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We're very excited about getting back together, even if it's virtual, to host our annual Rural Summit in a 5-week session format.  We have great topics & a line-up of presenters that we know you're going to gain valuable insights on how to continue your rural area's recovery. 



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Becoming an Idea Friendly Town

Wednesday, May 12th

12:00pm - 2:00pm

No more being stuck in an endless cycle of meetings, meetings, meetings that take a year to accomplish anything.


The Idea Friendly method is about gathering your friends and those who think like you to talk about your big idea for the community. You find the people who can help you and get started taking small steps.


Join Deb as she walks you through the method and you'll leave with several ideas to take home to your own town.


Broadband in Your Backyard -

Let's Make it Happen!

Wednesday, May 19th

12:00pm - 2:00pm


Broadband and how we did it in our own backyards!

  • Dale Knapp – Wisconsin Counties Association 

    • Intro to Broadband

  • Steve Coon - Coontail - Boulder Junction

  • Michael Bub - Taylor County

  • Scott Larson - Wood County

  • Scott Feldt - Kewaunee County

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Data & Maps

  • Jaron McCallum – Public Service Commission

  • Kurt Kiefer - WI Department of Public Instruction

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Working with your Private Internet Provider

  • Jim Costello – LYNXX Networks

    • affiliated with the WIN Network

  • Steve Schneider - Bug Tussel Wireless

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Funding & Grant Sources

  • Wendy Gehlhoff – Director - Florence County Economic Development

    • Local Match

  • Jaron McCallum - Public Service Commission

  • Maryann Lippert - Maryann Lippert Consultant, LLC

    • Writing a Funding Application



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Community Building in Your

Small Town 

Wednesday, May 26th

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Every small town has divisions between people and between competing organizations.

No one tells you how to overcome divisions between people and build a unified sense of community.

You’ll learn to:

  • Convert existing projects to bring people together

  • Improve group coordination

  • Rally everyone around local small businesses.


Hear examples from other communities of events and actions they've taken to build a more unified community.


Rural Successes -

TRDI Winners & Updates

Wednesday, June 2nd

12:00pm - 2:00pm

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Kelly Matthews |  Paula Drew 


Access to dependable, quality child care is essential to supporting local economies. Parents need care in order to work and children need quality environments in which to learn and grow.


Learn how the Wisconsin Early Education Share Services Network is working to stabilize and grow the child care sector in local communities, especially during the pandemic. Launching in 2019, serving two rural counties, we've now expanded into nine more counties, seven of which are rural. 


Mariah Goode | Village of Baileys Harbor -

Community Vitality


The 20-plus team of volunteers who came to Baileys Harbor for three days included people from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The volunteers had backgrounds in planning, architecture, landscape architecture, photography, art, economics, political science, education, community marketing, and digital communication. 


Within months of the Team visit, community action teams transformed an existing community building into a community center, started their own community recycling station, and created community park space along the waterfront.​

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Nicki Peterson - The Grantsburg

Revitalization Operation (GRO)

The GRO organization was formed in the spring of 2014

and is focusing on the renewal of Grantsburg WI.  The efforts of GRO are multi-faceted. While working on growing community resources for a diverse population, the goal is to grow the population and provide housing for these individuals once they decide that Grantsburg is a good place to live.


Rep. Nancy Vander Meer - 70th District

Nancy continues to work with fellow legislators from rural

areas across the State on the Rural Wisconsin Initiative.  

This is an ongoing effort, and we will be incorporating

suggestions from people across the State.  The Initiative continues

to focus on improving education, workforce development, technology and health care in our rural areas.

Prior to the creation of the Initiative, Nancy had focused on a wide range of legislation aimed at helping our rural schools and communities.


Rep. Dave Armstrong - 75th District

Dave led efforts to help individuals start businesses, introduced an economic gardening program to help existing businesses grow, championed additional workforce training programs and led the initiative to address the acute housing shortage in the area. These efforts benefit all residents, businesses and municipalities in the 75th.

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Marcy West - Office of Rural Prosperity Director


Marcy is from La Farge and is a veteran

conservationist and manager of public land in

Wisconsin.  In 2020 she was appointed to the Dept. of Natural Resources Board.  

From 1990-95 she was executive director of the Wisconsin Land Conservation Association, Inc., where she advocated for legislation related to conservation program policy and funding.


For the past 23 years, she has been executive director of the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board, the body that oversees management of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, a 8,600-acre public property in southwestern Wisconsin.

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You have options for registering for the Virtual Rural Summit.  

  • Each webinar in the series is $15.00 per session.  You can pick and choose the # of the sessions you would like to be part of.

  • If you choose to take the entire 5-week webinar series you will save $15.00 as the total investment is $60.  It's like you are getting one of the sessions for free!

  • To register, click on the button and fill out the registration form.  You can pay for your sessions by credit card or check. 


  • NOTE:  We must have your payment before the sessions take place as you will be given a specific passcode to join the session.

  • If you have any questions, please contact us through our contact information.

Summit Countdown
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Get Connected
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Sandy Decker

Robert Borremans

Bonnie Peterson