There are only a few days left to take advantage of the early registration discount for the 2012 Small Town and Rural Development Conference April 16-18, 2012 at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Michigan. The early bird rate of $100 ends on Friday, April 6.
Hosted each year by the Michigan Rural Council and sponsored in part by Consumers Energy, the conference opens Monday evening with a welcoming reception and concludes prior to lunch on Wednesday. Registration is $125 for the conference after April 6. Speakers this year include:
Mary Randolph – “Empowering Rural Communities to Create Their Own Future”
Three simple questions asked of community members became the basis for citizen-driven change in rural Wyoming communities during the last ten years. The state’s Rural Development Council assembled a cadre of nearly 400 trained volunteers willing to listen to the citizens of small towns and help them put together a simple and realistic plan for their future. One hundred of these community assessments have been completed since 2000, and virtually every community participating has a list of proud accomplishments to show for their efforts.
Roger Brooks – “The Reinvention of Rural America”
There are more ghost towns in the making today than ever before in American history. There are nearly 30,000 counties, cities, towns and villages in North America and more than 28,000 of them are rural. So how do you win when every community is working to become THE destination of choice for businesses, residents and visitors? How do you stand out from the crowd and get noticed? In this engaging and humorous keynote address, you’ll see and hear the stories of what works and what doesn’t, while Roger walks you through the three ingredients of change and the seven things you need to do to win as rural America works to reinvent itself. ”
Becky McCray – “Small Town Rules”
Today, every business has to play by “small town rules”. Consider that with social media any customer can express virtual satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a business as easily as word-of-mouth about a local merchant would spread in a small town café. Really, our businesses in small towns already know what bigger businesses in bigger towns will need to learn. Becky will outline these “rules” that, when followed, will allow small town businesses to thrive with limited resources while building their community and reaching beyond their geographic boundaries.”