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KNOXVILLE — Representatives of Opryland, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corp. will be at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Thursday, Feb. 5, to participate in a panel discussion about the economic outlook for the retail, hospitality and tourism industry.

Free and open to the public, the Retail and Hospitality Economic Outlook Panel will be held from 12:45 to 3 p.m. in the Shiloh Room of the University Center.

“The goal of the Economic Outlook Panel is to give students and other attendees a realistic picture of our economic situation, how companies within various sectors of the retail and hospitality industries are facing the current situation and positioning themselves for the future,” said Nancy Rutherford, professor and head of the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

Stan Eichelbaum, president of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Marketing Development Inc. will moderate the panel. He will begin the discussion with an assessment the economy and what might happen in the future. The industry representatives will discuss strategies their companies are using to be successful.

The panel also will discuss what the lagging economy means for students –– skill sets they will need, what companies are looking for, how to position themselves to secure jobs and be successful, etc.

A question-and-answer session will follow.

The Economic Outlook Panel is being held in conjunction with the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management Career Fair and Networking Event, which will run 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.


Nancy Rutherford, (865) 974-6614,

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,