Wilton, CT – January 12, 2017 – Joan K. Woodward, Executive Vice President of Travelers and President of The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., spoke before 300 guests and employees of Fairfield County Bank, Fairfield County Financial Services, and Fairfield County Bank Insurance Services at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton, Connecticut. Mrs. Woodward shared her thoughts on the state of the global economy, the key policy debates taking place on Capitol Hill, and the critical issue of cyber security facing businesses.

Mrs. Woodward discussed the United States economy and the factors driving its slow but steady growth, noting today’s 4.6% unemployment rate. She mentioned that GDP grew at a rate of 2.9% as of the third quarter this year, but actual real GDP is underperforming potential real GDP by $249 billion. She said that while the U.S. is projected to still be the largest economy by GDP in 2030, China will likely be a close second. She highlighted home sales as an essential part of economic growth, and noted that in 2010, new home sales bottomed out at 287,000, but have rebounded to 592,000 as of November 2016.

Mrs. Woodward also discussed the pressing issue of cyber security, which is a top concern for businesses. She said small organizations are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the effects can be devastating. It is critical that businesses of all sizes have a plan and know the steps to take when an incident occurs. To get started, Mrs. Woodward recommended downloading Travelers Institute’s Cybersecurity Guide.

Before joining Travelers in 2008, Mrs. Woodward served as the Vice President and Director of Washington Research for Goldman Sachs’ Global Investment Research division. She was then promoted to Executive Director of the Global Markets Institute. Mrs. Woodward has an extensive background in Public Administration as she worked in Washington, D.C., holding several key positions. She was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Senior Economist for the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Economist for the U.S. House Budget Committee.

Fairfield County Bank is a $1.5 billion community bank headquartered in Ridgefield, Connecticut with locations throughout Fairfield County. Visit to find out more about the Bank.