Regional Forecast

Starting the conference out at the 50,000 ft level, LCRO welcomes Robert W. (Bill) Gilmer Ph. D., Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at C.T. Bauer College of Business at University of Houston.

Dr. Bill Gilmer
Institute for Regional Forecasting
University of Houston

Bill Gilmer is Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting (IRF) at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. The Institute monitors the Houston and Gulf Coast business cycle, analyzing how oil markets, the national economy, and global expansion influence the regional economy. Gilmer is also appointed as an inaugural University of Houston Energy Fellow.

Before joining the Institute, Gilmer served the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for 23 years, retiring from the bank as a Senior Economist and Vice President. He joined the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as a senior economist in 1989, focusing on energy markets and regional growth. He co-managed the 11th District’s regional economic analysis from 2004-2012, and was editor of two of the bank’s regional publications. Gilmer’s work on the Texas economy has been recognized in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Forbes.

Gilmer also served the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as the officer in charge of the El Paso Branch from 2003-2012, overseeing Federal Reserve operations in West Texas and New Mexico. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 1989, he held the principal economic forecasting position at the Tennessee Valley Authority. He also worked as a research economist at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Arlington, Virginia.

Gilmer was as an intern in the Texas Governor’s office while finishing graduate school, and spent 1987-88 as a Visiting Research Professor at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana.

He was born in Amarillo, Texas, and grew up in El Paso where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso. Gilmer later earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Entergy Updates

Understanding the power grid for the Lake Conroe Region is essential to appreciating the development of the area. LCRO welcomes an update from the new President/CEO of Entergy Texas, Eli Viamontes.

Eli Viamontes
Entergy Texas

Viamontes has 18 years of experience leading and working in customer-centric initiatives, including designing reliability programs, utilizing data analytics and driving operational improvements. 

Prior to joining Entergy in 2020, Viamontes served as senior director of labor relations and corporate safety at Florida Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., where he spent the entirety of his career prior to arriving at Entergy. 

His previous roles included a wide array of experiences from across the utility business, including various leadership positions in the areas of electric distribution operations, key account management, engineering and construction, vegetation management, incident command and emergency management, reliability, quality/process management and human resources. 

Viamontes earned an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida International University in Miami. He completed an executive leadership course from the University of Virginia, is a registered professional engineer and a certified six sigma black belt. 

A Local Look by District

A great look at the deep dive into anticipated growth comes from our school districts! The Superintendents of each area school district will provide fabulous updates on the growth and development of their districts in response to the demographic projections they are facing in the near future.

Dr. Heath Morrison
Montgomery ISD
Dr. Tim Harkrider
Willis ISD
Dr. Curtis Null
Conroe ISD

Keynote Demographic Study

We are excited to welcome back Steve Spillette from Community Development Strategies to the Lake Conroe Region Outlook. CDS was commissioned to provide an in-depth study specifically around the Lake Conroe area including the communities of Montgomery, Conroe and Willis. This custom study will reveal some of the growth projections initially estimated when the Outlook event was first presented in 2017.

Steve Spillette
CDS Strategies

Steve Spillette is an Urban Development Strategist with diverse experience in real estate and urban planning.  A native Houstonian, Steve joined the San Francisco office of the national real estate consulting firm Economics Research Associates after completing his undergraduate degree at Stanford.  He assisted in performing a variety of market studies and financial pro-forma analyses for both private and public clients related to single family and multifamily residential, retail, office, industrial, hotel, meeting facilities, and golf, as well as significant public sector studies related to major investments and strategic initiatives. He focused on transportation and land use issues in both academic and professional work while attending the Community and Regional Planning program at the University of California at Berkeley.

Upon his return to Houston, Mr. Spillette joined the Uptown Houston Improvement District as Director of Planning and Development. He conducted the District’s economic research pertaining to office, retail, hotel, and residential markets plus public tax revenue generation, packaging his analysis in District marketing and public information documents. He also was responsible for creating and managing the District’s annual operating budget and monitoring District property values for revenue forecasting purposes.  He was instrumental in creating the planning documents leading to the creation of the Uptown Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.

At Texas A&M University, he worked as a graduate assistant at the Real Estate Center and published several technical reports as well as articles in the Center’s periodical Tierra Grande. In 2001, he formed his firm, Spillette Consulting, which merged with CDS in 2013.  Mr. Spillette is a member of the Houston chapters of the Urban Land Institute and the Congress for New Urbanism.

​Mr. Spillette’s recent professional work includes:

  • Community Plans and Surveys: Bee Cave, Pflugerville, College Station Economic Development
  • Special Districts: City of Galveston Bayside PID, Greater East End Mgmt District, Corpus Christi TIRZs
  • Livable Centers: NASA Area, Energy Corridor, Near Northwest, Cypress Creek Pkwy
  • Transit-Oriented Development: METRO station area market assessments, Uptown Houston BRT             
  • Transportation Studies: West Houston Mobility Plan, Fort Bend Rail Bypass
  • Housing Studies: City of Alice, Enid Area, Tulsa Downtown 

Reserve your seat today.