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Whittaker Report

What in the world is going on?

By Pete Julius

The stock market may have rebounded to pre-September 11 levels, but the economical and psychological effects remain uncertain.

As the economy continues to struggle, predicting corporate behavior becomes more difficult. Merger and acquisition activity is beginning to regain momentum, IPO’s are still stagnant and financial institutions are sitting on their hands. Companies are adjusting forecasted figures, putting plans on hold, restructuring and in extreme cases filing for bankruptcy.  So, what does this tell us?

Looking at the core of these companies and linking them to recent events does reveal some interesting conclusions. For instance, as people are still reluctant to fly there is an increasing demand to conduct teleconferences. JDS Uniphase, Tellabs and other companies in the fiber optic industries stand a strong chance to rebound. Cepheid, which makes devices that detect biological agents, and other related companies are in good position to achieve great gains. These are examples of companies that can provide comfort and security. 

Any organization that can assist the nation to move forward, stimulate the economy or reduce fear of more possible threats will receive the most gain, at least in the short-run.  However, any additional, monumental terrorist attacks could pose a serious threat, which could explain why financial institutions are sitting on their hands.

Tips & Tricks

By Jeff Vedders
Many of us are faced with the challenge of managing our multiple communication channels, especially email. Here are some tips we’ve learned about using email that may be helpful to you.
1. Use the built in rules within software such as Outlook to set up filters to sort your mail into folder by sender, topic and source. Set up folders for each of your key projects can help you prioritize your time.
2. Limit the length of your email and communicate the key points within the first three sentences. Longer message perhaps should be done as a phone call or in person.
3. Consider using wireless technology such as the Blackberry to allow you to whittle down you inbox while traveling.

4. Use a service that allows for the use of Web Mail so that you can access your mail from any Internet browser.

5. Flag important message for future review using the flag feature within your email software.

Another issue many economic development practitioners are faced with is how to continue producing results with diminishing resources. Database marketing, the use of targeted list of companies, has become one of the most efficient and effective methods of generating prospects according to a recent study. By focusing resources on those firms with a need to relocate or expand their operations, economic development practitioners have been able to maximize the use of their limited resources. Our website,, contains several case studies of how this methodology has been used.