As the Lake Conroe Region continues to develop over the coming decade, there will be a need for annual updated information on progress and growth trends for the business community. We commissioned a Regional Economic Development Forecast Study in 2016 for the Lake Conroe Communities and the interlocking unincorporated areas of northern Montgomery County that was released for attendees and updated on a regular basis. Panelists and Keynote speakers will present their demographic growth data each year at this outlook conference.
The target audience for the Lake Conroe Region Outlook includes industry leaders and business owners around the Lake Conroe Area as well as the Greater Houston Area looking to move north. Other industries interested in this information are encouraged to participate as well, including but not limited to financial institutions, investors, engineering firms, developers, brokers, independent business owners, and site selectors.
La Torretta Lake Resort & Conference Center
600 La Torretta Blvd.
Montgomery Texas 77356
Study results will be presented at the conference and made available here afterward.
Exhibit Hall Open
Moderated by Julie Cannon, General Manager, Community Impact Newpaper Conroe/Montgomery
Keynote Presentation by Dr. Ray Perryman, Economist
Dr. Ray Perryman is President and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic research and analysis firm based in Waco, Texas.
He holds a BS in Mathematics from Baylor University and a PhD in Economics from Rice University. He always felt that the BS would have been somehow more appropriate for Economics and has spent his life proving it. He took his first economics course on a coin flip between economics and psychology. If it had gone the other way, there might be some really messed up people in the world. In addition to his earned degrees, Dr. Perryman has received an honorary doctorate from the International Institute for Advanced Studies. After that one, he told his kids they had to start calling him “Doctor Doctor.” They preferred dork, dweeb, nerd, geek, and loser (on a good day).
In the professional arena, Dr. Perryman has authored more than 2,500 trade articles, publishes a subscription forecasting service and a monthly newsletter, writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column, hosts a daily radio commentary, and appears regularly on National Public Radio. His firm engages in a broad range of complex projects for major corporate and governmental interests and has served the needs of more than 2,500 clients, including over half of the Fortune 100, two-thirds of the Global 25, and the 12 largest technology firms, six largest energy companies, and the five largest financial institutions in the world. In other words, he is an obsessive-compulsive workaholic.
Dr. Perryman has held numerous academic positions in his career, including ten years as Herman Brown Professor of Economics and five years as University Professor and Economist-in-Residence at Baylor University, as well as five years as Business Economist-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University. He has authored several books and more than 400 academic papers, and has served as President of both the Southwestern Economic Association and the Southwestern Society of Economists. He also lives in Odessa while working in Waco, is the father of five young Texans (ages 30-36), although some temporarily reside elsewhere, and the grandfather of four, gets lost on his own block (even though he lives on a circle), and once ran one of his cars into the other one. His current academic roles include Senior Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas and Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.
Dr. Perryman has been called a “genius” by The Wall Street Journal, a “world class scholar” by Business Week, the “unofficial state economist” by The New York Times, “the most quoted man in Texas” by Texas Monthly, and, his personal favorite, “the state’s premiere barbecue connoisseur” by The Dallas Morning News. What his wife calls him can’t be repeated in mixed company.
Dr. Perryman has received hundreds of prestigious awards for his academic and professional efforts. He has been named the Outstanding Young Economist and Social Scientist in the US, the Outstanding Young Person in the World in Business and Economic Innovation, one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans and Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World. It is highly unlikely that he will ever receive another award with the word “Young” in it, or even “Middle-Aged” for that matter.
Dr. Perryman has been honored by The Democracy Foundation for his role in promoting capitalism in China, The Asia and World Institute for promoting international trade and academic exchange, and the Systems Research Foundation for his contributions to the field of modeling (that would be “economic” modeling, not “fashion” modeling; he seems to think there might be some confusion). He has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Institute for Advanced Studies. He was skeptical about that one, thinking it was something you received just before you croaked. He has never played in the NBA, but he has played in Wilson Pickett’s band, sang the National Anthem at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and had his name and picture in lights on the marquee in Times Square.
Dr. Perryman has received citations from governments around the world, presidents, governors, Congress, and national and state administrative and legislative bodies, and has been nominated for the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics). He has received far more citations from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Some of his most gratifying work has been in the field of economic development, where he has played a key role in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. He is pleased that, at long last, some of his kids actually hold some of those jobs. He devotes a substantial portion of his time to pro bono efforts seeking solutions to major social problems such as hunger, indigent health care, and child maltreatment. He is a past recipient of the Outstanding Texas Leader Award and has been honored by the Texas Legislature for his “tireless efforts in helping to build a better Texas.” Most recently, Dr. Perryman has been selected as the 2012 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference, received the 2013 Baylor University Distinguished Service Medal, was inducted into the Texas Leadership Hall of Fame in 2014, and received the 2016 Cesar E. Chavez Legacy Award for his humanitarian efforts. He is also an honorary Kilgore Rangerette, but his high kick leaves a lot to be desired, so he is not yet on the traveling squad (but there is always next year)!!
Dr. Rebecca L. Riley is the President of Lone Star College – Montgomery. She holds a bachelor and master’s degree in fine arts from Texas Tech University. Dr. Riley earned her doctoral degree from Sam Houston State University in Higher Education Leadership. Her research interests include intercultural competence and communication. Dr. Riley’s exhibition record includes more than 200 regional, national and international shows in drawing, printmaking, and painting.
During her 22+year career at Lone Star, Dr. Riley has held numerous positions. Beginning as an adjunct instructor of art, she became professor of art and program coordinator, dean, interim vice president of student success, vice president of instruction at LSC-Kingwood, and finally president at LSC-Montgomery. She serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including chambers of commerce, economic development, health care organizations, and non-profits.
Dr. Pat Guseman is President of Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), a demographic firm located in College Station, TX. Formerly, Dr. Guseman taught demographic courses – and worked at the Texas Transportation Institute – both at Texas A&M University.
PASA is the largest demographic firm in the State, preparing projections primarily for high growth school districts. These forecasts are based on estimating the number of homes added annually to each active subdivision, and on forecasting locations of new apartments, as well as estimating future residential growth for as-yet-undeveloped parcels. The firm also prepares leading indicators of employment for local areas to supplement the housing projections.
Fred F Caldwell
Fred Caldwell is the President and CEO of Caldwell Companies, a fully integrated residential and commercial real estate firm based in northwest Houston with offices in The Woodlands and College Station.
Today, the firm serves as a holding company for a family of related companies that invest in and develop planned residential communities, develops commercial office and retail projects; brokers and manages commercial and land assets. The firm also participates in various private equity investments.
Caldwell’s planned communities include Towne Lake, Rock Creek, Willowcreek Ranch, Del Webb Sweetgrass, Mission Ranch, Great Oaks and Spring Creek Ranch. Caldwell Commercial Developments have included Remington Square, Round Up Business Park, Greens Crossing Business Park, and Research Park at TAMU in College Station.
Fred began his career with The Originals Group in 1983 and joined Southern Realty Corporation in 1985, becoming President in 1988. Fred was the founding partner of Caldwell Nyberg Interests in 1990, which was later renamed as Caldwell Companies.
Fred serves on the Board of Directors and was past Chairman of the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation, is a former member of the 12th Man Foundation Executive Board, is a Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business Development Board Member, was past Chairman for the Lonestar College System District Foundation and currently serves on the JH Ranch International and Outback Ministries boards. Fred is a member at The Church at Crosslake.
Fred is also the author of “Flying Your Business” which he wrote in 2015.
Fred is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance. Fred was a three year letterman on the Texas A&M football team.
Fred and his wife, Susan, have been married for 35 years and have two children; Amanda and Lindsey. The Caldwell's reside in Northwest Houston. Fred enjoys ranch ministry, golf, ranching and other outdoor activities.
Heath Melton joined The Woodlands® Development Company, a division of The Howard Hughes Corporation® (HHC), in 2015 as Vice President of Master Planned Communities, Residential and is responsible for residential development for the award-winning master planned communities of The Woodlands, Bridgeland and the new development, currently underway north of The Woodlands near the I-45 and SH 830 interchange.
Heath came to HHC with a diverse and impressive resume. Heath is a West Point Graduate and served in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer for five years. During his time in service, Heath deployed to Kosovo and was part of the leading force during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Heath’s notable awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and Air Assault Qualification to name a few. Heath’s real estate career began with KB Home Houston where he held positions as Land Development Project Manager, Sr. Budget Analyst, Sales and Marketing Manager, and Design Center Manager. After KB, Heath accepted a position with Sueba USA as a Development manager overseeing the single-family residential business and assisting the multi-family side of the business. Following Sueba, Heath accepted an opportunity with Taylor Morrison Austin as the Director of Land Development serving in the roll of General Manager of their new master planned community, Travisso.
During his tenure at HHC, Heath has identified areas of improvement within the communities and implemented strategic actions plan to enhance development. He has also overseen the beginning of the new company-owned area north of The Woodlands, working with builders, planners and engineers to deliver the premier quality and standards of master planned communities that The Woodlands Development Company and The Howard Hughes Corporation delivers.
Matt Davis, FACHE
Matt Davis Serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Conroe Regional Medical Center. Davis assumed the role of CEO in September 2013 after a 6 year stint as the COO of HCA’s North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, FL. Davis’ career spans 17 years with HCA serving hospitals in Indiana, Georgia Florida and Texas.
Conroe Regional Medical Center is a 345 bed tertiary acute care hospital that has been serving the community for more than 75 years. Conroe Regional Medical Center provides a 24-hour Trauma II emergency care center, Level III neonatal intensive care, a 38 Bed Critical Care ICU, Cardiovascular Service, The Neuroscience Center as well as a full complement of imaging services, to include the Satellite Imaging Center – Lake Area Imaging in Montgomery.
Conroe Regional Medical Center has been awarded the Joint Commissions Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for three consecutive years. This program is based on data reported in the previous year about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to be the best treatments for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Complimenting this award, CRMC was awarded TMF Award of Excellence in Quality and the Pathway to Excellence Designation for nursing care.
CRMC is a Joint Commission Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center; an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI; and an American College of Radiology Award for full Accreditation for Quality and Excellence in MRI and an ACR accredited Center of Excellence for Breast Imaging,
Hailing from Indiana, Matt Davis holds a bachelors degree from DePauw University and a Masters Degree from Indiana University.
Matt is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served as the Chairman of the Board for the Lewisville Economic Development Foundation as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lewisville Tax Incremental Funding Board. Matt served as the chairman of the American Heart Association Heart Walk for two years and served as an advocate/volunteer for the Gainesville Harvest Food Bank, Adopt a Child Holiday Program, Taste of Gainesville, Junior Achievement and Tyler’s Hope for a Cure to Dystonia.
Presently, Matt sits on the Board for the Lake Conroe/Greater Conroe Chamber of Commerce as the immediate past chairman and is a member of the 2015 Leadership Montgomery County Class. He is an avid youth sports coach and volunteers countless hours each season to the youth of Montgomery County.
Matt and his wife Joy have five children Ethan (15), Wyatt (12), Madalyn (10), Canon (8), and Easton (5). In his spare time, Matt enjoys saltwater fishing, playing golf, BBQ’ing and spending time as a family.
Wade Nelson, President and Owner of The Nelson Company, leads the company’s efforts in brokerage of investment properties, land brokerage of commercial development sites, income producing properties and end user sites.
Nelson is recognized for his knowledge, work ethic, integrity and ability to provide excellent service to his clients. He has played a key role in brokering the sale or development of numerous commercial development sites throughout the region. Additionally he has represented many nationally and regionally recognized tenants in Texas, including Spirit of Texas Bank, Service First, Walgreens, CVS, Valero, Stripes, Timewise, Popeyes and Shipleys. Other brokered transactions include that of Santikos Theaters, ShowBiz Cinemas, Pulte Homes, Friendswood Development, Integrated Realty among many others.
Nelson holds a Bachelor of Business Management degree with emphasis in real estate from Texas A&M University and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Immediately after college he was employed by Enron Corp. as a Real Estate Manager where he oversaw real estate assets throughout the U.S.
Before starting his own real estate firm in 2008, Nelson also gained valuable experience as Director of Real Estate at MetroNational, a real estate development company in Houston.
I am honored to serve as Commissioner of Precinct 1 and I pledge the same level of professionalism for the remainder of my years as your commissioner.
Julie joined Community Impact Newspaper as General Manager for the Conroe-Montgomery market in 2018. She is passionate about Community Impact’s Mission to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Whether attending a city council meeting or partnering with local business owners, Julie and her team strive to deliver hyperlocal unbiased news to the residents of Conroe, Montgomery and Willis.
Prior to joining Community Impact Newspaper Julie worked as Director of Development for a local non-profit, Back 2 Basics Ministry, serving foster children in Montgomery County. She began her career as an executive in the cosmetic industry serving as Regional Account Manager of National Accounts with Chanel.
She has lived in the Spring and Cypress area for over 44 years and graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. She has served as a Guardian Ad Litem for Child Advocates, has been a foster parent, and is on the board of directors for Back 2 Basics Ministry. She is active in the Conroe and Montgomery Chambers and enjoys meeting and serving the residents of Montgomery County.
Susan Dixon is a Principal Industry Liaison for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and has worked in the business development area for Workforce Solutions for more than 16 years. In her tenure with Workforce Solutions, Susan has fostered hundreds of quality business relationships with small, medium, and large businesses throughout the region acting as a steward for many employer incentives and innovations customized for each business’s needs.
Ms. Dixon has been active in bringing new business to the region, including Amazon, Fed Ex, and Industrial Components of Texas. She has also been a crucial connector for many Skills Development Fund partnerships, on-the-job training initiatives, and most recently has been critical to connecting schools to businesses to build viable pre-apprenticeship to apprenticeship pipelines in high-demand occupational areas. Susan is a member of several economic development councils, chambers of commerce and is a recent graduate of Leadership North Houston.
Charles R. “Chuck” Gilman, Jr., P.E., serves as the Director of Flood Management for the San Jacinto River Authority. Chuck has over 20 years of experience in the field of civil engineering and public administration and is highly-respected among his peers for his knowledge, leadership, and integrity.
Chuck previously worked for the City of College Station where he served as the Deputy City Manager and Interim City Manager. During his time at the City, he also served as the Assistant Director of Water Services, Director of Capital Projects, and Director of Public Works.
Over the last ten-plus years, Chuck has held positions of responsibility covering every aspect of municipal administration, including utilities, transportation, drainage, emergency planning and response, planning and zoning, and legislative and governmental affairs.
Prior to his time at the City of College Station, Chuck served in the private sector as an engineering consultant, overseeing the design and construction of a variety of civil engineering projects. As Director of Flood Management for the Authority, Chuck reports to the General Manager and serves as an integral member of SJRA’s senior management team. Chuck is responsible for developing and leading the Authority’s flood management initiative.
Chuck is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and holds a Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Since 2016, Adam Galland has served as the TxDOT Area Engineer for Montgomery County. Adam started his career with TxDOT in 2004 and has worked in various roles as an Engineering Assistant throughout the Houston District. Adam previously worked in the North Harris Area Office before moving to the Montgomery County Area Office.
Adam graduated from Louisiana State University in December 2002 with a degree in Biological Engineering. In December 2013, he completed his master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston.
Adam’s hometown is New Orleans, Louisiana where his parents reside. He is married to Melody Galland, Southeast Harris Area Engineer. They have three children: Angelina, Adrian and Sebastian.
Steve Pilgrim is the director of business and economic development for Entergy Texas, Inc. a whollyowned subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
A 34-year Entergy employee, Pilgrim brings a wealth of skill and knowledge to his current role in which he oversees Entergy Texas’ major and industrial account portfolio. He is responsible for the retention and growth of existing businesses as well as recruiting new businesses and industries to the area.
Pilgrim previously oversaw strategic planning for Entergy Corp.’s fleet of fossil-fuel generating plants. He has also served as director of business services for fossil operations and director of Louisiana’s customer service support and new business development. Prior to that he served key roles at the corporation’s system level, impacting communities with quality customer service strategies and business development.
He is currently serving as Board Chairman, Conroe Economic Development Council. He is also serving on the board of directors for the Conroe Chamber, The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership, and the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University.
Entergy Texas delivers electricity to more than 450,000 customers in 27 counties across southeast Texas.
Her responsibilities in Houston cover related activities at the six LSC campuses and in partnership with 100’s of corporate and healthcare business partners. Lone Star College serves over 90,000 students, 7,000 employees and 5,500,000 square feet of physical space.
Linda has spent her community college career developing a trained workforce for businesses and industry by developing a highly trained talent pool. Under her leadership and direction, Lone Star College embraces a comprehensive, transparent, collaborative approach to develop competency-based workforce programs designed through a strong partnership of industry advisors and fellow educators, validated by labor market intelligence. This ensures that LSC delivers the associate degrees and certificate programs that prepare citizens in the Houston area for today’s careers providing the opportunity for a career pathway from entry-level to leadership roles in healthcare, emergency services, oil and gas, manufacturing, IT and others. In addition to AAS and certificate career program development, she leads over 9,000 non-credit students and instructors at 14 locations, student job placement, adult basic education, English as a Second Language, the Lone Star Corporate College, and the development of workforce international projects. Three years ago she & her team led the master planning for over $3M in workforce training facilities, marketing workforce programs, and the workforce student advising team.
Her professional career began in Houston in 1980 working as a college recruiter, office automation specialist then corporate trainer for Tenneco Oil. Her career with LSC started in 1986 as a college professor where she was promoted to a variety of administrative positions to include department chair and academic dean and has been in her current role for ten years.
Linda is involved in various professional, community, stae and national organizations. She served as immediate past chairman for the board for The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, past-president for the National Association for Continuing Education and Training board, appointee to the American Association of Community Colleges Commission for Workforce & Economic Development, appointee to the national Community Colege Petrochemical Initiative (an ExxonMobil funded project), executive council member for the Greater Houston Partnership UpSkill Houston, Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce, board member and served as an appointee to the texas Governor's Advisory Council for Economic Development Stakeholders, 2010 – 2013. She is regularly sought as a presenter at state and national conferences for her expertise on corporate training solutions, community college career pathways and program development, and women's issues and provides consult to other community college leaders across the U.S.
Linda head has presented on workforce training and community college leadership to over 200 conferences and meetings as associate vice chancellor in Houston, across the United States and internationally. Meetings such as the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Council for Workforce Education, the National Skills Coalition, the U.S. Mayor's Council, the International Economic Development Council, and in countries such as India, Malta, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
She earned her Master of Science degree in occupational technology majoring in corporate training from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration majoring in Human Resources from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Her husband, Steve, has served as the Lone Star College chancellor since 2014. Their four children are lifelong learners and working professionals in Houston in careers from oculoplastic surgeon, homemaker, mortgage broker business owner and high school family therapist.