Ohio Wesleyan University to Hold Economic Outlook Conference

Experts to Examine Regional, National, International Economies at Nov. 7 Event

(from left) Bill LaFayette, Ian Sheldon, and Guhan Venkatu.

DELAWARE, OH – Boom or bust? Or both? Three economics experts will share their predictions for the upcoming year for the local, national, and international economies during Ohio Wesleyan University’s annual Economic Outlook Conference.

This year’s conference will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. The event is free and open to the public. It also will be available via a live webstream at StreamOWU.

Participating on this year’s panel are Bill LaFayette, Ph.D., founder of Columbus, Ohio-based Regionomics LLC; Ian Sheldon, Ph.D., professor of agricultural, environmental, and development economics at The Ohio State University; and Guhan Venkatu, an economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

The 2011 Economic Outlook Conference is co-sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Economics and its Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship. During the conference, each expert will speak for 15 minutes and then respond to questions and comments from the audience. Goran Skosples, Ph.D., OWU assistant professor of economics, will serve as moderator.

About the panelists:

  • Bill LaFayette is the founder of Regionomics, a consulting business that provides economic and workforce analysis and planning services to help clients understand and react to regional and community economic and demographic trends. Previously, LaFayette spent 12 years as vice president of economic analysis for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and four years with Rickenbacker Port Authority. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting and an M.B.A. in investment management, both from Wright State University. He earned his doctorate in real estate economics from The Ohio State University.
  • Ian Sheldon, Ph.D., is the Andersons Professor of International Trade in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Sheldon has published widely in the fields of economics and agricultural economics with a focus on trade and policy. He previously served as an editor of the “American Journal of Agricultural Economics” and currently serves as featured articles editor of “Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.” Sheldon earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, where he worked as a lecturer before joining the Ohio State faculty.
  • Guhan Venkatu is an economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His recent research has focused on the housing and mortgage markets and the regional economy of the Fourth Federal Reserve District, which includes Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia. He previously worked as a business analyst for Claremont Technology Group. He is a member of the Ohio Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland chapter of the National Association for Business Economics. Venkatu earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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