‘Think and grow’ theme for upcoming economic summit

Participants at What's Up Down South Economic Summit, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of What’s Up Down South, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The “What’s Up Down South” economic summit returns to the Dixie Center St. George this Thursday for its 20th year. This year’s theme is “Think and Grow” and will feature author Paul Gustavson and tech entrepreneur Peter Horan as keynote speakers.

Drawing an estimated 1,000 participants annually, the yearly summit provides an economic outlook and upcoming trends for Washington County and the surrounding region. Presenters at the summit will give economic recaps of the previous year while also providing an outlook for the coming year. Multiple breakout sessions and networking opportunities will also be offered.

Paul Gustavson | Photo courtesy of What's Up Down South, St. George News
Paul Gustavson | Photo courtesy of “What’s Up Down South,” St. George News

Gustavson, author of “A Team of Leaders,” “Running Into the Wind” and “The Power of Living by Design,” is also a consultant, board member, adviser and speaker on developing “teams of leaders” within various organizations. Gustavson will present ways to help create great places for people to work, according to the summit’s website.

Gustavson will be the economic premier keynote speaker at the summit, set for 8 a.m. in the Dixie Center’s ballroom.

Horan is an entrepreneur and digital media investor with a history of building successful media, commerce and ad technology businesses. He has played a role in five major revolutions in media and technology, including home video games, personal computers, cell phones, Windows computing and the Internet, according to the summit’s website.

Horan will be the summit’s luncheon keynote speaker from noon to 1 p.m, also held in the ballroom

The 2016 economic summit will be notable in several ways, said Jana Carter, director of “What’s Up Down South.”

Peter Horan, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of What's Up Down South, St. George News
Peter Horan, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of “What’s Up Down South,” St. George News

“New this year by popular request will be the addition of a third breakout session packed with valuable information,” Carter said in a press release. “Also new this year, displays will be placed throughout the event for the attendees to find out what is happening in our community.”

During the “What’s Up Down South” session, held 10:15-11 a.m. in the ballroom, Lecia Langston, an economist with the Department of Workforce Services, will give an update on the local workforce and demographics.

Following Langston will be a video highlighting projects taking place over the next 18 months.

Breakout sessions being held during the economic summit will include business development and marketing, technology, healthcare, water resources and other topics.

Among the breakout sessions to be featured are:

  • Small Business Success: Keys to a Successful Business
  • Business & Social Media: Working Together
  • Business Success In The Global Economy
  • Southern Utah’s Tech Pipeline
  • Tourism: Rural Economic Development Through Tourism
  • Water: The 45-Year Plan

Following the final breakout session will be the groundbreaking for the new campus of the Dixie Applied Technology College at the Ridge Top Complex on the Black Hill. The new 30-acre campus is anticipated to be the anchor of a technology park to be built on the grounds of the old St. George Municipal Airport.


  • Additional information on the schedule, speakers and breakout sessions for “The What’s Up Down South” economic summit are featured on the event’s website.

Event recap

  • When: Starts at 7 a.m., Jan. 14, 2016
  • Where: The Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St George
  • Admission: Admission at the door will be $150 per person, if not sold out.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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1 Comment

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 11, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    is this where land developers get together to hatch schemes? is this where the water pipeline scheme was hatched?

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