The Chamber of Reno, Sparks, and Northern Nevada’s Directions 2017 to look at the growing economy |

The Chamber of Reno, Sparks, and Northern Nevada’s Directions 2017 to look at the growing economy

Annie Conway
Directions 2016 drew more than 700 members of the business community to The Chamber's annual economic outlook. Directions 2017 will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Reno Ballroom.
Courtesy The Chamber |

The Chamber of Reno, Sparks, and Northern Nevada’s 2017 Directions will focus on how to build a stronger future in an economy that is rapidly evolving. At the event, leaders in the community will speak on a range of topics including the workforce, economic growth, creating and sustaining thriving communities and more.

The 25th annual economic outlook event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the Reno Ballroom located at 401 N. Center St.

“It goes without saying that northern Nevada is really still growing,” Sarah Sommers, chair of the 2017 Directions event and CEO and partner for Solutions at Work, said.

According to Sommers, the event’s committee members focused on getting speakers from both the public and private sectors who are behind the growth in the region such as Manny Lamarre, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation, who will speak on workforce innovation, as well as Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, who will speak about the growth in the region.

Attendees of the event will also hear from leaders of emerging businesses in the area.

“We wanted to take a look at other businesses that are flourishing in our backyard,” Sommers said. “We wanted to hear why they choose Nevada.”

CEO and co-founder of Flirtey, Matt Sweeny, will give attendees insight into the Reno-based drone company. Furthermore, director of business development for the local West Elm, Mo Mullen, will talk about the creative evolution of business and socially responsible development.

Directions creates an opportunity for members of the business community to come together and work toward a stronger future amidst these economic changes.

“You are seeing huge changes in the Reno economy, where people are working and the lifestyles that people have,” Tom Murphy, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute and former mayor of Pittsburgh, Pa., said in a phone interview. “(Reno) is well positioned as a city to take advantage of that.”

Murphy will speak at the event on the topic of creating and sustaining thriving communities. He was part of the Urban Land Institute panel commissioned by the City of Reno to examine the Virginia Street Corridor and make candid recommendations regarding land use and economic development in the city.

“(My talk) is about reiterating some of the things we recommended in the panel and it is also about encouraging the citizens of Reno, both public and private, to make the right kind of decisions” for the community, he said.

Other speakers for the event include Nevada Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison, Frederick A. Steinmann, assistant research professor and leadership and economic development specialist at UNR, Dr. Anthony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown, The Chamber’s new CEO Ann Silver and more.

Directions is The Chamber’s largest event and draws more than 700 people annually. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and speak with around 30 vendors at the event.

Tickets for 2017 Directions cost $80 for Chamber members and $100 for non-members. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event for $120. To register in advance or for more information, visit