Business and investors all over the country are ramping up preparations for the future as the latest economic news signals hope for a recovery. Our panel of experts have been watching the economy and looking at ways companies can best position themselves when the recession ends. Frequent guest John Connaughton also joins the panel to talk about his most recent economic forecast for Charlotte.
John Connaughton – Professor of Economics, UNC Charlotte
Buck Lawrimore – President, Lawrimore Inc. Consultant Firm
David Swenson – VP, Economic Development Services, Charlotte Regional Partnership
We’ll meet with top officials from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to talk about the year in transit and what lies ahead for 2010. We’ll talk about the announcement of a new CEO, who will join the organization in the new year. We’ll also talk about how the economy has affected parts of the organization’s services and look ahead to projects that are underway that will begin construction in 2010. And we’ll talk about the recent news that Charlotte has seen the largest increase nationwide in transit use over the last two years.
John Muth – Interim CEO and Deputy Director for Development at CATS
Dee Pereira – Administration Manager at CATS
The movie guys are back, just in time for the holiday film season. The year’s end brings the dual entertainment offerings of holiday themed comedy and romance films as well as serious Oscar contenders and 2009 is no different. Jim Carrey voices a new animated Scrooge, an epic fantasy called Avatar by Titanic Director James Cameron is on the way, the disaster saga 2012, and a sequel to the hugely popular Twilight serious are in theatres now and there is Oscar buzz for a new Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon film. We’ll hear about those films and many more.
Matt Brunson – Film Critic and Arts and Entertainment Editor, Creative Loafing
Sean O’Connell – Film Critic and Arts and Entertainment Editor, Charlotte Weekly
We’ll visit Charlotte as it was in the 1930’s. We’ll talk with Dr. Tom Hanchett from the Levine Museum to share the comparisons from the Great Depression here in Charlotte to the economic downturn we’ve experienced in the last year. We’ll talk about what happened, about the recovery back then, and how city leaders can learn from what leaders did back then to get Charlotte back on track. We’ll also hear how Depression-era Charlotteans celebrated the holidays.
Dr. Tom Hanchett – Staff historian at Levine Museum at the New South
Thomas Cole – Librarian, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Library
- Resource | The Charlotte Mecklenburg Story
The Creative Loafing’s John Grooms joins us to talk about the state of alternative media in Charlotte and its relationship to the traditional media. We’ll also talk about his career, including his many years at Creative Loafing, but also some surprising items on his resume. Grooms has put together a collection of his award-winning essays, news features and humor pieces, called Deliver Us From Weasels.
John Grooms – Columnist and former Editor of Creative Loafing in Charlotte. Author of Deliver Us From Weasels
- Creative Loafing’s website
- Website for Deliver Us From Weasels
- Event | Reading Dec. 11th, 6:30p at Park Road Books
- Event | Book Launch Party Dec. 20th at The Evening Muse
- Event | Signing Jan. 16th, 1pm at Joseph Beth Booksellers
Thirty-three years ago, an organization emerged that sought to eliminate poverty and homelessness around the world. Today, Habitat for Humanity has provided homes for more than 1.5 million people worldwide. We’ll meet the CEO of Habitat, Jonathan Reckford, who has led the organization through disasters like Katrina and the aftermath of a major tsunami in Asia. We’ll talk about Reckford’s unusual path to CEO and how Habitat is continuing its mission in a worldwide economic downturn.
Jonathan Reckford – CEO of Habitat for Humanity International
We’ll talk with journalist, educator and author Steve Roberts. You may know Steve as a frequent guest host of The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, but Steve Roberts is also a teacher, a columnist (with his wife, Cokie), and has recently published his third book. We’ll talk to Steve about his new book From Every End of This Earth, the unique stories of thirteen immigrant families in the United States.
Steven V. Roberts – Journalist, author and Guest Host of “The Diane Rehm Show”