Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM CDT
Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11:45 AM CDT

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Downtown Monroeville 
Monroeville, AL  



Laura Mendez 
Main Street Alabama 

Hotels Options:

Best Western Inn, 4419 S Alabama Ave, Monroeville, AL 36460,  251-575-9999

Mockingbird Inn & Suites, 4389 S. Alabama Ave, Monroeville, AL 36460, 251-743-3297

Americas Best Value Inn, 50 AL-21, Monroeville, AL 36460, 251-743-3154


Join us in the literary capital of Monroeville for our 7th Annual aLABama Downtown Laboratory as we bring all the elements of the Main Street Four Point Approach® together to help your community write its Next Chapter.


COVID-19 Statement: We are moving ahead with plans to hold our conference in Monroeville and working to ensure that we meet all CDC recommendations for safety. We recognize the rapidly changing nature of the situation and reserve the right to cancel any/all events and/or hold the conference remotely if we are unable to accommodate adequate safety measures or if further public safety mandates prevent us from meeting in person. 


National thought leaders and revitalization experts presenting at this year's LAB include:

Jeff Siegler of Revitalize, or Die. has assisted hundreds of communities become economically self-reliant by focusing on the needs of residents, fostering entrepreneurship, improving quality of life issues and increasing local investment. Utilizing a background in urban planning, economics, real estate and organizational development, Jeff takes a blunt approach to his work, because he understands that the need to reshape our places is both critical and urgent. He believes that when we make our communities worthy of the people that call them home, we can all experience something profound. Jeff has dedicated himself to killing apathy one town at a time.

Incremental Development Alliance. So much of the real estate industry is extractive, where far-away investors mine the value from properties that line our streets. The Incremental Development Alliance is working toward a more generative real estate model, where local people can invest in their own neighborhoods and in that process, create new life and value that benefits their community. The kind of places we want to live in are built and maintained by people who really love them.

Irvin M. Henderson is the Principal of Henderson and Company, a consulting and development firm specializing in community development finance and capital structure; project design and management; preservation development; and urban infill, residential and enterprise development. He has designed and presented trainings for community nonprofit executives, bankers, government executives and grassroots leadership throughout the United States, from the Bank of America Leadership Academy to the National Main Street Conference in Atlanta 2015. His development career began in 1984 with the development of 24 duplexes in Port Royal, South Carolina. He is currently developing and restoring the Hotel Hinton in Edenton, NC’s Main Street community, The New Granada Theater in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the A. G. Gaston Motel National Monument in Birmingham and the historic ICA GreenRise Building in the Uptown community in Chicago.

Shelley Paasch serves as Manager of Rural Entrepreneurship and has direct oversight of the Entrepreneurship (E-)Communities in the eastern region of Kansas. She also manages and provides oversight to the E-Community coaching staff. Shelley began her involvement, engagement and understanding of economic development, entrepreneurship and community outreach in 2007 as the founding Executive Director of the Coffeyville (KS) Main Street program where she served for seven years. Shelley continued her passion for entrepreneurship by becoming a licensed facilitator of the Ice House Entrepreneurial Mindset program in 2015 and worked as an independent contractor for NetWork Kansas, focusing on business growth and retention, strategic planning and ecosystem building.

Kathy LaPlante is a Senior Program Officer and Director of Coordinating Program Services at the National Main Street Center with expertise in building organizational capacity and developing promotional programming. She has worked in the Main Street field for over 30 years. She joined the staff of the National Main Street Center in May 2007. She works throughout the U.S. providing training for cities of all sizes using the Main Street Approach® to downtown revitalization. Prior to this position, she was hired as the first Director of the New Hampshire Main Street Center, serving in that role for over ten years.  Kathy began her Main Street career in 1989 as the Executive Director of the Chippewa Falls Main Street Program. Seven years later, Chippewa Falls was a recipient of the Great American Main Street Award.

Tripp Muldrow is Principal of Arnett Muldrow & Associates and an accomplished urban planner with over twenty years’ experience in a broad range of areas in the planning profession. Tripp’s focus has been linking planning and urban design projects with successful economic development and community revitalization strategies in small- and medium-sized communities.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 

Wednesday offers a full day of conference sessions, a luncheon* focused on rural revitalization issues, and the Opening Plenary** held at the historic Old Courthouse Museum. Jeff Siegler of Revitalize, or Die. will discuss the value of fostering civic pride in order to combat apathy in your community: 

“Thousands of communities have been devastated by the effects of apathy and unless we do something drastic, the problem is only going to get worse. Apathy destroys everything it touches and cannot be mitigated with planning or money. Residents' lack of care and concern cannot be fixed by continuing down the same path. We have to take a new approach and help restore people’s relationship to their town. We have to bring people together, restore beauty, foster affection and give people more meaning. By taking a small scale, simple and incremental approach, we can begin to replace apathy with pride.”

The day culminates in a downtown social at Hunter’s Run, hosted by Monroeville Main Street. No ticket is required for the social, but registration is required.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

On Thursday, session topics range from wayfinding strategies, supporting entrepreneurism and small business, forging unique partnerships, and COVID-19 recovery.

Our luncheon* will focus on developing large buildings in urban areas and will feature Irv Henderson.

The evening kicks of with a Toast to Excellence sponsored by Regions Bank. Join us in raising a glass to celebrate the best projects on Alabama's Main Streets. This event is included with Awards of Excellence Banquet ticket.

Following the toast, our annual Awards of Excellence Banquet* celebrates the best of Main Street efforts throughout the state. Special thanks to our banquet sponsor Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA).



Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday features a half day of sessions presented by Leigh Muldrow and Tripp Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow and Associates. Topics include how to claim your business on Google and Trip Advisor and merchandising for profit.


*Separate ticket required - limited seating

**Included with conference registration or separate ticket available