Connect With Experts

Local, county, business and government leaders share their expertise and invite your questions.

Why two words – ‘target’ and ‘focus’ – are vital

JOHN ACCORDINO

Professor and Director
Center for Urban and Regional Development, Virginia Commonwealth University
Phone: 804-827-0525
Email: jaccordi@vcu.edu

 


Paying for costly water-sewer infrastructure upgrades

JAMES BALDWIN

Executive Director
Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission
Phone: 276-889-1778
Email: jimbaldwin@bvu.net

 


The promise of tourism

KITTY BARKER

Executive Director
Heart of Appalachia
Phone: 276-762-0011
Email: director@heartofappalachia.com

 


What small towns can learn from big cities

JIM BROOKS

Director, City Solutions
National League of Cities
Phone: 202-626-3163
Email: brooks@nlc.org

 


Embracing the ‘rebels’ in your small town

T. ALLAN COMP

Program Officer (retired)
DOI and OSMRE/VISTA Teams, Department of Interior
Email: allan@tallancomp.com

 


How the USDA can help improve your community services

ELLEN DAVIS

State Director (retired)
USDA for U.S. Rural Development
Phone: 804-287-1552

 


Building resilient economies by meeting local needs

ANTHONY FLACCAVENTO

Founder/President
SCALE, Inc.
Email: flaccavento@ruralscale.com

 


Business-boosting organization can help small-town entrepreneurs get loans

TOM FLECKENSTEIN

Director
Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center, Abingdon
Phone: 276-739-2515 or 276-739-2474
Email:Tfleckenstein@VHCC.edu

 


What the USDA can do for small towns

BASIL GOODEN

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
State of Virginia

 

 


Jody_Keenan

How to identify and leverage entrepreneurial opportunities

JODY KEENAN

State Director
Virginia Small Business Development Center Network
Email: jkeenan@gmu.edu

 


Preserving the enviable environment of Appalachia

JOSH KELLY

Public Lands Biologist
Mountain True
Phone: 828-258-8737
Email: josh@mountaintrue.org

 


Building a vibrant community through public spaces

ETHAN KENT

Senior Vice President
Project for Public Spaces
Email: ekent@pps.org

 


Assistance in learning the lay of the land

TARAH KESTERSON

Public relations manager
Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Phone: 276-523-8146
Email: tarah.kesterson@dmme.virginia.gov

 


EPA offers menu of services to small towns

MELISSA KRAMER

Policy Analyst Office of Sustainable Communities
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: 202-564-8497
Email: Kramer.Melissa@epa.gov
Website: www.epa.gov/smartgrowth


Gary_LarroweWhat you can learn from small towns overseas

GARY LARROWE

County Administrator
Botetourt County, Virginia
Phone: 540-928-2006
Email: glarrowe@botetourtva.gov

 


Finding alternative economic development in the hinterlands

CRYSTAL COOK MARSHALL

Virginia Tech doctoral student, science and technology studies in society
Former outreach coordinator, Appalachian Research Initiative in Environmental Science (ARIES)
Phone: 704-978-9404
Email: crystalcookmarshall@gmail.com

 


 Mayors can help a town believe in itself

SUZANNE MORSE MOOMAW

Associate professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia
Academic lead, Appalachian Prosperity Project
Phone: 434-924-6459
Email: SWM2x@virginia.edu

 


What every small town mayor needs to know about economic development

LIZ POVAR

Former Vice President for Business Expansion
Virginia Economic Development Partnership

 

 


The Dillon rule and other challenges to democracy

DAVE RESS

Senior political reporter
Daily Press, Newport News, Virginia
Phone: 757-880-9194
Email: dress@dailypress.com

 


3 ways to identify and capitalize on your town’s greatest tourism assets

RANDY ROSE

Development specialist
Virginia Tourism Corporation
Phone: 276-322-2044
Email: rrose@virginia.org

 


Small-town businesses can sell to the U.S. military

BELINDA SHERIDAN

Program manager, Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Phone: 276-964-7533
Email: Belinda.sheridan@sw.edu

 


 Today’s small town can remain a viable force

ANDREW SORRELL

Coordinator, Office of Farmland Preservation
Virginia Department of Agriculture
Phone: 804-786-1906
Email: Andrew.Sorrell@vdacs.virginia.gov

 


 Creating agency in small towns

MARGARET STOUT

Associate Professor
Department of Public Administration, West Virginia University
Phone: 304-293-7978
Email: Margaret.Stout@mail.wvu.edu

 


Bob_Stripling3 Ways to attract money and resources

BOB STRIPLING

Program Director and Professor of Practice at Virginia Tech
Phone: 540-231-5133
Email: chars08@vt.edu

 


Wayne_WaldropHow small business loans help small towns flourish

WAYNE WALDROP

Small Business Lending Manager
Virginia Community Capital
Phone: 804-344-5484
Email: wwaldrop@ccva.org

 


Tap into the power of an active community

ADAM WELLS

Economic Diversification Program Coordinator
Appalachian Voices
Phone: 276- 679-1691
Email: Adam@appvoices.org

 


Embracing Appalachian history to build for the future

BARRY WHITTEMORE

Lecturer, History
University of North Georgia
Phone: 706-864-1541
Email: barry.whittemore@ung.edu