SEEDS Symposium to Explore Regional Economic Development Sept. 26 at Southeast


Current economic development issues affecting communities throughout southeast Missouri will be highlighted at the Harrison College of Business and Computing’s Southeast Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Symposium (SEEDS) Sept. 26 at Southeast Missouri State University.

The symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The day’s events will feature guest speakers and professionals affiliated with businesses, local governments and nonprofit organizations. To register, visit

The SEEDS symposium is an opportunity for professionals from various backgrounds to discuss important issues faced by local communities in southeast Missouri, said Dr. David Yaskewich, chair of Southeast’s Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

“We like to think of SEEDS as a ‘meeting of the minds,’” Yaskewich said. “When people bring different experiences and perspectives to the table, it is interesting to see whether they agree or disagree.”

The symposium will feature a keynote address by Dr. Don Schlagenhauf, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who will discuss household debt levels in the region.

SEEDS is also an opportunity for Southeast students to learn about the business and economic environment of the surrounding region, and provides professional networking opportunities between students, faculty and local community members, Yaskewich said.

Symposium events include:

Panel Discussion on Local Infrastructure
9-10 a.m., Robert A. Dempster Hall Room 247

 There is often discussion about the amount of investment in public infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, or water systems. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated the quality of America’s infrastructure with a letter grade of D+. A comparison of cities and towns across the country shows significant disparities in the pace of infrastructure investment and how it is financed. This session, presented by City of Cape Girardeau City Manager Scott Meyer and City of Jackson’s Director of Public Works Ken Peetz, will examine infrastructure investment from the perspective of local communities.

SEEDS Session Exclusively for Southeast Students
10-11:15 a.m., Dempster Hall Room 003

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Senior Data Operation Specialists Yvetta Fortova and Maria Arias will lead a discussion and hands-on demonstration of Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) and a presentation on internship opportunities at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Students can earn a Professional Development Certificate for participating in this session. To register, visit the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance in Dempster Hall Room 205.

The Business of Cannabis in Missouri
10:20-11:20 a.m., Dempster Hall Room 105

 Since Missouri voters approved the legalization of the medical use of marijuana in November 2018, there have been many questions about its eventual economic benefits. Local communities are interested in the potential for new jobs and tax revenue. As in other states that previously legalized marijuana use, a key feature of the cannabis industry in Missouri will be the complexity of regulations that businesses must follow. Adam Prest, principal in the Anders Tax Services Group with Anders CPAs + Advisors, and Kyle Westbook, associate with HeplerBroom Law Firm LLC, share their expertise in tax accounting and business law and discuss issues that cannabis businesses, such as cultivation facilities of dispensaries, need to face.

The National and Regional Economic Outlook
11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., Dempster Hall Room 105

Although there is currently a high level of employment and consumer confidence, there is still a slower pace economic growth in the U.S. and abroad while an ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China seems to worry markets. For some, this mix of good and bad news can lead to uncertainty and make it difficult to plan ahead. This session, presented by Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer, and Charles Gascon, regional economist, both of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, will look at professional economic forecasts and what to expect for the next year.

Luncheon and Keynote Address on Household Debt Levels in the Region
12:30-1:45 p.m., Dempster Hall Atrium

Presented by Don Schlagenhauf, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Space for this event is limited, registration required at