Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coweta County Welcomes Nationally Known Economist October 22

The Coweta County Economic Summit is a "must attend" for business owners, business professionals, elected officials, candidates for office, and all citizens interested in the future of Coweta's local economy.

Nationally known economist William H. "Bill" Fruth will conduct Coweta County's first-ever Economic Summit, Wednesday, October 22, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon, at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts of Coweta County, 1523 Lower Fayetteville Road, Newnan. Coffee, Danishes, and networking will be available at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free.

Bill Fruth is certainly not considered a typical "run-of-the-mill" economist. Unlike many of his colleagues who spend much of their lives in an academic setting, Fruth has mostly "walked the walk" in both the private and public sectors.

After earning his Bachelor and Master degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Bill Fruth began his economic journey in 1980, when he was elected to serve as the full-time Mayor of Tiffin, Ohio. It was quite a challenge, as manufacturing companies / jobs were leaving town, the nation was in the grip of a deep recession, and the city's economy and finances had
reached crisis level.

Facing the unthinkable, a relatively young Mayor Fruth had no other choice but to become heavily involved in economic and community development, in order to save his city from financial collapse. His hard work and accomplishments drew accolades from across the State, and Fruth was named one of "Five Outstanding Young Men of Ohio" before finishing his term in

Bill Fruth's rise to notoriety in the economic development field soon led him to Palm Beach County, Florida, where he served as president of the Business Development Board. Once again, Fruth earned statewide recognition, and was named Florida Economic Development Professional of the Year in 1987.

It wasn't long before private industry took notice of Bill Fruth's accomplishments. He embraced the opportunity and served as Vice President of a major industrial land development company from 1988-1995. Fruth's responsibilities included directing the development and marketing of a
500-acre corporate park in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In 1996, Bill Fruth founded POLICOM Corporation, an independent economics research firm, located in Palm City, Florida. For the past twelve years, he has specialized in studying the dynamics of local economies, whether they are growing or declining, and what may be causing this to happen.

Fruth has personally evaluated more than 600 economies across the Nation. He has created more than 150 community studies, and since 1998, has provided presentations and workshops for state associations and communities in 32 states.

Bill Fruth is recognized by the Florida Administrative Court as an expert witness regarding local economies. He is the author of Where the Money Is ... America's Strongest Local Economies, along with numerous economic articles for newspapers and trade magazines.

Bill Fruth's presentation style may come as a surprise to those who have suffered through dry, often uninspiring economics lectures. To the contrary, he provides a fast-paced, entertaining, but mostly thought provoking analysis. Fruth's numbers are based on reality, rather than theory, and his purpose is to generate discussion of what makes an economy strong, and what each community must do to improve its economic condition and quality of life.

As a segment of the Coweta County Economic Summit, Fruth will first present examples of some of the strongest and weakest economies in the Nation. He'll then examine Coweta County's own economic strengths and weaknesses, and further compare them to those of Fayette County, Cobb County, Gainesville, GA, Auburn-Opelika, AL, the Atlanta area, and Georgia.

As Bill Fruth explained, "The purpose of this summit goes beyond presenting Coweta's economic strengths and weaknesses. I'd like to encourage discussion of what your community must do to further improve its economy during these difficult times, while motivating community leaders to work as one toward a common goal of long-term economic prosperity and a better standard of living for all citizens."

The Coweta County Economic Summit is sponsored by AT&T, Atlanta Gas Light, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Georgia Power, and Newnan Utilities. For reservations and further information, contact the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce at 770-253-2270.

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