2013 Small Town and Rural Conference

2013 rural conference

For the ninth year, the Small Town & Rural Development Conference is coming to Michigan. With break-out sessions featuring local experts, communities of all sizes will take away something special to support and promote revitalization and vibrant communities. Not to mention, for the first time, the conference is hosting a a locally-sourced food and beverage pairing dinner featuring Michigan-made products – including wine from Blackstar Farms

This year, there will be three keynote speakers bringing a diverse wealth of knowledge to the table.

Dan Gilmartin headshotPlacemaking in Small Towns: Tuesday, April 23 from 8:45-9:45 a.m.
Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director, Michigan Municipal League

Dan Gilmartin is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform and transportation policy. As head of the Michigan Municipal League, he continues to champion Michigan communities as an advocate and leader on the radio, in Lansing and Washington and across the state. Model D Media has described him as “an urban thinker with an eye for the small, oft-unnoticed changes that can make ‘places’ out of streets and buildings.”

Amy Cortese headshotLocavesting: How Local Investing Can Rebuild our Communities and Economy: Tuesday, April 23 from noon-1:45 p.m.
Amy Cortese, Award-winning journalist and author

Small, locally-owned companies create jobs and healthy economies. So why do we invest so little in them? More and more investors and economic developers are realizing that it pays to invest local. Communities across the country are finding ways to channel capital to the homegrown businesses that can help revitalize their communities and take control of their destinies.

Lillian Salerno, Rural Development, Rural Business Service, Acting AdministratorOpening Address from the USDA: Wednesday, April 24 from 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Lillian Salerno, Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Lillian Salerno became the Acting Administrator for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) agency of the USDA’s Rural Development mission area in September, 2012. Salerno brings over twenty years of experience in creating initiatives for strengthening work forces and promoting jobs both domestically and internationally.

The conference is generously sponsored by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, among others. Join the conversation, share inspiration and work to create a vibrant rural Michigan.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity and register today.

Questions? Contact Claire Glenn at glenn@cedamichigan.org