Virginia Southside Section Symposium
11:30 am11:30

Virginia Southside Section Symposium

The Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Virginia Downtown Development Association are teaming up to hold the Southside Section Symposium! 

  • Come and sign in and network at 11:30 AM, 
  • Eat a boxed lunch at 12 PM. 
  • At 1 PM, New College Institute professor Dr. Leanna Blevins,     Patrick Henry Community College President Dr. Angeline Godwin, and more leaders will inform how they are using education as an economic revitalization tool.  
  • At 3:15, join the MHC EDC Office of Tourism to tour Uptown and learn about different projects.  
  • Happy Hour networking at Mtn Jax Restaurant & Pub after the walking tour!

AICP CM credits are pending. Call (276) 403-5156 for more information.

WHEN:  Friday, May 13, 2016 from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar

WHERE: New College Institute - 191 Fayette Street, Martinsville, VA 24112 - View Map

REGISTER: Visit Eventbrite to register for the symposium. 

11:30 am11:30

September Hot Topic Luncheon: The Craft Economy

Join your friends and colleagues from around Virginia to talk about the Craft Economy and how it can help your downtown.

Wirt Confroy, Director of Partnerships and Outreach, will head up a panel of craftspeople to discuss why they are located in downtown and the pros and cons of practicing in the center of it all.

Register Here.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to make furniture or brew beer or distill some whiskey, you had to locate in a barn. Now, as light industrial spaces are coming available and zoning can be more forgiving, these artisans are making their wares in downtowns.

What are the benefits of having built-in foot traffic? How does the exposure help or hinder their craft? How is the market for handmade, quality, authentic products expanding?

Do they benefit the businesses around them? Do they help attract residents to the area? And most importantly to our members, what can you do to attract these eclectic destination businesses to your district?

Held at Foti's, one of Virginia's first farm-to-table restaurants, now in their larger location, this VDDA Hot Topic Luncheon will be a delight on the palate and the mind.

10:00 am10:00

"People. Place. Prosperity: The Shifting Landscape of Community Economic Opportunity in Virginia"

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

June 15, 2015

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond



Register Here

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 has 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. This thought-provoking gathering is an opportunity for free-flowing, interactive learning and professional networking among a diverse array of practitioners, funders, government officials, researchers, and business leaders as we explore innovative and sustainable approaches to spur job creation, enhance wealth-building, and enhance community vitality. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is graciously hosting this free event, and food & beverages will be provided. We will end our day with a networking reception at Casa Del Barco along Richmond’s historic Canal Walk hosted by the Virginia Downtown Development Association. 


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 Communities and 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

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

Eva Doss, The Launch Place

Telly Tucker, City of Danville Economic Development

Jim Flowers, VT KnowledgeWorks

2:00-3:00 – Navigating the Gig Economy: Connecting Local Workforce & Entrepreneurial Development

Toa Do, Business Development Assistance Group

Martin Short, Greater Richmond GATE

3:00-4:00 - Balancing Acts: Old Towns, New Towns and Place-based Economic Development

Jack Berry, Venture Richmond

Marantha Edwards, Town of Leesburg

Jeff Sadler, Lead.Act.Local LLC

4:00-4:15 – Wrap-up and Next Steps

4:15-4:30 - Closing Remarks

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


Arrival & Parking 
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is located at 701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia. Guests are invited to park in the Federal Reserve parking deck, located on Bragg Street, between 5th and 7th Streets. After arriving at the Bank, please proceed to the security post located on Byrd Street at the Lobby Main Entrance; a government issued picture ID will be required (driver’s license, passport). You will then be directed to the Bank Lobby where you will be greeted by Conference Center staff.