GEDI Policy Summit
November 15-16, 2017

This year’s GEDI Policy Summit’s theme is Blueprint for Rural Alabama. It will bring together Alabama state, county and municipal elected officials, administrators, employees and major stakeholders to discuss public policy issues affecting Rural Alabama. Presentations and round table discussion will explore physical, human and civic infrastructures as well as propose economic development strategies.

The Summit will be held November 15-16, 2017, at the Marriott Grand National Hotel and Conference Center located at 3700 Robert Trent Jones Trail in Opelika, Alabama.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and a light continental breakfast will be provided from 7:00-8:00 a.m. The Summit will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Thursday will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 12:00 noon.

Who Should Attend?

Alabama state, county and municipal elected officials, administrators, employees and major stakeholders; Chamber of Commerce executives, employees & members; Non-profit & faith based organization directors & board members; Community leaders & volunteers; Healthcare providers, educators & more.

Contact

For more information about the GEDI Policy Summit, please contact:

  • Government & Economic Development Institute
    Education and Training
    213 Extension Hall
    Auburn, Alabama 36849
    Phone: 334-844-4782
    E-mail: gedi@auburn.edu

This year’s Policy Summit: Blueprint for Rural Alabama will be facilitated by GEDI Executive Director Dr. Joe A. Sumners along with subject matter experts from around the state.

Join us for these important topics*:
  • Featured Luncheon Keynote Speaker:
    • Liz Huntley, "The Importance of Alabama Pre-K Education"

  • Rural Health Care
    • Carolyn Bern, Alabama Department of Public Health
    • Dale Quinney, Alabama Rural Health Association
    • William Curry, M.D., UAB School of Medicine

  • Schools and Workforce
    • Trisha Powell Cain, Alabama Media Group
    • John Beasley, Eufaula City Schools
    • Larry Lee, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
    • Jeff Lynn, Alabama Community College System

  • Community and Economic Development
    • Nisa Miranda, University of Alabama
    • Kenneth Boswell, Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs
    • Sheldon Day, Mayor of Thomasville
    • Bea Forniss, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood
    • Tami Reist, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association

  • Legislative panels:
    • Featuring local and state elected officials

*More speakers being added regularly

Wednesday, November 15
  • 8:30 A.M. – Welcome
    • Royrickers Cook, Ph.D., Vice President of University Outreach and Associate Provost Auburn University
  • 8:45 A.M. – "Beyond the Interstate" Revisited: Blueprint for Rural Alabama
    • Joe A. Sumners, Ph.D., Executive Director, Government & Economic Development Institute, Auburn University
  • 9:30 A.M. – Break
  • 9:45 A.M. – Rural Health Care
    • Panel Moderator: Carolyn Bern, Director, Office of Community Affairs, Alabama Department of Public Health
    • Panel: William Curry, M.D., Associate Dean for Primary Care and Rural Medicine, UAB School of Medicine; Ananda Hannon, Clinic Administrator and Advocating Officer, Ivy Creek Healthcare; Dale Quinney, Director, Alabama Rural Health Association; John Waits, M.D., CEO, Cahaba Medical Care, Centreville
  • 11:00 A.M. – Break
  • 11:15 A.M. – Rural Schools and Workforce
    • Panel Moderator: Trisha Powell Crain, Education Reporter, Alabama Media Group
    • Panel: John Beasley, Assistant Superintendent, Eufaula City Schools (invited); John H. Heard, III, Superintendent, Perry County Schools; Larry Lee, Former Director, Center for Rural Alabama, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries; Jeff Lynn, Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Economic Development, Alabama Community College System
  • 12:30 P.M. – Luncheon
    • Speaker: Liz Huntley, “The Importance of Alabama Pre-K Education”
  • 2:00 P.M. – Community & Economic Development
    • Panel Moderator: Nisa Miranda, Director, University Center for Economic Development, University of Alabama
    • Panel: Kenneth Boswell, Director, Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs; Sheldon Day, Mayor of Thomasville; Bea Forniss, Community Specialist, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood; Giles McDaniel, Executive Director, Shoals Entrepreneurial Network; Tami Reist, Executive Director, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association
  • 3:15 P.M. – Break
  • 3:30 P.M. – Legislative Rural Agenda
    • Panel Moderator: C.J. Hincy, Executive Director, Office of Governmental Affairs, Auburn University
    • Panel: Rep. Joe Lovvorn, House District 79 (Lee County); Sen. Clay Scofield, Senate District 9 (Blount, DeKalb, Madison, and Marshall Counties); Rep. Randall Shedd, House District 11 (Blount, Cullman, Marshall, and Morgan Counties); Sen. Bobby Singleton, Senate District 24 (Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa Counties); Rep. David Standridge, House District 34 (Marshall County); Sen. Tom Whatley, Senate District 27 (Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa Counties)
  • 4:45 P.M. – Day One Wrap-Up
    • Joe A. Sumners
  • 5:00 P.M. – Adjourn
  • 5:15 P.M. – Reception

Thursday, November 16
  • Alabama Rural Roundtable 2017
    • Moderator: Joe A. Sumners, Ph.D., Executive Director, Government & Economic Development Institute, Auburn University
  • 7:15 A.M. – Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 A.M. – Welcome / Reflections on Day 1 / Overview of Morning’s Activities
  • 8:30 A.M. – Then and Now: the 2006 Alabama Rural Roundtable
    • What are rural Alabama’s most important and positive features?
    • Which rural development topics have the highest priority for promotion of long-term survival and growth? What are rural Alabama’s specific challenges and what strategies should be employed to address them?
  • 9:15 A.M. – Break
  • 9:30 A.M. – Break into 4 Roundtables: Digging Deeper
    • Community Leadership and Citizen Participation
    • Education and Workforce
    • Infrastructure and Economic Development
    • Health Care
  • 11:15 A.M. – Reporting Out / Next Steps
    • What have we learned?
    • How will we use this information going forward?
  • Noon – Adjourn
Registration Fee

The total fee for both days is $175 per person.

If you have three (3) or more persons attending from your agency or firm, you may qualify for a group discount of $150 per person. Please contact Leslie Hamby or call (334) 844-4782.

Luncheon/Continental Breakfast:

The registration fee includes a continental breakfast Wednesday-Thursday and a luncheon on Thursday.

If you will be bringing a guest to either breakfast and/or luncheon, please be sure to contact the GEDI office at (334) 844-4782. Please place advanced orders by 12:00 noon, Friday, November 10, 2017.

  • Additional Breakfast: $18 per person each day
  • Additional Lunch: $25 per person
Cancellation Rule:

Written cancellations, received fifteen (15) working days prior to the beginning of the program will be honored with a partial refund of the registration fee, less an administrative assessed fee of $50. Due to event commitments, late cancellations or non-attendance will not be refunded. Payment is due before the event starts unless a Purchase Order has been provided or special arrangements are made with the GEDI office. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time at no additional charge.

Special Needs:

This program is designed to be accessible to all who wish to attend. Should you have a special need(s), please advise in advance by contacting the Government & Economic Development Institute by calling (334) 844-4782.

Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.

Hotel

The GEDI Policy Summit will be held at the Marriott Grand National Hotel and Conference Center located at 3700 Robert Trent Jones Trail in Opelika, Alabama.

Reservations

Special room rate of $129.00 per night has been extended through Monday, October 23! You may make reservations by calling (800) 593-6456 or (334) 741-9292 and referencing M-9RGSOXC – GEDI Policy Summit. You can also click the link below to make online room reservations:

Directions

From I-85N travel to Opelika Exit #58 and turn right onto Hwy 280W. From I-85S, take Exit #58 and turn left onto Hwy 280W. Travel west to Lee County Rd 97 (Grand National Parkway) and turn right. Continue 2.5 miles and turn right onto Robert Trent Jones Trail. Hotel entrance will be 1 mile on the left.

From Birmingham, Hwy 280E travel to Lee County Rd 97 (Grand National Parkway) and turn left. Continue 2.5 miles and turn right onto Robert Trent Jones Trail. Hotel entrance will be 1 mile on the left.

Last Updated: November 10, 2017