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Feditorial: Innovation Conference Showcases Fed's Outreach Efforts


David A. Sapenaro
Monday, October 1, 2007

Some time ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis began focusing on greatly enhancing our outreach efforts throughout the Eighth District. The goal was—and is—to be a vital resource in community development, economic and financial education, and more. Since then, our District-wide presence has flourished and continues to do so.

Our outreach is designed to help bankers, economists, educators, business owners and others through economic education and information sharing. It's also centered on conducting regional economic research that can be used by policymakers and decision-makers throughout the District. In other words, it's a mutually beneficial outreach, and, so far, it has worked rather well. In fact, strengthening ties throughout the District actually became part of our Bank's mission this year.

We want to make sure that we continue to offer some of the best and most useful opportunities available for information sharing, networking, education and growth. We continue to explore new topics and ideas that will be of interest to you, while continuing to offer the vehicles you've come to value. Our current programs include Economic Forums, the Business and Economic Research Group (BERG), the Center for Regional Economics-8th District (CRE8), various Community Affairs-sponsored workshops and seminars, and much more.

A great example happened earlier this year when we sponsored a gathering called "Exploring Innovation: A Conference on Community Development Finance." It proved to be a mega-hit. With the help of a couple of nationally renowned presenters, our Community Affairs department put together a conference that explored so many different ways of finding and organizing community development financing that most attendees left with a feeling of having really accomplished something. We were still getting praise months after the conference.

Going forward, we will seek to organize similar conferences and programs that bring value to bankers and our other constituents throughout the District.