Health Holtz
Board of Directors
Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

I'm Heath Holtz, senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain management, and purchasing at Nissan North America. We employ over 20,000 employees across the United States. Sixteen-thousand of those work within our manufacturing facilities. We like to think that the manufacturing sector is the heartbeat of the economy. By looking at manufacturing, you can truly get an understanding of what's occurring with growth, anticipated sales growth; what's going on in terms of employment, wage growth. And you also get an understanding in terms of investment and where we are going. So as the manufacturing industry goes, so does the U.S. economy, so does the Tennessee economy and the Southeast economy.

Nissan North America has an extensive history with the Atlanta Fed. Through the Regional Economic Information Network, we interface with the Atlanta Fed—specifically, the Nashville Branch—to discuss what was going on within the economy, what was going on within manufacturing. It's extremely important for industries to be able to provide grassroots information—what's truly going on within the company, what we see within the industry, and what we're seeing within our specific industry sector. This type of grassroots information provides a lot of insight on specifically what we're doing and how it impacts the overall national economy.

I value a number of resources from the Atlanta Fed, but I have to say primarily it's the network, that allows us access to industry leaders, to economists and also data to help us understand what's going on throughout the nation, within the region, to help us better plan for the future.