Annual Summit 2018

Thursday October 11,  8:30a-5p

Cross Insurance Center, Bangor

The Power Of Localism: Tapping Into a Maine Tradition

2018 GrowSmart Maine Summit & Annual Meeting

Maine’s premier smart growth conference offers inspiration, resources and networking opportunities and this year we’ve created a program coupling national leaders with Maine successes, gubernatorial candidates and Maine’s first Smart Growth Awards.  Plenary and breakout sessions addressing Maine’s rural economy are followed by Bangor Experience tours and workshops throughout our host city. Light breakfast, lunch and reception food & drink included.

Register Online »


Featured Presenters

Bruce Katz, co-author of ‘The New Localism

The New Localism defined in urban settings is readily translated to Maine’s small communities in rural regions. We Mainers recognize this pragmatic approach as our heritage. And today we are adapting our rural towns to changing conditions in our population, economy and climate to retain those attributes that define hometowns while creating economic opportunities.

Jase Wilson, CEO & Founder, Neighborly 

Neighborly is a San Francisco-based fintech startup modernizing access to public finance – the billion dollar per day market that funds vital public projects like schools, parks, and next-generation infrastructure like municipal broadband and community solar.

Breakout Sessions

Three concurrent interactive sessions exploring diverse expressions of localism around Maine

1. Reinventing Rural Maine: Katahdin’s Local Sparks Ignite

In the Katahdin Region, and elsewhere in rural Maine hit hard by the transition of natural resource economies, there is the promise of change starting with small steps. Such small wins make space for larger work, creative collaborations and pathways for dedicated individuals to make a big impact on a local level. Our Katahdin’s passionate, volunteer board of directors consisting of six alumni from the region are looking to innovate on traditional economic models and create a model for rural development. Hear the inspirational success story of hometown community revitalization and how a handful of volunteers are redeveloping a 1,400 acre mill site.

  • Mike Faloon, Board President, Our Katahdin & Chief Strategy Officer, Neighborly
  • Lucy Van Hook, Director of Community Development, Our Kathadin
  • Additional presenters from the region TBA

2. First & Main: How to Leverage Your Local Story to Unlock Federal Funding

There has been a seismic shift in successful economic development strategies, hinging on the creation of a sense of place. Boomers, millennials and job creators are looking for thriving downtowns in connected places. Get an update on how federal funding impacts community revitalization and how to utilize your story to advocate for your community and secure federal dollars to support local revitalization.

3. Staying Warm: Community-Based Solutions for Statewide Energy Efficiency Challenges

With a rural and remote population, some of the oldest homes and buildings in the nation and a cold winter season, Maine demands creative approaches to closing the rural energy efficiency gap and keeping Mainers warm and healthy. A panel of local practitioners from across Maine will share their experiences bringing creative energy efficiency initiatives to their communities. Learn about tools, resources, programs and approaches that you can bring back to your community.

  • Brooks Winner, Community Development Officer, Island Institute
  • Additional Presenters TBA

Lunch in the Ballroom

Bangor Experience Sessions

Five concurrent immersive experiences: walking tours, trolley tour, facility tour and panel discussion highlighting initiatives in Bangor

  1. Bangor’s Waterfront: Public Private Economic Development Success Story 30 Years in the Making
  2. Downtown Bangor: Momentum and Growth through the Creative Economy
  3. Using Your Assets: Bangor International Airport as a Hub of Industry, Trade & Transportation Logistics
  4. Economic Development 2.0: Sparking the Innovation & Entrepreneurial Economy + R&D
  5. Career & Technical Education: Customized Training for Maine’s Next Economy

Smart Growth Awards Ceremony

Celebrate our six award winners including projects, plans and people, and learn who will take home the first Maine Smart Growth Awards.

Gubernatorial Candidate Q&A

Hear from candidates about their positions on community and land use issues that you care about. Bring your questions – there will be a moderated audience discussion and we want to hear from you.


Retire to the Atrium of the Cross Center to network with candidates, award recipients, presenters and attendees while enjoying refreshments.


  • $60 GrowSmart Maine Member
  • $75 General Public
  • $30 Current Student

Register Online »


GrowSmart Maine has a discounted block of rooms at the nearby Residence Inn and Hollywood Casino Hotel for Wednesday October 10th & Thursday October 11th.

Join the event & invite your friends on Facebook!