Jarrod Hunt, senior vice president of Industrial Services, recently returned from Forbes’ first Reinventing America Summit in Chicago. The Summit hosted more than 300 innovators, business leaders, growth-focused policy makers and academics who are helping usher in the next industrial revolution.
As a participant, Hunt was interviewed by Forbes for insights into how he sees economic conditions in the countryÐand his view on the future. From his cautious optimism about the continued growth and investment in technology to his belief that water holds the most promise in the coming decades, Hunt’s views are a solid voice to a much bigger conversation on the growth of the nation’s industrial core.
Hunt’s full interview with Forbes is below:
On March 26-28, Forbes will host its first Reinventing America Summit in Chicago, Illinois, a congress of more than 300 innovators, business leaders, growth-focused policy makers and academics who are helping usher in the next industrial revolution.
Leading up to the event, we’ve asked a few of our speakers to give us some quick insights into how they see economic conditions in the country and their view on the future.
As senior vice president of Industrial Services at Coldwell Banker Commercial, Jarrod Hunt advises clients on their acquisition or disposition of industrial real estate assets, while working closely with developers in site selection and design for new construction. He also serves on the board of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and is a Charter Organization Representative with the Boys Scouts of America.
Hunt, along with speakers Bill Ford, Sam Zell, Harold Hamm, and a host of others, will be participants at the Reinventing America Summit.
On a scale of 1-5, how optimistic are you that the American economy has really turned a corner?
I would put the economy at a 3.5 right now.
What’s your outlook for your industry/community for the next couple years? What makes you most excited?
I am optimistic with some level of caution about the continued growth and investment in technology. I’m pessimistic about goverment overreach and the high cost of regulatory compliance are the first that come to mind followed by a declining work ethic within our nation. I see so many young adults that really have no aspirations to accomplish something great with their lives. I think we have a real problem brewing with our youth today and the things that are important to them. We can’t continue to build a nation that our forefathers envisioned on a generation of people selling hamburgers to each other.
What overlooked trends do you see that hold promise for the overall economy and productivity? What, on the other hand, is being over-hyped?
I think life sciences is an area that should receive much more attention that it does. We have the opportunity to really make a difference for mankind and the quality of life with greater focus on nutrition, preventive health care, microbiology and how to interface that technology with computing power. Social media is over-hyped. It has received more attention than it deserves. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etcÉ really don’t improve peoples lives, it likely hurts it in most cases.
If you were starting your career over right now what area of the economy/industry would you focus on? What holds the most promise for the coming decades?
Water. Water is the key to everything. We need to really discuss as a nation what we are doing with our water resources and if they are being used for the best purposes. Energy independence, high value manufacturing, life sciences.
If you could say one thing to President Obama right now about how best to foster growth in your industry or community, what would it be?
We need a total overhaul of the federal governments structure and mission. There are so many layers upon layers of regulations that have driven the exciting growth out of our economy, its very discouraging for entrepreneurs to even start a business. The tax code alone has been tweaked so many times with so many special interests being accommodated that it has required considerable effort and cost by the majority to just interpret and comply the regulations. Its terrible. The government’s role is not to allow for, in some cases encourage, and then remediate poor personal choice and accountability. Our country was built on a notion that personal freedoms are most sacred, which comes at a cost of personal sacrifice and consequences of choice.