Vail Symposium to discuss inflation and space exploration this week – Vail Daily

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This week, Vail Symposium tackles two topics: one that impacts your wallet and one that goes beyond our atmosphere. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, a panel of experts led by Richard Bard will not only discuss the current state of inflation in the United States but will also talk about their expectations for the future in a Zoom webinar. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 22, Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shephard, will join in conversation with Major General (Retired) Roy D. Bridges, Jr., at Eagle River Presbyterian Church in Avon to share stories from space and the future of space travel.
“We’re moving from micro (our wallets) to macro (the universe) next week,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of Vail Symposium. “In true Symposium fashion, our topics are diverse. Tuesday’s webinar will certainly be informative as a panel of financial experts discusses the present and future impact of inflation in the U.S. Then, we’re looking forward to welcoming two space explorers to share stories of their journeys on Thursday.”
Recently, the high level of inflation has been a hot topic in the headlines. After a lengthy “free money” environment and accommodative monetary policy, the FED is now markedly increasing interest rates and reducing market liquidity in response to near-record levels of inflation and other data. What has caused inflation to rise so rapidly–and unexpectedly–in the United States? What is the relationship between inflation and the standard of living for Americans? What are the inflation numbers and trends and how is inflation impacting different parts of the economy?
Vail Symposium will host a Zoom webinar with a panel of experts to discuss inflation in the United States and their opinions on the future. What can the government do? What is the FED likely to do? Is “stagflation” a possibility and what would it mean? How long before economic issues return to normal…and is there a normal, considering the impact of energy costs, supply chain issues, conflicts with Russia and China, climate change, food crises and more?
Does having an astronaut father guarantee a trip beyond Earth’s atmosphere? Of course not. And Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shephard, America’s first astronaut and only astronaut to hit a golf ball on the moon, does not think of herself as being an astronaut, despite her recent flight into space.
The eldest daughter of Alan Shepard, America’s first astronaut to fly into space, Churchley followed in her father’s footsteps — and trajectory — lifting off on Dec. 11, 2021 aboard the New Shepard, Blue Origin’s suborbital launch vehicle named after her dad. The 10-minute flight established Churchley as the 605th person (and 372nd American) to soar above Earth, but she did so without needing the months- or years-long preparation her father and his fellow astronauts had to undergo.
In this special program, Churchley will join in conversation with Major General (Retired) Roy D. Bridges, Jr., who piloted the Space Shuttle Challenger on the 8-day Space Lab 2 mission. He also recently released a memoir, “An Improbable Astronaut: How a Georgia Farmboy Wound Up Flying the Space Shuttle.” Together, the two will discuss her recent experience on Blue Origin, the future of civilians in space and why space exploration is as important–or more important–than ever.
Vail Symposium’s two diverse yet equally compelling programs are sure to pique interest in topics that affect us individually and as a society as a whole.
Richard Bard is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bard Capital Group, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm with a diversified portfolio. He has been involved in the acquisition and operation of several private and publicly traded businesses over the past 30 years. He previously served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Bard serves as the key interviewer for the Vail Symposium’s Financial Series.
Norbert J. Michel is vice president and director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, where he specializes in issues pertaining to financial markets and monetary policy. Michel was most recently the Director for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation where he edited, and contributed chapters to, two books: “The Case Against Dodd-Frank: How the ‘Consumer Protection Law Endangers Americans,” and “Prosperity Unleashed: Smarter Financial Regulation.”
Lisa Shalett is Chief Investment Officer and Head of the Global Investment Office for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and a member of both the Global Investment Committee and the Wealth Management Operating Committee. She works to develop portfolio solutions that leverage the firm’s strategic and tactical asset allocation advice to meet client goals delivered through both scaled and customized solutions.
David Wessel is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, the mission of which is to improve the quality of fiscal and monetary policies and public understanding of them. He joined Brookings in December 2013 after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently, he was economics editor and wrote the weekly Capital column.
Laura Shepard Churchley is the Chair of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees for the Kennedy Space Center. As the daughter of Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space and the first to hit a golf ball on the surface of the moon (on Apollo 14), Churchley makes presentations to school students, donning her father‘s flight suit and showing artifacts that have traveled to the moon and back.
Major General (Retired) Roy D. Bridges, Jr. piloted the Space Shuttle Challenger on the 8-day Space Lab 2 mission. As a pilot, test pilot and astronaut, he flew 4460 hours in a variety of aircraft. During his Air Force career, key assignments included being the Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Commander, Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick AFB and Commander, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB. General Bridges retired from Northrop Grumman on January 31, 2019, after a 13-year tenure. Bridges also recently released a memoir, “An Improbable Astronaut: How a Georgia farmboy wound up flying the Space Shuttle.”

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