Choose Folsom’s Future Folsom events are always memorable, with expert speakers on timely topics, a supportive business community, and great energy. 


Last month’s event was no different, other than knocking my expectations out of the park. And seeing how many Future Folsoms I’ve been part of, that says something.

As always, I like to share my takeaways from the event, especially for those unable to attend. Here are a few highlights that stood out for me.


Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Work?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has dominated the headlines lately, whether here on LinkedIn or in the news. Sadie St. Lawrence, Principle of SSL Innovations and Founder and CEO of Women In Data, provided a thorough overview and showed us how automation could impact work in the future. (Spoiler alert: there will be tremendous opportunities for AI specializations, from sales to data science.) I particularly enjoyed seeing her live demo, which helped illustrate practical ways to use it. 


I’m looking forward to seeing how our local businesses find ways to use AI to grow and develop.


Automotive Industry’s Future 

We’ve all seen how our cars have become smarter and more complex. No longer something to wrench on in our garage, today’s vehicles have computers, memory chips, and firmware that put some of our computers to shame. 


Chris Jacobs of Micron Technology, the fourth largest semiconductor company in the world, shared how Micron plays an essential role in the automotive industry, creating micron memory and storage for what has become a ‘data center on wheels.’   

It gave me a new respect for the engineering and technology that goes into our cars today.

Future-Proofing Development

Ken K. Hira, the President of Kosmont Companies, is an expert in real estate and economic development who understands how a variety of trends, including retail, economic development, and blended-use projects, to name a few, will impact the present and possible future of a destination.

So, I was eager to hear his insights about Folsom, and I wasn’t disappointed. He shared burgeoning trends on the consumer, investment, and municipal sides and what he sees in housing, retail, and office space. 

Folsom’s seen many positive gains since 2019, including home prices, office rents, and hotel rates, and he shared a few economic development tools to continue that trend.

Thanks to everyone who presented, including Dr. John Gisla of Dignity Health, the Choose Folsom team for setting up the bus tour of Folsom projects afterward, and the Palladio for hosting us. 

Thanks also to our sponsors for supporting this event, including Presenting Sponsors Dignity Health, Folsom Ranch, Intel Corporation, and SMUD.

Joe Gagliardi is the President and CEO of Choose Folsom, the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.

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Joe Gagliardi
Author: Joe Gagliardi