Friday, August 24, 2012


Statewide Series Presenting Innovative Solutions for Rural Economic Development

NASHVILLE – Registration is now open for the Tennessee Main Street and Tennessee Downtowns Creative Community Summits to be held in September in Jackson, Franklin and Greeneville. Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and USDA Rural Development, the summits will focus on innovative solutions and strategies to generate economic growth in rural communities.  The summits are free of charge; however, seating is limited.  Please visit to register.

“The Creative Community Summits are a direct response to needs identified during our recent rural development roundtables held across the state,” Bill Hagerty, ECD commissioner, said.  “By leveraging the natural assets of our rural communities and helping prepare our rural areas for competing in today’s global economy, we will lay the ground work for future economic growth.”

The Creative Community Summits will be held in three locations across the state:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25 - The NED, Jackson, Tenn.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26 - The Franklin Theatre, Franklin, Tenn.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27 - The Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Greeneville, Tenn.

These day-long summits will offer attendees interactive presentations, educational sessions, networking opportunities and access to resources across the state that will encourage businesses and communities to refocus and improve their marketing strategies and turn their business or marketplace into a destination.  

Topics include “Growing Destination Businesses” with nationally recognized speaker Jon Schallert and “Cultivating Local Heritage Tourism, Arts, Culture and Agriculture to Jump Start a Rural Economy” presented by the National Trust Main Street Center Senior Program Officers Kathy LaPlante and Norma Ramirez de Miess.

“The summits are an excellent opportunity for stakeholders, business leaders and community partners to hear from national experts on what is working for similar communities across the country and learn what communities can do in their own backyards to encourage economic development and growth,” Dan Hawk, ECD Rural Development director, said.

Each summit is free of charge, and lunch is included for the first 200 registrants at each location.  Additional lunch tickets may be purchased once the 200 capacity is met.  For more information or to register to attend one of the Creative Community Summits, visit

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web:  Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd.  Like us on Facebook: