UACES Facebook Community development conference to feature Iowa Great Places director
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Community development conference to feature Iowa Great Places director

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
April 9, 2018

Fast Facts:

  • Breakthrough Solutions Conference scheduled for June 7; pre-conference workshop scheduled June 6
  • Understanding how to create great places and take advantage of opportunities in your community or region is critical in a fast-moving 21st century economy
  • Conference and pre-conference workshops will discuss tools communities need to succeed 

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LITTLE ROCK – Liesl Voges, Community Development Manager at the Iowa Arts Council and director of the Iowa Great Places Program, will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Breakthrough Solutions Conference, scheduled for June 7 at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service headquarters in Little Rock.


The annual conference, which focuses of community and economic development, will offer community leaders the opportunity to hear about the latest approaches to finding solutions to problems that impede advancement.

Voges will speak on the topic of “Great Places Create Great Opportunities.” 

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

The theme of the conference is “Strengthening the Opportunity Pipeline in Your Community / Region.”   

Mark Peterson, Professor of Community and Economic Development with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that 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,” Peterson said. “We are delighted that Ms. Voges will be coming to share insights and lessons from the Iowa Great Places program. 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.” 

To learn about the Breakthrough Solutions Conference visit, or contact Casey Hill with any questions at or by phone at 501-671-2072. 


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120