NRGRDA's Allison Smith presenting May 18 at Mountain State Land use Academy at Pipestem - The Hinton News
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NRGRDA's Allison Smith presenting May 18 at Mountain State Land use Academy at Pipestem

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Beckley, (W.Va.) – Allison Smith, Grants and Impact Manager at New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), is presenting on May 18 at the Mountain State Land Use Academy being held at Pipestem State Park.

Smith will be joined by Terrell Ellis, Executive Director of Advantage Valley, and West Virginia University College of Media Professor Rita Colistra, who is the founder and director of BrandJRNY. Their breakout session, “Power of Storytelling,” will offer insights on effective communication as essential for local government success. Panelists have expertise communicating with various local government audiences including out-of-state tourists, existing businesses, and funders such as federal agencies and foundations. The session will explore strategies to recognize a community’s assets, identify the audience, and develop a story. In addition to learning about specific effective communication skills, attendees will learn about success stories in West Virginia related to business retention, attracting tourism, and main street redevelopment.

The Mountain State Land Use Academy is hosted by the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. The statewide conference is being held May 17-18 and will focus on resilient communities, with plenary sessions on planning for the apocalypse, rural housing, and food and drink tourism complete with local tastings. The conference attracts local, state, and federal government officials, land use planners, members of local planning bodies, and others interested in land use planning.

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