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ARC to Co-Host Assets to Opportunities Conference in Pennsylvania

March 2005


WASHINGTON, March 30, 2005—A regional conference on asset-based economic development will be held in Altoona, Pennsylvania, April 25–26 at the Blair County Convention Center. Focused on turning the Appalachian Region's "Assets to Opportunities," the conference will demonstrate how communities can identify and leverage their existing historical, physical, natural, cultural, and economic resources to revitalize their economies.

State and national partners, along with community leaders, will share lessons and strategies for asset-based economic development. The conference is hosted by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Maryland Department of Planning, the New York State Department of State, the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia, and the West Virginia Development Office.

Lisa Atkinson Brown, DCED deputy secretary for administration and Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell's ARC alternate, said, "Pennsylvania is pleased to welcome community leaders, economic developers, elected officials, tourism organizations, entrepreneurs, and citizens who want to make a difference where they live, work, and play. This multi-state forum will showcase some of the wonderful ideas generated throughout our beautiful Appalachian Region and show others how to turn assets into opportunities."

Featured speakers include U.S. Representative Bill Shuster (PA-9); ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope; Lawrence Selzer, president and CEO of the Conservation Fund; and Ted Lee Eubanks, president of Fermata, Inc. Eighteen breakout topics will highlight the steps taken by local and regional groups to develop and implement successful asset-based initiatives. The conference will conclude with a special session on sources of funding for asset-based development projects.

Conference information is available online at or by calling 814-949-6500. To learn more about ARC's asset-based development initiative, contact Ray Daffner at 202-884-7777.