What’s Up Down South: Economic Summit 2015

Salt Lake City isn’t the only premier business destination in Utah. 


Over the course of the past four decades, southern Utah and its surrounding rural areas have seen significant job creation, an expanding economy and opportunities to cultivate and bolster its start-up communities.

Each year, business leaders, government officials and entrepreneurs gather for the What’s Up Down South Economic Summit in St. George to hear from renowned industry experts, and to get a pulse on the business climate, future projects and best practices. The event brings together the growing and dynamic southern Utah community as the leading business-planning event for the region. 

The 2015 What’s Up Down South Economic Summit will take place on January 15, 2015 at the Dixie Center. The 18-year-old event has a solid history of growth, annually attracting up to 1,000 participants, many who hail from outside Washington County. As the premier business event in southern Utah, the 2015 Summit will feature technology updates and improvements, as well as informative keynote speakers and breakout sessions.

What’s Up Down South is co-produced by Site Select Plus, a private-public partnership that assists and supports local primary industries expand and retain jobs, and the Business Resource Center at Dixie State University, supported by the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR). 

The theme of this year’s What’s Up Down South Economic Summit is “Inspiring Greatness.” Keynote speakers will be Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox, Olympian and world cup champion Noelle Pikus Pace, and CEO of Envision Utah, Robert Grow. 

Scott Hirschi, executive director of Site Select Plus, said this year’s event is going to be notable in several ways.

“The event is going high-tech,” said Hirschi. “Participants can check in and print their name badges at home, while Summit materials will be accessible from smart phone and tablet devices, and attendees will be scanned as they enter the event.”

New breakout sessions will be: Attracting and Retaining Talented Employees by the Dixie Applied Technology College; Maintaining High Impact Social Media by Aly Brooks; Effective Media Releases to Build your Company Brand by executive producer and television personality Chad Booth, and Innovative Company Cultures by Fishbowl Inventory’s Mary Michelle Scott. 

Breakout sessions back by popular demand will be Commercial Real Estate Roundup and Residential Real Estate Previews, the Soltis Financial Forecast, and Small Business Lessons Learned. 

“With dynamic speakers and breakout sessions reflecting the energy of the economy here, this year’s event looks to be the best ever,” said Jill Elliss, director of USTAR South.

Another new feature this year will be a video highlighting the most compelling companies and projects in the next 18 months. The presentation will begin with an update of the local workforce and demographics by Department of Work Force Services economist Lecia Langston.

Additionally, the Summit will host a networking power hour after lunch. There will also be a special afternoon session on the challenges and opportunities of growth led by Robert Grow, who helped develop the original Envision Utah project.

The cost for the What’s Up Down South Economic Summit includes two full meals and materials, three premier ballroom sessions and breakout sessions is $95 per person, until Jan. 14. Cost at the door will be $150 per person. For more information and to register, visit www.whatsupdownsouth.com.