Grow the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Daily Debrief from Des Moines, Day 2

Posted on: May 24th, 2011 by Julia Rocchi

Through all the hallway conversations, session picking, bookstore browsing, and downtown excursions, one thing has become abundantly clear: This group is committed to making their Main Streets the best they can be. Enjoy today's photos, videos, and quotes that show Main Streeters at their brightest and busiest.

Look, Photos!

Main Street staffer Linda Glisson and other Des Moines attendees have been working overtime to document all the beauty, color, and diversity of the local community. Live vicariously through this Flickr slideshow featuring all of our shutterbugs' excellent work.

General Session

This morning's General Session discussed "A Four Point Approach to Economic Development," asking its panel of four to reexamine if all four committees are indeed working together. The big question: The approach has long been billed as preservation-based economic development, but has it lived up to that?

The panelists and audience had a lively discussion about the challenges, opportunities, and overall pros/cons about shared development responsibility. Watch the session for the full experience.

Video streaming by Ustream


Once again, the conference social media team split up among the sessions to bring you the highlights. You can read notes on our respective Twitter feeds below, or -- if you're an in-person attendee -- check out Pathable for session notes and handouts.

An audience member asks a question.handouts.

  • "Adventures in Culinary Tourism: Exploring Iowa's Place-Based Foods and Cultures." Presenter: Rachelle Saltzman, Ph.D., Iowa Arts Council. (on @PresConf)
  • "Using Economic Gardening and Asset Quilting to Turn Your Main Street into a Power Place." Presenters: Ed Malloy, City of Fairfield; Burt Chojinowski, BrainBelt Consulting. (on @MainStreetsConf)
  • "La Conversacion: Engaging Latinos and Hispanics on Main Street." Presenter: Tanya Bowers, National Trust; Norma Ramirez de Miess, National Trust. (Session 1 on @PresConf, Session 2 on @MainStreetsConf)
  • "Historic Tax Credits on Main: Structuring Tax Act Deals to Maximize Impact on Commercial Districts." Presenters: Andrew Potts, Nixon Peabody LLP; JP Hall, Indiana Landmarks Foundation; David A. Kroll, AIA, Ratio Architects. (on @estewartdc)
  • "Developing Better Entrepreneurs: Micro-enterprise and Downtowns." Presenters: Jeff Sadler, Virginia Dept. of Housing and Community Development; Doug Jackson, Virginia Main Street.  (on @NatlMainStreet)
  • "Making Social Media Work for Your Organization." Presenter: Robyne Beaubien, CMSM, Promotions Program Associate, New Mexico MainStreet. (on @PresConf)
  • "Greening Your Downtown Plans and Guidelines." Presenters: Nore Winter, Mary Phillips, Winter & Company; Laura Carstens, City of Dubuque, Planning Services Department. (on @NatlMainStreet)

We encourage conference attendees to leave their handles in the comments and direct folks to notes/comments you took at your favorite sessions. (For example, Maureen Pedersen did a great job covering Bob Yapp's session on "Keeping Original Windows for Better Energy Efficiency.")

Our Favorite Tweets

And remember, you can follow along by tracking the hashtag #msconf.

The Last Word

Don't yet believe the Main Streets Conference is worth the trip? Enthusiastic attendee Jim Duffy begs to differ:


Julia Rocchi is representing the National Trust's Digital + New Media team at the National Main Streets Conference in Iowa. She would like to submit that pie become the fifth point of the Main Street Approach.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.