"Today’s revitalization efforts are defined and impacted to a greater degree than ever by shifting demographics, changes in consumer shopping, and transitions within our local, regional, and national economies. These changes have significant implications for the development and growth of entrepreneurs themselves, as well as downtowns and commercial districts on the whole. In an effort to adapt, commercial revitalization professionals are being called upon to lead and develop initiatives that support innovative entrepreneurship as part of sustainable, robust local economies." Main Street America
Main Street Alabama is pleased to offer this training to assist in developing the economic engines of downtown districts. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the process for developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem focused on commercial district revitalization by completing these learning objectives:
Building Your District’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Workshop
Presenter: Matt Wagner, Vice President of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street Center, Inc.
Matt has more than 20 years of non-profit management experience in downtown development, entrepreneurship and tech-based economic development. At the NMSC, Matt is leading the launch of the renewed and re-imagined Four Point Approach, as well as helping the Center reach new communities with this refreshed framework. Overseeing the Field Services team, Matt also leads the Center's efforts to expand technical service offerings, and offer preservation-based economic revitalization services directly to communities.
Before joining the Center in September 2015, Matt served as President of SC Johnson’s Redevelopment Corporation in Racine, Wis. Previous to SCJ, Matt led the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation at Gateway Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he also served as UW-Parkside’s Director for the Small Business Development Center and Director of the Solutions for Economic Growth Center. Prior to this, Matt served as Executive Director of the Downtown Racine Corporation. Notably, Matt worked as “Road Warrior” for the National Main Street Center between 1995 and 1998. From 1991 to 1995, he led the Sheboygan Falls Main Street as Director, during which time Sheboygan Falls was chosen as an inaugural Great American Main Street Award winner. Matt received his Ph.D. in Urban Affairs with a specialization in Urban Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a Fulbright Scholar Specialist, recently completing work in the area of entrepreneurship and economic development at the University of Hyderabad, India. In addition, Matt has presented internationally in areas of economic development and community revitalization, including recent work for the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, the National Trust in Australia and Canada, as well as the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.
Main Street is a proven strategy for revitalization.