The theatre at Palladio Cinemas was packed Thursday morning as members of the local business community and inquisitive residents attended Future Folsom 2023, presented by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. 


This annual event brings in industry and business experts as keynote speakers to talk about everything from innovation, business growth, economic development, medical technology and more. Each year the speakers connect their topic with how it benefits Folsom and in many cases, how it can bring them business success in the future. 

Wednesday’s event opened with a networking session in the main lobby, complete with a continental breakfast. After those in attendance got the opportunity to meet and greet area business colleagues, they headed to one of the auditoriums for the presentation portion of the event. 


Sadie St. Lawrence opened up the keynote speaker session. Lawrence is the Principle of SSL Innovations and Founder and CEO of Women in Data. She engaged the audience with a presentation on the growth of CHAT GPT technology. Many today worry that such technology will eliminate jobs one day, Lawrence noted that yes, 87 million jobs could be across the nation with the new technology, however, some 97 million new roles will be created from it as soon as 2025.  She went on to detail the different roles and the paradigm shift that is underway with such technology in place. 

Chris Jacobs, Vice President and General Manager of Embedded Market Segments in Micron’s Embedded Business Unit.  Jacobs focused his presentation on chip technology in the automotive industry and its projected growth ahead. 


Dr John Gisla, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Hospital of Folsom was the third speaker on the roster. Gisla spoke in regards to Dignity Health’s commitment to customer care as well as the need for medical care growth in the Folsom area. He noted that often, Mercy Folsom is nearly filled to capacity.  The medical provider will be building an additional medical center South of Highway 50 ahead. Gisla also touched on patient care and personal experiences during his career. 


The final speaker of the morning was Ken K. Hira. Hira is the president of Kosmont Companies. Kosmont Companies is an industry leader in economic development and real estate advisory services, serving the needs of cities, counties, quasi-governmental agencies, private companies, developers and non-profit organizations including educational institutions across California with public and private transactions.

Following the speaker series, guests boarded a chartered tour bus for a tour of Folsom and the surround community. The tour started off with the Palladio and the future site of the AC Marriott Hotel.  From there the tour took guest to view Folsom’s newest senior complex, Broadstone Villas, the new science building at Folsom Lake College. 


The tour travelling through the Folsom Central Business District, including a stop at the Granite School building, home of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and a vital facility for area startup businesses. Black Miner’s Bar recreation area was another stop followed by a tour of the Folsom River District, Power School, Glenborough. 

Crossing over the freeway, Folsom Ranch was the final leg of the tour, with a look at the new site for the proposed Folsom Ranch Sports Complex, the South East Connector, the Regency at Folsom Ranch, Town Center, the new Alder Creek Elementary School construction site as well as the Dignity Health, Kaiser and UC Davis Health Sites.

Guest left the event informed of what’s coming to the rapidly growing Folsom community. The entire event was professionally planned and presented by the staff Choose Folsom and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce as they continue to foster economic development across the city to bring tax revenue and jobs to the region.  Learn more at

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.