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NAU’s Business Outreach

The business environment is more dynamic and uncertain than at any time in recent history. Fortunately, Arizona businesses can turn to Northern Arizona University’s Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center (ABBOC) for help in navigating today’s choppy waters. Since 1999, ABBOC has provided services to regional businesses, governmental groups and others interested in strengthening the region’s economic climate.

The Center, which serves as the community outreach arm of The W.A. Franke College of Business, houses five groups, each of which focuses on a key area related to economic development. The Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center provides market research related to the hospitality industry, in addition to training, certification and data management services. The Arizona Rural Policy Institute focuses on improving life in Arizona’s rural communities through policy analysis and research and technical assistance. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research assists economic development by providing feasibility studies, impact analyses and strategic planning services to regional businesses, governmental agencies and other organizations. The Center for American Indian Economic Development provides technical assistance, training and consulting services to Arizona’s Tribes and Tribal entrepreneurs. Finally, the Computer Training Center delivers hands-on computer software training and computerized testing to individuals and organizations.

ABBOC also houses the NAU Road Scholar program. The Road Scholar program (formerly known as Elderhostel) offers dozens of learning programs annually. Programs include tours of Native American lands, hiking tours, and inter-generational programs. Service programs allow participants to make a difference in the lives of others by tutoring K-12 students or helping to restore ecosystems and historic sites. Since its beginning in 1983, over 90,000 individuals have participated in NAU Road Scholar programs.

It’s an exciting time for ABBOC. Last month, the Center was renamed to acknowledge Alliance Bank’s generous support. In addition, ABBOC secured a seven-figure grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. This grant enables ABBOC to provide business services that will help area high-technology businesses accelerate the commercialization of their products.

On Nov. 8, 2012, ABBOC will host the 37th Annual Economic Outlook Conference at Flagstaff’s High Country Conference Center. The conference, which is sponsored jointly by ABBOC and Alliance Bank, brings together experts from across the region to discuss the national and regional economic horizon. This year’s keynote speaker is Robert Sarver, chairman and CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation, and managing partner of the Phoenix Suns. In addition, Elliot Pollack, CEO of Elliot D. Pollack & Company and NAU’s own Ronald Gunderson and Dennis Foster will offer their insights on the national and regional economies, along with forecasts of coming interest rates and inflation. For more information on ABBOC’s services, please see http://www.franke.nau.edu/business-outreach. FBN


Written by the Dean of NAU’s Franke College of Business Craig Van Slyke

The W.A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University is home to over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students. The College’s faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of its students and the economic development of the region. For more information on The W.A. Franke College of Business,go to http://www.franke.nau.edu/.

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