ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to health & safety restrictions the Summit scheduled for July 28-30, 2020 in Charleston, WV has been POSTPONED. New Dates for the Summit are April 27-29, 2021.

Stand Up





Join us for this dynamic Economic Development Summit designed specifically for Rural America. Regular Summit Registration Rate $349 thru 4/25/2021 Onsite Registration Rate $449 available 4/26/2021 Discounted Group Registration for Five $1,396
Apr 27, 3:00 PM EDT – Apr 29, 3:00 PM EDT
Embassy Suites Charleston ,
300 Court St, Charleston, WV 25301, USA

You are Invited to the 2021 Stand Up Rural America Summit 



I’d like to personally invite you to this national Rural Economic Development Summit taking place April 27-29, 2021, in Charleston, West Virginia. The event, Stand Up Rural America-Forging a New Path, will feature more than 20 nationally renowned subject matter experts and successful economic development practitioners. This Summit is rescheduled from the originally planned July 2020 event. 

Topics to be covered include planning, leadership, entrepreneurship, downtown revitalization, marketing, regionalism, business retention & expansion,  effective communications, rural retail, housing, rural broadband, talent development and much more. Additional content regarding preparedness, strategies for helping our communities rebound, rebuild and restore our communities following the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis will also be included.  


Experience an event designed specifically for Rural America. You will receive tangible tools and strategies to help your cities, counties and regions grow. This event is packed with informative and dynamic panels, presentations, discussions, networking and celebrating what makes Rural America special. Representatives from more than 20 states enjoyed our inaugural event in Tulsa, OK in July of 2019 while garnering high praise for the superior level of speakers, quality content and excellent networking opportunities.  

The Summit is being coordinated and hosted by ACCELERATION by design LLC. It has been my privilege to work with more than 250 rural communities and regions throughout my 29+ year economic development career. 

This Summit is perfect for Economic Development Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Cities, Counties, Regional Groups, Utilities, Industry Leaders, Lenders, Board Members and anyone with a vested interest in the growth and prosperity of Rural America. 

My sincere appreciation to the WVEDC for serving as the head of the Summit Host Committee. Summit sponsorships are available and we will host an exciting exhibit area. Registration for the Summit is open. Out of respect for the difficulties all of our rural communities have faced throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we are extending the discounted registration rate until April 25, 2021 and a special group registration rate for five or more participants from one organization. We recognize your travel and budget challenges and want to do what we can to help you participate in the Summit. Please know that the health and safety of our participants are our priority and all necessary precautions and protocols will be aggressively administered at each venue and every session.

You won't want to miss this special event. Please join me in West Virginia to celebrate Rural America in April 2021.

See you there! 

 Lorie  Vincent

Lorie Vincent, CEcD

Founder | President



Announcing our exciting Summit Presentation Team...

Deno Paolini

Defining the Way Leadership Co.  | Leadership Trainer  | Corporate Facilitator | Coach

Garry Clark

Greater Fremont Development Council | President & CEO | Author | TedX Speaker

Deb Brown

SaveYour.Town | Small Town Specialist  

Rick Rhodes

Texas Rural Funders | Rural Engagement Coordinator

 Colleen Walton

Brand Acceleration  | Brand Coach


Chuck Branch

NextSite | CEO

Tom Wengler

OctoUX | Certified HubSpot Partner | CRM Expert

Brad Thomas

Kentucky's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives | Economic Development Specialist

Josh Nowell

Downtown Comeback | HGTV Home Town Cast | Co-Owner Laurel Mercantile

Mallorie Raspberry

Downtown Comeback | HGTV Home Town Cast | Co-Owner Laurel Mercantile 


Jim Rasberry

Downtown Comeback | HGTV Home Town Cast | Co-Owner Laurel Mercantile

Dave Quinn

Day One Experts | Managing Partner | The Solutionist Mastermind Group 

Lorie Vincent

ACCELERATION by design LLC | President | Author | Humorist

Stevie Field-Chavez

GIS Planning | Vice President, Sales

Gerri Lawing

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperatives, Inc. | Economic Development Director 

James Chavez

South Carolina Power Team | President & CEO

Drew Myers

Defining Audacity Radio Show & Podcast | Radio Personality | Writer

and more...

Summit Schedule


TUESDAY | APRIL 27 | 2021

  1:00 pm | 7:00 pm    Summit Registration in Exhibit Hall 

  3:00 pm |  6:00 pm   Pre-Summit Workshop | Deno Paolini | Managers React to                                                           Change...Leaders Create Change. Which one are you? 

  6:00 pm |  7:30 pm   Welcome Reception in Exhibit Hall

  7:00 pm |  9:00 pm   Dinner with your friends in Downtown Charleston

  9:00 pm |10:00 pm   After Dinner Meet Up at Adelphia Sports Bar & Grill


  7:00 am |   9:00 am  Summit Registration in Exhibit Hall 

  8:00 am |   5:15 pm  Refreshments & Networking in Exhibit Hall 

  8:30 am |   8:45 am  Welcome to the Summit

  8:45 am |   9:45 am  Garry Clark | Your Rural Story, American Glory

  9:45 am | 10:00 am  Networking Break

10:00 am | 10:15 am  Message of Hope | RECOVERY

10:15 am | 11:15 pm  Chuck Branch | Tom Wengler | Data is your Friend 

11:15 am | 12:15 pm  Rick Rhodes | True Collaboration: Public Private Partnership for

                                   the Win

12:15 pm | 1:15 pm    Networking Luncheon

  1:15 pm |  2:15 pm   Colleen Walton | Marketing on a Budget

  2:15 pm |  2:30 pm   Message of Hope | REBOUND

  2:30 pm |  2:45 pm   Networking Break

  2:45 pm |  3:45 pm   Deb Brown | Changing our Rural Towns One Empty Building

                                   at a Time

  3:45 pm |  4:00 pm   Networking Break

  4:00 pm |  5:00 pm   Brad Thomas | Kentucky Fried Economic Development

  5:00 pm |  6:15 pm   Josh Nowell | Mallorie Raspberry | Jim Raspberry  

                                   The Downtown Comeback

  7:00 pm | 10:00 pm  Celebrating Rural America  | Hospitality & Dinner | JQ Dickinson

                                   Salt Works

                                    (1 ticket included in each registration. Extra tickets available)

THURSDAY | APRIL 29 | 2021

  8:00 am | 12:30 pm  Refreshments & Networking in Exhibit Area

  8:30 am |   9:15 am  Dave Quinn | Dancing Concrete

  9:15 am |   9:30 am  Message of Hope | RESILIENCE

  9:30 am |   9:45 am  Take Me Home Country Roads | Meet West Virginia 

  9:45 am | 10:30 am  Lorie Vincent | Regionalism is for Real 

10:30 am | 10:45 am  Networking Break 

10:45 am | 11:30 am  The Rural Comeback | Your Stories...Your Victories

11:30 am | 12:30 pm  Networking Luncheon

12:30 pm | 12:45 pm  Message of Hope | REBUILD

12:45 pm |   1:45 pm  Gerri Lawing | James Chavez | Stevie Field-Chavez 

                                   The Secret Sauce of Vibrant Rural Communities 

  1:45 pm |   2:45 pm  Drew Myers | The Power of Story   

  2:45 pm |   3:00 pm  Summit Wrap Up & Adjournment





Sponsorships for the 2021 Stand Up Rural America Summit are available for interested Vendors, Associations, State & Federal Agencies, Lenders, Utilities and supporters of Rural America. 


Sponsorship opportunities, offered at many levels, will help provide you with the perfect formula of exposure, promotion, advertising, branding and networking benefits to meet your budgets and your objectives. 

A summary of Sponsorships available are: 

     Presenting Sponsor | $7,500

     Platinum Sponsor | $5,000

     Gold Sponsor | $3,000

     Community Sponsor | $1,500

     Silver Sponsor & Exhibitor Package | $1,250

     Bronze Sponsor | $750

     Special Hospitality Event Sponsor (exclusive) |  $3,000 SOLD!

     Summit Journal Sponsor (exclusive) | $2,500

     Pre-Summit Workshop Sponsor (exclusive) | $2,000

     Opening Reception (exclusive) | $1,500

     Summit Attendee Bags (exclusive) | $1,500 SOLD!

     Summit Lanyard  (exclusive) | $750 SOLD!

Please click the button below for the Sponsorship Package, Exhibitor Details and Sponsorship Commitment Form. Please send all inquiries and forms to  Sponsorship payment accepted online on the Registration page or by invoice upon request. 

The Venue

 April 27-29 |  Charleston, West Virginia

The Summit will be held at the Embassy Suites in Charleston, West Virginia. Click the button below for the direct link to our room block. We have secured a special rate of $149.00 per night.  Enjoy the hotel's newly renovated two room suites, famous cooked to order breakfast and proximity to nearby attractions. Make your reservation now before the room block fills up. Come early or stay late and enjoy all the amenities beautiful West Virginia has to offer! 

Click here for the Charleston WV CVB

Click here for Visit West Virginia 

Embassy Suites Hotel

300 Court Street

Charleston, West Virginia


Embassy Suites Hotel website

Room Block Code: RAS



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