Maggie Harlow of Louisville, Kentucky, a SIGNARAMA and Transworld Business Advisors franchisee, was a delegate to the White House Friday, May 25. She was one of forty-five Louisville business people who met with Ari Matusiak, executive director of the White House Business Council; Mark Doms, chief economist, U.S. Department of Commerce; and other Obama administration officials to discuss economic competitiveness, job creation and innovation.
Harlow said there was a lot of general discussion of policies regarding alternative energy, education, healthcare, tax policy, bank regulation and technology—some of it simply debate about policy, but some real discussions as well.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from the afternoon. I was surprised by the depth of information we received, the willingness of the speakers to hear dissenting voices among attendees and the amount of policy and programs that are going on behind the scenes,” said Harlow. “While at times the White House and ‘politics as usual’ seem disinterested in our views and disconnected from our realities, this program helped us see the wide variety of efforts that are happening concurrently among administration leaders.”
The Business Leaders’ Briefing was sponsored by the White House Business Council/Business Forward, a group founded by large companies such as Ford, Microsoft, and Time Warner.
Harlow joined Louisville bankers, attorneys, small-business entrepreneurs and Louisville-based corporate leaders for the one-day event.
As chair of SIGNARAMA’s national co-op marketing fund, Harlow said she was intentional about representing the interests of other U.S. SIGNARAMA owners who make up the world’s largest sign franchise.
“This was an opportunity to not only offer my businesses’ perspectives and challenges, but also to speak for my franchise colleagues,” said Harlow. “It was an amazing honor and a refreshing view—a chance to see the human efforts behind the massive, seemingly impenetrable surface of D.C. politics.
“While we all didn’t agree with everything said and every policy debated, I can say with confidence that there are some genuine, heartfelt efforts going on for our behalf, even while we aren’t aware.”
For more information about SIGNARAMA Downtown, call 502/585-4099 or visit www.signaramadowntown.com.