2013 Proceedings: Harnessing the Power of the Network to Accelerate Appalachia's Transition


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2013 Proceedings: Harnessing the Power of the Network to Accelerate Appalachia's Transition

  1. 1. Harnessing the Power of the Network to Accelerate Appalachia’s Transition The Appalachia Funders Network 4th Annual Gathering March 2013
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In March 2013 the Appalachia Funders Network hosted its largest Gathering to date in Asheville, NC.With over 138 individuals representing 104 organizations, this year’s Gathering was a realization of the vision established by the Network in 2010: a vision that includes deep relationships and trust among grantmakers; a common analysis and framework for accelerating the economic transition of Central Appalachia; and partners from across sectors collaborating for deeper impact. As we have reflected on the 2013 Gathering and the development of the Network over the past 4 years, we have found that the following assumptions guiding our work have been confirmed and reinforced: 1. Convening an influential set of cross sector actors – from the local to the re gional and national scale – will have lasting impact on the region. The Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond, Atlanta, and Cleveland partnered with the Network to host a strategy session focused on expanding and aligning capital in the region. The Appalachian Regional Commission used the Gathering as a platform to launch their regional FoodwaysTour. Seven participants from USDA Rural Development, representing 5 states, played an active role in this year’s Gathering. And over 30 organizations and businesses shared their innovative approaches to development during our site visits.We are seeing early evidence that this type of cross sector participation in Network activities leads to greater alignment of resources and approaches, contributing to more effective economic development efforts across the region. 2. Hands on learning around successful efforts and strategies will have a posi tive impact on the way we work and invest in our own communities. Each year, Gathering participants report that site visits are impactful and influential in helping to guide and inform their own development efforts.Therefore, we dedicated a full day to site visits that were designed to identify replicable models and strategies that can help to scale development efforts in other parts of the region.The learning and networking that grows out of these conversations contributes directly to more impactful and strategic initiatives across the region. 3. A common transition framework will help to align, deepen, and scale individual development efforts. On the last day of the Gathering, the Network Steering Committee presented a draft framework for accelerating the economic transition of Central Appalachia.The framework is a synthesis of three years of learning and analysis by Network members, and identifies the strategies, promising sectors, and partnerships that we believe will advance Appalachia’s transition. Network members agreed to share, build upon, and ultimately utilize this framework as a guide to create a more coordinated, scalable, and impactful body of development work in the region. 4. Networks are effective vehicles for change, and they need some structure and a sustainable source of funding to maintain momentum. Since 2010, we have tested the vision of a low cost, member driven Network of Appalachian focused grantmakers. To date, we have watched our membership quadruple in size and interest in Network activities continue to rise.To maintain the momentum of the Network, members agreed on a set of internal policies and proce dures and a membership dues structure that will help sustain and ground our future work. This year’s Gathering elevated the Network to a new level of functioning, increased our partnerships, fostered innovation across our development efforts, and brought us one step closer to making our vision for Appalachia’s economic transition a reality. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS2
  3. 3. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 3 CONTENTS Context for the 2013 Gathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Partnership Session: “A Capital Idea: Creating Funding Partnerships for Rural Appalachia” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Keynote Presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Opening and SiteVisits: Learning fromWhatWorks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Crosscutting Strategies for AppalachianTransition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Network’s Framework for AppalachianTransition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Moving Our CollectiveWork Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Closing Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Appendix A: Brief History of Network Gatherings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Appendix B: Participating Funders, Practitioners, & Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Appendix C: Gathering Partners and Sponsors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Appendix D: Appalachian Cultural Celebration Speakers and Performers . . . . 20 Appendix E: About the Appalachia Funders Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
  4. 4. Context Appalachia Funders Network The Appalachia Funders Network is a group of over 70 national, regional, and local grantmakers who envision an Ap palachian economy that provides opportunity for all while sustaining the environmental and cultural assets of our region. Appalachian Transition Central Appalachia is in a state of economic transition. We see the region moving from an economic base of outside own ership to a more locally based economy driven by entrepreneurial opportunities in promising sectors such as clean en ergy, local food production, and health care. As funders, we are committed to working together as a Network to leverage our combined resources and develop shared strategies for accelerating the economic transition of the region while ad dressing our most pressing economic, political, and environmental issues. The Network’s Purpose & Goals The Network works to organize grantmakers, engage partners across sectors, and develop shared strategies to accelerate Appalachia’s eco nomic transition. Our vision and plan of action for our collective work is outlined in the Network’s 3 year Road Map, developed by our mem bers at the 2011 Annual Gathering. Our work is organized around the following four goals: ▪ Build trust and relationships between grantmakers who share sim ilar interest and priorities ▪ Develop a common analysis, shared vision, and collectively de fined investment targets for accelerating the region’s economic transition ▪ Foster cross sector collaboration between nonprofits, businesses, local, state, and federal governments to leverage additional in vestments for the region ▪ Create a beginning structure for the Network that helps to focus the collective energy of grantmakers Network Gatherings Since forming in 2010, the Appalachia Funders Network has hosted four annual Gatherings.These annual meetings are important opportunities for members to come together to build trust and relationships, expand their connections, en gage in deep learning and analysis, and develop a focused course of action for the Network’s activities. See Appendix A for a complete list of our past Gathering themes and outcomes. This paper shares our learning and analysis from the 2013 Gathering, as well as the strategies we identified to align our collective work. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS4 “The Appalachia Funders Network has been great at fig- uring out what it is that we can do together that we can’t do by ourselves. Over the next several years, we are going to see more accom- plished because of the work of our partnerships.” -- Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair of the ARC
  5. 5. Partnership Session: “A Capital Idea: Creating Funding Partnerships for Rural Appalachia” Co hosted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, and Richmond, & the Appalachia Funders Network In advance of the Network Gathering, we held a partnership session with bankers, foundations, Community Development Financial Insti tutions (CDFIs), and economic development practitioners to think strategically about how to expand and better align the range of capi tal available to businesses in Central Appalachia.Together, we identi fied the following strategies: 1. Provide loans to small scale and start up businesses. Participants identified the need for loans tailored to the needs of small and early stage businesses, with longer term flexible capi tal and reasonable interest rates.Taking risks with small loans can yield big results, as exemplified by Mountain BizWorks’ $50,000 loan to FLS Energy, a solar company which has grown from 10 to 75 employees in 6 years. 2. Develop lending partnerships between banks, credit unions, CDFIs, and foundations. Lending partnerships across sectors can help expand small businesses and develop community infrastructure. For example, a bank could partner with CDFIs to meet their obligations under the Community Rein vestment Act, while providing program and operating support, referrals, and capital to development projects. Foundations can be lending partners by making program related investments (PRIs).The first step to forming lending partnerships is to be knowledgeable about and build relationships with lenders. 3. Channel private equity into the region. Private equity from venture capital funds is an under utilized resource in Appalachia and, if captured, could attract additional capital to the region. Community foundations can use their relation ships with high net worth donors to build private equity pools for investment in emerging entrepre neurial companies. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 5 “Without collaborations all through the years, I don’t think we would have had nearly the success we’ve had.” -- Jane Hatley, Self-Help Credit Union Resources ▪ Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods Community of Practice: social networking site for practitioners and funders ▪ Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation report, “Community Develop ment Financial Institutions: A Study on Growth and Sustainability.” ▪ The Appalachian Regional Commission’s report, “Access to Capital and Credit in Appalachia and the Impact of the Financial Crisis and Recession on Commercial Lending and Finance in the Region.”
  6. 6. Keynote Presentations David Wilhelm, Founder ofWoodlandVenture Management, a leading source of venture capital for Central Appalachia. He is a former political campaign manager and oversaw the 1992 U.S. Presidential campaign of Bill Clinton David Wilhelm challenged us to build Appalachia’s economy with an “explosion” of local ownership. He argued that local ownership creates a “virtuous economic cycle,” where local wealth leads to local community investment, continuously generating sustainable economies. He suggested that entrepreneurs and investors who live in the region have an opportunity to drive a new economic model, and help create a culture of entre preneurship that builds local ownership of wealth in Central Appalachia. To seize this opportunity for a more sustainable and equitable economy, Wil helm recommended the following strategies: (1) capitalize on the region’s local assets and invest in promising sectors such as local food systems and renewable energy, (2) build an entrepreneurial ecosystem of supportive policies, financing, markets, and mentors, (3) attract more investments and partnerships by high lighting successful business models in promising sectors, (4) build pride in entre preneurial activities, encouraging young leaders to develop entrepreneurial skills and celebrating the region’s successful entrepreneurs, (5) link local workforce development to promising business sectors, and (6) increase access to capital with more lending from community foun dations, local banks, and regionally directed venture capital funds. Wihelm closed by sharing advice from National Hockey League player Wayne Gretzky, who said, “What makes me differ ent is I don’t go where the puck was. I don’t even go where the puck is. I go to where the puck is going to be.” The “puck,” according to Wilhelm, is in promising sectors like food systems and renewable energy that build on existing assets and offer local ownership opportunities for Appalachian communities. Click here to watch audio clips of his address. Earl F. Gohl, Federal Co Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission Earl Gohl noted President Obama’s inclusion of Appalachia in his 2013 Inaugural Address, where he said, “Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia…know they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.” Gohl referred to the region’s dedicated group of supporters as an “Appalachian army” committed to ensuring that all of our communities have secure livelihoods. Gohl challenged us to use our passion for the region to create partnerships that strengthen our individual work to build a brighter future for Appalachia. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS6
  7. 7. Opening and Welcome Opening remarks from Elizabeth Brazas, President of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Bobby Lewis, the WV State Director for USDA Rural Development, and Sandra Mikush, Deputy Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, framed our time together as an opportunity to break down the silos between and among grantmak ers, government agencies, and practitioners in the room. Each of these speakers encouraged us to share our individual expertise and engage in open and honest dialogue about what is and is not working in the region. Authentic relationships can lead to innovative approaches, regional partnerships, and strategic investments that improve local economies and accelerate Appalachia’s transition. Site Visits: Learning from What Works Learning & Analysis The Network has a dedicated learning agenda around ways to grow small businesses and accelerate the development of promising sectors such as energy, food systems, and healthcare. During this year’s Gathering, we dedicated a full day to site visits focused on each of the above topics and created space for strategic conversations and reflection between grantmakers, local and regional development practitioners, and leading thinkers from across Central Appalachia. Context Our host city, Asheville, is known for having supportive policies, public and private investments, and community based infrastructure that have helped foster an entrepreneurial economy and a strong culture of sustainability. Each site visit, however, was grounded in the recognition that the social, political, and economic context vary widely across Central Ap palachian communities; site visit participants brought diverse perspectives to compare and contrast examples from Asheville to the reality of more rural and isolated communities. Process During each site visit, participants toured facilities, heard success stories from local businesses and entrepreneurs, ex plored innovative ideas, shared lessons learned, and worked to identify replicable strategies that could be implemented across the region. At the end of the day, we came together as a large group to share lessons and ideas across site visits. The next section summarizes each site visit and highlights key lessons and strategies. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 7
  8. 8. Site visit participants identified the following key ingredients to creating a thriving local food system: 1. Build a robust ecosystem to support food and farm en trepreneurs with mentors, business training, on farm technical assistance, and shared infrastructure. ▪ Encourage partnerships between state extension offices, USDA, ARC, economic development organizations, CDFIs, non profits, RC&D, and community colleges to collaborate, share expertise, and leverage resources to support farm and food en trepreneurs. ▪ Provide wrap around support for farm and food related busi nesses that include a combination of capital, business training, and technical assistance. ▪ Support agriculture cooperatives or other collective business strategies that provide broader market access for those farmers who want to increase sales, but are not interested in marketing products independently. ▪ Develop community infrastructure such as mixed use incuba tors and commercial kitchens that allow small businesses to share equipment and lower costs. 2. Increase demand for local food by educating consumers & institutional decision makers. ▪ Develop buy local campaigns and local food guides that connect consumers to farmers, grocers, markets, and restaurants who use locally grown products. Click here to view ASAP’s Local Food Guide. ▪ Help groups of producers create local branding and marketing strategies. ▪ Encourage farmers markets to take EBT and WIC payments to help low income consumers purchase local foods. ▪ Educate the leaders of local anchor institutions (i.e. public schools, hospitals, and colleges) about the benefits of purchasing locally sourced food products. 3. Advocate for state and local policies that help grow the local food sector. ▪ Work with public health officials and land use officials to support urban agriculture programs, farmer’s market space, and mobile food trucks, which increase food entrepreneurship and access to local foods. ▪ Support the development of local food policy groups and encourage public officials to pursue supportive local food policies. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS8 Food Systems Site Visit Summary Speakers: Charlie Jackson, ASAP; Earl Gohl, Appalachian Regional Commission; Smithson Mills, Smithson Mills, Inc.; Joel Mowery, Smoking J’s Fiery Foods; Mary Lou Surgi, Blue Ridge Food Ventures Overview: Participants toured Smoking J’s Fiery Foods to see how an entrepreneurial ecosystem fosters local food businesses. Joel has utilized a diverse set of resources from Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and Blue Ridge Food Ventures (a commercial kitchen and food business incu bator, also featured on the tour) to help his farm business grow and thrive. Launch of the ARC FoodwaysTour During the food systems site visit, theARC launched the FoodwaysTour, where Federal Co Chair Earl Gohl will visit all 13Appalachian states to highlight the region’s robust local foods movement.While on tour, Gohl plans to sit down with local food entrepreneurs and supporters to discuss the opportunities, challenges, and barriers to growing the sector. At conclusion, theARC will identify ways to collaborate with Federal agencies, grantmakers, and practitioners to strengthen local food systems acrossAppalachia. Click here to view press from this event.
  9. 9. Site visit participants identified the following strategies to support and grow the renewable energy / energy efficiency sector: 1. Encourage supportive policies, regulations, and tax incentives that drive demand for renewable energy products and services. ▪ Influence the replication of effective clean energy policies such as the NC Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, NC Renewable Energy Tax Credits, NC Property Assessed Clean Energy, and the Renewable Fuel Standard. ▪ Advocate and support energy efficiency programs (e.g. on bill financing for energy efficiency retrofits) that ap peal to the self interest of utilities, their customers, and local businesses. ▪ Commission an energy job study that compiles data on the potential for new energy related jobs inAppalachia. Use this study to educate policymakers on these opportunities. ▪ Provide credibility to clean energy initiatives by publiciz ing their successes with government representatives, policymakers, board members, and influential partners. ▪ Depoliticize clean energy and frame this sector as a value to local governments in terms of job creation, cost savings, and benefits to their constituents. 2. Develop technical professionals across the renewable energy sector. ▪ Develop a larger pool of skilled professionals (from energy auditors, to contractors, to home energy raters, to retailers and product distributors) to meet increased demand for renewable energy services. One idea is to work with existing workforce training programs and community colleges to train tech professionals in this sector. 3. Educate consumers and institutional stakeholders. ▪ Develop a buyer’s guide to connect consumers to products and services related to energy efficiency (solar hot water heaters, solar panels, water turbines, energy efficiency audits, etc.)This guide could facilitate connec tions to both consumers and service providers. ▪ Publicize success stories where energy costs have been reduced for governments, businesses, and residential customers. 4. Build state and regional partnerships that support renewable energy innovation and industry develop ment. ▪ Facilitate discussions between energy utility compa nies, state and federal agencies, research universities, and community leaders about strategies to reduce current energy costs and advance innovation. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 9 Energy Site Visit Summary Speakers: Justin Maxson, MACED; Patrick Harper & Justin Hembree, Land of Sky Re gional Council; Joanna Baker & Dale Freuden berger, FLS Energy; Barry Edwards, Catawba County Ecocomplex; Rick Larson, Natural Capital Investment Fund;Torin Kexel, Green Opportunities; Kerby Smithson, City of Asheville; Matt Raker, Advantage West; Gary Ball, Ball’s Machines Overview: The Land of Sky Regional Council facilitated tours of two local businesses: FLS Energy, a renewable energy company, and Blue Ridge Biofuels (BRBF), a biofuels manu facturer.With strong leadership, supportive policies, and cross sector partnerships, both companies have showed impressive growth. FLS Energy went from 3 employees in 2006 to 80 in 2012, and BRBF grew from “4 guys in a basement” to annual production of 1.2 million gallons of biodiesel.These examples catalyzed discussions around opportunities for clean en ergy entrepreneurs across Central Appalachia.
  10. 10. Site visit participants identified the following strategies for growing entrepreneurial opportuni- ties within the healthcare sector and improving access to basic healthcare services for rural pop- ulations: 1. Build cross sector partnerships within the health sector. ▪ Successful examples of cross sector partnerships in clude: local farmers selling herbs and medicinal plants to bio tech firms and researchers; local manufacturers who are producing products in the field of medical technology; and, multiple health related businesses (i.e. acupuncturist, massage therapist, yoga teachers) working with a local hospitals to provide holistic treat ment services to patients. 2. Support new models of healthcare delivery in rural communities. ▪ Use telemedicine in rural schools to connect sick stu dents to primary care doctors.Telemedicine helps de crease student absences and caregiver time away from work, while providing access to doctors who are in short supply in rural communities.The Center for Rural Health Innovation program, “My Health e Schools” is an example of this model. ▪ Support small healthcare facilities in rural communi ties. One example discussed is the Hot Springs Health Program, which operates four medical centers strategi cally placed throughout the county in order to provide care to community members geographically isolated from primary care facilities. 3. Grow the healthcare workforce in rural communities. ▪ Develop the capacity of people from within rural com munities to work as healthcare professionals. See the Rural Health Innovation Center Homegrown Healthcare Program for an example of ways to educate rural youth in health occupations. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS10 Health Site Visit Summary Speakers: Dan Deaton, Ibiliti; Steve North, Center for Rural Health Innovations; Greg Cumberford, Bent Creek Institute; Robert Ford, Hot Springs Health Program; Lourdes Lorenz, Mission Hospital;Teri Morris, Cherokee Tribal Hospital;Tonda Gosnell, Community Care of Western North Carolina; Noel Watts, Market ing Association for Rehabilitation Centers Overview: Participants traveled to Bent Creek Institute to explore the interconnections be tween health and economic development, with a focus on entrepreneurial opportunities. We learned about profitable opportunities in the billion dollar botanical medicine industry and in the trillion dollar medical devices industry. Par ticipants also discussed entrepreneurial oppor tunities and innovations in the healthcare system, and challenges rural communities face in accessing basic healthcare services.
  11. 11. Site visit participants identified the following strategies to support and grow entrepreneurship: 1. Build collaborative partnerships between business support services. ▪ Encourage small business supporters to collaborate on a suite of services to entrepreneurs. An example of this strategy is Western North Carolina’s SparkTank, a group of 17 small business service providers who share expertise and collaborate to better serve entrepre neurs. 2. Encourage supportive policies that help small busi nesses grow and thrive. ▪ Advocate against federal/state budget cuts that de crease investment and support for critical small busi ness training and support. 3. Grow the leadership capacity and connectivity of local business owners. ▪ Ensure that business leaders from within Appalachia have the support and connections to capture larger businesses development opportunities and advocate for the collective needs of local entrepreneurs. 4. Help retiring entrepreneurs transfer ownership of their business to dedicated employees or local buyers. ▪ Develop processes and legal expertise to sup port local business buy outs and worker owner business development. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 11 Entrepreneurship Site Visit Summary Speakers: Duane Adams, ABTech; Dan & Jael Rattigan, French Broad Chocolates; Cortina Caldwell, Visit & Venture; Pam Lewis, Chamber of Commerce; Karen Caruso, MindYour Busi ness; Jane Hatley, Self Help Credit Union; Sharon Oxendine & Shaw Canale, Mountain BizWorks; Annice Brown, Small Business and Technology Development Center Overview: Participants in the entrepreneur ship site visit road the LaZoom tour bus around downtown Asheville and the River Arts District to learn about the transformation of Asheville–from a downtown littered with abandoned buildings in the 1980s to a thriving entrepreneurial economy. Mountain BizWorks, ABTech Community College, and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce shared stories of col laborative partnerships to assist local busi nesses. Co opetition Co opetition is a business strategy where competitors work together to increase market access, improve local infrastructure, and maxi mize individual profits. Consider the example of the WNC Cheese Trail. While cheesemakers still compete with each other, they work together to bring atten tion to the sector, expanded market access for everyone, and seek additional resources to support their collective efforts.
  12. 12. Crosscutting Strategies for Appalachian Transition After a full day of site visits, participants came together as a large group to reflect, share lessons, and discuss crosscutting themes. Below are the results of that strategic conversation APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS12
  13. 13. The Network’s Framework for Appalachian Transition: A Working Framework Over the past three years, Network members have worked to develop a common analysis and set of strategies for ad vancing the economic transition of Central Appalachia.This body of knowledge was brought together into the below framework to help focus the Network’s future efforts. During the final day of the Gathering, Network members discussed, revised, and approved the document as a working framework for accelerating the economic transition. Although this framework is designed as a tool to guide the Network’s learning, analysis, and strategy development, it will continue to be adapted as we learn, take action, and reflect on our work. Click here to download this framework APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 13
  14. 14. Moving our Collective Work Forward Strengthening the Network’s Working Groups One of the ways we maintain the momentum of the Network between our annual Gatherings is through the efforts of our working groups.This year, we launched two new working groups that are focused on health and community foundations. We also explored ways to make our new and current working groups more effective. One idea is to collaborate with other networks to share expertise and target our learning and analysis on specific topics.The plans developed by members of each working group are summarized below. ▪ Food System Working Group. Explore new learning topics in food security, the food economy, cooperative for mation, succession planning, and local ownership. ▪ Startup Appalachia Committee. Continue to work to develop a model of co funding that has deep and lasting impacts in the region. ▪ Health Working Group. Focus on strategies to grow the healthcare sector through expansion of rural based health services, integrative approaches to healthcare, and product development opportunities. ▪ Community Foundations Working Group. Develop strategies to increase the capacity of smaller community foundations, with a focus on the transfer of wealth out of the region and strategies to build investment capital. Strengthening the Network’s Organizational Structure One of our major goals is to establish enough structure– but not too much–for the Network to be effective. To support this process, Network members agreed on a set of internal policies and procedures and a membership dues structure. Click here to view the Network’s policies and procedures and new membership dues structure. If you are interested in participating in one of the Network Working Groups or in becoming an official member of the Network, please contact us at Appalachiafundersnetwork@gmail.com. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS14 Building Blocks of a Successful Network: ▪ Trust and relationships ▪ Shared analysis, vision, interest, and identity ▪ Shared direction, goals, measurement, & work ▪ Strong network management ▪ Clear benefits for local people ▪ Shared power and control ▪ Communication ▪ Enough structure, but not too much ▪ Mutual accountability ▪ Clear benefits for member organizations
  15. 15. Closing Reflections This year’s Gathering resulted in stronger ties and deeper shared analysis among a set of public, private, and nonprofit actors who are currently moving the economic transition of Central Ap palachia.We captured lessons from some of the most innovative economic development efforts in the region and engaged in honest cross sector dialogue around the strategies that will strengthen our economy. Our task now is to water the seeds of trust, common analysis, and collective strategies to grow collaborative work that will blossom into large scale change across the region. Moving for ward, the Network will build on this fertile ground to: 1. Promote cross sector collaborations that leverage re sources, share expertise, and coordinate develop ment strategies across the region. Network members are ready to build on the trust and relationships we have culti vated in order to form working partnerships that lead to greater economic impact across the region. 2. Showcase promising development strategies and share successful models with influential partners, poli cymakers, and stakeholders. We want to use the power of the Network to help lift up, learn from, and replicate success ful development efforts from all across the region. 3. Implement a common transition framework to help guide and align our efforts. The transition frame work adopted at this year’s Gathering will be used to guide the work of the Network and focus our future learning efforts. We will also work with Network members to understand how we can use the framework to deepen and align the individual efforts of regional grantmakers. 4. Continue to strengthen the Network’s internal structure to sustain our learning, analysis, and collab orative efforts over the long term. Over the next year, members agreed to advance new working groups on health and community foundations, formalize a set of policies and procedures, and launch a membership campaign that will help ground and sustain the collective work of the network going forward. In closing, we left the Gathering with a commitment to use the Network as a vehicle to foster collaboration, leverage resources, and advance shared development strategies that make a difference in the region. We are excited by the growth and movement of the Network and look forward to the work ahead. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 15
  16. 16. Appendix A A Brief History of Network Gatherings Each of our Gatherings builds on the energy and excitement of the previous year’s work and identifies actionable strate gies to deepen and expand the scale of our work. 2010: Appalachia inTransition, Abingdon,Virginia ▪ Developed an analysis of the forces that have shaped Appalachia ▪ Recognized that the region is in another economic transition ▪ Discussed how we can help move the region towards a more sustainable and equitable economy ▪ Decided to form and develop the Appalachia Funders Network 2011: Strategies for Collaboration, Charleston, WestVirginia ▪ Developed analyses of opportunities and challenges in the food, energy, and health sectors ▪ Identified barriers to collaboration among grantmakers interested in the economic transition ▪ Developed concrete strategies to increase collaboration among grantmakers across Central Appalachia 2012: Accelerating the EconomicTransition of Central Appalachia, Berea, Kentucky ▪ Explored the entrepreneurial supports and community capacity needed to advance the region’s economy ▪ Created a list of shared priorities for strengthening entrepreneurship and community capacity ▪ Developed concrete ways that individual grantmakers and the Network can move these priorities ▪ Celebrated our Appalachian heritage, culture, and arts 2013: Harnessing the Power of the Network to Accelerate Appalachia’sTransition, Asheville, NC ▪ Defined shared strategies to support entrepreneurship and scale the promising sectors of food, energy, and health ▪ Clarified our shared vision for Appalachia’s economic transition and strengthened the Network’s organizational structure to achieve this vision ▪ Gained a full appreciation of Appalachia’s rich past, present, and emerging cultures APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS16
  17. 17. Appendix B Participating Funders, Practitioners, & Partners Accelerating Appalachia: Sara Day Evans Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs: Grace Fricks+ ACEnet: Angie Maiden, Leslie Schaller AdenaVentures:Tom Parkinson+ AdvantageWest: Matt Raker Appalachian Community Fund: Amelia Kirby, Margo Miller, Lorelai Scarbro Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy: Steve Owen Appalachian Regional Commission: Raymond Daffner, Earl Gohl, Guy Land Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative: Michelle Ajamian Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project: Charlie Jackson Appalachian Sustainable Development: KathlynTerry Appalshop: Mimi Pickering Ball’s Machine/Solarnomics: Gary Ball BB&T:Victor Atkinson, Ernie Dehnert, Marlo Long*+, John Ratcliff Becky Anderson Consulting: Becky Anderson Bent Creek Institute, Inc: Greg Cumberford blue moon fund: KristinTracz Blue Ridge BioFuels: Woodrow Eaton, Melita Kyriakou Blue Ridge FoodVentures: Mary Lou Surgi Brushy Fork Institute: Donna Morgan WestVirginia Center for Rural Health: John Reger II+ Carolina Farm Stewardship Association: Karen McSwain Catawba County Department of Utilities & Engineering: Barry Edwards Center for Economic Options: Pam Curry Center for Rural Health Innovation: Steve North Center for Rural Strategies: Dee Davis Cherokee Preservation Foundation: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Charlie Myers* City of Asheville: Kerby Smithson Clark Regional Foundation: Jen Algire Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation: Mary Hunt* Common Wealth Revolving Loan Fund: Roy Messing Community Bank &Trust: Michelle Gilreath Community Care of WNC:Tonda Gosnell Community Farm Alliance: Martin Richards Community Works Carolina: Deborah McKetty FAHE: Eric Haralson Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: John Meeks Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta:Todd Greene,+ Emily Mitchell Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: Bonnie Blankenship, Paul Kaboth+ Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond: Jen Giovannitti*+ FLS Energy: Michael Shore Foundation for a Healthy KY: Susan Zepeda Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky: Gerry Roll, Robin Gabbard Foundation for Appalachian Ohio: Cara Dingus Brook French Broad Chocolate Lounge: Dan & Jael Rattigan Golden LEAF Foundation: Dan Gerlach Handmade in America: Gwynne Rukenbrod Heifer USA: Jeffrey Scott Highlander Research and Education Center: Elandria Williams HopewellVentures: David Wilhelm+ APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 17
  18. 18. Hot Springs Health Program: Jerry Plemmons ibiliti: Daniel Deaton Judy Futch Consulting, Inc: Judy Futch Kemper Strategy, Inc: David Kemper Land of Sky CleanVehicles Coalition: Bill Eaker Land of Sky Regional Council: Erica Anderson, Patrick Harper MACED: Justin Maxson+, Paul Wright Marketing Association for Rehabilitation Centers: Noel Watts Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation: David Jackson, San dra Mikush, AshleyVogel MAY Coalition: William Weeks MeritusVentures: GradyVanderhoofven+ Mission Foundation: John Locke Mission Hospital: Lourdes Lorenz Mountain BizWorks: Shaw Canale+, Sharon Oxendine National Development Council: PatThomson+ Natural Capital Investment Fund: Rick Larson+ NC Commerce: Kristy Carter NC Cooperative Extension: Robert Hawk New Sprout Organic Farms, LLC: Michael Porterfield OhioValley Environmental Coalition: Janet Keating One Foundation: Barbara Wyckoff Parkersburg Area Community Foundation: Jane Winters People Incorporated Financial Services: Deborah Wagner, Ernie Maddy, Becky Nave PowellValley National Bank: Charlie Allen Robert Donnan Consulting: Robert Donnan RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship: Deborah Markley Rural Action: Michelle Decker Save the Children: Reid Livingston, Self Help Credit Union: Jane Hatley+ Sequoyah Fund: Nell Leatherwood Smoking J's Fiery Foods: Joel Mowery Sugar Bush Foundation: HylieVoss, Mary Anne Flourney SunTrust Bank: Angela Conner, Matthew Giddens Suntrust Bank: Autrice Long, SustainFloyd: Mike Burton TennesseeValley Authority: Phillip McMullen The Alleghany Foundation: Mary Fant Donnan, Dr. Leo Mulcahy The Center for Rural Health Development, Inc: Robert Dearing, Sharon Lansdale The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina: Philip Belcher, Elizabeth Brazas,Tim Richards* The Ford Foundation: Wayne Fawbush The Greater KanawhaValley Foundation: Becky Ceperley+, Stephanie Hyre, Sheri Ryder TN Economic and Community Development: Wisty Pender U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities: Alan McGregor US Small Business Administration: Mike Arriola USDA, Rural Development: Pam Hysong, Bobby Lewis, Tony Logan,Timothy McNeilly, Charles Morris, Lisa Sharp, Joseph Woody Venture Asheville: Pam Lewis Vision Shared: Rebecca Randolph Visit &Venture: Cortina Caldwell Waste Reduction Partners:Terry Albrecht Wells Fargo: Rod Banks WesBanco Bank, Inc: Joe Flynn WestVirginia Community Development Hub: Kent Spellman WV Food & Farm Coalition: Savanna Lyons, Yancey County Center Extension:Tres Magner APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS18 *2013 Gathering PlanningTeam + Speaker at the Federal Reserve Partnership Meeting
  19. 19. Appendix C Gathering Partners Gathering Sponsors Appalachian Carbon Partnership The Network is proud to have partnered with MACED to offset the Gathering’s carbon footprint and support Appalachian family forests. In total, participants’ donations offset 17.26 metric tons of carbon dioxide. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 19
  20. 20. Appendix D Appalachian Cultural Celebration & Networking Reception At each Gathering, we provide a creative space for grantmakers and practitioners to connect and celebrate Appalachia’s unique cultural heritage.This year, we celebrated Appalachia’s multicultural diversity with perspectives from OldTime, Cherokee, Latino, and African American experiences in the region. We would like to offer a special thank you to our guest speaker: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Executive Director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Click here to download her speech. APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS20
  21. 21. Appendix E About the Appalachia Funders Network The Appalachia Funders Network is a group of 70 public and private grantmakers who envision an Appalachian economy that provides opportunity for all while sustaining the environmental and cultural assets of our region. Members of the Network have come together, in this time of economic, social, political, and environmental transition in Appalachia to: ▪ Learn and share information about promising development ideas, projects and strategies, ▪ Deepen our collective analysis and understanding of entrepreneurial based economic development issues, challenges, and opportunities within Appalachia, ▪ Build trusting and meaningful relationships among Appalachia focused grant makers, and ▪ Discover new and innovative ways of working together for the purpose of accelerating the economic transition of Central Appalachia. Our work is focused in Central Appalachia, the region we define as the Appalachian counties of Ohio, Kentucky,Ten nessee,Virginia, WestVirginia, and North Carolina. We believe that the current convergence of economic innovation, fed eral policy initiatives, expanded regional capacity, and regional and national funder interest offers unprecedented opportunities to: ▪ Deepen the impact and expand the scale of promising economic transition efforts, ▪ Develop and grow innovative approaches to building and growing wealth within the region, ▪ Leverage existing resources to increase outside investment in Appalachia's economic recovery. Steering Committee: Sandra Mikush, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation; Becky Ceperley, Greater KanawhaValley Foundation; Ray Daffner, Appalachian Regional Commission; Wayne Fawbush, Ford Foundation; Mary Hunt, Claude Wor thington Benedum Foundation; Margo Miller, Appalachian Community Fund; KristinTracz, blue moon fund; Gerry Roll, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky; Lisa Sharp, USDA Rural Development WestVirginia APPALACHIA FUNDERS NETWORK – 2013 GATHERING PROCEEDINGS 21 For more information about the Network visit: www.appalachiafunders.org or contact us at: Appalachiafundersnetwork@gmail.com Appalachia Funders Network Coordinator Rural Support Partners Thomas Watson, Executive Director 1456 Patton Ave., Suite C Asheville, NC 28806 Email: thomas@ruralsupportpartners.com Website: www.ruralsupportpartners.com This paper was developed and written by Rural Support Partners with assistance and funding from the members of the Appalachia Funders Network.