Economic Development Credits Available!

Missouri Main Street Connection invites Certified Economic Development professionals seeking a unique and new perspective on economic development to Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference. For economic development professionals, this conference will provide a time-tested approach to economic development through People-Centered Revitalization, which is used as a catalyst to foster entrepreneurs and boost the local economy. This is achieved by utilizing the Main Street Approach™ framework which unites people, preservation, and economic development. All of the conference sessions and educational tours count towards your requirements for recertification as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD).

The 2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts toward the recertification of CEcD.

Wednesday, July 26

2:30pm – 5:30pm: Deep Dive – Missouri’s New CDBG Program: Successful Projects that Revitalize Downtown

Missouri’s Department of Economic Development is unveiling the newly revamped Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Downtown Revitalization Fund.  Brandon Jenson, CDBG Program Manager, will share the details of the new program and how it can be used in your downtown or district.  With $1.5 million allocated to the downtown fund, you will want to learn the details of the program and how to prepare a winning application. Iowa CDBG Program was the model for Missouri’s “new” Downtown Revitalization Fund. Iowa Main Streeters, led by Jim Thompson, a familiar face to Missouri Main Street, will share how they have successfully used CDBG grant funds to jump start their Main Street efforts in communities small and large.

Currently, Brandon serves as the Program Manager, and previously served as the Chief Community Engagement and Planning Officer, for the State of Missouri’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. His work includes ensuring compliance across all CDBG funding streams operated by the State of Missouri, as well as internal and external engagement opportunities to highlight the successes and opportunities offered by the CDBG program. Previously, he worked for the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments, providing economic development and long range planning, as well as grant writing/administration services to member communities in a ten-county area. Brandon is a strong believer in government for and by the people, which speaks to his passions in public engagement and good government practices.

Jim Thompson currently serves as a Downtown Economic Development Specialist covering all areas of Development for downtowns & Main Street Iowa districts for the Iowa Economic Development Authority. He has served in all aspects at the local level including program director, board member, and volunteer. Jim earned his Certified Main Street Managers (CMSM) credentials through the Certification in Professional Main Street Downtown Management Institute at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He engages communities in market analysis including data analysis, business retention, recruitment, and implementation strategies. He has also led efforts in tax increment finance, urban revitalization, housing & real estate development, branding and one-on-one business technical assistance for Iowa’s communities. Jim serves on the Iowa Rural Development Council Executive Board and was named by the Governor to lead the Empower Rural Iowa Invest Taskforce. Jim is the grant administrator for the Community Catalyst Building Remediation grant program. He has over 25 years’ experience in community development, retail management as well as having served on a City Council for 10 years. Jim has also served as a consultant for the National Main Street Center, worked in several states and has presented multiple times at the National Main Streets Conference.

Lisa Kremer is a former Main Street Program Manager at Hampton, Iowa and former Executive Director of Win-Worth BETCO, the first joint county Economic Development program in Iowa. She served as the initial director for both programs and had the opportunity to build both from the ground up. Currently, Lisa is the Executive Director of the Buchanan County (Iowa) Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) and has been in this position for three years. Lisa worked extensively with the downtown revitalization of Independence, Iowa, the county seat of Buchanan County. Since she began, she has worked and secured several Catalyst Grants, a Downtown Upper Story Housing grant and has worked with the city chamber so secure two CDBG Downtown Revitalization grants, one being a COVID grant. She has worked on workforce housing, tourism, business development, and industry retention and recruitment to name a few areas of her range of duties.

Thursday, July 27

8:30am – 9:45am: Welcome and Opening Assembly
Celebration of People!

You are invited to join us Thursday morning for our Welcome and Opening Assembly. We will celebrate the “People” in People-Centered Revitalization. It takes people to create the places we want to be, the businesses we want to encourage, and the communities we want to support. The success of Main Street, urban and rural, is all about people that make a difference using the Main Street methodology. We will hear from people that have been on the inside working to build, develop and form their communities while successfully creating change and discovering the power in People-Centered Revitalization. YOU can be a catalyst to boost the local economy while putting community vision in action!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

10:15am – 10:45am: Crash Course – Measure Twice, Cut Once

   

Measure Twice, Cut Once. Wiktionary defines this classic proverb as: “to plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action.” This sage advice is not only relevant to the simplest of construction projects, but it’s also important in the high-level planning for historically significant buildings. Feasibility studies, facility condition assessments, master plans, and historic structure reports act as thoughtful guides for a historic property owner. These studies are prepared by consultants specializing in historic properties. They include historical backgrounds, existing conditions assessments, and recommendations for treatments which may include phasing plans and cost estimates, so property owners can create long-term capital improvement plans and maintenance plans for their historic properties.

Dana Gould has dedicated her 28-year career to the appropriate treatment of historic properties including preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation. Recognizing the cultural significance historic buildings represent within their communities, Dana works with property owners to evaluate the potential value of their existing building. She takes the time to understand each property, delving into the history, significance, and construction of the building before developing comprehensive solutions.

10:15am – 11:30am: Main Street’s Role in Addressing Social and Economic Challenges

Main Street commercial corridors and their surrounding communities are not isolated from the realities of the modern world, and in many cases face numerous social and economic challenges that demand innovative solutions that stretch beyond our core focus of placed-based economic development. This session aims to discuss the role that local Main Street districts and neighborhood commercial corridors, as the center of community activity, can play in addressing these pressing issues. The session will explore ways the Main Street framework must evolve and adapt to effectively tackle social and economic challenges in collaboration with other key stakeholders in the community.

As Program Officer for Neighborhood Services with Main Street America (MSA), Gustavo is responsible for supporting, delivering, and expanding the reach of MSA’s comprehensive commercial district revitalization technical services to their network of communities and Coordinating Programs across the country, particularly serving MSA’s big city programming and Spanish-speaking communities. Before joining MSA, for the past 17 years Gustavo has worked as a tourism planning and development consultant, collaborating with NGOs, local governments, entrepreneurs, and organized community groups in assessing, planning, developing, and marketing international tourism destinations. He is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

10:15am – 11:30am: Microenterprise Financing for Downtown Development

Many entrepreneurs who could enliven your downtown are too small, too new, or too credit-challenged for banks to finance yet. This session will explain the world of microenterprise financing and credit building for developing your community’s pipeline of bankable businesses and their eventual downtown investments. Participants will also learn about available microenterprise financing and credit building resources in Missouri. The session will explore how communities can proactively work with them to strengthen Main Street’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Patty Cantrell from New Growth Capital has led the development of west central Missouri’s START HERE Business Acceleration Network, microenterprise financing and credit building services, and startup of the SBA-designated rural New Growth Women’s Business Center. She holds a Masters’ degree in Business Administration and Bachelors’ degrees in Economics and Political Science. She brings a career in community economic development and business journalism to her rural Missouri work.

Sheridan is a powerful leader and excellent manager. This is on top of her heartfelt love for rural communities and lifelong quest to improve life for the people she loves, in the places she loves. She now leads New Growth after several years building a partner nonprofit in the region, and being part of New Growth’s founding in 2017. She brings an extensive background in business, finance, and economic development to her executive director work.

11:00am – 11:30am: Crash Course – Energy Saving Solutions Uncover Hidden Revenue Stream for Facility Renewal

Regardless of the size of your building, guaranteed energy saving projects offer an innovative approach to paying for building upgrades. Building owners can tap into the potential energy and operating savings found in these projects, and leverage the funds from savings to pay for business operations or other building improvements! The key is understanding what types of activities and improvements may yield energy savings, and how to structure the financing for the improvements, in order to unlock 20%-30% savings in energy and operating costs.

Steve Spurgeon has over 25 years’ experience within the energy efficiency, facility-improvement and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning fields. He has provided business development, financial analysis, utility and facility analysis, and marketing support to front line project developers. Over the course of his career, he has worked with project developers, sales, and financiers to implement millions of dollars of energy-saving upgrades and facility improvements.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Historic Tax Credits: An Overview

Missouri State and Federal Historic Tax Credit Programs provide an incentive for the redevelopment of commercial and residential historic structures, as well as an important source of financing for these projects. This session will provide an overview of the characteristics of these historic tax credit programs, the tax benefits received by developers who earn these tax credits, and some pitfalls to avoid when utilizing these tax benefits. This session will also aim to discuss the syndication and sale of these tax credits.

Garrett Fischer is a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP in St. Louis, MO, where he counsels banks, financial institutions and other businesses on a variety of tax credit, commercial transaction, and regulatory issues. Garrett has extensive experience with structuring the purchase and sale of transferable state tax credits, as well as the allocation of state tax credits through sophisticated, multi-tiered project investment funds. Garrett also often represents lenders and borrowers in a wide variety of secured and unsecured commercial finance transactions, including single bank and syndicated credit facilities, and Garrett frequently provides guidance on the myriad of federal and state laws and regulations impacting lenders. Garrett is a graduate of Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO, and he earned his law degree and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO.

Elizabeth Feldmeir is a nationally known community development and tax credit advisor. For more than a decade, she has worked directly on several billion dollars in tax credit transactions and represents lenders, investors, community development entities and developers. She is recognized for her ability
to collaborate with parties in a transaction and her understanding of her clients’ businesses and their priorities. Elizabeth combines traditional financing with tax incentives in order to finance the expansion of operating businesses and commercial developments. She has also represents clients during the acquisition, development, construction, sale and management of commercial and multifamily residential property.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Crash Course – Main Street Redevelopment – Uniting the Art and Science of Main Street Revitalization

Making great Main Street places for people doesn’t happen with just a great idea, a grand vision, or with finance know-how. Instead, it comes from a mix of art and science. Great revitalization projects require alternating between fulfilling a vision (art) and executing the business and finance tasks (science) to make your redevelopment succeed. This session will outline the necessary steps for successful redevelopment projects and illustrate the interplay between the art and science of redevelopment. Attendees will be able to categorize the different types of redevelopment activities – “art” or “science” and have an understanding of the back-and-forth between them throughout a successful revitalization project. The session will also share strategies, tactics, and tools that can help bring it all together into successful people-driven Main Street projects.

Nathan Rauh is an architect and developer with 25 years of experience in the design, real estate development, and construction industry. He has practiced architecture and worked as a developer with unique expertise in mixed-use, multi-family, and senior housing projects in urban and Main Street settings. Currently he leads Naismith-Allen, Inc., a boutique firm providing planning, development, architecture, and design services focused on infill, Main Street, and historic renovation projects.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Crash Course – Small Area Planning and YOUR Downtown

Most communities suffer from an area that is “underutilized”. This may be a Brownfield, a block of buildings, or underutilized land around the periphery of downtown, but it is negatively impacting the overall community fabric. Imagine if there was a process that would outline a unified community vision for the area, as well as prepare necessary documentation to help move the project from an idea to implementation. This is where small area planning comes into play. A small area plan is a highest and best use planning process that helps identify the maximally productive uses for a downtown. Through this process, a community will:

  • Conduct necessary background or investigatory analysis
  • Conduct scenario planning and use assessments
  • Prepare visual documentation and implementation steps
  • Conduct an economic impact analysis and construction proforma
  • Understand how this process can be undertaken by Main Street programs on their own, with a little ingenuity and customization.

In this session, we will cover the process of small area planning, and outline how it can be used to prepare necessary documentation that will expedite the development process. Covered elements are the process of small area planning including:

  • Hands on exercise where participants can plan land-use impacts and benefits using, “a Settlers of Catan® type of game”;
  • Where to pull the data and how to conduct the necessary physical/fiscal analysis;
  • How to prepare necessary visualization information;
  • What to do with the small area plan when completed; and
  • Case studies and exercises for small area plans.

Ben Levenger is an AICP Planner, registered landscape architect, and a Certified Economic Developer. He is the President of Downtown Redevelopment Services, LLC, a planning firm specializing in assisting communities through comprehensive downtown planning. He has worked in over 30 states and consults for federal agencies on economic development best practices.

2:45pm – 3:45pm: Integrating Your Downtown into the Community Housing Cycle

Communities go through a four-step housing cycle, each providing critical housing for a phase in an individual’s or family’s life. Over the past 50 years, the United States has not followed this simple and efficient cycle, leaving a massive gap in available housing (both in amount and typology). While the suburban areas will continue to dominate the single-family housing, downtown corridors can retake their rightful place for the remaining elements of the housing cycle. Through this session, participants will be provided with the following:  background of the standard 4-step housing cycle; what is included in each element; strategies for integrating downtown into upper floors and mixed-use areas; how to prepare sample proformas; learn how to “talk developer” to encourage housing development; and tips and roadblocks for downtown housing, based on case studies.

While this session is timely, it is also a method that will improve residents’ quality of life longterm, spurring a balanced and continuous housing cycle that fosters life-long residents within a community. As a critical step in this process, participants will be provided with tools and strategies to help identify roadblocks for increased housing density and strategies for overcoming them. A Google drive will be available to retrieve the files at the beginning of the program.

Ben Levenger is an AICP Planner, registered landscape architect, and a Certified Economic Developer. He is the President of Downtown Redevelopment Services, LLC, a planning firm specializing in assisting communities through comprehensive downtown planning. He has worked in over 30 states and consults for federal agencies on economic development best practices.

2:45pm – 3:45pm: Storefront Designs in Historic Districts

 

A business’s storefront is its calling card. Ensuring changes relate well to the building and historic district where it is located while protecting the architecturally and historically significant features of the building and district can be a challenge for business owners primarily concerned with running their businesses. Learn about preserving and improving historic facades and storefronts to increase the vitality of commercial districts and local businesses.

Lisa Mullins Thompson serves as a Senior Program Officer for Revitalization Services at Main Street America (MSA). She works closely with the Vice President of Revitalization Services and the Chief Program Officer to refine existing field services work and develop and deliver new cutting-edge technical assistance and programming to clients in-person, at conferences, and via MSA’s other professional development channels. Lisa brings to MSA a broad professional background in historic preservation, strategic planning, public relations, small business and economic development in both the private and public sector. Prior to joining MSA, Lisa’s most recent employment was with the Kentucky Heritage Council, where she served as a Historic Preservation Coordinator and as a Resource Specialist for the Kentucky Main Street Program. Lisa previously worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and as Executive Director of two Main Street programs in Annapolis, MD and Paducah, KY. Lisa has been connected to Main Street throughout her personal and professional journey as the owner of a downtown retail businesses, restoring old homes, and rehabilitating downtown commercial buildings and as a former volunteer leader for the Heart of Danville, her hometown Main Street program.

2:45pm – 3:45pm: Playing in the Same Sandbox

 

Main Street America leads a collaborative movement with the mission of advancing shared prosperity. This session explores the power of collaboration and cooperation in achieving shared goals between local Main Street corridors located near each other. In today’s competitive economic market with interconnected communities, success often depends on the ability to build strong relationships, foster teamwork, and bridge diverse perspectives. This session aims to inspire participants to embrace collaboration as a powerful tool for innovation, problem-solving, and growth of their commercial districts. Participants will gain an understanding of the power of collaboration with practical insights and examples to foster a culture of collaboration within local programs.

As Program Officer for Neighborhood Services with Main Street America (MSA), Gustavo is responsible for supporting, delivering, and expanding the reach of MSA’s comprehensive commercial district revitalization technical services to their network of communities and Coordinating Programs across the country, particularly serving MSA’s big city programming and Spanish-speaking communities. Before joining MSA, for the past 17 years Gustavo has worked as a tourism planning and development consultant, collaborating with NGOs, local governments, entrepreneurs, and organized community groups in assessing, planning, developing, and marketing international tourism destinations. He is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

4:00pm – 4:45pm: The Certified Local Government Program: Best Practices for Local Historic Preservation

Missouri communities receive many benefits by participating in both the Main Street and Certified Local Government (CLG) programs. This presentation will focus on the benefits of the CLG program. Historic preservation happens on the local level, and it works best when citizens and the local government are pursuing common goals. The CLG program provides a time-tested framework for running a historic preservation program, which involves local government and residents working together with state and federal partners. Your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) supports local preservation efforts through coordinating the CLG program, offering sub-grants from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and providing technical assistance from SHPO staff. This presentation will showcase the benefits of the CLG program for local communities followed by an overview of funding opportunities for historic preservation. Participants will be given ideas for best practices to operate and fund their historic preservation programs.

John Peterson is SHPO’s CLG Coordinator. He promotes local historic preservation by collaborating with local, state, and federal partners. John has worked for a variety of local, state, and federal agencies. He has two Bachelor’s degrees: Anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University and History from Columbia College. Additionally, John has Master’s degrees in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska and Educational Studies from Western Governors University.

Andrew Dial is the Grants Manager at the State Historic Preservation Office. His duties include applying for the SHPO’s annual funding from the National Park Service and distributing sub-grants to communities throughout Missouri. Andrew holds a PhD in History from McGill University and has been awarded fellowships from Georgetown University, the Fulbright Commission, and the American Philosophical Society.

4:00pm – 4:45pm:  Power of Collaboration: Neighborhood-Based Tools for Addressing Commercial Problem Properties

Whether it is engaging local government processes, or taking on a court action itself, grassroots neighborhood organizations have tremendous power to drive positive change in their neighborhoods, especially as it relates to commercial nuisance properties. This panel will share stories of how neighborhoods have engaged with these systems to improve the quality of life in their community.

Jim Bax is a licensed attorney with the Neighborhood Advocacy Group of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Jim has years of trial experience in both state and federal courts. Jim’s focus with the Neighborhood Advocacy Group is reducing nuisance properties through litigation.

Brittany Hubbard is a licensed attorney with Neighborhood Advocacy Group of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Her focus throughout her employment with legal services has been advocating for neighborhood associations to eliminate problem properties, both commercial and residential. She has had success in guiding her clients through local government processes and the legal knowledge to achieve their intended goal.

4:00pm – 4:45pm: Bitesize Placemaking

Downtown Lee’s Summit will illustrate how a series of small, incremental placemaking activities have helped to transform their downtown over the last decade. The session will also highlight the important role of heritage and history in placemaking and how placemaking can be used to help build a community’s pride in its downtown.

Donnie Rodgers is the Executive Director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street in Lee’s Summit, MO, a community of more than 100,000 residents just outside of Kansas City. He has been with Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street since February 2014. He holds a Master’s degree in Community Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. He was part of the first cohort to complete the Main Street America Revitalization Professional certification.

Dave is a downtown resident of Lee’s Summit, MO. He has two businesses in the historic heart of the city. Dave has worked professionally as a graphic designer and illustrator. He is co-owner of Fossil Forge, a sign and design shop. Dave is a former board president of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.

Ben is a downtown resident of Lee’s Summit, Mo. He has two businesses in the historic heart of the city. Ben has extensive experience running businesses, from restaurants to sign shops. Ben is a current board member of the Lumi Neon Museum and the Community Improvement District. He is a proud supporter of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.

Friday, July 28

8:30am – 9:30am: General Session – A Recipe For Place

The food we consume and the places we inhabit share a history. The story of cooking and placemaking are forever intertwined, yet food has had quite a renaissance as of late, while our cities and towns remain stuck in their worst version. However, there is much we can learn about improving our places by looking more closely at the recent food movement. We can begin to understand what it will take to restore human habitats to the level of quality all of us deserve and why it will be the key to our health as well.

Jeff has assisted hundreds of communities with their revitalization, economic sustainability, and community development over the course of his career. Utilizing a background in urban planning, downtown district management, revitalization, real estate, economics, and organizational development, his diverse background and expertise lends a unique vantage point for addressing community concerns. What Jeff lacks in patience and eloquence, he makes up for in passion and honesty. He believes revitalizing communities is the most important work we can do. Revitalization has the power to transform people’s lives by fostering a stronger sense of community. Revitalization enhances quality of life, it provides people with more enriching experiences, and Jeff has dedicated himself to killing apathy- one town at a time. When Jeff is not agitating benevolent community volunteers, he dedicates his agitation efforts at his lovely wife Amber and their four occasionally obedient children.

10:30am – 11:45am: Leading People to Purpose

We believe in our mission and our cause. We understand the stakes and what is needed for next steps. Why can’t the larger community see what we see and get engaged? This session will help you identify your core values as an organization, how you want to be perceived in the market, and then how to transfer that into actionable purpose for members of the community to engage. If it is your purpose, they may remain bystanders until the hard work is complete. If it is perceived as their purpose, they become ambassadors and doers. This session takes you through the journey of self-awareness as an organization and helps identify opportunities in messaging to blend your priorities with your audiences’ need for fulfillment.

Dana Thomas is the owner of BOLD Marketing based in Cape Girardeau, MO, a multi-dimensional business partner in B2B and B2C growth. What started 15 years ago during the great recession has become a multi-million dollar agency with clients in 20+ states, Canada, and Europe. BOLD handles all things related to internal culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, and crisis communications. The BOLD team leads organizations to develop and embrace change to positively move culture, profits, and market share.

10:30am – 11:45am: Successful Event Planning and Measuring Their Impact

Events are part of the success of a Main Street district and the volunteer-led planning process is vital to that event’s success.  Volunteers brainstorm, identify the steps and milestones, and communicate the goals and outcomes to the board of directors through an action plan.  That action plan then guides the committee’s actions from start to a successful finish.  Then, what happens after the event?  Was it successful?  Did we attract the intended audience?  Did our Main Street businesses benefit?  Learn how to measure the impacts from events through geo-fencing technology, post-event customer surveys, business surveys, etc.  Using these tools, the Promotion Committee will be able to report not only the impact to the board of directors, but also business owners and city officials.

Currently the Executive Director of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership, Inc., Lyndsey M. Baxter is in her ninth year of leading the organization in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Additionally, she serves as the Executive Director of the Downtown Excelsior Springs Commercial Community Improvement District. Being a lifelong resident of the community, she has always wanted to see downtown succeed and in her tenure as the director, Downtown Excelsior Springs has shown significant growth in revitalization, private investment, and consumer spending. Lyndsey is dedicated to establishing and assisting local businesses with tools to promote positive economic development and local culture. She has served on the City of Excelsior Springs Historic Preservation Commission. Currently she serves on the City of Excelsior Springs Capital Improvement Authority and Trans Trust Commission, is a Board Member for Clay County Tourism and the Secretary of the Kansas City Trapshooters Association.

10:30am – 11:00am: Crash Course – Find Your Community’s ‘Unicorn’: Discover the Possibilities When You Ignite an Entrepreneur

As Main Street’s across the country rebuild, revitalize, and reimagine, their need to ignite passion in their people is paramount to success.  For many, it just takes one such person to really turn the tide for a community.  In this session, we’ll explore what happened when a fledgling Main Street community, progressive city leadership, and an energetic entrepreneur found one another.

Stephanie Campbell Yount has led many lives, but “community champion” is her favorite. As an entrepreneur and Main Street Board Member, Stephanie has made supporting the revitalization of her hometown’s Main Street a passion project. Together with her husband Kent, she owns six downtown buildings and four business ventures, including a boutique, short-term rentals, and a brewery. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

11:15am – 11:45am: Crash Course – People-Powered Promotion for Small Towns

Sandy Selby has been on both sides of the promotion equation. As the former executive director of Friends of Arrow Rock, she led the effort to bring attention to the historic community of Arrow Rock, Mo. (population 56!). Limited financial and human resources were part of the challenge, but she and a small team of talented volunteers, each one tapped for their unique skillset, executed impressive projects and built successful new events. Now, as the editor-in-chief of Missouri Life magazine, she’s the one evaluating the promotional and marketing efforts of small towns as they compete for coverage in the magazine, and she knows the secrets to getting an editor’s attention. In this session, Sandy will give you the tips and tools you need to recruit a top-notch volunteer team and make the most of your promotional efforts. You’ll learn how to maximize your town’s marketing budget and gain insights on how to get noticed with no budget at all.

Sandy Selby is the editor-in-chief of Missouri Life magazine. She is captivated by Missouri’s natural and cultural treasures, and the fascinating people she meets in her journeys around the state. But she has never found a spot she loves more than her hometown of Arrow Rock. The village is a National Historic Landmark and the ideal landing place for a history lover. Sandy has authored two books about the village, organized festivals, and created the town’s highly successful ghost tours.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Crash Course – Beg, Borrow and Steal: How to Leverage Your Local Resources for Your Main Street Program

 

Out of the box thinking is what you need when planning events for your program, especially when you have a small budget. That is what staff from Warrensburg Main Street have learned with impressive results at their events. During the session discover examples to take home with you on how this local program has engaged partnerships in the community, leveraged these partnerships for resources and volunteers, ripped off and duplicated (a Main Street staple) with a local twist that can even work for your organization, and expanded their circle of volunteers which broadened their diversity to reflect the community.

Jill Purvis, originally from Branson, MO, grew up the daughter of a small town business owner which gave her a passion for the community and all things local. Jill holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma but upon graduating, Jill has been working with Warrensburg Main Street since 2012 and has served as the Executive Director since 2019.

Jamie was born and raised in Warrensburg, Missouri. Being the daughter of a downtown business owner, she is familiar with the importance to support locally. She watched her mother grow into a successful business woman which later inspired Jamie to pursue a degree in Business Administration.
Jamie attended the University of Central Missouri and graduated with her BSBA, in 2016. Jamie joined the Main Street team in 2019 as the Events Coordinator and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2021.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Badass Your Board

Most boards are comprised of people who enjoy downtown and are free on Monday evenings at 6pm. This is not good enough. Board roles are absolutely critical in our effort to revitalize downtown and we must take the role of board members much more seriously. We must badass our boards. Learn strategies to go from an apathetic, average board, to a board full of revitalization rockstars.

Jeff has assisted hundreds of communities with their revitalization, economic sustainability, and community development over the course of his career. Utilizing a background in urban planning, downtown district management, revitalization, real estate, economics, and organizational development, his diverse background and expertise lends a unique vantage point for addressing community concerns. What Jeff lacks in patience and eloquence, he makes up for in passion and honesty. He believes revitalizing communities is the most important work we can do. Revitalization has the power to transform people’s lives by fostering a stronger sense of community. Revitalization enhances quality of life, it provides people with more enriching experiences, and Jeff has dedicated himself to killing apathy- one town at a time. When Jeff is not agitating benevolent community volunteers, he dedicates his agitation efforts at his lovely wife Amber and their four occasionally obedient children.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: The Organization Driven Art of Partnering REALTORS® with Revitalization

Main Street programs and REALTOR® programs make for the perfect partnership for revitalization of our Missouri communities.  The National Association of REALTORS® offers programs that can help communities advance an array of community programs, governmental policies, and land initiatives with its Smart Growth Principles. The goal is to build better communities through a collaborative effort with the local REALTOR® association and other organizations within the community, expressly our Missouri Main Street programs. Training, tool kits, and grants are readily available for our local REALTOR® associations to work with local Main Street programs.

Debbie LaRue Kendrick is a lifetime top producer and instructor in her industry and an advocate for property rights at both the state & local levels as a 33-year REALTOR®/Designated Broker of See Real Estate. Her accolades include being the five time Past President and current State Director of the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS®, on the Board of Directors of the Main Street organizaiton Downtown Monroe City Revitalization, and on the Board of Director of Mosswood Golf & Recreation Association & Monroe City Development Corp for multiple years.

Amanda Nemeth is the Association Executive for the Franklin County Board of REALTORS®. Amanda is a long time active member of the Pacific Partnership, the Pacific Eagles #3842, a small business owner of Little Ireland Coffee, Pacific Chamber of Commerce, and a wife and mother of five children!

2:45pm – 4:00pm: Closing General Session with Keynote Address

“People Impacting Preservation!”

You will want to be present for one of the highlights of the conference when Donovan Rypkema will show you the projects, places, and numbers that prove why we do what we do when he delivers the closing keynote address on Friday, July 28, at 3:00 pm. Donovan is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm. Rypkema has worked with such groups as the Urban Land Institute, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, the American Planning Association, Smart Growth America, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Rypkema’s book, The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide is widely used by preservationists nationwide and has been translated into Russian, Georgian, and Korean.