Sherry Adams has been on the State coordinating staff for the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center since 2008. Prior to joining the State staff, Sherry was one of the first 50 in the US to become a Certified Main Street Manager and spent 18 years on the local level as a Main Street director or working on a contractual basis with NC downtown organizations.
Sherry is one of two Coordinators for Downtown Programming & Technical Assistance where she facilitates, as the saying goes in North Carolina, from Murphy to Manteo, covering the entire state. Her focus areas include strategic planning, vision forums and training in Main Street best practices, training the 88 Main Street, Small Town Main Street and Downtown Associate Community programs she currently serves. Sherry is also a regular session speaker at the NC Main Street annual conference.
Robin Bostrom serves as a Business Specialist with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, working with the Downtown Resource Center and the Main Street Iowa team. Prior to joining IEDA she served as a local program director for West Union, Iowa, a nationally accredited Main Street program in Northeast Iowa. She has also worked for numerous non-profit organizations, served as Executive Director for Fayette County Economic Development, and is a small business owner. She earned a BA from the University of Northern Iowa and is a graduate of the Heartland Economic Development Course. While in West Union, Robin assisted in the planning and development of a $10 million streetscape project in the historic downtown district which won numerous awards for sustainable design and storm water management practices. She enjoys working with Iowa communities and small business owners to help them develop their full potential.
Brenda Buck is the Main Street Manager and Cultural Arts District Director for the City of Winnsboro. Prior to this she was a small business owner in the 90’s, a Media Literacy educator and coalition liaison in East Texas from 2001-2013, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of Texas for three years. Her eclectic skill set has fueled her passion as a lifelong advocate to help others succeed. Brenda believes supporting an entrepreneurial culture creates prosperity not only today, but for future generations as well, and creates a healthy and vibrant destination market place.
She heard Jon speak in 2017 and 2019, and made it her mission to connect downtown businesses to the expansive knowledge and expertise of Jon Schallert.
Mat’s experience as an entrepreneur and business coach spans over 25 years. He has helped small businesses grow and compete in a global market using leading-edge marketing and communication strategies. Over the past 15 years, he has grown his marketing consulting business, Redlogic Communications, Inc. from the small, rural town of Mound City, Kanas (pop. 650).
A former mayor and chamber of commerce president in Mound City, Casner has an acute understanding of the unique challenges common to business owners in small, rural communities. A certified Destination Creation Course facilitator, Casner uses his own personal experience and Jon Schallert’s proven training to help businesses expand their reach and find new horizons of business growth.
Michelle Coolidge is the Community Development Director for Twin Cities Development Association in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. In her role with TCD, she works with communities and businesses in the region to increase access to tools and resources for building economic development foundations that lead to growth. A self-proclaimed “doer”, Michelle’s passion is to take an expressed need and identify the necessary steps that lead to successful completion of a project.
Through her former role as Mayor of the rural community of Bayard, Nebraska, Michelle recognized the need for a champion for the “little guys” and benefit of a regional approach in growing rural America. She continues to use this approach in her endeavors and looks forward to incorporating the expertise of Jon’s course into her efforts to connect businesses to their local communities and beyond.
Brayden Connour is the Business Development Director at Goshen County Economic Development Corporation in Torrington, Wyoming. He cut his teeth in economic development by helping manage the state’s economic development fund housed at the Wyoming Business Council. He is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wyoming in Agricultural Business and Finance.
Brayden is a Wyoming native that believes small business and agriculture is the true backbone of this great nation, and wants to do everything he can to keep them both viable for future generations.
Pierre Cormier is a seasoned professional advising business leaders in achieving solid growth for over 20 years. His entrepreneurial zest provides a high level of energy and devotion to all client projects. As a certified management consultant and business coach, he has had the privilege of guiding hundreds of entrepreneurs in reaching their true potential and peak performance.
Shifting your business into a destination is achievable through a creative mindset, dedication and dynamic best practices; and Pierre would like to help guide you in remaining viable, successful and profitable, especially in today’s Covid-19 world.
Lisa Dawson has worked in economic development, serving both organizations and businesses, since 1989. She has provided technical assistance to non-profit organizations and community groups throughout northeast Oregon. Lisa also enjoys working with entrepreneurs and business owners and appreciates their role in growing the region’s economy. She is proud to be part of a collaborative effort to increase technical assistance, networking, skill-building and financing for entrepreneurs. She teaches business planning classes and helps organize business networking and learning events.
Lisa has served as the Executive Director of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District since 1993. A graduate from the University of Puget Sound, she grew up on a farm in the Wallowa Valley and enjoys working with the people and communities that define her home’s rural region.
Lindsey Dotson is the Main Street DDA Director in Charlevoix, Michigan – a summer tourist destination with a year-round population of 2,500. She has a Masters in Historic Preservation and is a certified Main Street America Revitalization Professional. She has over 9 years of experience in downtown management. Lindsey has a passion for downtown walkability/accessibility, public engagement, and the historic built environment. She volunteers as a member of the Charlevoix Historical Society Board and serves as the Buildings and Grounds chair. She also serves as the staff liaison for the City of Charlevoix’s Historic District Commission. She loves living “up north” with her husband, their toddler son, chihuahua, and two cats. Hobbies include enjoying the outdoors and doing hands-on restoration work with historic masonry and wood windows.
Donna has served as Main Street Director for Denison, Texas since October 2010. She has over 22 years of Main Street management and has been a Certified Main Street Manager since 2002. Dow has served on resources teams, written for the National Main Street newsletter, and spoke at National Main Street conferences and Statewide Historic Preservation conferences throughout the United States. Annual national conferences and quarterly statewide trainings keep her abreast of current trends and solutions, along with enhancing her advanced tools and problem-solving skills. Dow’s latest quest for in-depth knowledge began in 1998 when she heard Jon Schallert speak. After taking local businesses to Destination BootCamp, Dow was excited to become a Certified Facilitator who can teach the Destination Creation Course.
Pauline Eaton has served as the City Administrator for Orlando Main Streets since 2008. She developed the framework of Orlando’s original Main Street districts. The success of Orlando Main Streets have been frequently recognized in national and international publications such as The Boston Globe, The Toronto Sun, USA Today, New York Times and National Geographic. Pauline came to the City of Orlando in 2007 from Ohio where she presided as the Interim Executive Director and Director of Downtown Revitalization for Heritage Ohio. She served as the State Coordinator for the Ohio Main Street Program for nearly six years. Pauline began her involvement in the historic preservation movement in 1993, and is certified as a Main Street Management Professional from the National Main Street Center. Pauline has also been a downtown business and property owner. She and her husband owned and operated Checker’s Pizza in Uptowne Galion for six years.
Kerri Falletti has served as the Director for Cowley First – Cowley County Economic Development Partnership, Kansas, for 10 years. Cowley First is a countywide partnership dedicated to provide services and program creation to support of local entrepreneurs and small businesses, in expansion and retention of existing businesses, workforce development services, and attraction of new businesses and industries. She is a Certified Economic Developer, has experience as a Consultant with the Kansas Small Business Development Center as well as an adjunct Entrepreneurship Instructor for Cowley College. Throughout her experiences, Kerri has been passionate about providing assistance to businesses starting and growing throughout Cowley County. She believes getting to know business owners and working one-on-one helps build the relationships that strengthen our communities.
Alex Filbert is the Executive Director for the Larned Area Chamber of Commerce and Pawnee County Economic Development Commission since April 2017. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and an outside concentration in Hospitality Management from Kansas State University.
Alex is a rural Kansas native with a passion for giving back. She brings a creative outlook to the table, along with plenty of enthusiasm and energy.
Robbie Grady has been working with small business owners for over 20 years. She recognized the importance of training and collaboration for owners early on when she developed a pilot program for the Department of Defense to encourage, train, and support military spouses who were or wanted to become entrepreneurs. A Certified Main Street Manager, Robbie has worked with retail, professional and personal services, as well as hospitality owners in two New Hampshire communities.
Currently, she is a consultant with a non-profit group providing support to a regional economic development agency. She’s been a Jon Schallert fan for many years, and has used his recommendations with her clients over and over again.
Rich Groves is in his eleventh year as Executive Director of the North Kansas City Business Council in North Kansas City, MO. Prior to that he was the first Manager of Liberty, Missouri’s Main Street program, Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. (HDLI) and was a member of the Missouri Main Street Board of Directors. While with HDLI he earned accreditation as a Certified Main Street Manager. During that time Rich became an enthusiastic devotee of Jon’s Destination principles and signed on to become a facilitator of the Destination Creation Course. As Executive Director of the North Kansas City Business Council, Rich leads the organization’s actions to Support, Inform and Connect the 900+ businesses of North Kansas City. Rich uses the skills obtained through the National Main Street program, the Jon Schallert facilitation course and the leadership and facilitation experiences he had in the years he worked for large Kansas City-based corporations.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Charles relocated to NC in 1999 after graduation from Indiana University of PA, with a BS in Regional Planning. He has worked in various roles in the planning realm at the local and state level since. Charles has been with the NC Department of Commerce since 2006 and currently serves as a Coordinator for Downtown Programing and Technical Assistance with the NC Main Street Center.
Frances Jo Hamilton
Frances lives by the statement that if your admin piece is not together your stuff is just not going to work. Finding her way in the non-profit world at the beginning of her career, serving as a volunteer, committee chairperson, board member, and community organizer, she learned the importance of a strong board that supports the health of its volunteers. She took the job as Executive Director of her communities’ Main Street program. Frances founded two other non-profit organizations and currently works with over 70 communities in Ohio to provide strategic planning, work planning, board development, committee training, leadership training, and overall organizational structure. Frances thrives in situations where there is a need for all parties to be heard but also helps to move groups toward a common goal. She prides herself on giving concrete next steps and providing ways for these communities to do, rather than talk about, what needs to happen.
Tawanna Hardy has been in the financial industry for over ten years. Her career started in 1999 as a loan processor in the mortgage industry. A year later, she became a licensed loan originator in the State of Louisiana. After two years originating loans, Tawanna decided to move into the community relations fields. The field lead Tawanna to a career with LiftFund. LiftFund provided loans to small business owners who did not had access to loans from commercial sources. Tawanna’s time with LiftFund helped her build strong relationships with many organizations before coming to work at Go.Be.
JoAnn has been the Executive Director of the Coffey County Chamber of Commerce, Burlington, KS, since February 2019. She has 35+ years of marketing and management in various fields.
As a small business owner of a quarterly publication for 10 years in home state of Ohio that she sold in 2017, JoAnn developed a passion for mom and pop businesses in mid 80’s after watching a client lose their family owned grocery store to a Walmart that opened up one block away.
In May 2019, she was invited to hear Jon speak and knew she needed to hear more!
Deanne brings a varied background as a facilitator for the Destination Creation program having spent 15 years in the hospitality industry as Director of Marketing & Electronic Distribution for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, 15 years as Executive Director of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce as well as VP Market Manager at Salem Five Bank. She was instrumental in establishing the Peabody Main Streets program, serving as President for 4 years, helping to revitalize and rebrand the downtown district of Peabody, MA.
Deanne holds the distinguished IOM designation, having been certified by the Institute for Organization Management after completing 96 hours of coursework designed to enhance individual performance, elevate professional standards, and recognize association, chamber of commerce, and other nonprofit professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of nonprofit management.
Tracy Henry is the Executive Director of the Greater Morris County Development Corporation located in Council Grove, KS. She focuses on working in rural and remote communities in an effort to help them not only continue to survive, but also to thrive. Business retention and focusing on entrepreneurship are goals that she strives to maintain in rural Kansas.
She has served on numerous boards for both profit and non-profit entities and believes that having a seat at the table is key to having voices heard that may not otherwise be. In addition, she serves on the Kansas Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors as a representative for the North Central Region of Kansas.
Nationally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners in 1993, Tom has over thirty years of professional planning experience in city and regional government. Since becoming Central Point’s Community Development Director in January 1998 Tom has initiated a Downtown Revitalization program and assisted in the formation of an urban renewal agency. He has overseen the City’s Comprehensive Plan review and strategic plan implementation processes, facilitated mixed-use development, assisted the Central Point school district with facilities planning and participated in local and area-wide transportation funding efforts. Tom is a proponent of creating ‘Destination Businesses’ in Southern Oregon. He has personally introduced over 25 business owners to Jon Schallert’s Destination Business BootCamp® and then helped them implement its fundamental principles.
Vernon Hurd has been helping business owners develop unique solutions to the issues they face for the last 18 years. He is the Executive Director for Thomas County Economic Development Alliance in Kansas and has taught and facilitated classes across the United States for small and large businesses alike.
His methodical, yet out-of-the box approach has helped countless business owners see opportunities that were just waiting to be plucked from the crowd. He’s also a much sought after Santa Claus!
As a creative marketing professional for over 30 years, Mark and his team deliver memorable and award-winning advertising and design for businesses of all of flavours with their niche in tourism and economic development. As the Creative Director of AdMaki Creative, he sees that everything they produce gets noticed. Now with Destination Creation training, and being one of the few Canadian facilitators in Jon’s arsenal, he is equipped with more business insights to empower entrepreneurs to reach their business potential. Mark works tirelessly creating advertising material for his clients from logos and websites to social media and digital campaigns as well as traditional mediums. He also happens to be the local county councillor, teaches advertising at the university level, is a public speaker, and plays in a band called Skuzzy & the Woodticks.
Freddie has been with Marion Business Association of Marion, North Carolina since 1990. In that capacity, Freddie works with new & expanding businesses in the Economic Development office for the City of Marion.
With local partners, Freddie spearheaded the award winning Growing Entrepreneurs Marion (GEM) course for local entrepreneurial training. With more than $600,000.00 GEM business investment and 90 plus graduates, GEM has played a major role revitalizing Downtown Marion.
Freddie was also recognized as the 2017 Rural Leader of the Year from the North Carolina Rural Center.
Freddie and her husband have owned and operated Killough’s Music in Downtown Marion since 1988.
As a former educator and current small business owner, Tena King brings a unique perspective to creating a destination business. She opened her business in late 2013, heard Jon Schallert in early 2014, and knew she had to learn more. As a result, she attended Destination Bootcamp in May 2014. From that point forward, she has built her business, located in Gadsden, Alabama, as a destination place.
Her background in business, education, and nonprofits allows her to understand budget constraints and the day-to-day challenges of being a business owner in today’s competitive climate. She has helped many people write business plans, marketing plans, and has provided mentoring for other small business owners. Tena is excited to become a certified trainer and offer the information of Destination Creation in the southeast.
John Kramb has taught leadership to military officer candidates, college undergraduates, and graduate students in a variety of topics such as leadership, planning, change management, and management. John has served on the planning commission for Franklin Township, the Gettysburg (PA) Chamber Board of Directors, and the Destination Gettysburg Board of Directors. John is active in Rotary International and has served as district governor, foundation chair for south-central Pennsylvania, End Polio Coordinator for the Northeast United States and as a facilitator for the Leadership Institute and the President-Elect Training. John and his wife, Katherine, have owned the Adams County Winery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania since 1998 and have increased the company’s wine production over thirteen fold. John looks forward to your increased success as a Facilitator of the Destination Creation Course.
Frieda Lasater is the Main Street Manager and Visitor Center Director for the City of Decatur, Texas. A graduate of Decatur High School she attended nearby University of North Texas earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. Lasater received her Certified Main Street Manager certification from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street Center in 2007 serving as one of only 3 in the State of Texas. She has served on the board of directors and is a past president of the Texas Downtown Association.
Lasater has served as the Manager of the Decatur Main Street Program for 22 years working with downtown partners and community leaders to bring business and tourism back to the heart of the town, and making Downtown Decatur the place to be.
Andy Long is the Executive Director of McCook Economic Development Corporation and the President of the non-profit Cultivate Rural Leaders.
He started his career in teaching and coaching and has worked as a training manager with Gallup and higher education administration.
Andy currently works to grow the McCook economy and facilitate rural community and organizational leadership programs.
Rhonda Lowe has 30+ years as a retailer and marketing consultant. Her passion for retailing comes through as she works with independent retailers to find their “sweet spot” to help them grow their business.
She believes in being a participant in her community and has been active with the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association and Economic Development Commission. Her expertise lies in helping both the individual retailer, and the community as a whole, find what sets them apart from others around them.
She launched her coaching business to help others learn from her wins and losses. She is passionate about doing whatever it takes to preserve the great American dream of being able to own your own business and compete effectively against the big box stores and online giants.
Teresa McAnerney is the facilitator of Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation, along with being a business coach and entrepreneur. She has a passion for helping others reach their goals by assisting them in developing strategies and tactics. Using a person-centered approach, she helps small businesses put together a success plan based on the unique strengths of each team member. During college Teresa founded an event promotions company that she eventually sold. She went on to start a global corporate packaging supply company that catered to retail and the advertising specialty industry. This real-life experience gives her a unique perspective in business consulting; She has walked in her clients’ shoes! Teresa holds a B.S. in Social Psychology and is Certified as an ELI – Ice House Entrepreneurship Mindset Program facilitator through the Kauffman Foundation, is a Certified Community Coach through KSU, and Destination BootCamp alum.
Janet McRae has served as economic development director of Miami County, Kansas, for almost 15 years. Prior to that, she worked more than a decade at the community level leading a combined chamber of commerce/economic development organization. Her efforts focus on helping existing businesses thrive, supporting new businesses and attracting new investment to the county and its five communities. In addition to being certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional, Janet has a marketing background and loves to engage technology.
Her interest in overall community development lends itself toward creating public-private partnerships that help sustain business growth.
Katie Mercer has worked in the field of marketing for fourteen years with the last five years in local government under the structure of the national main street program- a program built to support downtown communities with programs and initiatives that help the local economy thrive.
From event planning, to public art, to small business support and marketing, Katie’s roll is a vital piece in the success of Woodstock, Virginia.
Katie is a member of the first 2019 class of Facilitators of the Destination Creation Course and plans to fully execute this program in her area.
Janet Miller has served as the Economic Development Director for Cherokee County, Kansas since November 2013. Prior to this role, she headed the Economic Development Center at Laredo Community College in Laredo, TX (2011-2013) and served as a Business Coach for five counties in Northeast Kansas (2003-2010).
She is a Kansas native with a passion for entrepreneurship and rural economic development and resides in Columbus, Kansas with her husband Tim.
Economic development, historic preservation, grant administration, grant writing, non-profit management, project administration, seminar development and presentation, community development, and business coaching have been her focus. Her most recent positions were as the Director of the State Historical Fund, and she is currently engaged by the City of La Junta as the Director of Development, Main Street, and the Urban Renewal Authority. She likes to help people.
Cynthia believes: “Jon Schallert’s Destination Creation Course is a game changer. All participants learn so much that they can apply in their businesses, well, they can draw from that bounty for years.”
Raejean Palko is a Colorado Native, now settled in Limon, Colorado. Raejean earned her BA in Humanities and an AA in Agriculture at Fort Lewis College. She has continuously found herself working among small businesses and local non-profits within the communities. She has successfully maintained a mobile mechanic business for 20 years and managed Honeyville’s retail and holiday store for 25+ years.
Now a Small Business Development Center consultant, Raejean can share her business skills with others. Raejean is eager to work with you and your business to explore and implement new strategies to improve your bottom line and utilize the Destination Creation Course to grow her region’s small businesses.
Liz Parham has worked for more than 33 years in the field of downtown revitalization and rural economic development. She serves as the director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, where she manages the North Carolina Main Street, Small Town Main Street and the Downtown Associate Community programs, Rural Planning, Main Street Solutions Fund, and local capacity building initiatives. Prior to her current position, she worked for downtown revitalization nonprofit organizations in Sumter, South Carolina, and in Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Lenoir and Lexington, North Carolina. Liz has a passion for downtown commercial architecture, small businesses and the assets of rural North Carolina.
Kim Parks has served as executive director for Historic Lebanon since 2012. Under her leadership, Historic Lebanon was accepted into the Tennessee Main Street program in September 2013. Under Parks leadership in 2018, Historic Lebanon opened the Cumberland Ignite Lab for entrepreneur training and support in the Lebanon Main Street District.
In 2020, Parks completed training for Historic Lebanon to become an official Tennessee SmartStart™ Community partner. As a SmartStart™ Community, the organization will strive to increase community collaboration and support a thriving small business and entrepreneurial environment. Parks holds a Bachelor of Science in Design with an emphasis in Historic Preservation. Parks is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee and served four years on the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Missy is the Main Street Manager in Levelland, Tesas. Her career in Main Street started in 2011 when the program was under the direction of the Chamber of Commerce. Missy moved with the program in 2016 when the Levelland Main Street Program transitioned back under the leadership of the City of Levelland. Missy is passionate about downtown. She is a Texas native, but her experiences have taken her as far as L.A. She may be from a small town, but her love for helping small businesses is bigger than a West Texas hair-do. Under Missy’s leadership, the Levelland Main Street Program has been recognized for state wide awards, implemented an Endowment Program, and the downtown vacancy rate has improved to less than 20%. Missy believes in partnerships and working together for the sake of community. She looks forward to adding your name to her network of friends!
Jayne has been the Executive Director of the Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce since 2017 and strongly believes that communities are stronger together. She has been involved in the business community the past 20 years as a small business owner and community volunteer. As a massage therapist and artist at heart, she recognizes the need now more than ever to focus on creating a unique destination approach for small business survival in the rural area she serves.
Jayne has attended the Destination Bootcamp in 2019, Graduate Bootcamp in 2020 and became a Destination Creation Facilitator in 2021. The success of small businesses is a priority for her and she looks forward to helping them learn the foundations of creating a destination business.
Naomi Riley has worked in downtown revitalization and rural economic development for over 10 years. She serves as the coordinator of downtown services of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, where she works with programs within the North Carolina Main Street, Small Town Main Street and the Downtown Associate Community programs. Her key functions within Commerce include managing state-wide trainings, the NC Main Street Conference, communications, and program development. Prior to her current position, she worked for Fuquay-Varina Downtown in Fuquay-Varina, NC, the nonprofit organization that manages the NC Main Street program at the local level. Naomi has a passion for downtown revitalization, small businesses, community engagement, and how each plays a crucial role in rural North Carolina.
Susan Rios has served as Main Street Manager for the Uvalde, Texas Main Street program for over 4 years. She oversees the historic preservation, economic development, tourism and overall promotion of the historic downtown district. She has over 20 years’ experience working in economic development, tourism, hospitality management, and finance. She has an AA in Anthropology, is an avid community volunteer, and is a frequent workshop instructor and trainer all over South Texas.
Susan completed the Destination Train-the-Trainer Facilitator course with Jon Schallert in April, 2020.
Greg has vast experience in a number of fields that provide truly unique insight for small businesses. In the 90’s, Greg originally pursued a producing career in TV and Radio. He later used his previous retail management experience and successfully devoted nearly 20 years to banking, finance and investment. During that time, Greg felt the strong desire to serve his community of Raymond, Alberta, Canada and ran for public office. Greg served as a Councillor for 8 years, including chairing the local Economic Development Committee as well as serving for 5 years as Chair for a 24 municipality member regional economic alliance. These experiences contribute to an acute understanding of how small businesses in small urban and rural areas succeed or fail in today’s 21st century economy. Greg now uses his experience and the proven Destination Creation training to help small businesses in Canada.
Cheryl is the Project Coordinator for Prowers Economic Prosperity, Baca County Economic Development Coordinator and Business Consultant for Southeast Colorado Small Business Development Center. Cheryl is a native of southeast Colorado and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. She understands rural communities and small business operations with her expertise is in leadership, management and planning. Through her experience in the banking industry, small business ownership, community college business education and leadership roles, she has the business experience and skills that makes her a great fit for business consulting and economic development. She looks forward to helping people achieve their business dreams and be a part of encouraging economic growth by leading participants in the Destination Creation Course.
Lea Ann Seiler
Lea Ann Seiler, Economic Development and Tourism Director for Hodgeman County, is a native Kansan with a passion for rural entrepreneurship and innovation.
She believes that her experience as an ELI entrepreneurial mindset facilitator and MakerSpace creator – as well as B&B owner – provide valuable insight for her role as a Destination Creation Course Facilitator.
A little-known fact about Lea Ann is that she is a “real-life zombie” for the local Agritourism site every October!
Amanda Sherwood is the Director of Silvis Main Street in Silvis, Illinois and has served in this role since 2018. Amanda previously working in various management roles for the Walgreens Corporation for 25 years, gaining great experience in operations, marketing, leadership and other managerial skills.
Amanda is the first Facilitator of the Destination Creation Course in the State of Illinois. She loves her community and the chance to work with businesses throughout all of Illinois and her area.. She finds it fascinating and fulfilling to watch the success of all the area’s businesses, and enjoys helping promote them, recruiting new businesses to her community and watching her city grow.
Amanda became a Facilitator for the Destination Creation Course in 2020.
Lynelle Shubert is a business owner and rural living community advocate. Raised in Ft. Collins, Colorado, she has made her home in Western Kansas for 20 years. Lynelle first heard about Destination Creation 4 years ago while attending Destination BootCamp. Lynelle has a passion for rural communities that want to come together to strengthen their individual business, services and attractions, but for several in a community to re-invent together and redefine their community as a whole. Even with the need to “social distance”, businesses & communities still have to be able to sustain themselves and lend moral support to one another.
Lynelle prefers doing this workshop with attendees from the same area, so owners keep each other accountable & motivated to make the changes they want for their businesses and community.
Amber Smoot has been serving her community since 2017, as the Events and Marketing Director for the Town of New Market. In her role she helps plan community events that increase quality of life, but also elevate the downtown with a focus on small business support. Amber looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has learned from Jon Schallert’s program to help local businesses succeed.
Kim Stevens is the Executive Director of Frankfort Main Street, Inc. She has been the director for the past eighteen years. Kim is a certified speaker, teacher and coach with the John Maxwell organization and most recently became a Certified Facilitator for Jon Schallert’s Destination Creation Course.
Kim is a frequent speaker for the Indiana State Festivals Association, Indiana Main Street Programs, Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Municipal Power Association as well as, communities, churches and events across the state of Indiana. Kim’s passion to add value to people keeps her motivated to turn perspective problems into opportunities.
Eli Svaty is the executive director for the Seward County Development Corporation, a community development organization serving Southwest Kansas. Prior to this role, Eli spent fourteen years teaching English and College Composition at the high school and junior college levels. He holds a BA in Language and Literature and an MA in English. He is a certified Strategic Doing Practitioner, a certified Ice-House Entrepreneurial Mindset Facilitator, and now a certified Destination Creation Facilitator.
Eli is passionate about the history of the Great Plains and serving the communities within this region. While he is no longer in a classroom every day, he loves the opportunity to teach through one-on-one sessions and group classes. Eli completed the Destination Creation workshop in January of 2021 and the Destination Bootcamp in February 2021.
An independent consultant, Verona Thibault has provided management, marketing and business development services to communities and the not-for profit sector for over thirty years.
As CEO of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance(SEDA), Verona works to strengthen and maintain resilient and vibrant communities across the province. She currently has trained more participants in the Destination Creation Course in Canada than anyone else.
Business and community are interdependent and ensuring the success of small business is a priority.
Michelle Clark Trevino
Michelle Clark Trevino in the Main Street Director for the City of Beeville. She has worked for the Beeville Main Street for 5 years. Michelle directs downtown revitalization projects and activities and assists with quality of life projects within the City. Beeville Main Street was recognized as an accredited program in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 by National Main Street America.
Michelle is a member of the Texas Economic Development Council and is the liaison for the Beeville Economic Improvement Corporation for the City. She has assisted businesses with community grant programs/incentives and promoted historic preservation. Michelle completed the Train-the-Trainer Course with Jon Schallert in April 2020.
Julie Turnipseed has 30+ of executive non-profit experience with a proven track record of developing, directing and motivating organizations from small operations to thriving, successful and sustainable entities. She has extensive experience working with small businesses on Main Street. As a director of two accredited Main Street Programs she has helped to coordinate and oversee growth and development of many small businesses. Julie is currently Executive Director of Anderson County Kansas Economic Development in Southeast Kansas where she works with small and large businesses, and has started programs to develop the workforce such as ACT Work Ready Community, brought the Kansas Works Mobile Unit to Garnett, created Morning Mingle a business networking group as well as spearheaded a local campaign to promote keeping dollars local.
Louise Wadsworth is the Downtown Coordinator for the nine villages in Livingston County, Western New York State. Working with the Livingston County Economic Development team for the last 15 years, she has administered business development programs, historic renovation incentives, and marketing initiatives, all geared toward creating destination businesses. In her previous career Louise owned and operated several retail stores on “Main Street” in different parts of the country, so she understands the challenges these businesses face.
When Louise first heard Jon Schallert in 2006 at a National Main Street Conference and realized the importance of Destination Creation, she knew it was critical to bring this information to a wider audience. Louise is a Destination Bootcamp graduate who completed the Train-the-Trainer Course in May 2020.
Maureen Wheeler is the Deputy Director of Economic Development for Livingston County in Western New York State. She has worked with the county for seven years focusing on business retention and expanion, downtown revitalization, grant writing, and project management. Livingston County has been asknowledged as a leader in downtown revitalization projects in New York State.
Prior to working in Livingston County, Maureen worked as a community developer running the New York Main Street program in the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions.
Maureen competed the Train-the-Trainer Course with Jon Schallert in May 2020.
Keith Winge is the Community Development Director for Missouri Main Street Connection. He has been working to revitalize downtown communities since the mid-1990s. Prior to his role as Executive Director for Downtown Excelsior Partnership, a Main Street program in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, he served as a board member and officer from 2006 to 2010. Keith also has over 20 years of experience in the hotel/hospitality industry which included managing two historic hotels. His Main Street experience encompasses commercial district revitalization, grant writing, funding strategies, project management, tourism marketing, customer service, and community engagement. While in Excelsior Springs, Keith helped lead the effort to create a Community Improvement District to aid in the further expansion of tourism marketing and economic development in the Main Street district.