2018 Tri-Cities Regional Economic Outlook


Breakfast Keynotes:

PNNL Outlook: Steve Ashby

Hanford Outlook: Brian Vance

Regional Economy – Ajsa Suljic


Outlook  Session 1:

Track 1: Building the Tri-Cities

Track 2: Growing the Agriculture Indsutry

Outlook Session 2:

Track 1: Importance of Tourism to the Tri-Cities Economy

Track 2: Changing Face of Retail

Outlook Session 3

Track 1: Conversations About Issues Impacting the Tri-Cities

Track 2: Workforce Development

Keynote Luncheon: Coming Soon

The 19th Annual Tri-Cities Regional Economic Outlook on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will feature local & national leaders presenting on key economic issues facing the region. Join us for THE event of 2018! Connect with industry influencers and engage decision makers!

Online Event Registration

Download Event Registration Form

Sponsorship Opportunities

Why Attend:

  • Network with industry influencers, decision makers and other professionals!
  • Learn about key  indicators that will impact your business and career!
  • Find Opportunities for you and your business to succeed in 2018!

Cost to Attend:

All Day Attendees:
Member: $75.00 | Non-Member: $85.00 | Group Rate (8): $540.00

Lunch Only Attendees:
Member: $25.00 | Non-Member: $35.00 | Group Rate (8): $180.00


Event Information and Agenda

7:00a     Registration and Networking

7:30a     Breakfast and Opening Keynote Presentation
This year’s Keynote Breakfast will feature the PNNL, DOE and the Regional Economic Outlooks.

8:50a     Refreshment & Networking Break (Sponsored by: MSA / Room: Oak/Pine)

9:00a     Outlook Session 1
Track 1: Building the Tri-Cities (Room: Silver / Sponsored by: AECOM)

  • Residential Market: Vicki Monteagudo, Broker, Century C21
  • Residential Construction: Jeff Losey, Executive Director, HBATC
  • Commercial Development: Emily Estes-Cross, Economic Development Manager, City of Kennewick; Dave Zabell, City Manager, City of Pasco; and Zach Ratkai, Economic Development Manager, City of Richland
  • Industrial Development: Carl Adrian, President/CEO, TRIDEC

Track 2: Growing the Agriculture Industry (Room: Bronze / Sponsored by: Battelle)

  • Agriculture Policy: Madi Clark, Agriculture Policy Research Director, Washington Policy Center
  • Export Industry: Rianne Perry, International Marketing Program Director, Washington State Department of Ariculture
  • Wine Industry: Deborah Barnard, Co-Owner, Barnard Griffin Winery
  • Grower Perspective: Todd Jones, President, AgriNorthwest

9:50a   Refreshment & Networking Break (Sponsored by: MSA / Room: Oak/Pine)

10:00a    Outlook Session 2
Track 1: Food, Wine Science Oh My! Importance of Tourism to the Tri-Cities Economy (Room: Silver / Sponsored by: AECOM)

  • Regional Tourism: Kris Watkins, President/CEO, Visit Tri-Cities
  • Food Tourism: Diahann Howard, Director of Economic Development & Government Affairs, Port of Benton
  • Wine Tourism: Shae Frichette, Owner, Frichette Winery
  • STEAM Tourism: Colleen French, Program Manager, Manhattan Project National Historical Park, U.S. DOE and Amber Strunk, Education and Outreach Coordinator, LIGO Hanford Observatory

Track 2: Changing Face of Retail (Room: Bronze / Sponsored by: Battelle)

  • Retail Outlook: Barbara Johnson, Mall Manager, Simon Columbia Center
  • Revitalizing Downtowns: Dan Smith, Executive Director, Historic Downtown Kennewick; Luke Hallowell, Director, Downtown Pasco Development Authority; and Miles Thomas, Redevelopment Project Manager, City of Richland

10:50a    Refreshment & Networking Break (Sponsored by: MSA / Room: Oak/Pine)

11:00a    Outlook Session 3
Track 1: Conversation About the Issues Impacting the Tri-Cities Community (Room: Silver / Sponsored by: AECOM)

  • Rivershore Reconveyance: Brad Fisher, Branch Director, RBC Wealth Management; and Doc Hastings, Former U.S. Congressman
  • Air Service: Buck Taft, Airport Director, Port of Pasco
  • Vista Field: Tom Moak, Board of Commissioners President, Port of Kennewick
  • Healthcare: Lane Savitch, Chief Operating Officer, Kadlec

Track 2: Conversation About Workforce Development: A Roundtable with Area Employers and Higher Education (Room: Bronze / Sponsored by: Battelle)

  • PNNL: Gary Worrell, Recruiting Manager
  • Kadlec: Sara Haley-Jaquish, Senior Recruiter
  • Lamb Weston: Chad Zimmerman, Director of Human Resources
  • MSA: Todd Beyers, VP of Human Resources
  • Lampson International: Kate Lampson, Director of PR and Marketing
  • i3 Global: Kris Lapp, President
  • WSU Tri-Cities: John Mancinelli, Chief of Staff and Operations
  • Columbia Basin College: Rebekah Woods, President

12:00p   Keynote Luncheon

Strider L. Elass, Economist, First Trust Adivsors L.P.


Strider Elass is an Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., a financial services firm based in Wheaton, Illinois. At First Trust, Mr. Elass is responsible for analyzing economic indicators, writing economic commentaries and producing pieces on the First Trust Economics Blog.

Mr. Elass is part of the First Trust economics team that Bloomberg has consecutively ranked as one of the top forecasters of the U.S. economy over the past several years. This First Trust economics team has also won Market Watch’s “Forecaster of the Month” Award several times over the past few years.

Out of a panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, the First Trust economics team was awarded the “Crystal Ball Award” by Zillow® in partnership with Pulsenomics in 2012, 2013, and again most recently in 2014 for accurate home price predictions.

Mr. Elass was also instrumental in researching for the book It’s Not As Bad As You Think, published in 2009 by First Trust Chief Economist Brian Wesbury.
Beyond his research responsibilities, Mr. Elass speaks regularly at broker and retail events around the country and abroad.

Mr. Elass received a B.A. in Business and Economics from Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Illinois and is currently a candidate in the CFA Program.


We couldn’t create this event if it wasn’t for the generous support of our sponsors.  Thank you to Kadlec (Presenting Sponsor), RBC Wealth Management (Speaker Sponsor), AECOM (Breakout Session Room Sponsor), Battelle (Breakout Session Room Sponsor), MSA (Refreshment & Networking Break Sponsor),  Fluor (Centerpiece) and Bechtel (Bronze Sponsor) for your sponsorship!  Thank you for investing in the TRIDEC and in the Economic Outlook.