2020 Annual Conference: Call for Session Proposals


Submission Deadline: October 11, 2019


The Development District Association of Appalachia is holding its annual conference in Arlington, Virginia from March 16-18, 2020 in collaboration with the National Association of Development Organizations: the 2020 NADO-DDAA Washington Conference. This is an opportunity to share cutting-edge ideas, highlight success stories and lessons learned, and engage with other LDDs during our Annual gathering. DDAA is seeking compelling session proposals to ensure a comprehensive program. Session proposals should address topics and trends that reflect the wide-ranging needs and interests of member Local Development Districts. We are searching for powerful session proposals focused in the following topic areas:

  • Substance use crisis and correlating workforce issues and recovery-to-work ecosystems
  • Economic diversification in coal-impacted communities
  • Broadband development
  • Opportunity zones in rural areas
  • Trade and supply chain support
  • Rural manufacturing
  • Entrepreneurship support efforts
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Capacity building for communities, boards, and LDDs
  • Community health and wellness
  • Rural workforce attraction and retention
  • Decennial Census and Complete Count Committees
  • Childcare support and related workforce issues
  • Rural housing and the impact on the workforce

Conference Audience:

The Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) is a membership organization of the 73 Local Development Districts (LDDs) serving the 420 counties of the Appalachia Region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federal-state-local partnership. Conference attendees are Executive Directors, Board Members, local and state Elected Officials, Program Managers, and Staff of Local Development Districts across the 13 state region.

Local Development Districts (LDDs) are multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development organizations that provide administrative, professional and technical assistance to local governments and citizens throughout Appalachia. An LDD is the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) name for the multi-county planning and development organizations which from State to State may be otherwise known as regional councils, councils of governments, area development districts, regional development centers, or regional planning commissions. LDD’s are the local partner in the ARC’s Federal-State-Local partnership, and they serve the member counties and municipalities within their designated regions in efforts aimed at achieving the goals of the ARC


Please read the following guidelines carefully before submitting your session proposal.

• Proposals are encouraged to contain contributions from or highlights of the work of one or more DDAA member.

• DDAA reserves the right to accept only the topic, title, and to accept or reject one or more speakers and moderator or any combination of the above list.

• DDAA reserves the right to add, edit or make changes to the session title, description, and mode of presentation, panel and moderator.

• All proposals become property of DDAA upon receipt. Session topics or speaker recommendations not accepted will be considered for use in future DDAA conferences, newsletters, webinars and resources for up to a period of one year.

• Strong proposals are respectful of diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender and geographic location.

• Proposals must be submitted with a minimum of one speaker for the panel. DDAA may confirm additional speakers and a moderator to complete the panel.

• In order to keep conference registration fees reasonable, DDAA will consider requests for payment of speaker fees and travel expenses, honorarium or speaker’s bureau fees only in special circumstances.

• DDAA reserves the right to combine session proposals on similar topics into one session.

• Speakers and moderators interested in attending the conference will be expected to register and pay for the conference.

• Speakers are invited to attend the session before or after their session, excluding meals and receptions, without paying the registration fee.

• Individuals or organizations proposing sessions are responsible for confirming proposed speakers and moderators upon acceptance of session proposal.

Proposal Submissions:

Please send completed proposal forms to ddaa.ldd@gmail.com by October 11, 2019.

The form, while long, includes multiple pages for detail on speakers and moderator information. Only those pages relevant to your session proposal submission are required to be completed. Please contact DDAA at bbuff@crec.net via email with any questions regarding conference proposals. For more details about DDAA, visit our website at www.ddaa-ldd.org.

You will be notified via email regarding a decision on your proposal on or before October 31, 2019. All proposals will be kept on file for one year for consideration for future conferences. If the session proposal and speakers are accepted, the person who submitted the proposals will be responsible for confirming the moderator and speakers on or before January 15, 2018.

No substitutes for speakers or moderators can be made without permission from DDAA.

Important Deadlines:

  • September 2019: DDAA accepting session proposals
  • By October 31, 2019: DDAA notifies submissions of the outcome of their proposals
  • By November 31, 2019: Successful submissions confirm their speakers and moderators (if applicable)
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