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26 June, 2019 | (01 hr)

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A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the divergence in economic performance among US regions.

For America’s Heartland (which consists of the four Central Census regions), beliefs that the region is dominated by “old” industries and lacks skilled workers has been used to explain why it has lagged other parts of the US in economic and productivity growth. In reality, this is a highly diverse region with significant economic vitality.

Join our expert panel as they explore:

  • How to understand America’s Heartland as an “economic entity”
  • The region's challenges and ways to deal with them
  • The Heartland’s future: converging to, or diverging from, the coastal regions?

Who Should Attend: Those with an interest in the economic, business, and policy direction of the US and Global economy


Jeanine Bassett

Jeanine Bassett
Vice President, Global Consumer Insights
General Mills

Jeanine Bassett is the Vice President of Global Consumer Insights for General Mills. Since joining General Mills in 1994, she has worked across a broad spectrum of businesses. After a number of early rotations through the Gold Medal, Betty Crocker, and Yoplait divisions, she joined the Insight Co...Full Bio

Ross DeVol

Ross DeVol
President & CEO
Heartland Forward, an Institute for Economic Renewal

Ross DeVol is President and CEO, Heartland Forward and a Fellow, Walton Family Foundation. Heartland Forward’s goal is to promote regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster job creation, wage gains and economic growth for the American Heartland. Heartland Forward will pu...Full Bio

Steve Odland

Steve Odland
President and CEO
The Conference Board, Inc.

Mr. Odland is the President & CEO of The Conference Board, Inc., the most widely cited private source of business intelligence. He brings to The Conference Board an extensive corporate background. He formerly served as Chairman & CEO of Office Depot, Inc. from 2005-2010; Chairman, Pr...Full Bio

Thomas Walstrum, Ph.D.

Thomas Walstrum, Ph.D.
Business Economist
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Thomas Walstrum is a business economist in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. His chief responsibilities include the Seventh District's contribution to the Beige Book, the release for the Chicago Fed's Survey of Business Conditions and brie...Full Bio

Bart van Ark

Bart van Ark (Moderator)
Executive Vice President & Global Chief Economist; Program Director, CFO: Fortune 250 Council
The Conference Board

Bart van Ark is executive vice president and global chief economist of The Conference Board, a global business research think tank headquartered in New York...Full Bio

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