Exploring the influences on our region's economy.
National Bank of Commerce, together with leading area educational institutions and business frontrunners, created and continues to sponsor the Regional Economic Indicators Forum (REIF); a comprehensive research initiative to drive growth, prosperity and collaboration across our region.
Next Forum: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 7-9:30 am (Program starts at 8)
DECC: Harbor Side Ballroom
Keynote Speaker: Neel Kashkari
Neel Kashkari took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on January 1, 2016. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington. In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the bank, including supervision and regulation, and payments services. He is on the Board of the Economic Club of Minnesota and the Twin Cities PBS (TPT) President’s Council.
Kashkari began his career as an aerospace engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he developed technology for NASA space science missions. Following graduate school, he joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he helped technology companies raise capital and pursue strategic transactions.
From 2006 to 2009, Kashkari served in several senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2008, he was confirmed as assistant secretary of the Treasury. In this role, he oversaw the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) during the financial crisis. Kashkari received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor for distinguished service.
Following his tenure in Washington, Kashkari returned to California in 2009 and joined PIMCO as managing director and member of the executive office. He left the firm in 2013 to explore returning to public service.
In January 2014, Kashkari was a gubernatorial candidate in the state of California, running on a platform focused on economic opportunity.
Kashkari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The goals of the REIF are to:
- Support business owners in their business decisions by gathering key local economic indicators and trend information
- Develop specific economic indicators for this region that are not readily available to decision makers
- Develop tools to assess our progress in economic growth, prepare baseline measures that will allow comparison with other regions and measure future progress of the region
- Track the region’s participation in the “new economy” and development in the high-tech arena
- Collect and monitor data related to county-level economic performance, business and consumer confidence and regional stock performance
- Bring professionals together with business owners for discussion about the local economy and related critical issues in a collaborative, non-political environment
- Create a business recruitment and retention tool by publishing the information
The REIF Region is a 15-county area that covers Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. The eight counties of Minnesota include the Arrowhead Region — Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties — along with Pine County. The seven counties of Wisconsin include Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer and Washburn.
The REIF is governed by a steering and advisory committee comprised of representative(s) from:
Meet the Fall 2017 Student Presenters.
- National Bank of Commerce
- College of St. Scholastica
- Small Business Development Center of Minnesota
- Small Business Development Center of Wisconsin
- University of Minnesota, Duluth
- University of Wisconsin, Superior
Resources such as APEX (Area Partnership for Economic Expansion), Business North and the Development Association of Superior-Douglas County are utilized as needed.
Meet the Regional Economics Faculty Research Staff.