Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Economic Summit to focus on resilience

Conference will be held Oct. 8 in Sun Valley


Express photo by Roland Lane

The mayor of a city in Kansas that rebuilt itself after suffering a devastating tornado will be the keynote speaker at Sun Valley Economic Development’s third annual Economic Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Sun Valley Resort. The conference will be called “From Adversity to Opportunity: Building a Secure and Resilient Community.”
    Greensburg, Kan., was devastated by an EF-5 tornado, the biggest there is, in May 2007. The two-mile-wide tornado left almost all its 1,383 citizens without a home, leveling the entire town and killing nine people. The community came together to undergo the herculean task to rebuild, and decided to do so in a resilient manner.
    The “greening” of Greensburg was a way to rebrand the community, which was already facing a declining population and a number of other issues. Mayor Bob Dixson will address the issues of rebuilding in the face of a devastating and sudden disaster, the process of creating a plan for a more resilient, self-sustaining town, the difficulties and the triumphs in the past six years and what lessons other communities can learn from their experience.
    According to Sun Valley Economic Development, the Wood River Valley is also faced with its own uncertainties, and is asking how to best build a resilient community with a diversity of economic and personal opportunities. At this year’s summit, the organization—which was formed when Sustain Blaine and the Wood River Economic Partnership merged this year—will explore the resilience of our community to unexpected economic, infrastructure, environmental and cultural changes. Specific topics will include:

  • Preparing for and recovering from natural disasters such as fires and drought.
  • Diversifying business and recreational opportunities.
  • Fostering investment in and growth of economic areas of sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Supporting improved community health and well-being through social and cultural resources.
  • Developing a resiliency plan suitable for the community.

    Sun Valley Economic Development is offering a range of sponsorship opportunities, including VIP access and recognition. The attendance fee is $60, which includes breakfast and lunch. For more information about the conference or to register, go to

2014 Economic Summit
From Adversity to Opportunity: Building a Secure and Resilient Community
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014,
Sun Valley Resort, Limelight Room

8:00    Registration/ Breakfast
8:30 – 8:35    Welcome/ Introductory Remarks
8:35 – 9:30    Breakfast Keynote:
What is Resilience?
9:30 – 10:00     Presentation:
Resilience and our Quality of Place
10:00 – 10:15    Break
10:15 – 11:45    Panel - Local Pillars of Resilience

  • Recreation & Environment
  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Social & Cultural
  • Infrastructure & Economy
  • Sun Valley Resort Perspectives on Resilience

11:45 – 12:00    Break/Seating for Lunch
12:00 – 1:15    Keynote Presentation: Tornado
Rebirth, Bob Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, KS
1:15 – 1:30    Break

1:30 – 2:30    Panel – Strategies & Resources
for Resilience in the Wood River Valley

  • Managing Natural Hazards & Disasters
  • State Tools for Growth
  • Community Housing
  • Improving Access

2:30 – 2:45    Break
2:45 – 3:55    Panel – Local Opportunities
for Resilience

  • Agriculture: “Seed to Shelf”
  • Energy: “Energy for Resilience”
  • Marketing: “Managing our Community Brand”
  • Natural Habitat: “Recovery Coalitions”
  • Business: “Innovation Ecosystem”

3:55 – 4:45    Wrap-up Session:
Practical Recommendations, Tools & Resources
4:45 – 5:00    Closing remarks
5:00 – 7:00    Cocktail reception (no-host bar): Lobby Lounge, Sun Valley Inn

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