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2014 VCEN Annual Conference

SourceLink Virginia: Putting the Pieces Together for Entrepreneurial & Community Development 
June 2-4, 2014
Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
Roanoke, VA

VCEN's first statewide conference - SourceLink Virginia: Putting the Pieces Together for Entrepreneurial & Community Development - was held on on June 2-4, 2014 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA. Leaders from across Virginia are recognizing the importance of building “entrepreneurial communities” that support aspiring and existing small businesses and entrepreneurs. Innovative cities, counties, towns and regions are investing in practices and programs that will stimulate the creation of new ventures, expand existing companies, and generate sustainable job opportunities, thus creating more diverse, stable and distributed local economies. This inaugural Conference brought together over 150 professionals representing the broad array of entrepreneurship & economic development in Virginia’s rural, suburban and urban communities. Attendees heard from a variety of experts and policymakers, shared best practices, and engaged in high levels of professional networking and interactive learning.  


SCHEDULE (Speaker presentations found at:

Monday June 2, 2014

5:30-7:00            Conference Registration & Networking Reception           

Tuesday June 3, 2014

7:00-5:00            Conference Registration (all-day)

7:30–8:30           Networking Breakfast

8:30-9:00            Welcome Remarks

9:00-10:15           Opening Plenary - Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities

Don Macke, Director of Entrepreneurial Communities, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

10:15-10:30         Break & Networking

10:30-11:45 Concurrent Sessions

Critical Elements of a High Performing Entrepreneurial Development System     

Don Macke, Director of Entrepreneurial Communities, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Deborah Markley, Managing Director and Director of Measurement, Research, Policy, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Leveraging Mixed-Use Development to Drive Downtown Economic Revitalization

Moderator: Chris Sterling, Chief Development Officer, Virginia Community Development Corporation

Costa Canavos, Real Estate Lending Manager, Virginia Community Capital

Keith Sherrill, Community Housing Officer, Virginia Housing Development Authority

Price Gutshall, Vice President of Economic Development, Downtown Roanoke, Inc.

The Role of Higher Education in Community Economic Development

Moderator: Jody Keenan, Director, Virginia SBDC Network

John Provo, Director, Office of Economic Development, Virginia Tech

Sheri McGuire, Director, Economic Development, Longwood University

Keith Segerson, Executive Director, Mason Enterprise Center, George Mason University

12:00-1:00            Keynote Address - Virginia's New Economy

The Honorable Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce & Trade

1:00-1:15              Break & Networking

1:15-2:30              Afternoon Plenary - The Four Quadrants of Entrepreneurship

Maria Meyers, Network Builder, U.S. SourceLink

2:30-3:45              Concurrent Sessions

Public Policy Really Matters

Moderator: Erik Pages, President, EntreWorks Consulting

Eva Doss, Executive Director, The Launch Place

Bryan David, County Administrator, Orange County Virginia

Building Creative Economies: Civic Tourism as an Entrepreneurship Strategy

Moderator: Shannon Blevins, Director of Economic Development, University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Lou Ann Jessee Wallace, Chair, St. Paul Tomorrow

Brad J. Kreps, Clinch Valley Program Director, The Nature Conservancy

Todd Christensen, Executive Director, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation

Show Me the Money: Innovative Financing Strategies for Small Business Development

Moderator: Jane Henderson, CEO, Virginia Community Capital

Bob Mooney, New Richmond Ventures

Todd Nuckols, Managing Director, Lighthouse Labs

Ron Johnson, Chief Credit Officer, City of Richmond Office of Economic Development

3:30-3:45              Break & Networking

3:45-5:00              Afternoon Plenary - Innovations in Small Business Development 

Kennedy Smith, Principal, CLUE Group

6:00-7:30              Reception & Tour: Live.Work.Play - Downtown Roanoke as a Model for Revitalization (Sponsored by the Virginia Downtown Development Association)  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

7:30-8:30              Networking Breakfast & Plenary - Introducing SourceLink Virginia

Conaway Haskins, Executive Director, Virginia Community Economic Network

8:30-9:45              Concurrent Sessions

Virginia is for (Entrepreneurship) Lovers - Spurring Small Business Growth via the Commonwealth's Tourism Development Plan

Steve Galyean, Development Director, Virginia Tourism Corporation

Randy Rose, Senior Development Advisor - Partnership Alliance Marketing, Virginia Tourism Corporation

Grow Your Own - Focusing Resources to Spur Local Business Growth

Moderator: Brian Baker, Executive Director, University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development

Lisa Hull, Economic Development Coordinator, Northern Neck Planning District Commission

Paul Nolde, Small Business Capital Strategist, Virginia Community Capital

Forming an Overall Small Business Development Strategy

Moderator: Kevin Kelly, Managing Director, ECDC Enterprise Development Group

Julie Markowitz, Executive Director, Staunton Downtown Development Association

Christina Cain, Executive Director, Staunton Creative Community Fund

Ken Heath, Executive Director of Community and Economic Development, Town of Marion

Olivia Hall, Executive Director, Marion Downtown!

9:45-10:00           Break & Networking

10:00-11:00         Roundtable Discussions

The Stroke of a Pen: The Other Side of Public Policymaking 

Moderator: Ellen Matthews Davis, Retired State Director, USDA Rural Development

Benefits and Challenges of Regional Cooperation 

Moderator: Scott Carlberg, President, E4 Carolinas

Microlending, Crowdfunding, & Alternative Financial Tools for Underserved Entrepreneurs and Communities

Jennifer Giovannitti, Regional Community Development Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Sandra Tormoen, Assistant Vice President of Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

11:00-12:00          Partner Award Presentations

Virginia Downtown Development Association Awards of Excellence

Virginia Small Business Development Center Network State Star Awards  

12:00-12:30         Closing Remarks