2016 Annual Conference | April 8-12, 2016 | Washington, DC

The Future of Community

 Identity.  Purpose.  Place.

Advancing Rural Communities' Economic Success Agenda

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Registration and Overview
  • Stephanie Powers, Senior Director for Policy and Partnerships, Council on Foundations
  • Janet Topolsky, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

9:30-10:15 a.m.

Advancing Rural Economic Success: A Framework for Strategy and Action
  • Deb Markley, Managing Director, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

10:15-11:15 a.m.

Rural Economic Success Story Showcase #1

Foundation leaders will present an overview of an on-the-ground story about advancing family, business, community, or sector economic success.

  • Boosting Rural Family EITC and Children’s Savings AccountsBonnie Gettys, President and CEO, Barry Community Foundation
  • Strengthening Rural Microenterprises in Underserved PopulationsDiana Anderson, President and CEO, Southwest Initiative Foundation
  • Amping Up Rural Broadband InfrastructureKathy Annette, President and CEO, Blandin Foundation
  • Building Prosperity and Ownership in Forest-Reliant CommunitiesAlan McGregor, Vice President – Communities, U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Story Exploration: Go Deep with the Story of Your Choice

Participants may choose which story and approach they want to explore in more depth with other participants. Each facilitated breakout will offer more detail from the lead storyteller and invite participants to share related ideas, challenges, and innovations with each other.


12:15-1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch: Choose Your Topic and Partners

Participants will join colleagues at lunch tables either to network or to discuss a specific topic. Participants will have the opportunity to propose Table Topics both in advance and on-site.


1:30-2:30 p.m.

Rural Economic Success Story Showcase #2

Foundation leaders will present an overview of an on-the-ground story about advancing family, business, community, or sector economic success.

  • One Napa Valley: Accelerating Citizenship for ImmigrantsMarla Tofle, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, Napa Valley Community Foundation
  • Creating Rural Employer/Employee Resource NetworksMonica Schuyler, Executive Director, Pennies from Heaven Foundation
  • Growing Heart and Soul in Rural CommunitiesDavid Leckey, Executive Director, Orton Family Foundation; Gabrielle Ratté Smith, Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships, Orton Family Foundation
  • Local Foods Value Chain: Connecting Health System Purchases to Local SupplyDr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation; Becky Ceperley, Former President and CEO, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

2:30-3:30 p.m.

Story Exploration: Go Deep with the Story of Your Choice

Participants may choose which story and approach they want to explore in more depth with other participants. Each facilitated breakout will offer more detail from the lead storyteller and invite participants to share related ideas, challenges, and innovations with each other.


3:30-5 p.m.

Closing Challenge: Making Rural Communities Work Well for All
  • Kelly Ryan, President and CEO, Incourage Community Foundation