Tim Dillon is the executive director of the Kenai Economic Development District. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion file).

Tim Dillon is the executive director of the Kenai Economic Development District. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion file).

Industry Outlook Forum will feature businesses from across the peninsula

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is hosting the upcoming Industry Outlook Forum next month.

The Jan. 9 forum is an all-day event that will feature presentations from a wide range of local industries. The event features over 15 speakers, including representatives from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska’s tourism industry, South Peninsula Hospital, The Pebble Partnership, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, local farms and more.

The forum has been happening for more than 10 years, Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Executive Director Tim Dillon said.

Dillon said the event will help educate residents about what is happening in local industries, and what they can expect in the coming year.

“It’s a great opportunity to get information,” Dillon said.

Three years ago, the forum saw some major changes. It was changed to a one-day event, gained the support of peninsula cities and chambers of commerce and recruited speakers and presenters from a more varied selection of local industries.

“We were starting to hear (the forum) wasn’t as diverse as it could have been,” Dillon said. “Now when you look at the agenda you can see almost every industry represented.”

For the first time, Tyonek will be represented at the forum, with a presentation from CEO Leo Barlow of the Tyonek Native Corporation.

A presentation from the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Board of Directors will get businesses to start thinking about disaster planning.

“We’ve been planning this for three or four months and then we just had that earthquake,” Dillon said. “We want to try and get people to think about how could their business survive in case we had another earthquake or an even bigger earthquake, or something like that.”

The forum begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Christian Community Church in Homer. See a complete agenda at KPEDD.org.

The forum is free for anyone, but registration is required through the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District’s website. A complimentary continental breakfast and lunch are offered during the event.

Dillon said people who are spending the night in Homer for the forum can request a special rate at the local Best Western.

Any questions about the forum can be directed to Dillon’s office at 907-283-3335.

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