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Great Places Director to Address Breakthrough Solutions Conference in June

by Mark Peterson - April 3, 2018

"Great places are communities that take action through a strong vision for innovation, collaborative partnerships, and a desire to enhance vitality and quality of life, while staying true to what makes them unique,” said Liesl Voges, Community Development Manager at the Iowa Arts Council and director of the Iowa Great Places Program.

“It is these communities who will prosper in the 21st century because they cultivate and develop their unique and authentic assets," she said.

As keynote speaker for the 2018 Breakthrough Solutions Conference to be held on June 7, Voges will be speaking on the topic: “Great Places Create Great Opportunities.” The Iowa Great Places Program is a nationally known program with the purpose of nurturing and recognizing communities as great places throughout the state of Iowa.

The theme of the conference is “Strengthening the Opportunity Pipeline in Your Community / Region”, so learning about the Iowa Great Places initiative will be a valuable contribution to the conference participants. In the 21st century economy, quality of place is a major economic driver that impacts jobs, tourism, housing, and all aspects of a community.

“We are delighted that Ms. Voges will be coming to share insights and lessons from the Iowa Great Places program,” said Mark Peterson, Professor of Community and Economic Development. “Arkansas communities strive to become great places to live, work, and play, so we look forward to hearing what they have learned as they seek to do the same thing. In addition, our partners will be addressing several other important issues as well.”

The conference will take place at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension headquarters in Little Rock on June 7, with a pre-conference workshop on June 6 focusing on Turn-Around Communities – How did they do it and how can you do it. More information on these events will soon be available at

Liesl Voges Director of Iowa Great Places Program and Keynote Speaker for June 7 Breakthrough Solutions Conference