North Carolina Bankers Association And North Carolina Chamber Host 2015 Economic Forecast Forum

For More Information Contact:
Kathleen Donnelly
Director of Communications
N.C. Bankers Association
919-781-7979 (office)
919-605-5501 (cell)

RALEIGH – The state’s most influential business leaders will come together for 2015 economic forecasting on Monday, Jan. 5 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Imperial in Research Triangle Park. The 13th annual Economic Forecast Forum, hosted by the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber, will provide essential information regarding the economic fronts for our state, our region and our nation in the coming year. 

The event will bring together leaders from business, government, education and nonprofits, and will feature keynote addresses from Brad Wilson, president & CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), and Christopher Franklin, EVP & COO of regulated operations with Aqua America. Mark Vitner, managing partner and senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities, will provide his economic outlook for the New Year.

“Aqua is proud to be part of the economic engine that provides family-sustaining jobs to people who live and work throughout North Carolina,” said Aqua’s Franklin. “We continue to make substantial investments to rehabilitate the water and wastewater infrastructure that delivers critical and life-sustaining services to more than 250,000 people statewide. The economic forecast gives employers insights and information that can help North Carolina continue to grow and thrive.” 

“The Economic Forecast Forum gives the state’s leaders a head start on a successful year,” said BCBSNC’s Wilson. “The 2015 Forum will be an important platform for discussing growth prospects for the year as well as the challenges our economy faces in North Carolina.”

In addition to the Forum which kicks off at noon, there will also be a special session at 10:30 a.m. focusing on the economic impact of technology in North Carolina. As the state’s workforce has  experienced immense change over the past generation, evolving from an economy based on tobacco, textiles and furniture to a leader in finance, food processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and technology, it is critical to evaluate North Carolina’s economic past, present and future. From job creation to increasing business efficiencies and productivity, technology plays a vital role in the future of the state’s workforce. A panel, featuring leaders in various industries throughout the state, will address a variety of topics including job creation and innovative technology. Panelists will include Scott Ralls, president of the N.C. Community College System; John Hardin, executive director, Office of Science, Technology & Innovation (OSTI) at the North Carolina Department of Commerce; and Steve Yager, vice president, Americas region technical services at Cisco Systems. 

Aqua and BCBSNC will serve as the Forum’s premier sponsors and Business North Carolina and Time Warner Cable News will co-sponsor this year’s event. Gold sponsors include Bank of America, Cisco, Duke Energy, First Citizens Bank, K&L Gates and S&A Communications. Additionally, BB&T, ElectriCities of North Carolina, Fifth Third Bank, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, Piedmont Natural Gas, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC and Yadkin Bank will serve as silver sponsors for the 2015 Economic Forecast Forum. 

The Forum will fill quickly.  Registration information can be found at  For more information about the Economic Forecast Forum, contact Christy Santacana at the NCBA at or 1-800-662-7044.