2016 Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Conference

January 2016
December 20, 2015
Success Summit: Empowering Young Ladies
December 31, 2015

Research. Industry. Jobs. Visitors. Housing. Those who want a glimpse of the economic forecast for 2016 may join the B/CS Chamber of Commerce when it gathers local and national experts at the annual Economic Outlook Conference in January. Through speakers and panels, perspectives of how the past and present are changing local business landscapes will be discussed as the Brazos Valley looks to the future. The conference will be held Jan. 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the College Station Hilton. Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of Texas Development Corporation, will present the keynote address during lunch.

The Economic Outlook Conference is open to the public. Advance registration is $85 per person for B/CS Chamber members; tickets are $100 per person for non-members. Reserved tables of eight are available for $750. Seating is limited. To reserve space, visit bcschamber.org, call (979) 260-5200, or email kim@bcschamber.org.


Tracye McDaniel High Resolution HeadshotTracye McDaniel
President and CEO
Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne™

Texas commands top spots on most of the credible “best state” lists including Forbes’ Best State for Economic Climate & Future Job Growth; 13 years as the top exporter state in the U.S.; and Chief Executive magazine’s 2015 Best State for Business.

Those rankings point to why Texas is not just a national leader, but is positioned to be a world leader, according to Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

“Texas is the 12th largest economy in the world, a center of excellence throughout the world. That’s the message I look at as we move into 2016,” says McDaniel.“One of Texas’ truest advantages is in job creation. It all starts at the local level: we are a bastion of small- to mid-size companies that are growing.” Economic development can help local businesses attain a regional footprint through collaboration to expand each small business’ network. That leads to supply chain opportunities – and growth. “Like in the Brazos Valley – it’s very important to have collaboration, including civic and academic collaboration,” says McDaniel. “Businesses are attracted to high energy and access to things they want.

“‘Texas is wide open for business’ is more than just a branding message; it’s in our DNA and spirit,” says McDaniel.

“We want you to grow and do well, and we want you to have independence to grow.

Tracye McDaniel currently serves as president and CEO of Texas Economic Development Corporation, an independently funded and operated 501©(3) nonprofit organization. The TEDC mission is dedicated to economic development, business recruitment, and job creation in the State of Texas and operates the TexasOne™ Program, which coordinates efforts with the Office of the Governor for strategic marketing. McDaniel has more than 30 years of state and regional level experience as a widely recognized strategist in all facets of economic development. Formerly the President and CEO of Choose New Jersey, Inc., McDaniel led award-winning global promotion, lead generation and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Garden State. In 2007, McDaniel served as executive vice president and COO of the Greater Houston Partnership and as executive director for the Office of the Governor Economic Development and Tourism Division prior to that. She holds leadership positions in numerous professional and industry organizations and was named by NJBIZ among New Jersey’s 2014 Best 50 Women in Business, as well as the 100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Business. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, McDaniel is also a Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development (RSD) Fellow, a program of American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).


jim_gaines_headshotDr. James Gaines
Chief Economist
Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

Making his seventh appearance at the annual Economic Outlook Conference, Jim Gaines is well-known for providing a torrent of statistics to back up the real estate economist’s straight talk about trends in local, state, and national market growth. Gaines says the long view holds both caution and optimism for 2016.

Everything from the shale oil rig count and oil’s price per barrel to the “mental attitude” of buyers and investors will play a role in the 2016 market outlook, says Gaines. Locally, the biggest factor will always be Texas A&M University. University spending, investment, building and growth are all factors that present a moving target based on budget funds allocated by the Texas Legislature, explains Gaines, which circles right back to oil prices and production.

“[Oil revenue] impact on the university is impacted by state revenues,” says Gaines. “State revenues affect the Permanent University Fund, then it’s an every two-year process. It may take one to three years; we may not have felt the impact of lower [oil] prices yet.”

Texas’ economic forecast, based on high tech and business services that are fueling job growth, is expected to stay relatively strong. Population expansion continues to fuel growth.

Locally, the housing market hasn’t slowed. “Low inventory has kept pace of demand high,” says Gaines. “Some of the demand is fueled by retirement, so job growth is not as critical. The price per square foot is also up 6 percent in 2015 over 2014. Median [home] price is up.”

While Gaines does expect the local housing market to slow down in the first quarter of 2016, the coming year will depend on spending by the university and people moving into the area. “We would be wise to pay close attention to all the ways growth issues are becoming more pressing by causing greater strain on state and local infrastructure and resources,” says Gaines.

Dr. James Gaines is the chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.


MAYO needs croppingHenry Mayo
Noted B/CS Historian

A lifelong resident of College Station, Henry Mayo studied civil engineering at Texas A&M University and has been vice president of the surveying and engineering company Joe Orr, Inc. for 22 years. An expert on local history, Mayo gives presentations to area groups and authors a local history e-newsletter. Mayo is chair of the Brazos County Historical Commission and active in numerous local, state, and national civic organizations.


Todd-1Todd E. McDaniel
President and CEO
The Research Valley Partnership, Inc.

Todd E. McDaniel has served as President/CEO of the Research Valley Partnership, Inc. since November 2005. Additionally, Todd served as Executive Director of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund’s, Texas Triangle Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization. Under his guidance and with the strong support of community-university partners, the RVP has transformed from traditional economic development strategies to what he calls innovation economic development. In September 2014, The RVP launched the Research Valley Innovation Center, a science and technology incubator/accelerator with Todd serving as interim President and CEO.During Todd’s tenure as President and CEO at the RVP, the organization has won multiple awards and recognitions.

McDaniel received a Bachelor and Master of Arts from Baylor University, as well as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.


2016 B/CS Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Conference
January 27
Hilton College Station

Conference Schedule

7:30 a.m. | Registration and coffee

8 a.m. | Welcome
Title Sponsor WELLS FARGO
Royce Hickman, President/CEO,
B/CS Chamber of Commerce

8:15 a.m. | Session I
It Didn’t Just Happen…Snapshots of Our Growth
Henry Mayo, noted local historian

Serving Our Growing Community: We Are the Research Valley
Todd McDaniel, President/CEO Research Valley Partnership

8:45 a.m. | Break

9 a.m. | Session II
Sponsored by BTU
Where We Are: Moderated Q&A
A panel discussion among representatives from the City of Bryan, City of College Station, Bryan College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Texas A&M University

10:15 a.m. | Break
Sponsored by BBVA COMPASS

10:30 a.m. | Session III
Sponsored by Admiral Catering
Visioning: What’s Over the Horizon?
Dr. Jim Gaines, Chief Economist, The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

11:45 a.m. | Break

12 noon | Lunch
Sponsored by C&J BAR-B-QUE

12:15 p.m. | Keynote Address
Title Sponsor WELLS FARGO
Texas: Positioning the 12th Largest Economy in the World
Tracye McDaniel, President/CEO, Texas Economic Development Corporation

1:15 p.m. | Close of Conference


Hospitality Sponsor City Of College Station

Notepad & E-Notebook Sponsors: American Momentum Bank, ATMOS Energy, Copy Corner, CR Systems, Kyle Office Products

Card Holder Sponsor: The Research Valley Partnership

Pencils Courtesy of Brenham National Bank

Speaker Gifts Courtesy of Bryan College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau

A/V Sponsor: Avinext

Media Sponsors: The B/CS Eagle,
Bryan Broadcasting
The Insite Group: Insite Printing & Graphic Services & Insite Magazine