Keynote presentations are designed to inspire and motivate your community to take action. They are typically one hour in length, but can be customized to fit your needs. Each presentation is tailored to your specific community, so you can be sure that you are getting the most relevant and valuable information.

There are a variety of keynote topics to choose from, including:

  • How to revitalize your downtown: Learn strategies for attracting new businesses, improving public spaces, and fostering a vibrant local culture.
  • Methodology for attracting new businesses from entrepreneurs in your small town
  • Actions to take for fostering community involvement to create a more vibrant small town
  • Strategies for promoting community involvement among young adults aged 25 to 40 in small towns

Deb also offers customized keynotes, so you can tell her what you are specifically looking for and she will create a presentation that is tailored to your needs.

With over 20 years of experience in community development, Deb has helped over 100 small towns revitalize their communities, attracting new businesses and fostering a stronger sense of community. She is passionate about helping communities thrive and will leave you with a action steps to make a difference in your community.

Contact us

Contact Deb today to learn more about keynote presentations or to book a speaker. You can reach her at 641-580-0103 or deb@buildingpossibility.com.

keynotes speaking engagement

We invited Deb to speak at the first Southwest Iowa Economic and Community Development Forum hosted by TS Bank at East of Omaha in Griswold, Iowa, in February 2020. Our goal for this event was to rally around all of the great towns that make up southwest Iowa, share success stories, and learn from one another about we can improve our communities and southwest Iowa as a whole. Deb was the perfect keynote speaker for this event. She was engaging, entertaining, and full of so many inspiring stories and examples. All throughout her presentation, attendees were busy scribbling down ideas. Her information was relevant, attainable and actionable, which is exactly what we were hoping for! Thank you, Deb, for captivating our audience and kicking off this inaugural event with the wow-factor we were going for!

Minnesota Brownfields

See Deb in action, including her TEDx talk!

You can book Deb today!
Take a look at the different ways you can work with Deb below, then give her a call at 641-580-0103 or email deb@buildingpossibility.com. She’ll talk through it with you and help you decide which is the best way to provide the most value. This page also has different funding options you may be interested in. Book Deb today!


These are done in groups you design – who do you want at the workshop? What topics do you want to cover? How can Deb be of the most assistance to you and your group(s)? Generally workshops range in length from one hour to half a day. Do you want to do two one hour workshops in one morning with two different groups? That can be arranged.

Deb worked with the Dubuque Community Foundation Leadership group and shared the Idea Friendly Method. Then they worked on creating solutions for challenges in their community. Imagine – a workshop where you learn a new method you can take home and put into action right away. And you go home with the tools to make it happen!



Webinars vary in topics covered, and can be customized to your organization.

Kansas State Research and Extension has had Deb present on Filling Empty Buildings, Marketing in  a Small Town, Supporting Farm Entrepreneurs and Grow Your Own Entrepreneurs.

I wanted to thank you so much for your presentation last week.  The information was very valuable and was very well received.

Susan Bater

Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program , ManagerCommunity Futures Manitoba and Saskatchewan


Onsite Action Visit

This is a four day stay in your community, county or region. Deb visits with lots of businesses, nonprofits and people to find out what it is they want. On the last evening there is a public presentation where she shares how to get what you want and examples of other communities already doing it. This presentation can also be given via Zoom one week later.

Save Your.Town was instrumental in helping our organization meet the needs of our community!
We worked with Becky to provide a series of educational webinars that were spot-on with their timing and available resources as businesses reopened post-pandemic.
Deb delivered a series of embedded community experiences for a number of smaller communities in Eastern Iowa.
These activities were a part of a large small business development project and we couldn't have completed it without them!
Both of these professional women were extremely knowledgeable, helpful, detail-oriented and genuinely cared about results.
I would strongly recommend working with Deb, Becky and all of the resources available through Save Your.Town.
This was a very beneficial partnership with us and I look forward to working with them again!
Lori Scovel
Executive Director
Limestone Bluffs RC & D
Walk around in Cold Spring, MN
Walk around in Cold Spring, MN
Youth Market in Delaware County
Youth Market in Delaware County
Perfect location for marketing the town!
Perfect location for marketing the town!

Akron, Iowa, is a small rural community of 1500 residents in northwest Iowa. It was with much deliberation I thought and prayed about inviting Deb Brown here for an embedded community visit.
However, by the end of the first day of her visit. I knew absolutely it was one of most exciting adventures for our community. In her three day visit she visited with approximately 200 people. We did
indeed, gather our crowd.

Deb is so warm and full of knowledge. She is so willing to share her enthusiasm for small communities and her resources for individuals or groups in need of assistance of any kind.

We are getting ready to plant our flags, and it is with optimism that individuals are indeed ready do even more to promote our community. A big thanks to Deb for lighting the fire underneath them. Therefore, if you are thinking about inviting Deb to your community, don't give it another thought. It is worth every penny!

Sharon Frerichs, Mayor of Akron, lowa

I am available to speak in person in all US and Canada states and territories and any other international locations.

Could this be your town?

Reach out and contact Deb!

Cell phone: 641-580-0103

email: deb@buildingpossibility.com

Facebook: /buildingpossibility

Twitter: @debworks

Instagram: @Debra.Travels and @SaveYourTown

Are you looking for funding to bring us to your community?

Local sponsors and regional partners

The place to start is with local sponsors. As you already know, your banks, utility companies and local development organizations are a good place to start looking for sponsors. They know you and are most likely to say yes to a community-developing request like this.

You might also cooperate with neighboring towns or county-wide groups to share costs. You might do a single event and invite everyone, or we can arrange a bit of a tour stopping at multiple towns.

You can try these resources:

You’ll have to dig to find any local-only sources, like community foundations, local economic development funds, tax set-asides designated for community or economic development or your local utility companies. Electric companies especially may have some economic development funds or know where to find some.

AARP Community grant 

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

EQT Grants for Eastern Ohio, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Northern West Virginia

Zion Bank grants for Idaho, Utah and Wyoming

Small grants (up to $7000) from Clif Bar Foundation


Once or twice a year I take on a community and project at a reduced cost. Are you doing something ridiculously cool and I want to be involved? Small towns are my passion, and I want to help. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want, and let’s talk! … Deb

USA Nationwide:


Keywords to use in grants

On your application, you can fit me in using keywords like these:

  • community vitality, resilience
  • economic, business or community development
  • entrepreneurship, small business
  • jobs creation
  • filling empty buildings

How we fit into United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:


Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities

Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Have you heard the small town creed?