Since 1983, the University of Georgia Terry College of Business has provided the state of Georgia with the Georgia Economic Outlook series, which brings the expertise of the Selig Center for Economic Growth to over 3,000 attendees statewide.
The Selig Center studies economic, demographic and social issues related to Georgia’s growth, guiding the state’s businesses, governments and entrepreneurs on financial decisions and public policy. Specializing in economic forecasts and economic impact studies, the center is nationally recognized for its market research on multicultural buying power.
Each year, the series kicks off in Atlanta with a networking luncheon followed by a national and state forecast. Terry College of Business Dean Benjamin C. Ayers provides the state forecast and Mark Vitner, former senior economist for Wells Fargo, provides the national forecast. Additional events in cities across Georgia feature state and local forecasts from business leaders.
Benjamin C. Ayers
Dean and Earl Davis Chair in Taxation, Terry College of Business
Ben Ayers is dean of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business and holds the Earl Davis Chair in Taxation. He came to UGA in 1996 and served as director of the Tull School of Accounting for nine years before his appointment as the college’s 12th dean in 2014. Under his leadership, the Terry College completed its Building Terry campaign, raising $121 million to support faculty, programs and facilities for the state-of-the-art Business Learning Community, located in the heart of the UGA campus. Ayers serves on the Board of Synovus Bank’s Northeast Georgia Division, Benson’s Inc., the CFO Roundtable, as a Trustee of Athens Academy and earned his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. Before pursuing his Ph.D., he worked for KPMG in Atlanta and Tampa and Complete Health Inc. in Birmingham.
Piedmont Crescent Capital
Mark Vitner founded Piedmont Crescent Capital in 2022 after spending 30 years as managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank. At his new firm, Vitner writes numerous economic reports and provides analysis of local economies and residential and commercial real estate.
Originally from Atlanta, Vitner earned a BBA in economics from the University of Georgia and an MBA from the University of Florida. He is a member of the National Association of Business Economics and its inaugural Certified Business Economist program. He chaired the Economic Advisory Council for the California Chamber of Commerce for three years and currently serves on the Joint Board of Economists for the Commonwealth of Virginia. His commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and many other publications, and he makes frequent guest appearances on CNBC and other major networks.