A screenshot of John C. Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, during his recent Fireside Chat

The Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business provided viewers with a rare opportunity on June 24, 2021, when they hosted a virtual Fireside Chat with John C. Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank (“the Fed”). The event was moderated by Mark Stroud, a Lecturer in the Department of Economics in the Chazanoff School.

Dr. Susan Holak, the Founding Dean of the School, recalled that, “The Federal Reserve staff contacted Professor Stroud and myself about the opportunity, noting that President Williams would be doing a virtual ‘listening tour’ for three days on Staten Island. They wanted a final event that would be culmination of this visit.” Other “stops” on this tour included meetings with business leaders, government representatives, and community leaders and stakeholders from across the island.

Stroud, who also mentors Chazanoff School students for the NY Federal Reserve Challenge competition, asked President Williams a variety of questions, ranging from the state of the economies on Staten Island and in NYC, to other topics like challenges to the national economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fed’s measures for curbing inflation, the possibility of modeling climate change into analyses of long-term regional growth, and President Williams’s views on cryptocurrencies. These questions were drawn from attendees’ submissions when they registered for the event.  President Williams underscored that transportation issues had come up a number of times in his listening tour of the Borough.

Dean Holak noted that she was thrilled with the audience that had been in attendance, even though there were fewer classes in session during the summer term compared to fall and spring semesters. Students from a number of disciplines such as economics, finance, public administration, and business law had nevertheless tuned in to the Zoom session to view the event. In addition, community members, School of Business alumni, and press correspondents from around the world were on the call.

Summing up, Dean Holak said, “It was a highly successful event! We are sincerely honored that the Fed reached out to us as an anchor institution in our community. It was a great opportunity for the Chazanoff School to work with a variety of business groups, to meet President Williams, and to collaborate with the NY Fed staff.”

By Terry Mares and Warrick Bell