ESU Partners with Community for 5th Annual Economic Outlook Summit

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on August 29, 2017, No Comments

The fifth annual East Stroudsburg University Economic Outlook Summit is being held on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Mattioli Recreation Center on the ESU campus. The theme for the 2017 Economic Summit is Monroe 2030 – Action Now!

The Economic Outlook Summit features a variety of speakers including regional business owners, entrepreneurs, national experts and elected officials in a forum that engages the audience in discussion and problem-solving. At the 2017 Summit, keynote addresses from Senator Mario Scavello, 40th District, and Senator John Blake, 22nd District, outline the top three critical issues facing Monroe County today.

In addition, attendees will be able to participate in a first for the Summit – a real-time “Let Your Voice Be Heard” session. Individual “clicker” devices will allow participants to rate their priorities on more than a dozen topics including property taxes, school funding, and transportation expansion. Responses will be instantly tabulated and displayed, providing an interactive format for engaging discussions about the issues facing Monroe County.

Other sessions include updates on the Monroe 2030 Action Team Work Plan, results from the Monroe County Focus Survey, and the 2017 Monroe County Economic Scorecard which compares Monroe County to its neighboring counties: Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton, Wayne and Pike in the following economic indicators: earnings, business climate, employment, healthcare, education and housing. The Summit also features panel discussions focusing on community collaboration, workforce development and small business and entrepreneurship.

Summit sponsors include: Sanofi Pasteur, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Connoisseur Media, Met-Ed, St. Luke’s Monroe Campus, Michael Baxter & Associates, Monroe County Bar Association, Aquatopia, Camelback Resort, Pennsylvania CareerLink, Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce, and the Pocono Mountains Keystone Innovation Zone. An informational video from the 2016 Economic Outlook Summit is available at

The Summit is open to the general public for $40 per person and includes breakfast and lunch buffets. The cost for a table of eight is $300. Seating for the summit is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for the 2017 Economic Outlook Summit, contact the office of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at 570-422-7920 or register online at


7:30 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:00 a.m. Welcome and Call to Action

  • Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., President, East Stroudsburg University

8:30 a.m. Monroe 2030 Work Plan Version 1.0 Status Report

Facilitator: Gary Olson, President and CEO, ESSA Bank & Trust

  • Re-Energizing our Economy Work Plan: Community Collaboration, Workforce Development, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Task Forces

9:00 a.m. Monroe County Economic Highlights

  • Monroe County Commissioners – John Christy
  • Township Economic Development Strategies

Facilitator: Christine Meinhart-Fritz, Director, Monroe County Planning Commission

Chestnuthill: Chuck Gould, Chair; Dave Albright, Manager

Middle Smithfield: Annette Atkinson, Chair; Michael Dwyer, Vice Chair

Stroud: Edward Cramer, Supervisor

Tobyhanna: Anne Lamberton, Chair; John Jablowski, Manager

10:00 a.m. Networking Break

10:15 a.m.  Let Your Voice be Heard: An interactive real-time opportunity to participate in the Call to Action

Facilitator: Matthew Connell, Ph.D., Dean, Northampton Community College – Monroe

  • Property Taxes and School Funding
  • Interstate 80 Expansion
  • Infrastructure Planning and Funding
  • PennDOT Opportunities and Challenges
  • Passenger Rail Service – Now or Never
  • Hotel Tax Usage and Allocation
  • Water Park Impact
  • Open Space – Nature Space
  • Medical Marijuana Impact
  • Workforce Development and Employability
  • Home Rule – a possible future
  • Sewage Discharge
  • Water Quality Constraints and Solutions
  • Broadband Initiatives

11:00 a.m.  Legislative Perspective – Concerns for Monroe County

Facilitator: Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., President, East Stroudsburg University Senator John Blake and Senator Mario Scavello discuss their top three legislative issues.

  • The critical need for funding and infrastructure that supports current and future economic development opportunities in Monroe County
  • Senators’ Topics of Choice

Noon Working Lunch and Keynote Speaker

  • Sanofi Pasteur – Ellyn Schindler, Director, North America Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement
  • Todd Behr, Business and Economic Research Group, East Stroudsburg University
    2017 Economic Scorecard
  • John Augustine, President/CEO, Penn’s Northeast
    Economic Influencers: Ecommerce & The Future of Technology

1:25 p.m. Closing Remarks

  • Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., President, East Stroudsburg University