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2015 VCEN Annual Conference

People. Place. Prosperity: The Shifting Landscape of Community Economic Opportunity in Virginia
Monday, June 15, 2015 
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Richmond, VA

As Virginia’s economy experiences significant transitions, a broad consensus has emerged among community & economic developers that creating supportive ecosystems for aspiring, emerging and established microenterprises and small businesses is critical to revitalizing, sustaining and growing local and state economies. While community entrepreneurship and place-based economic development have traditionally focused on the revitalization of historic business districts in cities and towns, Virginia's suburbs and exurbs are also emerging as places to live, work, and play. Simultaneously, some older cities and towns that once faced economic and population decline are now experiencing upward swings in residential and commercial activity, while some traditionally suburban counties are facing revitalization challenges that were once more common to urban and inner-city areas. As part of its mission as a statewide convener, thought-leader and public voice for creating and expanding community economic opportunities, VCEN invited a broad array of professionals from across the Commonwealth to gather in Richmond for a day-long conversation on the implications of this shifting landscape on microenterprise, entrepreneurship, creative economies, and quality of life. 


10:00-10:30 – Coffee Chat and Check-in

10:30-10:45 - Welcome Remarks & Overview
Conaway Haskins, Virginia Community Economic Network

10:45-11:45 – The Micropolitan Manifesto: Transforming Small Cities Through Small Business
Katie McCaskey, George Bowers Grocery
Christina Cain, Staunton Creative Communities Fund

11:45-12:00 – Grab Your Lunch

12:00-1:00 – Human Capital, Entrepreneurial Communities & Quality of Life: The Federal & State View
Jen Giovannitti, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Michelle Jones, Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development

1:00-2:00 - Entrepreneurship as a Driver of Downtown Revitalization: Lessons from Danville

Eva Doss, The Launch Place
Telly Tucker, City of Danville Economic Development

2:00-2:45 – Interactive Networking Break

2:45-4:00 - Balancing Acts: Old Towns, New Towns and Place-based Economic Development
Jack Berry, Venture Richmond
Chad Joyce, Ryan Homes/NVR Inc.
Jeff Sadler, Lead.Act.Local LLC

4:00-4:15 – Closing Remarks

4:30-7:00 – Networking Reception
Casa Del Barco, 320 S. 12th St, Richmond, VA 23219 (sponsored by the Virginia Downtown Development Association)