Editor’s Note: Members of the Salt Lake Chamber are visiting Washington, D.C., this week to interact with and learn from key thought leaders in our nation’s capital. Vice President for Business and Community Relations Ryan Evans is writing a three-day travelogue to share activities with other Chamber members. Learn more about the Chamber’s DC visit at www.slchamber.com/dc.
More than 50 business leaders gathered inside the auditorium of the Grand Hyatt Washington this morning to kick off the first day of meetings for the Chamber’s annual Washington DC Trip. Amongst our delegation is the current chair of the board of governors, Ray Pickup of Worker’s Compensation Fund, and four past chairs: Dave Golden, Wells Fargo; Scott Parson, Staker Parson; Chris Redgrave, Zions Bank; and Mark Howell, America West Bank.
The day started with a presentation from David Merritt, Managing Director of Leavitt Partners. Merritt described the future of health care in America and the upcoming elections. With 50 days left, the presidential election is very close and Republicans only need to pick up four seats to win control of the Senate. Clearly, there is a lot riding on November’s elections. According to Merritt, if we end up with a Democrat-controlled Senate and/or President Obama is re-elected, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue and accelerate. Should Republicans win the Senate and Romney wins the Oval Office, the future of health care in America will look dramatically different.
The group then toured the DC London Social Media War Room created by NUVI, a Utah-based company. This multimedia technology room monitors 3,000 social media conversations per second. DC London uses this tracking technology to help its clients develop a social media strategy and interact with social media conversations around the world.
Gov. Gary Herbert honored the group with a visit for lunch back at the Grand Hyatt. Utah’s 17th governor discussed the role of government, what he thinks is working well in Utah and the impact of Washington and the upcoming elections on the state. The group engaged the governor with questions about water conservation, education, the downgrade of America’s credit rating, energy development in Utah, and the role of post-performance tax credits and grants in Utah’s economic development efforts.
After an afternoon of personal business meetings or an optional group activity to take a bike tour of the DC monuments and attractions, the group will reconvene this evening for dinner at Hillsdale College, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, for a presentation by Sen. Mike Lee on the 225th Anniversary of the Constitution.