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2012 Rural Development Conference Logo


Janet Schmidt 


Wednesday April 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM 
Wednesday April 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM 

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North Platte Holiday Inn Express 
300 Holiday Frontage Rd
North Platte, NE 69101

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This year's conference theme "Partnering for Progress" unites the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, Nebraska Department of Economic Development and ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission in bringing you new innovative solutions to grow and serve your community.   

The Keynote Session features April Kelly, President of Gratitude Academy and author of Spaghetti on the Wall and Gratitude at Work.  April Kelly is a multi-dimensional connector and communicator of the highest order, with a passion for developing team vision and culture.

The Governor's Conference on Rural Development includes sessions on Strengthening Communities and Volunteerism & Community Engagement. There is also a special Youth Entrepreneurship series for students in grades 6-8. 

Future Focus Learn about developing future local/regional leaders and a new program from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce.
Richard Baier, Executive Vice President, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce
     Melissa Garcia, Chair, Leadership Lincoln County
     Cami Barner, Leadership Lincoln County 

DIY: Do It Yourself  Panelists will share how their communities partnered locally to fill needs for a retail store and a grocery/convenience store.  The Cooperative Development Center will share information about the productive ways to engage in cooperative activities. 
     Bill Minnick, Cambridge 
     Annie Cheney, Cody-Kilgore School 
     Jim Crandall, UNL Cooperative Development Center

 Unique Spaces Housing shortages are often mentioned as a critical need in communities.  This panel will share their unique solutions to the housing situation by finding new uses for forgotten or unused spaces and thinking outside the box to address special housing needs.   
Scot Holcomb, Holcomb Mechanical, Broken Bow
     Rawnda Pierce, Twin Cities Development Associates, Scottsbluff
     Pat Compton, Department of Economic Development

Mentoring: Helping Youth & Communities Reach Their Full Potential – Learn how mentoring benefits youth and communities through success stories from TeamMates. 
Annette Woodhead, TeamMates Western Regional Coordinator, North Platte

Engaging Minorities in Rural Communities: Service & Leadership – How do you fully engage community resources?  Minorities represent an untapped community resource that can add value to addressing and solving community problems.   
Carlos Bárcenas, Executive Director, MultiCultural Coalition, Grand Island

What does a Volunteer Look Like - Volunteering Throughout Life Learn how to recruit and retain volunteers of all ages and disciplines, including a focus on youth, employees and seniors.
Jennifer Lewis, Executive Director YWCA of Adams County
     Densel Rasmussen, Operations Manager, Principal Financial, Grand Island
     Julie Nash, Executive Director Senior Action, Inc. and
                     President of Nebraska Senior Corps Association, Hastings

The day-long youth track will focus on entreprenerial development and is targeted to students in the 6,7 and 8th grades.  Youth registration is $25 with limited scholarships available.  Youth interested in applying for a scholarship need to email a letter of application to Diane Vigna, PhD at 402-472-6318 or dvigna@unlnotes.unl.edu by 5pm on March 23.

Presenters for all sessions are:
Diane Vigna, PhD, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Nancy Eberle, Project Development Coordinator, University of Nebraska Lincoln - Extension

Young Entrepreneurs Show and Tell - An interactive panel discussion with youth entrepreneurs.  Learn how they developed their successful businesses and what their plans are for future expansion.

It's a "Whatsit"! - Will it Sell? - Luncheon Session - A hands-on activity in which participants will develop a business concept and marketing plan (including a jingle) to support their new idea.  Prizes for winning categories will be given for "Best Business Concept", "Best Overall Marketing Plan", and "Best Jingle".

If We Can Do It, So Can You - Learn from a panel of youth entrepreneurs who have real business experience.  Get a chance to network with these successful entrepreneurs.  Be inspired to develop your own business ideas! 

Building a Brand and Marketing It - This session will look at various marketing strategies from logos and slogans to packaging, promotions and philanthropy.  Bring your business cards to share with fellow session participants.  Don't have a business card?  We'll help you design one!

Connecting Nebraska Awards - Presented by the Partnership for Rural Nebraska to individuals, businesses and collaborative partnerships that have significantly impacted their regions in the past year. 

First Lady's Outstanding Community Service Awards – Presented by ServeNebraska honoring adult, youth and group nominees in a variety of categories, these Awards reflect Nebraska First Lady Sally Ganem's passion for education.