Meeting/Event Information

Dinner Meeting - U.S. Economic Outlook - October 23, 2018

October 23, 2018
4:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The Junior League of Houston
1811 Briar Oaks Lane
Houston, TX 77027

Dinner Session

Topic: U.S. Economic Outlook

The presentation will provide an overview of recent global developments and a detailed analysis of economic trends in the United States, Texas, and Houston. 

The discussion will also focus on the potential implications from tax reform, the Fed’s monetary policy normalization, and trade policy. 

In addition, the presentation will examine key challenges and opportunities impacting our region.

Nathaniel Karp
BBVA Compass

Before joining the BBVA Group in 1999, Nathaniel Karp worked for The World Bank, Mexico’s Ministry of Education and Advanced Technology for Trade Information and Services.

Karp was appointed BBVA Chief U.S. Economist in 2004, to assist the group’s management in the expansion strategy in the U.S. market. Previously, Nathaniel worked at BBVA Bancomer as Director of Financial and Banking Research. His main responsibilities are conducting in-depth analyses of macroeconomic variables, monetary policy, and regional and industry trends for BBVA Compass. Karp’s team develops sound econometric tools and models

and performs a rigorous and objective assessment on several topics relevant to the group’s operations in the U.S. The team publishes several publications on the U.S. economy that are made available to customers and communities served by BBVA Compass.

Bloomberg News recently named Karp and his team the top forecaster of 10-year Treasury yields. Karp also earned a third-place ranking for non-farm payroll forecasting. Karp reports to BBVA Compass President and CEO Manolo Sánchez.

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)
University of Warwick

Professional Development Session

“Using Learning & Development as a Strategic Tool to Develop and Retain Millennials & Generation Z"

  • Corporate Learning & Development must reinvent itself to become aligned with the new generation of the workforce, who will be at 75% of the workforce by 2025

  • The old rules for L&D do not apply.  Learning at the point of need, on any device, at any time will become the new norm.

  • Adaptive learning, system based knowledge of a learner’s preferences will become more the norm

  • Smaller bits of learning, more specific to the user or user group will become the norm

  • How the changing landscape will impact the corporate approach to development and retention - and leverage the change in approach to attract the new generation of workers


Alan Brush

Sirius Solutions

I have spent the last 18 years of my career in the Human Capital space. During this period I have worked in software-as-a-service with applications for performance management, succession planning, and learning management. For the last 10 years, I have worked in the service area, providing consulting and learning delivery support in areas such as leadership development, IT change management programs, sales acumen and development, and business process improvement. My industry experience includes healthcare, telecommunications, retail, financial services, and manufacturing.

I have become a passionate advocate for the benefits of learning & development in the corporate world. I have seen first-hand the benefits of organizational cultures that develop their employees through exceptional processes and senior leadership support. These organizations are destination points for a wide array of individuals who are highly motivated to make a contribution to the organization while advancing their careers. 

My focus is to help organizations improve their performance and profitability by leveraging their most critical asset, their employees, enabling exceptional customer support and a culture of development and growth for the individual.


Laura Howell

Comfort Systems USA, Inc.

Laura Howell is Associate General Counsel of Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE: FIX), a leading provider of mechanical contracting services, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, piping, and controls. The company has over 9,500 employees located in 112 cities throughout the United States. Laura advises the company on a broad range of corporate governance, compliance and transactional matters. She also plays a key role in the company’s health and welfare benefits strategy and implementation. Prior to joining Comfort Systems USA, Laura was a corporate attorney in the Houston office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she focused her practice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities offerings in the oil and gas industry. Laura started her legal career in the Silicon Valley office of Fenwick & West LLP, where she concentrated her practice on a broad variety of corporate matters to support clients in the high technology and life sciences industries. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wake Forest University and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.


Rod Branch

Rod Branch is the Chief Human Resources Officer for HydroChemPSC, a nationwide energy and utilities industrial service company. The company is privately held, has 5500 employees and is headquartered in Deer Park, Texas. Previously, Rod was the CHRO for PSC Industrial Services prior to the merger with HydroChem in October 2017 and was named CHRO for the combined companies. He has 23 years of experience in Human Resources and 15 years in Engineering and Government Affairs. His work experience includes time with BP, Enron, and The Coca-Cola Company prior to HydroChemPSC. Rod holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science in Global Human Resource Management from the University of Liverpool (UK). His professional expertise is in organizational development with an emphasis in leadership development.
Presented by


4:00 PM - Beat the Traffic Social
4:30 PM - Professional Development Session Speaker 
5:30 PM - Social Hour
6:30 PM - Dinner & Presentation

We would like to thank our Platinum Sponsor for sponsoring the Professional Development Session: 

Thank you to our Gold Sponsor:

To log in, you will use your email address and the password you have set. If you need to reset the password just select the link on the login box to reset.

Having Trouble Registering Online?
Email Logan Beszterda for help -

Prospective Member Form
Prospective Members must be submitted via the form link. All forms must be submitted for approval by the membership committee by 5:00 pm on the Wednesday before the meeting. Once approved, FEI will register prospects and inform the member or sponsor contact that the prospect has been approved to attend. This is applicable to anyone bringing a prospective member.

CPE Credit is offered for the PD Session and the Dinner Presentation.  One (1) hour of CPE is offered for each program.  There is not pre-requisite preparation or experience required.

If you have not already done so, please register by 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 19, 2018.   
Please note that no-shows will be invoiced $50.


$0.00 FEI Chapter Member