September 2021 Industry Speakers

Industry Speakers

Lester Jones
Chief Economist
National Beer Wholesalers Association

Lester Jones serves as the Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a national trade organization that represents the interests of America’s 3,000+ independent, licensed beer distributors that service every state. He has more than 20 years of experience in survey research, alcohol beverages and applied economics. He also serves on the Boards of The Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM Coalition).

As NBWA Chief Economist, Jones tracks the economic factors that impact the beer industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He evaluates and develops primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales, and volume data. Jones previously served as Chief Economist at the Beer Institute. Jones has a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

John Hunt

MarketNSight & ViaSearch
  John Hunt is the Chief Analyst and Principal of MarketNsight, providing market analysis for 35 markets across the Southeast. With over 30 years’ experience in the housing industry, his emphasis has been on both qualitative and quantitative analysis which has led to extremely accurate modeling and forecasting. John was part of the team that predicted the 2007 housing recession in September of 2005. John is on the leading edge of Millennial and Active Adult buying trends and was one of the first to signal housings “New Normal” where empty nesters took over as the largest group of new home buyers after the downturn. John also accurately predicted the dramatic loss of First Time Buyers after 2013 and tied it to the disappearance of distressed building lots.
At the June 2019 MarketWatch Atlanta event, he was the first in the nation to call the bottom of the 2018/2019 housing collapse. In his recent analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, John was the first in the nation to call a bottom in housing during the early weeks of the pandemic on April 21st, 2020.
John is a highly sought-after speaker on the economy and real estate and is regularly quoted and published as a housing expert in local and national publications and news outlets, including CNN, FOX, Money INC, Bloomberg, Builder Magazine, The AJC and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.John is a regular speaker on the economy and real estate at the nationally covered Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center and the largest semi-annual event for the Georgia Housing Industry (MarketWatch) since 2006. He has spoken at IBS every year since 2018.