Leaders to outline ’the way forward’

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Leaders to outline ’the way forward’Each February our military, education, business and political leaders come together in a unified effort to examine and report on the economic pulse of the community.

At tomorrow’s Economic Out-look Conference, held in the Kerr McGee Center and sponsored by the Ridgecrest Chamber of Com-merce, many of those addresses will be tied together under the common theme of “Entrepreneurship: The Way Forward.”

“Each year we try to make the conference a little bit better,” said Nathan Ahle, chamber CEO.

The chamber conducts surveys after the conference to find out which speakers the audience found most interesting, engaging and relevant.

“We get great support from our community. Eventually we would like to broaden this to a regional event.

“When we were at the State of the County dinner in Bakersfield, we felt Ridgecrest was not really on their radar — taking a more regional approach could help ensure that East Kern does not get forgotten.”

The conference will also feature the Business Expo, which gives local vendors an opportunity to promote their products and services to the community.

Doors open at 7 a.m. for socializing and an opportunity to network with participants in the Expo.

Chamber President Steven Boster will welcome guests at 8 a.m.

Speakers in the first session include Mayor Dan Clark, local realtor Clint Freeman, China Lake Alliance Executive Director Eileen Shibley, Ridgecrest Entrepreneurs Club Director Dr. Russell Rudin, Cerro Coso Community College President Jill Board and Sierra Sands Unified School District Supervisor Joanna Rummer.

After a short break, the program resumes with messages from Ahle, Kern County 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Execu-tive Director Scott O’Neil, NAWCWD Commander Rear Adm. Paul Sohl and Naval Air Weapons Station Commanding Officer Capt. Dennis Lazar.

Debbie Allen, a renowned entrepreneur and motivational speaker, will give the keynote address.

The program is scheduled to conclude at 1 p.m., with chamber president-elect Solomon Rajarat-nam giving the closing remarks.

Dr. Larry Cosner will serve as master of ceremonies.

For tickets or additional information, call the chamber at 760-375-8331.

Story First Published: 2013-02-20