Survey Says: Find out March 31

A Williamson Chamber survey shows that a majority of respondents would support raising taxes to pay for transportation improvements that might include mass transit.

Almost 60% of survey respondents answered affirmatively to this question, which was one of several asked to create an economic snapshot based on local business input in the lead-up to the half-day Outlook Williamson economic forum set for March 31.

The forum is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road, and is being presented by Skanska.

Other survey results will be revealed at this first Chamber signature event of the year, which will feature three 45-minute sessions with global brand experts who both monitor and promote economic growth. The speakers will provide a wide-ranging economic development picture, including what drives the decision when corporations are looking to locate or expand.

The economic snapshot survey was sent to 3,152 recipients on the Chamber email list. It had a response rate of 12.3%, compared to 9.9% on a similar 2014 survey. Other survey questions gathered input about anticipated hiring in the next year, what positions businesses are trying to fill, whether more affordable housing is needed in Williamson County and more.

In addition to learning about the survey results, Outlook Williamson attendees will get the first look at the staff-prepared Trends Report, the 2015 statistical summary about the demographics, workforce and business climate in Williamson County.

And as an additional benefit, Chamber members will receive a pre-meeting attendee list at the close of regular registration to use in assessing networking opportunities. The Chamber began providing these lists for membership meetings and this signature event for the first time this year in response to requests from members.

The cost of the half-day economic forum is $60 for members, $35 for students with ID and $75 for non-members, who may register as guests. Tables of eight with company signage may be reserved for $750. A $10 late fee will be added for registration after noon on March 27.

Presenting sponsor Skanska, which has a U.S. office in Cool Springs, is one of the world’s leading construction groups. Supporting Outlook Williamson as meeting sponsors are Brentwood Academy, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Transportation Management Association, Vanderbilt Health and Williamson Medical Center. The first Outlook Williamson forum in 2014 attracted more than 250 attendees.

In the speaker lineup, Atlanta-based Amy Gerber of Jones Lang LaSalle will lead off the event. Gerber has led and managed both office and industrial projects, with a client list that includes Williams-Sonoma, Medtronic and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Next up will be a panel of commercial real estate presidents whose companies have been involved in projects locally and around the world: Doug Brandon of DTZ, Janet Miller of Colliers and Stephen Kulinski of CBRE.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Reggie Walker of PwC, managing partner of the company’s greater Atlanta market. PwC was created in 1998 with the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand.

Late registration and networking will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., when the program will begin. A buffet breakfast, included in the registration fee, will be available before the program starts and at breaks between the presentation segments.

Chamber and community members can learn more and register now at williamsonchamber.com.