Emerging Trend Webinar: Connecting Community Partners March 27, 2024


Building Bridges Instead of Silos

On March 27, 2024, at 11 am (Central time) join Dell Gines, the Chief Innovation Officer at the International Economic Development Council, and Becky McCray and Deb Brown from SaveYour.Town for a no-charge webinar about connecting community partners. They will help you understand the power of collaboration when you build robust connections with community partners. There is no fee, but registration is required. Sign up here

Dr. Dell Gines

Dr Dell Gines seated comfortably with bookcase behind him

Dr. Dell Gines

Working to develop robust networks for targeted purposes can help punch a few holes in the silos created in the past. Economic developers are not taught to collaborate in this deep way, and this is the biggest emerging trend in their work. Dr. Dell Gines kicks off this webinar by discussing building new networks to address issues effectively. 

Dr. Dell Gines is a passionate community and economic development professional who focuses on entrepreneurship-based economic development. He holds an MBA, MSF, and Ph.D., and is also a CEcD. Dr. Gines has recently been welcomed as the Chief Innovation Officer at the International Economic Development Council. For more detailed information about his background and work, you can visit his official website at or his LinkedIn profile.

Becky McCray

Becky McCray with downtown street and business behind her

Becky McCray

Becky McCray will share real-world examples where communities have worked together with better collaboration. Irvine, Kentucky convened its core people to come up with ways to make more of their river access. The Roanoke Chowan Partners for Progress in North Carolina have been doing this work together for 20 years, even though they failed in the first project they attempted. 

Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. She shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly-ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning book, Small Town Rules. She’s been featured and quoted in books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts and university publications. She makes her home in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a community of 30 people. Her goal is to deliver practical steps you can put into action right away to shape the future of your town.

SaveYour.Town believes small towns can be saved by their own people using their own resources. Co-founders Deb Brown and Becky McCray joined forces in May 2015 to help small towns and rural communities thrive. Their research-backed Idea Friendly Method helps communities be more resilient and more open to new ideas. They deliver speeches and presentations internationally, lead site visits and community brainstorming sessions, and create online videos and short courses of practical steps that can be put into action right away.

Deb Brown

picture of Deb in front of store in Gulfport MS

Deb Brown

Learn how two communities used Coffee and Calendars to bring collaborators to the table from Deb Brown. She’ll also share a story from Minerva, Ohio, where convening CEOs facilitated new growth. Convening collaborators isn’t just for large organizations. Deb will talk about individuals who use this process in rural Montana around the topic of the Bozeman Trail. 

Deb Brown is a small-town enthusiast and expert for small towns. Her practical approach to getting communities into action right away has been shared at national conferences, local visits, service organizations and everything in between. A wealth of experience includes foreign casualty insurance underwriting, bartending, retail management, selling knives around the US, leading a chamber and working with small towns. Deb has lived in tiny towns, small towns, small cities and a major metro city. Yet, she’s come home to a small town and travels to many other rural communities to help. She also has her own business


Invite Your Rural People

You are encouraged to invite those in your community who can benefit from building new connections to watch with you. Register here. This webinar will be recorded. Those who are registered will receive the recorded link. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to or