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Shift Back To Rural: Economic Development Conference



Naturally Lewis is excited to host the Lewis County Economic Development Conference with the theme, Shift Back to Rural on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022 at 3 Willows Event Center in Lyons Falls, NY! We are shifting the conversation to focus on successes in our rural economy, coming back to community and coming back to the humanness of working together as a means of growth. We are looking forward to a full day filled with leadership development, economic development updates, community building, and networking!

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8:00 - 9:00AM | Registration & Networking 

9:00 - 9:15AM | Naturally Lewis Team Welcome & Introductions

9:15 - 9:30AM | Keynote Speaker

Coming Back to Move Forward - Christie Andrus-Nakano, The Human Factor

9:30AM - 10:00AM | Nationally Recognized Virtual Leadership Speaker

Great Place to Work for All - Mike Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work | Author

No matter where they’re located, what kind of job they do, or where they work, all employees want the same things: to be respected, to be treated fairly, to enjoy the people they work with, and to be able to take pride in their work.If everyone feels needed, necessary, and like they belong, a company will experience greater success. However, trust and respect erode if employees feel like they’re being mistreated or undervalued. And you cannot develop an environment of trust if people don’t feel safe and free to be who they are without worrying that doing so will threaten their careers. Practicing humility, curiosity and truly caring for your employees will easily make your organization a great place to work.

10:10 - 10:55AM | Rural Economic Development Breakout Sessions

The Regional Approach: Drum Country & Beyond

Fort Drum employs more than 6,058 area residents and generates $1.8 billion in annual economic impact. How can we better utilize Fort Drum as an asset, work together as a region, and utilize existing programs and services to move our businesses and county forward?

  • Moderator: Michelle Capone, DANC, Drum Country
  • Panelist: Scott Morgan, AmeriCu Credit Union
  • Panelist: Brad McIntyre, Otis Technology
  • Panelist: Craig McNamara, Soldier For Life – Transition Assistance Program
  • Panelist: Tanya Eastman, United Way of Northern New York

Workforce Development of the Future: Retention Benefits, Apprenticeships & Internships

A changing workforce means changing policies and retention programs. Learn from local experiences, creative programs and experts in workforce development.

  • Moderator: Lisa Hetzner, Lewis County WorkPlace
  • Panelist: Anna Platz, Lewis County Public Health
  • Panelist: Heidi Lehman, Grand Slam Safety
  • Panelist: Danielle Delaini, Adirondack North Country Association

11:05 - 11:35AM | Nationally Recognized Virtual Leadership Speaker

Pivot: How Roadblocks Can Force You to Innovate - Guy Raz, Radio | Podcast Personality | Author

The pandemic created radical necessity: companies had to solve immediate problems with an expedited timeline in order to survive. Leaders had to invent new ways to meet, entertain, dine, travel, and more. Businesses all over the world couldn’t wait until it was perfect to release new products or online platforms — they were forced to act quickly and troubleshoot later. Some changes were extremely successful and continue to stick around. Plus, employers are realizing that remote work is possible, enabling them to find talent in parts of the country that were previously inaccessible. Families no longer need to live in expensive cities and the list goes on.When you’re forced to make a big shift as a leader, don’t panic. Embrace the opportunity to try something new.

11:45AM - 12:25PM | Rural Economic Development Breakout Sessions

Rural Entrepreneurship: Small Supporting Small / Rural Incentives

Lewis County recognizes that entrepreneurs and small business owners are the core of our rural economy. The development of a rural ecosystem can better connect the business community and The importance of a rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. How a rising tide can lift all boats, consultants and entrepreneurs

  • Moderator: Robin Stephenson, Small Business Development Center
  • Panelist: Heather Pleskach, Greet on Repeat
  • Panelist: Amanda Drake, Rags and Rivers
  • Panelist: Jenna Lauraine, DBA Lewis County Program

Scaling Up: Embracing Local Tools to Grow Your Business

How businesses can take advantage of different resources and incentives through the IDA and LCDC. Success stories from business owners that have used services to grow their businesses.

  • Moderator: Cheyenne Steria, Naturally Lewis
  • Panelist: Nick Mir, Snow Ridge
  • Panelist: Herb Frost, ArborCare Tree Service
  • Panelist: Dustin Hite, Osceola Ski & Sport Resort

12:30 - 1:30PM | Lunch 

NYS Economic Development Council Update – Ryan Silva, Executive Director of the NYSEDC

1:30 - 2:15PM | Nationally Recognized Virtual Leadership Speaker

The Motivation Code - Todd Henry, Founder of the Accidental Creative | Author

Three things make up great work: skill, experience, and motivation. If you take away any of these traits, we produce grind work, poor work, or immature work. But here’s the problem: we can teach skill and we can provide experience, but we cannot manufacture motivation. If we pause to acknowledge and examine the moments when our team members were most engaged with their work, we can unlock something meaningful about what truly drives them. While we’ve always been told about extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, our motivations are truly unique to us. It’s up to us, as leaders, to recognize our motivations and use them to the advantage of the team. And it’s up to us to see the motivations in others to help fuel them to bring their best to work every day.

2:25 – 3:15PM | Rural Economic Development Breakout Sessions

Marketing: Branding, Websites, Social Media, Oh My!

Marketing can be complex and overwhelming for a small business, organizations and even for municipalities, but you don't have to do it alone! Join local experts to learn about marketing tools to tell your story, sell your products/services, and help our Lewis County businesses and communities grow.

  • Panelist: Nicholas Roes, Nicholas Roes Studio
  • Panelist: Mike Biolsi, Coughlin Printing,
  • Panelist: Olivia Grant, Olivia Grant Creative
  • Panelist & Moderator: Hannah Luiz, Novel Marketing Co.

Lewis Life: The Rural Movement

The shift 'Back to Rural' influenced by the pandemic in many regards, had individuals and rethinking their quality of life values. Lewis County attracted many newcomers to buy a new home, enroll their kids in schools and work remote jobs in a safe environment. How do we keep them here?

  • Moderator: Brittany Davis, Naturally Lewis
  • Panelist: Julian Mangano, Della Terra Farm
  • Panelist: Jessica Clemons, Ex Libris
  • Panelist: James Munn, Black River Valley Natural
  • Panelist: Evan Jennings, Amazon

3:30 - 4:25PM | "Homegrown Growth" – Reflections

 4:30 - 5:30PM | Happy Hour



Early Bird Registration: $100.00

Registration (After May 13th): $120.00

Additional Discount Available to Lewis County Chamber Members!

Attendance Includes:

  • All-Day Coffee
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Happy Hour Snacks
  • Keynote Address
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Interactive Discussions
  • New York State Economic Development Updates
  • Nationally Recognized Speakers (virtually)
  • Networking

Shift Back to Rural Conference Sponsors FINAL

Check out these great sponsorship opportunities!

Event Properties

Event Date 06-15-2022 8:00 am
Event End Date 06-15-2022 5:30 am
Individual Price Register Now!
Location 3 Willows Event Center

We are no longer accepting registration for this event