The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) recently announced Gov. Gary R. Herbert will host the 2020 Utah Economic & Energy Summit on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, at The Grand America Hotel.
The Summit is presented by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Governor’s Office of Energy Development, World Trade Center Utah, and Salt Lake Chamber.
“Even though this year has been challenging, Utah’s economy continues to do well,” said Gov. Herbert. “We want businesses to continue to grow and find ways to succeed, even during the pandemic. The Summit is a way they can do this, and it can be a great tool for businesses to collaborate, connect and learn from each other.”
The Utah Economic & Energy Summit is the state’s premier event for community leaders, executives and decision-makers. The Summit provides an ideal venue to gather tools for professional and personal success. It delivers exclusive insights on Utah’s accomplishments. It provides insights on how professionals can get involved and contribute to one of the nation’s most resource-rich states and best-performing economies.
Attendance this year is limited to about 40% of capacity. Around 600 participants will join in-person, physically distanced in two separate ballrooms, and many hundreds of participants will watch virtually. Both in-person and online participants will have access to all main stage and breakout session content on the Summit website through the end of the year.
The Summit will follow the criteria outlined by the state’s COVID-19 Transmission Index for organized events, requiring the completion of a health questionnaire and taking temperatures before entering the Summit, and requiring face masks and physical distancing at the event.
“For the first time, we will be combining the economic development and energy summits into one, and we couldn’t be more excited for this ‘super-summit’ in-person and virtual event,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “Our state continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest job creation rates in the nation, and the Summit provides great opportunities to experience what makes Utah great. We also want to thank The Grand America Hotel for adhering to the state’s COVID-19 Transmission Index guidelines, and all of the safety measures they’ve put in place to make this organized event possible.”
Among the many highlights of the Summit will be a morning presentation from Karen Duffin, a host of National Public Radio’s Planet Money, Steven Winberg, U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary, and a Utah economic report delivered by Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Additionally, there will be a discussion of global trends led by Miles Hansen, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah, a moderated discussion with Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, and keynotes by Scott Miller, executive vice president of thought leadership at FranklinCovey.
“It’s impossible to talk about Utah’s economy without placing the discussion in the global context in which Utah companies are competing and winning every day,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “Utah has reported the highest export growth rate over the past two years, and international sales add $5 billion in additional revenue for Utah small businesses. Utah’s path to economic growth and prosperity runs directly through global markets; that’s why the Summit has such a strong emphasis on international issues and opportunities.”
The afternoon session will consist of presentations of several awards to individuals and businesses that made significant contributions to Utah’s economy in 2020, and remarks from Gov. Herbert, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, and Joel Peterson, founder of Peterson Partners. New this year, the Summit, in partnership with Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah, will include a Startup Pitch competition. The Startup Pitch sponsored by Clarke Capital Partners is a speed pitch challenge where entrepreneurs pitch a panel of judges their best ideas. After having a qualification round hosted virtually by Lassonde, three final contestants were selected to present their ideas at the Oct. 26 Summit to a panel of experts and audience members to receive cash prizes totaling $10,000.
“Utah’s history is one of overcoming great uncertainties and being strengthened in the process,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “And this Summit is one way we can continue that legacy. Every year we bring together some of the state’s best and brightest to focus on our mutual objectives, counsel with each other, and share information. If there ever were a year to attend the Summit, this would be it.”
Summit attendees can attend breakout sessions with Utah’s top leaders and decision-makers from the business, government, energy and academic communities. Individual presenters and panelists will share expertise on Utah’s current business and energy climate and explore critical topics, including generational projects anchoring Utah’s growth, energy technology and innovation outlook, making Utah a hub for global investment and partnerships, and more topics related to advancing the state’s economic and energy agenda.
“We’re grateful for the time and effort of all those involved to make this Summit happen at such a unique and challenging time,” said Rob Simmons, OED’s executive director. “Energy is essential to Utah’s continued economic success, and we’re excited to hear more about energy advancements being made in our state and across the country from the Summit presenters.”
Virtual tickets to the all-day, Oct. 26, 2020, Utah Economic & Energy Summit can still be purchased online. All in-person tickets are sold-out.