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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DDAA Professional Development Seminar Presentations

Tuesday, July 30

Building Successful Organizations: Meeting Facilitation

Instructor: John Metcalf, President, Workforce Systems Associates

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Grant Writing

Instructor: Paul Mastrodonato, President, Nonprofit Works

Applying Technology to Solve LDD Problems

Instructor: Erol Yildirim, Senior Vice President, New Products, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness

Building Successful Organizations: Attracting and Retaining Young Workers in Appalachia

Instructor: Natalie Roper, Executive Director, Generation West Virginia

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: ARC Grant Writing

Instructor: Molly Theobald, Director of Division of Critical Infrastructure, Appalachian Regional Commission

Building Successful Organizations: Board Development

Instructor: John Metcalf, President, Workforce Systems Associates

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Opportunity Zones in Appalachia

Instructor: Tammy Halevy, Senior Advisor, Public Private Strategies

Building Successful Organizations: Strategic Planning

Instructor: Paul Mastrodonato, President, Nonprofit Works

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Setting Up an Addiction Recovery Center

Instructor: Matt Brown, Chief of Staff to the CEO, Addiction Recovery Care

Wednesday, July 31

Building Strong Relationships with Universities

Speaker: Dave Satterfield, Director of Asset Development, Office of Research and Economic Development, West Virginia University

Building Successful Organizations: Communications

Instructors: Dorinda Byers, Manager, DByers & Associates
Eddy Biehl, Manager, DByers & Associates

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Improving Your Entrepreneurial Project Proposals

Instructor: Catherine Renault, Principal and Owner, Innovation Policyworks

Building Successful Organizations: Implementation Planning

Instructor: Drew Conrad, Director, Institute for Decision Making, The University of Northern Iowa

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Incubation and Acceleration

Instructor: Anne Barth, Executive Director, TechConnect West Virginia

LDD Highlight: Region 2 Planning and Development Council

Speaker: Chris Chiles, Executive Director, Region 2 Planning and Development Council

Building Successful Organizations: Team Building

Instructors: Dorinda Byers, Manager, DByers & Associates
Eddy Biehl, Manager, DByers & Associates

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Youth Entrepreneurship

Instructor: Gene Coulson, Executive Director, Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education

Building Successful Organizations: Grant Management Software

Instructors: Marc Hutzell, Director of Information Technology, Appalachian Regional Commission
Candace Stribling, ARCnet Systems Administrator, Information Technology, Appalachian Regional Commission

Developing Successful Projects or Programs: Entrepreneurship and Business Dynamism

Instructor: Erik Pages, President, EntreWorks Consulting

DDAA Conference Session: From Crisis to a Career

Kentucky leads the way in workforce development for substance-use patients

At the NADO-DDAA Annual Conference held in Virginia in March, state leaders discussed how they are combatting opioid addiction, abuse and overdose deaths in the Appalachian region. West Virginia’s Drug Free Moms and Babies Project provides integrated prevention and treatment support to pregnant women with substance use disorders. In Tennessee, First Tennessee Development District is building alliances between educators, clinicians, and community, church and faith leaders to solve the problem.

Kentucky approaches the opioid epidemic as an economic and workforce issue rather than a public health concern. In a 2017 report, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce found that the opioid epidemic and incarceration due to drug charges were leading factors in the state’s low workforce participation rate. Since then, it has focused on advancing policies that get people on the path to recovery and back into the workforce.

While there is evidence (for example, read this study published by NBER) supporting that unemployment is a contributing factor to increased demand for opioids, the impact of opioids on labor force participation is still emerging. According to research presented by Professor Michael Betz from the Ohio State University at the conference, the counties in Ohio that had lower labor participation rate in 2010, largely due to a decline in manufacturing employment, had higher overdose rates in 2015, suggesting a strong relationship between the local labor market conditions and the rise of opioid overdose deaths.

Speaking at the conference, Tim Robinson, CEO of Addiction Recovery Care in Kentucky, urged states to adopt a whole-person approach which starts with intervening with treatment, investing in someone’s economic future by providing access to transitional housing, vocational rehabilitation, workforce development, and inspiring them that there is hope to go from crisis to a career.

Mr. Robinson’s organization, Addiction Recovery Care, runs 30 treatment centers and treats 500 people in residential and 500 people in outpatient facilities across 12 counties in Kentucky. It has an internship program which guarantees a job to everyone who completes the treatment. Additionally, they have partnered with the Kentucky Workforce Board and with Sullivan University, expanding the internship into a 6-month career academy that lets candidates to earn certifications and college credits.
After starting the career academy, Mr. Robinson reported that the center saw a 30% increase in clients who chose to continue medical treatment beyond detox and residential care. More than 85% of their 6-month career academy graduates are sober, working full time, paying taxes and transitioning off public assistance. Recently, Addiction Recovery Care opened a new venture: Second Chance Auto Mechanics Shop in Louisa employs people who are in recovery, providing a second chance for patients to rebuild their career.

Written by Anuradha Dhar, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC)

Welcome to the Development District Association of Appalachia!

Building a better future for the Appalachian Region requires both a clear vision of the present, and an informed view of the past. In considering how to help the Region continue building stronger local economies and communities, local development districts (LDDs) must review past efforts to learn what programs have worked; where change is needed; and how to better plan for the challenges and opportunities tomorrow will bring.

Like the Region itself, LDDs have a proud history of hard work and achievement to celebrate; and now, in a rapidly changing global economy, they can build on the lessons learned in the past to plan and prepare for success in the future. More than ever, LDDs’ economic development experience gives them a critical role to play in making Appalachia prosperous.