Symposium to focus on global economy

A daylong seminar addressing the business climate of a global economy will be held at Shenandoah University on March 19.

The Seventh Annual Business Symposium, hosted by the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business, is themed “Passport to Success: A Global Perspective” and will feature Norman “Norm” Nixon, a two-time Los Angeles Lakers all star, talent agent and vice president of the NBA Players Association.

The symposium will include breakfast, lunch and a wine and cheese snack, as well as small group sessions about specific topics and networking opportunities.

Miles Davis, dean of the school of business, said the event has been sold out the past two years.

“The past two symposiums have been total sellouts, standing room only and we’re on track to sell this one out as well,” Davis said. “We get a lot of folks who run small businesses because they are always busy working at their business and this symposium gives them the time to reflect upon their business and its position in the world economy.”

Davis said this event will reflect the changes of an increasingly globalized marketplace.

“We plan these things out a year in advance,” Davis said. “We don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, so we had no idea gasoline prices would have dropped by 50 percent or the other changes in the global economy.”

Davis added, “Whether you have a business in Winchester or any place in the Shenandoah Valley, the connections and the innovations of the economy are global and can affect that business. Whether you’re trying to sell your product overseas or buying overseas, overseas decisions can impact your business.”

Davis said one of the main topics is how technology has impacted business.

“When you look at it from the perspective of how to access markets through technology, you can literally reach out and touch anybody in the world,” Davis said. “We’ll be talking about those changes and how they change what we’re doing … a lot of things had to be local for a labor pool, logistics and communication, but that is not the case now.”

Davis said Nixon, who he knows from when they attended school together at Duquesne University, brings a lot of experience to the global marketplace.

“The NBA is an international business, with a reach around the world greater than that of the NFL,” Davis said. “In having that contact with other countries, Norman will be sharing that experience of networking around the world.”

Suzanne Conrad, an organizer for the event, said she believes the participants will take away new connections and knowledge from the event.

“Number one, there’s a lot of opportunities to network and meet people in the business community,” Conrad said. “Also, our breakout sessions will focus on how you manage your business, how to market it, how to quantify its worth.”

Conrad added, “I think folks who come will get a lot of things from this event about how to improve their business locally.”

Conrad said the university has worked closely with the business community in many different ways through its business advisory board.

“There’s a number of us from the local community on the business advisory board, there’s a lot of us who have given support to the university, we’re very much involved in the distinguished lecture series,” Conrad said.

She added, “I think it’s a really good partnership … if you take a look at the list of our sponsors, it’s a good cross section of the Winchester community.”

The symposium will be held at the Stimpson Auditorium at Halpin-Harrison Hall at Shenandoah University. Those interested can register for the event online at Cost of admission for those who have preregistered is $65 per person or $85 at the door. Students are free.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or

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