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Thursday, September 24

8:00am EDT

Opening Keynote
Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. As co-founder of Save Your.Town, she shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly-ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning book, Small Town Rules. She’s been featured and quoted in books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts and university publications. She makes her home base in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a community of 30 people. Her goal is to deliver practical steps you can put into action right away to shape the future of your town.

avatar for Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams

President & COO, The Keene Sentinel
Terrence Williams is president and chief operating officer for Keene Publishing Corp., the publisher of The Keene Sentinel. He leads The Sentinel’s niche publication, digital media, circulation, sales, graphics and print shop divisions. He’s also in charge of the company’s business... Read More →
avatar for Becky McCray

Becky McCray

Expert FOR Small Towns, SaveYour.Town
Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. As co-founder of Save Your.Town, she shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly-ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 8:00am - 8:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

Equity in Arts Funding
Arts funding across racial and geographical boundaries is more urgent than ever.  Grantmakers need equitable ways to overcome these boundaries to ensure communities experience the arts from a diversity of artists and collectives.

What are the underlying inequities that leave out artists of color and rural artists? How does the intersection of race, gender and location of grantmaking leadership inform philanthropy? How are regional arts organizations supporting diverse representation and voices in art leadership now? Join Savannah Barrett, director of Art of the Rural, as she leads grantmakers through programs and research to build racial and geographical equity.

Panelists will join the discussion to review their organizational experiences and to spur other grantmakers to assure inclusion. Need some background before you join the conversion? [This link] will take you to a list of resources.

avatar for Savannah Barrett

Savannah Barrett

Exchange Director, Art of the Rural
Savannah Barrett is the Exchange Director for Art of the Rural and co-founder of the Kentucky Rural- Urban Exchange. She serves the board of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and as an advisor to the Art of Community: Rural SC. She recently served as the founding lead... Read More →

avatar for Chrissy Deal

Chrissy Deal

Director, Social Responsibility & Inclusion, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)
Chrissy Deal currently serves as WESTAF’s director of social responsibility and inclusion after joining the organization in 2013 as manager of its multicultural initiatives. Deal is responsible for developing a range of equity-centered learning experiences that connect and inspire... Read More →
avatar for Erik Takeshita

Erik Takeshita

Senior Fellow, ArtPlace America
Erik Takeshita is passionate about advancing the role of art and culture in building stronger communities. Erik is currently a Senior Fellow at ArtPlace America. He previously served as Portfolio Director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation and Director of Creative Placemaking... Read More →
avatar for Lori Pourier

Lori Pourier

President, First Peoples Fund
Lori Pourier (Oglala Lakota) is the President of First Peoples Fund (FPF). FPF provides direct support to Indigenous culture bearers, artists and community-based organizations located in tribal Nations. Since 1999 First Peoples Fund has directly supported a total of 4,649 Native... Read More →
avatar for Ron Ragin

Ron Ragin

Artist | Consultant | Researcher | Coach, Self-employed
I write, sing, compose, and make interdisciplinary performance work that integrates sound, text, and movement. My creative interests are rooted in music of the African Diaspora, improvisation, liberation aesthetics, and the development and maintenance of spiritual technologies. My... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

Taking Control: Communities Save Money & the Planet by Joining Forces
Imagine your community or region working together toward energy goals while saving residents money, providing new innovations, increasing comfort, renewable mix, and local resilience. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) offers these potential benefits and more.

In this session, a panel of experts will present case studies of rural communities from various states that have transitioned to Community Choice Aggregation. Time will be spent describing the differences in CCA for states with vertically integrated utilities such as Vermont versus deregulated utilities such as New Hampshire. Participants will leave with the ability to support the drafting of CCA legislation in their state and will learn additional online resources and best practices for developing CCA.

avatar for Samuel Golding

Samuel Golding

President, Community Choice Partners, Inc.
Samuel Golding is the President of Community Choice Partners. He is an energy consultant, political economist, educator and grassroots organizer whose industry reform strategies empower municipal governments and civic groups to decarbonize the economy across electricity, heating fuel... Read More →

avatar for April Salas

April Salas

Sustainability Director, Town of Hanover
April M. Salas, Sustainability Director for the Town of Hanover, NH, and Executive Director of the Revers Center for Energy at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, brings nearly two decades of public and private sector experience in energy finance, power delivery, energy reliability... Read More →
avatar for D. Maurice

D. Maurice "Don" Kreis

Consumer Advocate, NH Office of the Consumer Advocate
D. Maurice "Don" Kreis is an attorney who has been New Hampshire's Consumer Advocate, representing the interests of the state's residential utility customers, since 2016. Now in his second term, he is the first person to have been nominated to the post by governors of both major political... Read More →
avatar for John Farrell

John Farrell

Co-director, Institute for Local Self Reliance
John Farrell is a co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs the Energy Democracy Initiative. Widely known as the guru of distributed energy, he has received accolades for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of... Read More →
avatar for Lorenzo Kristov

Lorenzo Kristov

Principal, Electric System Policy
Lorenzo Kristov is an independent energy policy expert working on electric power system transition to renewable generation and distributed energy resources (DER), and to empower communities and local governments to adopt local power systems for resilience, decolonization, and energy... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

What’s at Stake? Newsrooms increase online readership – and revenue – using data
What causes a non-reader to subscribe? What can be done to better retain existing readers? Who is having success among small news operations using research? And how are reporters and editors leading the effort? With traditional advertising in sharp decline, community news organizations are using research and data to find ways to increase paid readership and membership. Answers to all these questions and more are provided by an expert panel led by Amy Kovac-Ashley from the American Press Institute.

avatar for Amy L.  Kovac-Ashley

Amy L. Kovac-Ashley

Vice President and Senior Director, American Press Institute
Amy L. Kovac-Ashley is vice president and senior director of the American Press Institute, where her portfolio includes accountability journalism and organizational transformation and culture change, of which the Table Stakes program is an important part. She designed and leads API’s... Read More →

avatar for Autumn Phillips

Autumn Phillips

Managing Editor, The Post and Courier
Autumn Phillips is Managing Editor of The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. She previously served as Executive Editor of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, and the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho. Her work has been recognized twice by Editor & Publisher Magazine’s “10... Read More →
avatar for Les High

Les High

Publisher, The News Reporter
Born Nov. 7, 1961 to James C. and Carolyn T. HighWife – Becky Nix High; married 27 years. Children – Carolyn Nix High, 25, and Margaret Stuart High, 23Lifelong resident of Whiteville, N.C.1980 graduate of Whiteville High School1984 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with BA in JournalismLifelong... Read More →
avatar for Liz White

Liz White

Chairwoman and Family Owner, Record-Journal Media Group
Liz White is a 5th generation family owner at the 152-year-old Record-Journal Media Group in central Connecticut, which includes one daily and 7 weeklies. She was named publisher in January 2020. She holds an MBA from Yale School of Management, a bachelor’s from Boston College... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

Creating Conditions for a Successful and Uniquely Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
In Belgium, beer is brewed without adding yeast. Rather, breweries set conditions that allow local yeast strains to enter the brew to work their distinctive magic. Embedded in this approach is a powerful concept that can also guide your community as you work to brew the next batch of businesses. This session will explore how to leverage local conditions and multiple sources of funding to work their distinctive magic as you work to create your next batch of local business. Panelists will discuss the strategies they’ve used to work the assets they have and marshal the resources at hand to help businesses (and the communities in which they’re located) start, grow and pivot.

avatar for Sarah Ashton

Sarah Ashton

Board President, The Cambridge Valley Community Development and Preservation Partnership, Inc.
Sarah is the founding Board President of The Cambridge Valley Community Development and Preservation Partnership, Inc. which encourages and facilitates sustainable neighborhood planning and development in and around vibrant, rural Cambridge, New York by harnessing diverse community... Read More →
avatar for Rich Grogan

Rich Grogan

Executive Director, Northern Border Regional Commission
Rich Grogan is currently the Executive Director of the Northern Border Regional Commission, a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development focused on communities in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Prior to NBRC, Rich served as the Executive Director... Read More →

avatar for Lance Willard

Lance Willard

City Manager, City of Columbiana
Lance Willard has been the City Manager for the City of Columbiana, Ohio since 2013. He performs CEO duties for this city of 6,900 people, planning and directing the work of 8 departments (finance, electric, drinking water, wastewater, streets, EMS, fire, and police) and overseeing... Read More →
avatar for Laura Oswald

Laura Oswald

Director Economic Development, Washington County, NY
Responsible for fostering positive economic growth within Washington County and promulgating the many attributes of the communities within the County. This includes Encouraging job creation and business development, assisting business expansion projects, managing tourism, and directing... Read More →
avatar for Laurel Adams

Laurel Adams

President, REDC
Laurel Adams has been the President of REDC, a non-profit economic development agency and alternative lender serving Southern NH since 2009. Under her leadership REDC has tripled in size, and currently has more than ninety loans in the portfolio, and over 3000 jobs created and retained... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

Connecting with Nature: Rural Implications for Health and Land Use
It is common knowledge that human survival depends on clean air, clean water and other natural resources for basic needs like food and shelter. Since the beginning of the 21st century, evidence has been rapidly accumulating that people’s wellbeing depends not just on extracting resources from nature, but also on frequent contact with nature for health, happiness and optimal functioning. Louise Chawla, an environmental psychologist, reviews major findings on connecting with nature and wellbeing, with special attention to studies with rural populations. She explores the questions—What are the implications of this research for new ways of communicating the value of biodiverse landscapes? How can this research be applied to provide healthy activities in nature for everyone, at every age, in rural towns and on the land? 
The talk will be followed by an overview of “nature prescriptions” to connect people with nature in rural communities, and case studies of programs that apply this research to engage people in enjoying and conserving natural lands. In conclusion, the audience will have time for a dialogue with presenters about possibilities for applying these ideas in their regions.   

avatar for Louise Chawla

Louise Chawla

Professor Emerita, Community Engagement, Design and Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder
Louise Chawla, Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado Boulder, is an environmental psychologist whose work focuses on the benefits of access to nature for human health and wellbeing, the development of active care for the natural world, and participatory methods in design... Read More →

avatar for Chris Proctor

Chris Proctor

Director of Community Benefit, Barton Healthcare System
Chris Proctor, MPT, MBA has worked in the medical field for over 25 years. After 15 years of clinical practice as a physical therapist Chris transitioned into Orthopedic practice management for Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in 2010. Eventually, Chris lead the orthopedic service... Read More →
avatar for Kids in Parks

Kids in Parks

Director, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Jason Urroz jurroz@brpfoundation.org
avatar for Richard Christiana

Richard Christiana

Associate Professor of Public Health, Appalachian State University
Dr. Christiana is an associate professor of public health in the Beaver College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University and co-leader of the Healthy Outdoor Play & Exercise (HOPE) Lab. Dr. Christiana's research focuses on improving children’s health through the promotion... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

9:00am EDT

Take Your Empty Buildings off Furlough!
Want to create opportunity in those Main Street empty building but don’t know how? Join Deb Brown, co-founder of SaveYour.Town, as she takes you on an odyssey to reimagine and reinvigorate a small town’s Main Street. Envision with Deb what these buildings can become. Learn to communicate with owners in new ways to change their minds and join your vision. Hear about communities already doing this work and reaping benefits. And don’t forget those empty lots, too!

avatar for Deb Brown

Deb Brown

Co-Founder, SaveYour.Town
Deb is the co-founder of SaveYour.Town and spends many days in small towns around the world. Her expertise in filling empty buildings, marketing in a small town and the Idea Friendly Method for economic development is changing the landscape for many towns. A wealth of experience... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 9:00am - 10:45am EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

Community Connection Starts With the Arts
Do you want to knit together a community of interest but wonder what to use and do to build those ties? The arts have the potential to sew the seams of a community frayed by a sense of loss or a lack of belonging. Communities across the country are harnessing the arts to build stronger regional communities and are reaping the socio-economic benefits.

Join a panel of experts as it leads demonstrations of art creation in order to build connections, empathy, understanding and inclusion. And learn how to measure the many successes of such projects.

avatar for Anthony Poore

Anthony Poore

Executive Director, New Hampshire Humanities
Anthony Poore joined New Hampshire Humanities as Executive Director in 2018. In Anthony’s 25 plus years of experience in the community economic development sector, he has worked as a practitioner, policy analyst, researcher and executive addressing the needs of urban and rural... Read More →

avatar for Barbara Schaffer Bacon

Barbara Schaffer Bacon

Co-Director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts
Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. Additionally, she contributes to Local Arts Advancement work at... Read More →
avatar for Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

Artistic Director, New Hampshire Theatre Project
Catherine Stewart, New Hamphire Theatre Project's new Artistic Director, has been a resident artist since 2014. A recent member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, she is a playwright and director who uses documentary theatre to excite social and political change. Recent directing... Read More →
avatar for HB Lozito

HB Lozito

Executive Director, Out in the Open
HB has spent over 20 years organizing in rural LGBTQ communities. They are the Executive Director of Out in the Open working to build the power of rural LGBTQ people throughout the U.S. HB is the creator of the Andrews Inn Oral History Project, along with collaborators from Marlboro... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Balaban

Rachel Balaban

Co-founder, co-director ASaP, Brown University
Rachel Balaban is Adjunct Lecturer in Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is co-founder and co-director of Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP) at Brown where she advocates for arts in healthcare and facilitates studies of theory and engagement... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

Carbon Pricing - Can it Save the Planet?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says pricing carbon is the single most effective way to combat the climate crisis. In this session participants will be introduced to a free interactive climate solutions simulation tool from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. En-Roads is real-time scenario software that models carbon pricing and its effect on global temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Learn how carbon pricing can become a reality in the United States from a preeminent voice on carbon fee and dividend, Dr. Danny Richter of Citizens Climate Lobby. He will speak about building bi-partisan support for HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act of 2019. The Act puts a steadily rising price on carbon and gives the money to households as dividends. Studies show that income, rather than geography, determines the effect of carbon pricing on citizens, and two-thirds of households will end up ahead. Predictions indicate this Act could bring greenhouse gas emissions down 40% by 2032.

avatar for John Kondos

John Kondos

Director, Monadnock Sustainability Hub
John Kondos is a founder of the Monadnock Sustainability Hub (MSH), the Monadnock chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby, and Home-Efficiency Resources, LLC. He started his career in the solar energy industry in the late 1970’s as a contractor, next for a crystalline and then a thin... Read More →
avatar for Danny Richter

Danny Richter

Vice President, Government Affairs, Citizens' Climate Lobby
Danny came to work on climate by way of medicine. Realizing the potential for a warming world to make lots of people sick, he figured the best thing he could do for the most people was to prevent the warming in the first place. This led him to pursue a Ph.D. in oceanography, thinking... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

Transformation: Rural news breaks out in all sorts of new ways
Digital start-ups, non-profit and co-op ventures, radical new thinking at small news organizations - new journalism models with promise are springing up across the country, suggesting ways these can be replicated at the small-town level. Kristen Hare of the Poynter Institute and a panel of innovators present new models of news and ideas that we can all take home.

avatar for Kristen  Hare

Kristen Hare

Reporter, Poynter Institute
Kristen Hare covers the transformation of local news for the Poynter Institute. Her work for Poynter has earned her a Mirror Award nomination. Hare, a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, spent 5 years as the Sunday features writer and an assistant editor... Read More →

avatar for Jim Iovino

Jim Iovino

Assistant Professor of Media Innovation, West Virginia University
Jim Iovino joined West Virginia University in July 2019 as the Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation.He is leading the NewStart Newspaper Ownership Initiative -- a program that is focusing on recruiting, training and supporting the next generation of community... Read More →
avatar for Larry Ryckman

Larry Ryckman

Editor and Founder, The Colorado Sun
Larry Ryckman is Editor and founder of The Colorado Sun. Previously he was senior editor at The Denver Post, managing editor at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and city editor at the Greeley Tribune. Ryckman spent 22 years at The Associated Press, where he was assistant managing editor... Read More →
avatar for Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz

Editor and Publisher, Malheur Enterprise
Two-time Pulitzer finalist Les Zaitz is an Oregon native. He started his professional journalism career right out of high school, hired in 1973 as a general assignment reporter for the Salem Statesman Journal. He continued writing as a staff reporter and correspondent while attending... Read More →
avatar for Tamika Moore

Tamika Moore

Managing Producer, Red Clay Media
Tamika Moore is a managing video producer and photojournalist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She tells inspirational stories about people and things that make up the South across different digital platforms at Red Clay Media. In 2017, she started People of Alabama, a celebration of... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

PitchFork: Connecting Rural Startups with Local Funding
The PitchFork Challenge is a business pitch competition focused on supporting the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was intentionally created to provide money and momentum to increase the rate of rural startups by supporting the idea phase and the early challenging years of being a small rural business. We created the PitchFork program in 2016 in response to the low startup rates in rural areas after the great recession. This is not just another pitch competition, but a great way to jumpstart ideas, connections, and small businesses. This session opens with a live pitch event, followed by a discussion with its organizers and a shared “operating manual” about how you can take this concept to your community. The session ends with the announcement of the winners and the presentation of cash awards of $10,000 and $1,000.

For the Radically Rural Summit, the PitchFork Challenge offers cash awards, but this pitch event can also serve as a model to bring together banks, community organizations, individuals, and others interesting in ensuring local businesses can access local loans and local investors. Join the excitement as these local rural entrepreneurs pitch their business and receive the “operating manual” on how to run this event in your own community. We’ll share all that we learned in putting this challenge together so you can take it back to your rural area and create something similar, but also unique to your region. The PitchFork Challenge How-To Guide is available on the Hannah Grimes Center’s website. We hope today’s event will inspire more rural entrepreneurs everywhere to start a business.

avatar for Sara Powell

Sara Powell

Program Director, Hannah Grimes Center
Sara was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. After receiving her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont, she has spent her time working for mission driven and place-based organizations as a farmer and educator. Sara has been living in... Read More →
avatar for David Deziel

David Deziel

Founder and Principal, DavidGeorge Communications, LLC
David Deziel is founder and principal of DavidGeorge Communications, LLC. David serves businesses and nonprofits, helping them build their brand, craft marketing and communications strategies and messages, and implement communications tactics. David enjoys over 30 years of experience... Read More →
avatar for Mary Ann Kristiansen

Mary Ann Kristiansen

Founder & Executive Director, Hannah Grimes Center
Mary Ann Kristiansen was born and raised in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She moved to New York City in 1985 and to a farm in New Hampshire in 1991. There she began making soap, building gardens and raising sheep and chickens. Through her soap making, gardening, and farming contacts, she... Read More →
avatar for Puja Thapa

Puja Thapa

Student, Keene State College
I am Puja Thapa. I am an international student from Nepal at Keene State College majoring in Business Management and minoring in Studio Arts and Women’s and Gender Studies. I aim to be involved in non profit organizations in the near future. I also look forward to make my career... Read More →

avatar for Brittany Migneault

Brittany Migneault

Owner/ Baker, The Bread Shed
Brittany Migneault is a passionate baker and entrepreneur who founded The Bread Shed in 2011, she now manages the bakery and her incredible team and carves out time to bake as much as she can. She is on a mission to provide healthy and wholesome breads to local bread lovers and their... Read More →
avatar for Damiam Wasserbauer

Damiam Wasserbauer

Principal, Wasserbauer Intellectual Property Law, PLLC
Damian Wasserbauer is an patent and intellectual property attorney with a depth and breadth of experience to bring into a clear focus to IP strategies for early stage business clients of Wasserbauer IP Law. Damian holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and Bachelor... Read More →
avatar for Jim Verzino

Jim Verzino

President and CFO, Food Creators Financial, LLC
For the last four years as Entrepreneur in Residence of Windham Grows, Jim has trained and mentored 45 food startup entrepreneurs to an average or 35% growth in sales, helped them create 58 new jobs and raise over $2 million in outside funding. That experience led him to see that... Read More →
avatar for Roy Wallen

Roy Wallen

CEO, Directional Healthcare Advisors
Roy Wallen has served in leadership roles for new product initiatives in medical technology companies ranging from pre-revenue start-up to multi-billion, global concerns. His experience includes company formation, raising capital (grants and equity-based), establishing business plans... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

Crazy Good: Food Hubs? Key to Vibrant Rural Communities
Are you a busy farmer looking for innovative ways to sell your products? Or a Co-op or restaurant manager looking for local farm products? Or a mindful consumer? Food hubs to the rescue! Food hubs help small farmers with production, distribution, and marketing services, and these services increase the economic strength of rural communities.

Food hubs are growing, with more than 200 in the United States, and becoming an established sector that contributes to the vitality of a region’s economy. They support local farmers and help boost profits. Join a panel from food hub communities for an inside peek into how successful hubs operate. Leave with a vision to initiate a food hub in your region and contribute to the vibrancy of your rural community’s culture, economy and food system.

avatar for Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt

Donor Relations Lead, Rural Vermont
Ben was born and raised in rural northern Vermont, where he currently lives with his family on a 100-acre hillside homestead. He's the author of numerous books, including The Town That Food Saved, and is the Donor Relations Lead for Rural Vermont, a grassroots non-profit organization... Read More →


Andre Cantelmo

Founder, Three River Farmers Alliance
avatar for France Hahn

France Hahn

Co-Founder & Co-Director, Kearsarge Food Hub
France is a co-founder and co-director of the Kearsarge Food Hub. She brings to KFH a deep passion for stewarding the agricultural landscape of New Hampshire and increasing access to local food in her community. Over the past five years with KFH, France has worked diligently to lay... Read More →
avatar for Lauren Howard

Lauren Howard

Co-Founder & Co-Director, Kearsarge Food Hub
Lauren is a co-founder and co-director of the Kearsarge Food Hub (KFH). She grew up in Southern Maine and received a Bachelors in Arts & Science in Cognitive Science from McGill University. In 2015, she moved to Bradford and joined ranks with France Hahn, a good friend from college... Read More →
avatar for Mary Macdonald

Mary Macdonald

Co-Owner/Co-Founder, The Belknap Foodshed and Genuine Local
What started as a family hobby (KCBS competition BBQ team) has evolved into a specialty food production accelerator (Genuine Local) and an ag-based maker space (The Belknap Foodshed). Genuine Local has been supporting small food producers since 2015, including providing production... Read More →
avatar for Richard Berkfield

Richard Berkfield

Founder/ Executive Director, Food Connects
Richard is the co-founder and Executive Director of Food Connects. He has been leading food system development work in the Windham County area since 2008. Richard holds a M.A. from SIT Graduate Institute in Sustainable Development with a focus on Food Security for Vermont, as well... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

11:00am EDT

New Ruralism: Making It on Main Street
What’s New Ruralism? It’s reimagining rural Main Streets to be more than structures, but alive with the hum of community answering the needs of it residents. From Arts Collaboratives to Food Hubs to Community Centers locally driven programs are drawing in community, creating hubs and enriching rural regions.

Join the New Ruralism Project on a virtual success tour of case studies. Start in Alaska for a story of spirit as locals take control of their food system to reduce costs and provide environmental and social sustainability; travel on to New York to learn how to turn an empty building into a thriving Community Center; go south to Alabama to learn lessons from an old auto dealership’s transformation into a cultural arts hub for the community and so much more. Leave inspired with case studies and references to provide guidance to create your own success story.

New Ruralism is a project of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) with support from APA and its Small Town and Rural Planning Division.

avatar for Jennifer Whittaker

Jennifer Whittaker

Research Associate, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Jennifer Whittaker is a Research Associate at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. For the past year, she has been guiding the research efforts of the New Ruralism project.Prior to moving to... Read More →
avatar for Jo Anne Carr

Jo Anne Carr

Director of Planning & Economic Development, Town of Jaffrey
Jo Anne is currently Director of Planning & Economic Development for the Town of Jaffrey, NH (pop. 5297), providing technical assistance to the community in developing solutions for the long-term sustainability of the town’s environment and economy. She has nearly 30 years of experience... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

1:00pm EDT

LOR Livability Idea Slam
LOR Livability Idea Slam call for entries

Radically Rural, our online summit focused on ways to improve life in small cities and towns, is looking for great ideas about how individuals, businesses and institutions are making small cities and towns more livable. 

Sponsored by the LOR Foundation, 10 to 12 innovative approaches to solving local problems will be featured at Radically Rural, all drawn from the sectors that the summit presents: Community journalism, arts and culture, land use, entrepreneurship, downtowns and clean energy. 

The first LOR Livability Idea Slam will take place on Radically Rural’s main stage of the remote event from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sept. 24. We are seeking initiatives that have improved the quality of community life, ranging from physical betterments to social improvements—anything that has elevated a town’s livability.

Those interested in participating are asked to videotape their ideas and send links to event organizers via a digital form on the Radically Rural website. The videos will be shown, and attendees will vote on the best of those submitted. Five finalists will be selected and a winner from among those five will get a bounty of Radically Rural swag. Lively presentations of no more than three minutes are requested and should illustrate how an innovative idea had an impact on the community.  Attendees will appreciate creativity, brevity and humor. Simply present the idea, talk about its goal and the results, but don’t forget to do so with style and flair!

LOR is a private foundation that works with rural communities in the Mountain West to enhance livability and prosperity while preserving the character that makes each community unique.

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

The Essential Arts
Let’s dig into the value and vibrancy of the rural arts scene and ask: What makes art essential in rural communities in this moment in time, and why?
This session will give participants tools to be better advocates for the arts in their communities, and it will be a great learning opportunity to better understand WHY the arts are so valuable. These Radically Rural panelists will use affirming language, data, and stories from the field that demonstrate the impact arts can have - from the individual to a group to a community-wide level.
After the discussion, the session will break out into smaller groups to dive into deeper questions about the current moment and how to maintain sustainability and strive for longevity within it. Can we imagine a radical reinvention of the sector together?
Let's pool our resources to make a case for essential arts and move forward together!

avatar for Eugene Uman

Eugene Uman

Director, Vermont Jazz Center
Eugene Uman is the director of the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont where he has produced hundreds of concerts of world-famous artists and supervised its educational programs since 1997. In 2014, the VJC received a Chamber Music America Acclaim award acknowledging his programming... Read More →
avatar for Craig Stockwell

Craig Stockwell

Visiting Artist, Advisor- MFA, Lesley University
Craig Stockwell has shown his drawings and paintings extensively in New England and nationally including the Boston MFA, Nielsen Gallery in Boston, The Fitchburg Museum, Moma PS1, The Painting Center in NY, Spheris Gallery in Vermont and several other venues. His work is in many permanent... Read More →
avatar for Cynthia Cutting

Cynthia Cutting

Director, Museum of the White Mountains
Cynthia has over 20 years previous experience in community cultural program management. Cynthia is the former Director of Plymouth State University’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery. She began work at the Museum of the White Mountains as Exhibition Curator/Designer in 2015, became Assistant... Read More →
avatar for Marianne Barthel

Marianne Barthel

Director, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Arts Program
Marianne Barthel joined the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Arts Program as a Coordinator in 2013 andbecame Director in 2018. In this role, Ms. Barthel co-manages the Creative Arts Program with theSupport Services Manager at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and chairs the Art Acquisitions... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Whitworth

Amanda Whitworth

Founder, Lead With Arts & Articine
Amanda is a teaching artist with an M.Ed in Integrated Arts Education, and leads and consults on interdisciplinary projects in technology, design, wellness, business, and public education. Originally from metro Detroit, she has lived in central New Hampshire since 2006. She was was... Read More →
avatar for Kate Beever

Kate Beever

Owner/Music Therapist, Maine Music & Health
Kate Beever's life's work builds bridges between arts and healthcare with collaborative, hands-on learning and self-care arts programs for healthcare professionals. Her organization, Maine Music & Heath, was the SBA's Microenterprise of the Year in 2017 and won $10,000 from the UPS... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

Carbon Lockdown: Farming Helps Save the Planet
Farmers are experiencing the environmental destruction and financial hardships caused by climate change. Altered growing cycles, poor soil health, and unpredictable water cycles have left many farms producing less while investing more. Regenerative agriculture holds the potential to sequester carbon and combat the impacts of the climate crisis. Join Nobel prize winner Dr. Keith Paustian from Colorado State University and Dr. Adam Chambers from the United States Department of Agriculture as they discuss regenerative agriculture and its promise for farmers and foresters.

avatar for Sheldon Whitehouse

Sheldon Whitehouse

United States Senator, Rhode Island
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is fighting to reduce carbon pollution and position America as a leader in the clean energy economy. Whitehouse is a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. He co-founded the Senate Climate Action Task Force, to help... Read More →
avatar for Adam Chambers

Adam Chambers

Scientist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Dr. Adam Chambers is a Scientist at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He leads Environmental Markets activities under NRCS’s Energy and Environmental Markets Team. Adam’s work focuses on leveraging markets that value ecosystem services, building strategic... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Keith Paustian

Dr. Keith Paustian

Professor, Colorado State University
Keith Paustian is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. A major focus of his work involves modeling, field measurement and development of... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

Crazy Good – 50 ideas that will make a difference
It’s back! A romp through some of the best ways to increase audience and revenue from some of the game-changing news organizations in the country. We present a lively show and tell on tactics, techniques and products (including examples of outstanding COVID-19 coverage). You will leave with a magazine profiling new approaches and ideas. Looking for an ROI on attending Radically Rural? This is it.

avatar for Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams

President & COO, The Keene Sentinel
Terrence Williams is president and chief operating officer for Keene Publishing Corp., the publisher of The Keene Sentinel. He leads The Sentinel’s niche publication, digital media, circulation, sales, graphics and print shop divisions. He’s also in charge of the company’s business... Read More →
avatar for Linda Conway

Linda Conway

Executive Director, New England Newspaper and Press Association
Linda Conway is the executive director for the New England Newspaper and Press Association, the nonprofit trade organization for newspapers in the six-state region. Part of her role at NENPA is developing training and recognition programs to help newspaper professionals successfully... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

Rebuild Your Community Co-operatively!
Co-operative enterprise has been part of the American economy since its beginnings, and has played a particularly important role in our rural communities.  Today, 1 in 3 people in the U.S. being co-op members and we are seeing this business model used in new and innovative ways.  Co-ops enable people to work together to meet their needs and aspirations, providing themselves with everything from farm supplies to groceries, good jobs to financial services, and shelter to electricity.  Learn how the co-operative model is being used to help small towns provide access to fresh food when the last grocery store has left the area; or how co-ops in the South help Black farmers hold on to their farms and empower their communities; or how retiring business owners are using co-ops to transition to shared ownership with their employees and communities, retaining jobs and infrastructure; or enabling residents of manufactured housing to own their neighborhoods, together.  Co-operatives are member-owned and democratically-governed, offering a business model that is more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.  As we work to rebuild our communities in the wake of COVID-19, let’s rebuild co-operatively.  

avatar for Erbin Crowell

Erbin Crowell

Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association
Erbin Crowell is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Business Association, CLUSA International, and serves as Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a co-operative federation of 40 food co-ops and start-up initiatives... Read More →

avatar for Carl Woodruff

Carl Woodruff

Founder, Co-Owner, and Manager, Oxbow Design Build Cooperative
Carl is a founder, co-owner, and manager at Oxbow Design Build Cooperative. In addition to project management, he is responsible for human resources, administrative systems development, and finances. First incorporated as an LLC in 2015, the founders of Oxbow Design Build had an early... Read More →
avatar for Lori Capouch

Lori Capouch

Rural Development Director, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives
Lori Capouch is a development professional who leads rural people through the grassroots development process, empowering them to create the businesses they desire in their communities. She is the rural development director for the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives... Read More →
avatar for Paul Bradley

Paul Bradley

President, ROC USA, LLC
Paul Bradley is the founding president of ROC USA, LLC, a nonprofit social venture that makes resident ownership of manufactured (“mobile”) home communities viable and successful nationwide.  ROC USA® operates through a Network of ten nonprofit technical assistance providers... Read More →
avatar for Rob Brown

Rob Brown

Program Director, Cooperative Development Institute
Rob Brown is the Director of Business Ownership Solutions (BOS), a program of the Cooperative Development Institute that promotes employee ownership and works with business owners and their employees to facilitate conversions. He was part of the advisory group that successfully converted... Read More →
avatar for Terence Courtney

Terence Courtney

Director of Cooperative Development & Strategic Initiatives, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Born and raised in Atlanta Georgia, Terence has been an advocate for equity for more than twenty years. He began this work with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where he brought together African American, Latino, and Asian workers to improve wages and working conditions... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

Fiber: Building a Regional Fibershed in this New Frontier
Do you promote a locavore lifestyle in your rural community? Have you thought about the next step of growing, producing and composting local textiles? Our prospective speaker, Rebecca Burgess is working on just these goals in her northern California community and wants others to build Fibersheds too.

Fiber offers a new frontier for localizing efforts that can have powerful economic, environmental and social impacts. Soil-to-soil fiber systems can play a vital role in generating lasting prosperity with positive effects on regional economies, global climate and the health and diversity of our ecosystems. Imagine a community built around producing, creating, marketing and selling quality – rather than quantity - clothing. These community ties build resilience. Come and be inspired. Leave with tools to reimagine your community and its connection with clothes.

avatar for Marcail McWilliams

Marcail McWilliams

Owner, Valley Oak Wool Mill
Graduated from California College of the Arts in 2008 with a BFA in textiles, moved home in the spring of 2009 and never expected that there would be a wool mill in my hometown of Woodland, CA. I started working at what was Yolo Wool Mill and learned everything on the job over 7 years... Read More →
avatar for Lani Estill

Lani Estill

Rural Entrepreneur - Accountant, Lani's Lana ~ Fine Rambouillet Wool
Lani and her family own and operate a vertically integrated diversified livestock operation producing cattle, sheep, alfalfa and grass hay. The ranch is in Northeastern California and Northwest Nevada. They practice regenerative agriculture and with the help of partners like Fibershed... Read More →
avatar for Meg Erskine

Meg Erskine

Co-Founder & CEO, Multicultural Refugee Coalition
Meg Erskine, co-founder and CEO of Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC), has devoted her career to contributing to environmental and social causes in collaborative and innovative ways. Since 2009, Meg has led MRC's strategic growth, including the 2011 introduction of the New Leaf... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Burgess

Rebecca Burgess

Executive Director, Fibershed
Rebecca Burgess, M.ed, is the executive director of Fibershed, chair of the board for Carbon Cycle Institute, and the author of Harvesting Color. She is a vocationally trained weaver and natural dyer. She has over a decade of experience writing and implementing hands-on curricula... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

2:00pm EDT

Downtown Revitalization through Community Collaboration
Rural downtowns have emptied with the shift of consumer spending habits to the online environment.  Vacant store fronts and underutilized upper stories in deteriorated historic buildings have become commonplace on Main Street.  Traditional development isn’t happening because it simply doesn’t pencil out – it costs three times as much to redevelop a building as its value when completed.  Is there a solution to reverse this trend and bring life back to your downtown?  There is and it lies in the power of the community.  Learn how community members can become developers and answer the question “How does a community begin a downtown revitalization project?”

avatar for William Colvin

William Colvin

Assistant Director/Director of Community & Economic Developmment, Bennington County Regional Commission
William Colvin is the director of the Bennington County Industrial Corporation, the assistant director of the Bennington County Regional Commission and the director of that organization’s Sustainable Community Development Program. Bill has worked in the community and economic development... Read More →
avatar for Katie Stuart-Buckley

Katie Stuart-Buckley

Principal, Director of Project Development & Marketing, M&S Development/Stevens & Associates
avatar for Robert Stevens, PE

Robert Stevens, PE

Founder and President, Stevens & Associates, P.C.
Robert Stevens a principal for M&S Development, and founder and president of Stevens & Associates, P.C., an architectural design and engineering firm, both located in the heart of downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. Bob has led teams in a variety of projects and disciplines including planning... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced

4:00pm EDT

Closing Keynote
In 1979, while attending seminary, John Molinaro realized that he had a different calling.  Having grown up in a declining industrial town of 30,000, where many families had been reduced to poverty, he realized he had a passion for lifting up the economies of rural places and providing opportunities for struggling families to prosper.  For more than forty years, Molinaro has pursued that calling, working across America to help small communities and rural regions build jobs and philanthropic resources that provide better lives for people who have been left behind and all but forgotten.
For twenty-seven years John focused his efforts on building prosperity in west central Minnesota where he helped double manufacturing employment and increase average weekly wages from lowest in the state to sixth among eleven regions.  In 2006 he joined the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group in Washington DC, where he helped rural and small urban places across America organize and adopt innovative and effective approaches to build local wealth and family and community prosperity.  
In 2012 Molinaro left Aspen to serve as founding President of Appalachian Partnership, Inc., (API) the first-ever regionwide economic development organization serving the 32 Appalachian counties of Ohio.  Over 8 years he built the organization into a multi-service economic development agency with 22 staff, 3 subsidiaries and a $4 million annual budget.  By the time he retired from API in 2020, it had helped create more than 8000 jobs, and attracted more than $30 million in federal and state resources to help communities, businesses and families prosper.  In addition, API’s Appalachian Growth Capital, LLC subsidiary has attracted more than $14 million in public and private investment in its loan pool to support growth of rural businesses and jobs.
On July 1, 2020, John started a new chapter, founding RES Associates, a consulting business focused on advising communities and regions on strategies they can use to build rural economic success, and on pursuing state and federal policy initiatives that support rural development.   
Molinaro has served as a policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, as a multi-term appointee to the Minnesota Governor’s Workforce Development Council, and as an appointee to the US SBA’s Council on Underserved Communities and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Community Advisory Council. John holds certifications in Economic Development Finance and Housing Development Finance from the National Development Council and a Master’s Degree is in Community and Regional Planning. He has also participated in advanced studies in theology, leadership and policy.

avatar for Mary Ann Kristiansen

Mary Ann Kristiansen

Founder & Executive Director, Hannah Grimes Center
Mary Ann Kristiansen was born and raised in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She moved to New York City in 1985 and to a farm in New Hampshire in 1991. There she began making soap, building gardens and raising sheep and chickens. Through her soap making, gardening, and farming contacts, she... Read More →
avatar for John Molinaro

John Molinaro

Principal, RES Associates, LLC
In 1979, while attending seminary, John Molinaro realized that he had a different calling.  Having grown up in a declining industrial town of 30,000, where many families had been reduced to poverty, he realized he had a passion for lifting up the economies of rural places and providing... Read More →

Thursday September 24, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Virtual Link to Join this Session will be Announced
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