May 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
U.S. and Global Economy: A Marriage of Equals?


  • Rajeev Dhawan, Economic Forecasting Center, Georgia State University
  • Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer, UPS
  • William Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Brian Olasov, managing director, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Conference Program

8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Words of Welcome Fenwick Huss
J. Mack Robinson College of
Georgia State University
8:35 a.m. Global Growth Markets and Trade »
Kurt Kuehn will discuss how he views the global economic outlook from his perspective as the Kuehn, CFO of UPS, one of the world’s largest logistics companies. He will discuss inventory as an economic indicator in the new era of e-commerce, with the emergence of business to consumer (B2C) and business to retail (B2R) marketplaces served through new logistics products such as UPS My Choice. Kurt also will describe Europe as a global growth market and the strategy behind UPS’s recent agreement to acquire TNTtalks about U.And he’ll talk about the future of manufacturing in North America, which is becoming a more attractive market for factories with the discovery of new energy supplies and stagnant wages relative to other parts of the worldS. All of these trends have implications for UPS, other businesses, exports, logistics, and international economic forecasters.
Kurt Kuehn
Chief Financial Officer
9:00 a.m. The Renaissance in Manufacturing – Job Savior? »
The manufacturing sector’s recovery has been impressive with growth more than double historical trends and jobs being added. Mr. Strauss will review the state of the manufacturing recovery with a focus on the sectors that are leading the turnaround. He will also highlight the importance of determining the health of manufacturing based upon output rather than labor.
William Strauss
Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
9:25 a.m. The Use (and Abuse) of Appraisals in Real Estate Finance »
Appraisals have always been at the core of real estate investing and financing. After the real estate shocks of the last five years, we can now consider hard, empirical evidence as to how appraisals have performed under pressure. With the success or failure of banks driven largely by changes in real estate values, with mortgage securitization underperforming from a collapse in values, Brian Olasov analyzes the evidence from thousands of commercial real estate liquidations to determine how much reliance markets, lenders, investors and regulators should place on valuations and whether declining appraisals crimp lending activity generally. The dynamics that adversely affect national markets play an even more punishing role in Georgia real estate and banking.
Brian Olasov
Managing Director
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
9:50 a.m. Q & A
10:05 a.m. Refreshments Break
10:30 a.m. Forecast of the Nation, State and Region For many years, the conventional wisdom was that if the US sneezes, the world catches a cold. But one may wonder how does “sneezing” around the world affect the US economy? Will an economic slowdown in Asia impact the manufacturing recovery in the U.S.? What are the implications of European malaise on American corporate and real estate outlook? Rajeev Dhawan
Economic Forecasting Center
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
11:40 a.m. Q & A Conclusion
11:50 a.m. Light Lunch & Networking

Industry Speakers

Kurt Kuehn

Chief Financial Officer


Kurt Kuehn.

Kurt Kuehn, UPS’s Chief Financial Officer, has been on the front lines of UPS’s transformation from a private U.S.-focused small package delivery company to one of the world’s largest publicly-traded logistics companies with more than 400,000 employees.

Today, he is responsible for all activities related to accounting, finance, auditing, financial planning, taxes and treasury. He also is the liaison to the investor, finance and analyst community.

Kuehn is a member of the UPS Management Committee, a group of the company’s most senior executives who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the company.

Prior to his appointment as CFO in 2008, he was Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales and Marketing, leading the revamping of the sales organization to improve the customer experience around the globe. He was also UPS’s first Vice President of Investor Relations, taking the company public in 1999 – the largest IPO in the 20th century. In the subsequent decade, the company dramatically expanded internationally and absorbed more than 40 mergers and acquisitions which expanded UPS’s small package delivery capability to include freight forwarding, freight transportation, specialty healthcare logistics capabilities, and supply chain management. Since he joined UPS as a driver in 1977, his UPS career has included leadership roles in sales and marketing, engineering, operations, and strategic cost planning.

He also was one of the early internal supporters of UPS’s sustainability program, working on the very first sustainability report in 2002. He remains a member of the Corporate Sustainability Steering Committee.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Kuehn serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Woodruff Arts Center.

A native of South Bend, Ind., he attended Yale University and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami. He also is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of Business.


William A. Strauss

Senior Economist and Economic Advisor

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

William Strauss

William A. Strauss is a Senior Economist and Economic Advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which he joined in 1982. His chief responsibilities include analyzing the current performance of both the Midwest economy and the manufacturing sector for use in monetary policy. He produces the monthly Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index and organizes the Bank’s Economic Outlook Symposium and Automotive Outlook Symposium. In addition, he conducts several economic workshops and industrial roundtables throughout the year.

Strauss earned a B.A. in economics and geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and an M.A. in economics from Northwestern University. He has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and Webster University in Chicago. He currently teaches at DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and at the University of Chicago Graham School of General Studies. At the latter institution, he was named winner of the 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award in the Business and Professional Programs.

His research papers include analysis of the manufacturing sector, the automotive sector, the Midwest regional economy, the trade-weighted dollar, business cycles, and Federal Reserve payments operations.

Mr. Strauss has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows and quoted in the major business magazines and newspapers. He has also provided testimony concerning manufacturing issues to the U.S. Senate.

He is a past president of the Chicago Association of Business Economists; a past board member for the National Association for Business Economics; a member of the National Business Economics Issues Council; a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University at Buffalo; a member of the Advisory Board for the Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, & Economic Growth and Development, a member of the Advisory Council for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Economic Education; a member of the Economic Advisory Committee for the Council on Competitiveness; and a board member of Global Midwest Alliance.


Brian Olasov

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Olasov Brian

Brian Olasov is a Managing Director at the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, based in its Atlanta and Washington, D.C. offices. He provides business and capital markets consultation services to the finance and corporate departments, and analytical support for the litigation department developing damage estimates, modeling economic arguments for use in negotiations and litigation and analyzing solvency and liquidity issues with the bankruptcy department. He often works with the firm’s mortgage servicer clients in complicated restructurings, PSA compliance and breach claim issues and with banks facing regulatory scrutiny over capital and real estate loan challenges.

Brian is frequently retained as an expert witness in disputes involving structured finance, mortgage-backed securities servicing and credit risk. He has been qualified to testify as an expert in various valuation and loan servicing issues in residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities litigation. Brian is quoted widely in the national press on issues involving the banking industry, mortgage finance capital markets and the government’s response to the credit crisis. He is a contributing author to several books on banking and securitization and sits on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee for the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, the editorial board of CRE Finance World, the board of directors of the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council and the Advisory Board to Trigild. Brian has lectured at Columbia, Wharton, Georgia State and was an adjunct professor at Emory Law. He has a BA from Yale and an MBA from Emory Goizueta Business School.