Citizens National Bank hosted its' second annual business symposium Tuesday night with noted economist Todd Buchholz, whose been from the White House to Wall Street stopping in Prestonsburg along the way, as the featured speaker. Buchholz is a former White House director of economic policy, award-winning teacher at Harvard and managing director of the $10 billion investment fundTiger hedge. He is one of the founders and managing director of the Two Oceans Fund, co-producer of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys, has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Reader's Digest and also appears as a regular commentator on ABC News, the PBS Nightly Business Report and hosted his own special on CNBC. With a variety of people attending including civic and business leaders from throughout eastern Kentucky, along with groups of students from both Alice Lloyd and Pikeville College, Buchholz provided an insight on the economies of the U.S. and eastern Kentucky discussing in depth the opportunites and challenges that society may face as the result of employment trends, inflation, energy, population shifts and overall economic trends. While Buchholz told the audience that we're in a "scissors economy," meaning people are trying to cut out the middle man to cut costs, he reminded them that in a modern economy, we're all the middle man. He especially encouraged the attending students to focus and learn why a middle man is needed in busineses and be able to display that knowledge when in job interviews. He also explained the change in weight and value of the gross domestic product and how it has increased throughout the years. "If God had a scale for GDP 20 years ago it would be the same as it is today, only worth about 20 times more," said Buchholz. Business students were encouraged to avoid what Buchholz referred to as "commodity hell" by not venturing into businesses that have the same thing as everyone else, but to have products that are better, faster, and bigger and to realize that while most people may not be millionaires and millionaires, they can take advantage of those who are. "I won't pay $2,000 for a rolly bag just because of the Coach label," said Buchholz. "But I would buy stocks in that company." Hosted at the Mountain Arts Center, refreshments were available before the presentation with Buchholz available after to sign copies of his book, Market Shock: New Ideas from Dead Economists and From Here to Economy, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Despite Buchholz's gathered research and wealth of knowledge on economics, he offered perhaps the most simple and common-sense advice to those planning to succeed in economics and business, "You can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket."