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2015 Summer Conference Agenda & Presentations


11:00 am -1:00 pm VAPDC Board of Directors/Executive Directors Meeting

  • Speaker: Caroline Stolle, Broadband Program Administrator, Center for Innovative Technology "Strategic Boardband Roadmap"  Presentation


1:45 pm – 3:15 pm – Session I: Building Resilient Regions

This panel discussion will focus on developing sustainable and resilient regions throughout Virginia. Conference attendees will hear first-hand about the work going on in three PDCs/RCs that have received sustainability grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and completed projects in their regions. Come hear their results!


Moderator: Wayne Strickland, Executive Director, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission


  • The Honorable Lisa Garst, Chair, Livable Roanoke Valley Steering Committee, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission/Member, City of Salem City Council Presentation

  • Kevin Byrd, Executive Director, New River Valley Regional Commission  Presentation

  • Will Cockrell, Director of Planning, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission/MPO Program Manager


3:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Utilizing Rural Development Programs for Community Development, Sunset Ballroom

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (Rural Development) has a variety of funding streams and programs that can spur community and economic development.  Each year Rural Development programs create or preserve tens of thousands of rural jobs, build and update infrastructure and help build and ensure access to safe, well-built, affordable housing.  Additionally, Rural Development programs help rural communities finance, construct or improve fires stations, libraries, hospitals and industrial parks and other community facilities.  Learn more about these programs and how your PDC/RC can partner with Rural Development and access these programs for your region.

  • Moderator: Robert K. Coiner, VAPDC 1st Vice President/Commissioner, Rappahannock Rapidan Regional Commission

  • Speaker: Presentation by David Foster, Area Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture for Basil I. Gooden, Ph.D., State Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture


4:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Economic Development Administration

Economic Development creates the conditions for economic growth and improved quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, firms and communities to maximize the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, lower transaction costs, and responsibly produce and trade valuable goods and services. Economic Development requires effective, collaborative institutions focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and private sector. Learn more about EDA programs and how your PDC/RC can participate.

  • Moderator: Denny Morris, Executive Director, Crater Planning District Commission

  • Speaker: Bob Gittler, Philadelphia Regional Office, Economic Development Administration  Presentation  



9:00 am – 9:30 am – Collaborating with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management—How PDCs can Assist

  • Moderator: Tim Ware, Executive Director, George Washington Regional Commission

  • Speaker: Curtis Brown, Chief Deputy State Coordinator, Virginia Department of Emergency Management


9:30 am – 10:00 am – Collaborating with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Moderator: Billy Martin, VAPDC President, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission

  • Speaker: Bill Shelton, Director, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development


10:00 am – 10:30 am – Regional Planning and Public Health: Collaborating to Make Virginia the Healthiest State in the Nation


The Virginia Department of Health is developing a State Population Health Plan, called the Plan for Well-Being, in collaboration with a wide-range of public and private sector partners. The presentation will review the plan development process, and discuss key focus areas of the draft plan. The presentation will also address the critical role of stakeholders, including regional planning district commissions, in developing and refining the plan, and identify specific avenues for stakeholder participation.


Moderator: Kevin Byrd, Executive Director, New River Valley Regional Commission


  • Dr. Marissa Levine, Health Commissioner, Commonwealth of Virginia Presentation

  • Joe Hilbert, Director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs, Virginia Department of Health Presentation


10:30 am – 12:00 pm – Strategic Planning Update

  • Moderator: Billy Martin, President, VAPDC

  • Speaker: Bill Leighty, Principal, DecideSmart Presentation


2:00 pm – 3:15 pm – The Evolving Role of Regions

PDCs/RCs are involved in various aspects of community development and sustainability. This session will provide a sampling of how PDCs/RCs are leaders in their regions.


Moderator: Martha Shickle, Executive Director, Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission


Collaborative Branding

  • Skip Skinner, Executive Director, LENOWISCO Planning District Commission

  • Becky Nave, Public Relations & Marketing Director, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Presentation

Public Transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

  • Diana Utz, Director-GwRide Connect, George Washington Regional Commission Presentation

Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission's Transit Program

  • Bonnie Riedesel, Regional Planner, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Presentation


  • Wayne Strickland, Executive Director, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Presentation

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