Over 200 community leaders from across north Missouri and beyond converged on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University last week and were inspired by author and entrepreneur Ron Drake. The sell-out audience heard Drake at the annual event hosted by the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri.
Ron Drake spoke about his success in the revitalization of several downtowns throughout the U.S. The author of “Flip This Town,” Drake shared stories and visuals of communities similar to so many in rural north Missouri and how they too can recreate vibrancy and spark new life in the downtowns of America.
Attending from Grundy County were Cathie Smith, Cara McClellan, Chris and Jackie Hoffman, Debbie Carman, Scott Blair, Jackie Soptic, Ralph Boots and Philip Ray. Bobbi Myers of Princeton was also in attendance.
Eight communities were invited to send a representative to shadow Ron Drake for two days prior to the annual event and among those participating was Philip Ray of rural Trenton. The exercise included meetings with architects, building owners, government and community leaders as well as business and property owners. Tours of existing businesses and vacant storefronts in Maryville were offered with Drake leading discussions on ways to implement revitalization efforts.