2012.

Political Forecast, presented by Frank Torres, political analyst featured in the Boston Herald, CBS News and the Orlando Sentinel. Torres has worked as an on-air analyst for FOX 35 in Orlando, and more recently Central Florida News 13 for the 2012 election cycle. He is an eight-year U.S. Army veteran, whose service as a human resource specialist took him to Korea, Europe and the Middle East. It provided him the opportunity to study at the University of Maryland, before returning home to Central Florida. He is also the owner of Frank Torres Strategies, an Internet reputation management firm.

• Energy Forecast, presented by J. Jason Cutliffe, Duke Energy Operations Center manager, region general manager and director of asset management. Prior to joining Progress Energy in 2001, Cutliffe represented Dominion-Virginia Power where he held a variety of engineering, operational, and leadership positions in distribution and transmission. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineer from the University of Maine, an Master of Business Administration from University of Richmond and is a registered professional engineer.

• National/International Economic Forecast, presented by Sean Snaith, Ph.D., director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness and a nationally recognized economist in the field of business and economic forecasting. An award-winning forecaster, researcher and professor, he has served as a consultant for governments and multi-national corporations such as Compaq, Dell and IBM. This is his second consecutive appearance at Focus.

Cost is $35 for open seating, which includes breakfast, or reserved tables of eight for $260. Tickets are available at the chamber office, 151 Third St. NW. in Largo. For more information, call 584-2321.
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