Wednesday, July 24

9:00am – 4:30pm: Main Street 101
Cupples Salon C

If you are new to Main Street or Missouri UrbanMain or would like a refresher on the Main Street Four-Point Approach, then we recommend you attend this session.  The success of your downtown efforts and those across the country are rooted in the comprehensive Four-Point Approach.  Experts and practitioners from the field will present on Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion.  This session will dive into the principles of the approach. It will also feature examples and best practices from each point so you will walk away with a more detailed knowledge of each point and how to utilize them in your own community.  Lunch on your own from 12:00pm-1:45pm.

Norma Ramírez de Miess, Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development, National Main Street Center.
Norma offers over 20 years of direct leadership experience and a passion for building strong communities. As a Senior Program Officer for the National Main Street Center, Norma works with state partners and hundreds of communities across the country. Prior to joining the Center, Norma led the local Main Street program in Elgin, IL where she was recognized for her leadership in pioneering successful and inclusive downtown revitalization. Her multicultural background continues to be a great asset in helping communities understand changing demographics.
Norma has a Bachelor of Science and Language and studied Civil Engineering with an emphasis in transportation. She uses her training to educate leaders on the importance of addressing physical improvements while ensuring the preservation of authentic character as a distinctive market advantage for communities. As Director of Leadership Development, Norma is passionate about supporting the crucial role of local leaders and helped define the framework for Main Street America Institute, the Center’s professional development program.

Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., President of Missouri Main Street Connection, professor of History at Southeast Missouri State University, and Coordinator of the University’s Historic Preservation Program.
Dr. Hoffman teaches classes in Historic Preservation and American Architectural History including courses that address the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. He has served on the board of his local Main Street organization since its inception. He is a graduate of the National Main Street Center’s Certification Institute.

Susan Sheppard, Program Outreach Coordinator, MMSC.
Susan brings training and technical assistance to MMSC communities, but focuses especially on our newer communities beginning their downtown revitalization journey. She received a M.A. in History with a Historic Preservation emphasis from Southeast Missouri State University. She has worked at Landmarks Association of St. Louis and at the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. Most recently she spent three years in Baltimore, where she was the Assistant Main Street Coordinator for the State of Maryland. Susan lives in St. Louis.

Donnie Rodgers, Jr., Executive Director, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.
Donnie has been with Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street since February 2014, initially serving as assistant director and was elevated to executive director in October 2015. He has spent his professional career working in Missouri downtowns and Missouri Main Street programs, including more than five years as community development coordinator for the Urban Districts Alliance in Springfield. There he helped establish and implement a Community Improvement District, a task successfully repeated after his move to Lee’s Summit. Donnie holds a master’s degree in Community Development from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Drury University. In addition, he was part of the first cohort to complete the new Main Street America Revitalization Professional certification.

Ben White, Executive Director, Main Street Chillicothe.
Ben White has been the director of Main Street Chillicothe since September 2017. Previously, he worked for the Chillicothe Development Corporation and as Main Street Chillicothe’s assistant director since January 2015. Ben graduated with distinction from Southeast Missouri State University in December 2014 with his bachelor of science in Historic Preservation and a minor in Archeology and with his Master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Community Planning from the University of Illinois-Springfield in May 2018. Ben is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Chillicothe, the Home of Sliced Bread, and making it a destination location for years to come.

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Main Street Clinic – Rebecca Ward, Principal, Ward Architecture, LLC

Cupples Foyer

Rebecca is our Specialist of Preservation and Design and can answer your questions about historic properties and structural issues. Bring photos of what you wish to discuss. Stop by for a chat–no appointment necessary!

Rebecca Ward, Principal of Ward Architecture, is a registered architect with over thirty years of professional experience. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She has served on Historic Preservation Commissions in Georgia and Missouri. She served on the Old Town Cape Design Committee, was a founding member of the Uptown Jackson Main Street Program and served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Alliance for Preservation prior to moving to Jefferson City. Rebecca was designated a Fellow of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation for Historic Preservation with the receipt of the 2014 Richard L. Blinder Award.

2:00pm – 3:15pm: Game Changers In Entrepreneurship

Commerce A/B

In this session, four entrepreneurs from four towns in Southeast Missouri (who actually run their businesses every day) share real-life stories about what they did to build up their neighborhoods in order to build up their businesses. Their examples will provide insights into how entrepreneurs think and how to get your community’s pool of entrepreneurs involved in your organization.

Colby Williams – Author of Small Town Big Money: Entrepreneurship and Opportunity in Today’s Small Town; Founder of Parengo Coffee – Sikeston, MO
Colby founded Parengo Coffee in Sikeston, MO in 2013. He has won several awards for coffee roasting and for entrepreneurship, including the DRA’s Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellowship in 2015. He published his first book, Small Town Big Money, this year and speaks about it and other small town entrepreneurship topics on blogs, in podcasts, and in small towns near you. He is currently the Vice President of Historic Downtown Sikeston, and often judges pitch competitions for the SEMO University branch of the SBTDC. Colby writes a column about entrepreneurship for B Magazine out of Cape Girardeau, MO.

Carissa Stark – Entrepreneur; Founder of Mary Jane Burgers; Founder of J-Street Brew Co.- Perryville, MO
Before Carissa moved back to the area, Perryville barely registered on anyone’s radar. Now, people drive from miles around to hang out in this thriving downtown square, which is anchored by Carissa’s restaurants and event spaces. She has over 22 years of Hospitality Management experience and has spent the past several years as sole proprietor of Mary Jane Street + Food Food Truck, Mary Jane Burgers & Brew, Stark Property Management, Jackson Street BrewCo, and most recently Mary Jane Bourbon + Smokehouse – opening in 2019 in Downtown Cape Girardeau. Carisa is involved in her community as a board member with the Chamber of Commerce and Perryville Downtown Revitalization, where she helps plan and execute successful community events such as the Home Brew Block Party and Farm to Table Community Dinner.

Laurie Everett – Owner of Annie Laurie’s; Founder of The Indie House – Cape Girardeau, MO
Laurie’s resume is as eclectic as her antique and retail empire. Laurie is a savior to buildings on her strip of Broadway in Old Town Cape Girardeau and a serial entrepreneur, with several businesses operating full-steam under her umbrella. Laurie also serves on the CID Board for her neighborhood and has been extremely active on the Board of Old Town Cape. In addition to her bohemian boutique, Mother Earth, and her antique store, Annie-Laurie’s, which is a cornerstone of her community, Laurie also manages real estate property and hosts one of Cape’s first AirBnB offerings. She does it all.

Bob Schooley – Founder of The Ground-a-Bout – Jackson, MO
With previous lives in real estate and in law enforcement, Bob has been an integral part of the formation and growth of the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization. He served as its President before putting his money where his mouth was – purchasing and refurbishing two properties in the neighborhood. When a few potential renters fell though, Bob and his family opened The Ground-a-Bout, a coffee shop, in one of the spaces. His company recently expanded to roasting its own beans, which it supplies to other shops in the region.

2:00pm – 3:15pm: Empowering Change Through Partnerships Through Extraordinary Projects

Concourse A/B

Learn from this GAMSA-award winning community how partnerships can make the difference with projects in your community. Working together, Main Street and the city have accomplished projects through diverse partnerships. These projects include the Farmers’ Market Civic Pavilion, Main Stage at the fairgrounds, the Highway 47 Missouri River Bridge, Jaycees All Abilities Park, Lion’s Lake, Downtown Rotary Riverfront Trail, Optimist Tennis Courts, and the City Auditorium.

Bridgette Kelch, Executive Director of Downtown Washington, Inc.
Bridgette has been working in downtown revitalization for 20 years. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Washington, Inc. Bridgette is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in Historic Preservation. In 2006 she attained the Certified Main Street Manager designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Center. She is a founding member of the Missouri Main Street Connection Inc., and currently serves as the treasurer.

Darren Lamb, AICP, City Administrator, Washington, MO.
Darren has worked for the City of Washington for the past 19 years.  He has served as City Administrator since 2017 and previously served as Economic Development Director and City Planner.  He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners for 19 years.  In 2008 he was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Professional Planner from the St. Louis American Planning Association Chapter.  He graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 1994 and is a graduate of the 2011-2012 Leadership St. Louis Class through Focus St. Louis.

2:00pm – 3:15pm: I Want What They Have – How To Successfully Develop an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (or Not)

Plaza A/B

Dr. Stapleton has 25+ years entrepreneurship experience with expertise in business and customer development.   He earned his Ph. D. from Southern Illinois University and was the founding director of Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  He is currently co-founder of three technology companies and founding member of the Marquette Tech District and Foundation.

3:45pm – 4:30pm: How Will YOU Celebrate 2021 Missouri Bicentennial?

Commerce A/B 

Join Michael Sweeney, Missouri Bicentennial coordinator for the State Historical Society of Missouri, for a conversation about current and planned Missouri Bicentennial projects, programs, events, and how your community can get involved in the commemoration.

Michael Sweeney is Missouri Bicentennial coordinator for The State Historical Society of Missouri. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Kansas and a M.A. in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri. In 2013, the Missouri General Assembly tasked The State Historical Society of Missouri with developing and leading a commemoration of the bicentennial of Missouri statehood in 2021. In his role as Missouri Bicentennial coordinator, Sweeney works with statewide organizations and state government agencies to develop and promote projects that commemorate the Missouri Bicentennial. He also conducts outreach to community organizations and institutions throughout Missouri to increase awareness of the occasion and generate participation in Bicentennial related activities. The State Historical Society of Missouri is seeking to create a truly statewide commemoration, and to that end, Sweeney is building a network of local partners in all one hundred fourteen counties and the independent City of St. Louis. Sweeney formerly served as Collection Librarian for the Black Archives of Mid-America and Director of Collections at the American Jazz Museum.

3:45pm – 4:30pm: Main Street In Urban Environments: Best Practices For Success

Plaza A/B

The Main Street Approach™ has been a proven tool for successful commercial district revitalization in communities of all sizes, including many urban districts across the country. This session will highlight great examples of Main Street urban districts efforts in building collaborations as well as best practices for supporting existing district Mom & Pops, enhancing safety and fostering strategic business and real estate development.

Norma Ramírez de Miess, Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development, National Main Street Center.
Norma offers over 20 years of direct leadership experience and a passion for building strong communities. As a Senior Program Officer for the National Main Street Center, Norma works with state partners and hundreds of communities across the country. Prior to joining the Center, Norma led the local Main Street program in Elgin, IL where she was recognized for her leadership in pioneering successful and inclusive downtown revitalization. Her multicultural background continues to be a great asset in helping communities understand changing demographics.
Norma has a Bachelor of Science and Language and studied Civil Engineering with an emphasis in transportation. She uses her training to educate leaders on the importance of addressing physical improvements while ensuring the preservation of authentic character as a distinctive market advantage for communities. As Director of Leadership Development, Norma is passionate about supporting the crucial role of local leaders and helped define the framework for Main Street America Institute, the Center’s professional development program.

3:45pm – 4:30pm: Recurring Events In Your Downtown – Bringing Visitors Every Month

Concourse A/B

What is the value in your events? Learn what it takes to host monthly recurring events to bring folks downtown. From a monthly festival bringing 5000 plus to Main Street to an intimate Wine Share in various venues, how do you bring visitors to your district regularly?

Lori Haun, Executive Director, Downtown Joplin Alliance.
Lori has over 15 years’ experience in management and sales with interior design and lighting. She also is a developer of historic downtown properties and has managed the record and accounting processes for the renovation itself as well as applying for and receiving state and federal Historic Tax Credits. Lori is a graduate of Pittsburg State University with a degree in Interior Design and Art. Lori served as Vice-President and President of Downtown Joplin Alliance before stepping in as Executive Director. She also serves on the Historic Preservation Commission, Capital Improvements Oversight Commission, and Connect2Culture.

Ivy Hagedorn, Market Coordinator, Joplin Empire Market, Downtown Joplin Alliance.
Ivy is currently serving as the Coordinator of the Empire Market. She has over 12 years of management experience in a dual food service and retail environment, where her responsibilities included daily direct management of a staff of over thirty employees. After graduating from the local university, Ivy moved away for a time and returned to Joplin six years ago to start her own jewelry business. For the last two years, Ivy has been one of the volunteer staff of the Downtown Joplin Maker’s Market. Responsibilities there have included vendor solicitation, marketing, layout planning, and day of operation logistics. She also has served terms as the Secretary and the Vice-President of the Downtown Joplin Alliance Board of Directors.

Thursday, July 25

9:00am – 10:00am Welcome & Opening Assembly with Keynote Address

Cupples Ballroom

Peter Kageyama, For the Love of Cities, Peter Kageyama is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. He is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.’

Peter speaks about emotional engagement with PLACES—cities, towns, communities, neighborhoods, and especially downtowns, which he calls the “psychic centers” of places. Good things happen when more people become emotionally engaged with their places and when more people fall in love with those places. Main Street programs pay a unique role in creating this sense of place.

Peter will inspire the audience to encourage people to go from saying they love a place to actually doing something for that place. He believes Main Streets can compete and even thrive in the Age of Amazon with bottom-up community development and the amazing people who are making change happen. Peter will be available at Main Street 5 & Dime to sign books immediately following his address.

10:30am – 11:45am: Bring to Life Your Community and Economic Development Projects

Plaza A/B

USDA-Rural Development offers over 40 community and economic development programs. This session will review the programs available to fund business, facility and non-profit projects related to community and economic development in downtowns.

Greg Batson is a Community Solutions Specialist with USDA – Rural Development’s Innovation Center in Washington, DC. He is assigned to Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Greg is responsible for coordination of community and economic development activities and collaboration on programs and projects between Rural Development staff and federal, state, regional and local partners.

Greg holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Master Degree in Public Administration from Southeast Missouri State University and a Doctorate in Public Policy Analysis and Administration from Saint Louis University. Greg serves as adjunct faculty for Central Methodist University teaching Modern Political Thought and Introduction to Public Administration and for Columbia College teaching Methods of Public Decision Making, Public Financial Resources Management and Political Science and Public Administration Research Methods.

10:30am – 11:45am: Downtown’s Dirty Little Secrets

Commerce A/B                             

Between all the talk of placemaking and tactical urbanism, there seems to be one thing that we don’t discuss much, reality. This classroom session features Ben Muldrow discussing some of the dirty little secrets he has learned, like how to make a development project happen, how to get funding you can depend on and why those downtown merchants always seem so upset.

Ben Muldrow is a talented graphic artist who has been designing for over 25 years with experience in a wide variety of marketing applications. He provides community identity and branding services for communities across the United States. Ben has worked on a number of projects specializing in the development of city and neighborhood identities, wayfinding strategies, and promotional marketing material. As a partner at Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Ben has designed creative branding and marketing systems in nearly 600 communities across 40 states, making him a true global leader in the industry. He has also developed award-winning community branding systems gaining him recognition for his ability to combine strategic planning, brand development, interactive marketing, public relations and social media capabilities to yield impressive results.

10:30am – 11:45am: Speak LIFE In Storytelling 

Concourse A/B

What makes a good story? What are your best stories? How do you identify a successful story? Learn how to pitch your story to the media to earn great public relations. Good storytelling can be a key component to revitalizing your community.

Danita Wood, co-owner and editor-in-chief of Missouri Life Magazine, which she and her husband purchased and revived in 1999 and has now grown to be the largest paid circulation magazine in the state. Missouri Life Inc. also publishes other custom projects and books and has started a TV program that has aired for four seasons, on all four PBS stations in the state starting in 2017. Danita learned the magazine business at Meredith Corporation, which publishes Better Homes & Gardens, Midwest Living, Successful Farming, and many other magazines. She returned to her home state of Missouri in 1995 to teach at the Missouri School of Journalism, holding the Meredith Chair until 2005. She stopped teaching in 2005 to devote full time to Missouri Life. Earlier this year, she traveled to New York City to accept a Top Women in Media award from Folio, which itself is the top magazine covering the magazine industry.

Tina Casagrande, Founder, publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The New Territory Magazine that covers the land, people and possibilities of the Great Plains and Ozarks. Founded in 2016, New Territory has been perfecting their mix of long-form journalism and visually driven departments that reflect the region in deep and inspiring ways. Tina was raised by her great-grandparents on the northern Ozark border in Dixon, MO. Tina now makes her home in Jefferson City with her dog, boyfriend and his family. She loves road trips.

Austin Kolb, Founder of The Evoke Group.
Austin is a Missouri native, having lived in three countries and three states before returning to the Show-Me State. Austin has been creative from childhood, as a musician, writer, designer, DJ, filmmaker, and the entrepreneurial spirit soon followed. Austin embarked on a mission to feed his personal curiosity about the digital age and an inner drive to “create” while providing an unprecedented level of creative services to clients and partners. The Evoke Group has grown to a full-time team of seven in two locations, Columbia, MO & Denver, Colorado, with future plans for expansion. Austin is now a proud husband, father of two, and continues to look to the future with an open mind.

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Main Street Clinic 

Stop by for a chat–no appointment necessary!

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Looking At Money From All Angles To Develop A Solid Funding Structure

Commerce A/B

Funding revitalization requires more than developing a budget and putting together fundraising events from one year to the next. This session offers a comprehensive look at funding with strategies and best practices that can help us develop a diverse and sustainable foundation for success.

Norma Ramírez de Miess, Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development, National Main Street Center.
Norma offers over 20 years of direct leadership experience and a passion for building strong communities. As a Senior Program Officer for the National Main Street Center, Norma works with state partners and hundreds of communities across the country. Prior to joining the Center, Norma led the local Main Street program in Elgin, IL where she was recognized for her leadership in pioneering successful and inclusive downtown revitalization. Her multicultural background continues to be a great asset in helping communities understand changing demographics.
Norma has a Bachelor of Science and Language and studied Civil Engineering with an emphasis in transportation. She uses her training to educate leaders on the importance of addressing physical improvements while ensuring the preservation of authentic character as a distinctive market advantage for communities. As Director of Leadership Development, Norma is passionate about supporting the crucial role of local leaders and helped define the framework for Main Street America Institute, the Center’s professional development program.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Combining Historic Tax Credits with Opportunity Zones

Plaza A/B

Opportunity Zones are the newest incentives for development in your community.  Come and learn how “O Zone” investing dollars can have extra impact on historic tax credit eligible projects.  Join us for a lively discussion to review new rules for federal historic tax credits, recall the transition rules for projects owned prior to January 1, 2018, understand Opportunity Zone rules and regulations, and how to combine these two powerful incentives to get your deal done.

Christine Johnston helps owners and developers successfully complete their commercial real estate projects using tax credits—affordable housing (LHTC), historic, new markets, brownfield, energy—providing financial models, cost certifications, audit and tax services and consulting. Christine has more than 25 years’ experience in public accounting and the real estate industry. Prior to joining MarksNelson, Christine served as a partner at Marsh & Company and as an audit manager at McGladrey and Pullen.

Michael Marsh, CPA, MarksNelson. Michael Marsh provides key real estate services to owners and developers of historic and low-income housing tax credit properties. His more than three decades of experience makes Michael an industry leader in helping clients safeguard and grow their business. Prior to joining MarksNelson. Michael served as managing partner of his accounting firm, Marsh & Company. Additionally, he worked for Arthur Anderson and Grand Thornton for over 14 years. He severed as the national tax credit coordinator for Grant Thornton. Mike also developed the firm’s construction audit process.

Kari Wolff, CPA, MarksNelson. Kari Wolff has extensive experience providing both tax and audit services to the real estate industry. She specializes in historic and low-income housing tax credit properties. She also provides cost certification assistance for clients, and is the firm’s practice leader on construction audits.  Prior to joining MarksNelson, Kari worked as an audit manager for Marsh & Company.

1:30pm – 2:15pm: Historic Preservation – Appreciating The Weird

Concourse A/B

That’s historic? You’ve got to be joking! Challenge your understanding of what it means to be historic and learn about some of the more unusual properties that have been designated. Join us on a journey highlighting the different, the distinctive, and the just plain weird properties that have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Missouri and across the country and expand your understanding of what makes a property historic.

Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., President of Missouri Main Street Connection, professor of History at Southeast Missouri State University, and Coordinator of the University’s Historic Preservation Program.
Dr. Hoffman teaches classes in Historic Preservation and American Architectural History including courses that address the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. He has served on the board of his local Main Street organization since its inception. He is a graduate of the National Main Street Center’s Certification Institute.

3:30pm – 4:15pm: Teaming with Veterans to Strengthen Main Street and the Community that Shops There

Commerce A/B

Learn about recent legislation approved into law in 2018 providing guaranteed, low-interest loans to encourage veterans from Missouri to return to Missouri in an entrepreneur role and contribute to the state’s business climate by building their own businesses and/or starting their own agricultural enterprises. Included in this discussion will be how we can better train workers in rural areas (non-veterans too!) to become part of the work force development solution as we begin to roll broadband into previously untouched territory.

Don Koonce is an engaged Missouri citizen-soldier working with veterans, through community, for our future.  He worked in nuclear power for 36 years and served the Missouri National Guard for 30 years before retirement.  Like many others, he failed retirement and continues service through a variety of mostly volunteer efforts serving in his faith, military families, business, and youth.  He assists in church growth at the local, national and international levels.  He continues serving the military through representing the Missouri National Guard (current and retirees) in legislative policy and projects (part time work), helps veterans find jobs or helps with entry into business or agriculture, and serves as the Chief of Staff for the Missouri State Defense Force as it is growing into a usable organization supporting Missouri.  He works with Missouri business by assisting in finding employees and puts much effort into the state priority of work force development.  His main passion is supporting our youth through telling stories of American history and heroes all around Missouri over the last 20 years.  He has degrees from Missouri schools in engineering (BS), business (MBA), and is paused on a doctorate in Character Education.  Don and his wife Norma have 2 grown children and are grandparents to 10 world-class grandchildren.

3:30pm – 4:15pm: My “Place” Changes Things!

Plaza A/B

Creative Placemaking is a people-centered approach to building strong, vibrant communities. This session will act as a primer on creative placemaking, walking participants through the process, and introducing them to a variety of topics ranging from housing to arts and culture that can reinvigorate communities of any size. This session will help you learn how to organize a successful capital campaign in a rural area and determine what kind of projects attract people to rural areas.

Mickey Davis is Community Placemaker with McClure, where the placemaking team currently works to revitalize and reinvigorate communities across the United States and Canada, primarily in the Upper Midwest and Mississippi Delta regions, through designing amenities such as cultural centers, breweries, modern apartments, coworking & makerspaces, residency programs, and others.
A musician by training, Davis previously managed cultural exchange programs at the Association of American Voices, overseeing programs in over 30 countries in two years including U.S. State Department-funded cultural diplomacy initiatives. Prior to that, Davis served as the Program Director at the Des Moines Social Club, a nonprofit arts and culture center in downtown Des Moines housed in a renovated 1930’s Art Deco fire station which hosts over 800 events annually. Davis is the founder of the Des Moines Jazz Festival and previously ran the 48 Hour Film Festival – Des Moines. Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Macalester College and a master’s certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.

3:30pm – 4:15pm: Creating Communities For All Ages

Concourse A/B                                                

Learn about the AARP resources and tools you can use to enhance the livability of your community and make it the best place possible for people of all ages.  The AARP Livability Index along with the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and States will be introduced during this session. Attendees will receive tools and resources to use back in their community.

Sheila manages community engagement efforts which include building and maintaining local partnerships, volunteer recruitment and development, and creating and managing member and community engagement opportunities.  In addition, Sheila serves as the staff lead for the Livable Communities and AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in St. Louis region.  Sheila has over 25 years’ experience in nonprofit management with the bulk of her professional work spent with the Girl Scouts in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Prior to joining AARP, she served as Chief Operating Officer for both Big Brothers Big Sisters (Prescott, AZ) and Girl Scouts of River Bluffs Council (Glen Carbon, IL).

Friday, July 26

9:00am – 10:15am General Session with Keynote Address – Hospitality With A Heart

Cupples Ballroom

Brandon W. Johnson, a.k.a. “Positive Energy Guy” Brandon’s trademark passion, heart, and energy inspires audiences everywhere while also giving them practical tools to take their results in business and life to the next level. Brandon’s book, Hospitality from the Heart, will help you engage your employees, deliver extraordinary service, and create loyal guests.
Brandon will be available at Main Street 5 & Dime to sign books immediately following his address.

10:45am – 12:00pm Closing Assembly with Keynote Address – The Future Of The American Downtown

Cupples Ballroom

The Main Street Movement fosters innovation and revitalization across the nation. Join Ben Muldrow, Arnett Muldrow & Associates, as he discusses all the current trends and future changes that could revolutionize our nation’s downtowns. Ben has been presenting at Main Street conferences for nearly twenty years. His motivation and quick wit will keep you engaged and his background in branding and marketing will reveal insights and inspiration that will give you practical steps you can put into action right away to shape the future of your town. This fast-paced presentation is sure to get you excited about the changes happening in Main Street communities and urban districts.