Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to host rural leadership summit on “Brain Gain”

EDGEWOOD, Iowa— The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) in partnership with the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County and the Iowa Council of Foundations will be hosting a rural summit for community leaders May 16 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Edgewood Locker Events Center in Edgewood.

Welcome Home: Attracting and Engaging New and Returning Residents” will feature keynote speaker Ben Winchester, a rural sociologist and senior research fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality, and a panel of local community leaders to discuss ways communities are welcoming and integrating newcomers.

The summit is a response from CFGD to a growing interest in rural communities to attract newcomers. 

“People want to make their communities attractive for young families,” said Jason Neises, community development coordinator at CFGD. “This is a way for us to support our rural communities and give them tools to remain vital and active. We want to help local leaders to tell the story that these are good places to raise a family and to build the assets they need to maintain and improve the quality of life.”

Topics include:

  • Changing the narrative from “brain drain” to “brain gain”
  • Creating spaces for hometowners and newcomers to engage
  • Methods for reviving small town leadership and
  • Creating a plan to drive community progress

MJ Smith, director of affiliates at CFGD hopes that attendees will be inspired to help change the rural narrative from “Get out while you can.” to “Great things can and already do happen here”.

“In any community's vision of itself, it is what we say and believe that will come true,” said Smith. “I hope that the leaders who attend this program will be inspired to look at their community and start seeing the good and the potential that small towns in Northeast Iowa have to be places where families can thrive and succeed.”

To learn more or pre-register visit www.dbqfoundation.org/welcome-home or call 563.588.2700.

Press Contact

Jeff Danna
Communications Manager

About Us
The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque envisions a vibrant and inclusive Dubuque region where everyone can thrive. Since 2002, we have inspired people to give back to their community, and we turn this generosity into lasting change across our region, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help all people succeed. 

Connect with us to learn about the many ways we are building a strong, thriving Greater Dubuque for all.