In May, 2013, the Arizona Rural Development Council (AZRDC) merged with the Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF). Through the merger, LFAF will acquire several members of the AZRDC board and will work to create a Rural Leadership Council. LFAF will also take on current programs offered by the AZRDC, including economic development workshops, the AZ-M.A.S.H. project, and the annual Rural Policy Forum. “The Local First Arizona Foundation has worked with rural small businesses for the past four years and has helped shape a tourism campaign aimed at in-state travel, so we are excited to continue the Arizona Rural Development Council’s work in rural Arizona,” said Kimber Lanning, Director of the Local First Arizona Foundation. “We are especially looking forward to organizing this year’s Rural Policy Forum and bringing stakeholders, businesses, and nonprofits together in collaboration to further strengthen Arizona’s rural communities.”
This year’s 7th Annual Rural Policy Forum will take place August 8-9, 2013, and will continue to be hosted in centrally-located Phoenix. National Bank of Arizona will host the 2-day conference at their headquarters at 6001 North 24th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85016. Over the two days, attendees can expect to build new skills, network, develop meaningful relationships, and work together to solve the largest challenges facing rural Arizona. Topics addressed in the break out sessions will include job creation, youth retention, destination marketing, and help with diversifying funding. At least ten of the state's leading funders will be on-hand to talk about how to apply for a grant or market rate loan. The focus for the entire event will be on collaboration, both regional and across sectors. The keynote address will be given by Dr. Lattie Coor of The Arizona We Want.
Registration is now open, and attendees are encouraged to register before June 30 to take advantage of the discounted early bird admission price of $99. After June 30, conference admission prices will increase to $119. Registration includes two lunches and one breakfast, three interactive learning sessions, and many opportunities to network with stakeholders from around Arizona. Attendees can find more information and register at the Eventbrite page.
Want to help spread the word? Click here to download the invitation to forward to anyone you think would be interested in attending this year's Rural Policy Forum!