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Agribusiness is the backbone of small towns

KYLE SHREVE Executive Director, Virginia Agribusiness Council Phone: 804-643-3555 Email: Kyle@va-agribusiness.org     What kind of services do you provide that benefit small towns? We primarily are a government relations trade association, so being an advocate for rural Virginia in Richmond and the issues that affect them. For example, we had a very high priority… Continue Reading Agribusiness is the backbone of small towns

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Collaboration is the keystone to economic development

TELLY TUCKER Director of Economic Development City of Danville Email: telly.tucker@discoverdanville.com Phone: 434-793-1753     In your background working in cities and towns, what are the most important lessons? In my opinion, the most valuable lesson would probably be one of collaboration. Being willing to work with partners. Economic development is a team sport and… Continue Reading Collaboration is the keystone to economic development

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USDA Rural Development helps build communities

LAURETTE TUCKER Rural Business Specialist, USDA Email: laurette.tucker@va.usda.gov Phone: 434-392-4906 x125     You work mostly with Agricultural Producers, does this work have an impact on small towns? It certainly has an impact on small towns. Within my particular division, Rural Business, we do have programs that agricultural producers can take advantage of. The value… Continue Reading USDA Rural Development helps build communities

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Every town has tourism potential

SANDRA TANNER Tourism Development SpecialistVirginia Tourism CorporationEmail: stanner@virginia.org     What region do you serve? Can you just describe what that includes? I’m in the southern central coastal region. That is Martinsville to Suffolk and all the counties off of the James River, so I basically have the border communities, some coastal communities, some central… Continue Reading Every town has tourism potential

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David Sligh headshot Southwings

Small towns can sometimes beat the big guys in court

DAVID SLIGH Conservation Director Wild Virginia wildvirignia.org Charlottesville, Virginia Phone: 434-971-1553 Email: David@wildvirginia.org   What kinds of services from your organization can benefit small towns? We do training and we do events in lots of communities, and we interact with a lot of local government folks. Traditionally we have done a lot of work in… Continue Reading Small towns can sometimes beat the big guys in court

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Some towns succeed because they acknowledge their artists’ value

JAMIE BENNETT Executive Director ArtPlace America Brooklyn, New York Email: Jamie@artplaceamerica.org     An organization of your size probably focuses on big cities, right? That is incorrect. The smallest community we’ve invested in is Kivalina, Alaska, which is 321 people. And last year 51 percent of our grant-making went to rural communities. So one of… Continue Reading Some towns succeed because they acknowledge their artists’ value

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Don’t kid around when it comes to your town’s schoolchildren

RYAN BELL CEO, Children’s Champion Phone: 804-928-2135 Email: childrenschampioninfo@gmail.com     Does lack of activities for youth in town correlate with crime? I founded the group Children’s Champion when I saw a need in my current job [with the Virginia Department of Health]. I used to go into the courts and see youth who needed… Continue Reading Don’t kid around when it comes to your town’s schoolchildren

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Reaching out to federal agencies

CATHERINE FEERICK Downtown Revitalization Specialist Appalachian Regional Commission Phone: 202-884-7769 Email: cfeerick@arc.gov     What is your area of expertise? I work predominantly with downtown projects and tourism projects—anything that can increase business activity, spur entrepreneurial efforts, and build local economies within the city context or the town context. Are there things that work for… Continue Reading Reaching out to federal agencies

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Eric Dixon

Finding funding in coal-impacted communities

ERIC DIXON Coordinator of Community Engagement and Policy Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center Phone: 606-633-3929 Email: eric@aclc.org     What services do you offer? We do a number of things. We are a non-profit legal services entity that provides legal services for a number of constituents throughout the region, low-income constituents typically who can’t find legal… Continue Reading Finding funding in coal-impacted communities

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Andrew Davis

Staking your claim to fame

ANDREW DAVIS Author, Town Inc. Phone: 617-290-0480 Email: adavis@monumentalshift.com     What services have you provided to small towns? Today, I don’t consult anymore. I just write books and speak all over the world. If you were a town or city, the kinds of things I do do are come and help you frame the big ideas… Continue Reading Staking your claim to fame

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