You can shape the future of your small town

Becky McCray and Deb Brown lead a walk through of downtown Faulkton, South Dakota, for rural leaders from across the state.

My colleague Deb Brown and I give you the practical steps you can implement today, through our embedded community experience.

The success or failure of your town doesn’t happen on its own. You don’t have to be someone special or a born leader to change things. You are not alone in caring about the future of your small town, and you’re not alone in facing opposition.

When you bring Deb or me in to your town, you won’t be alone. We’ll work together on the common sense steps to your most pressing issues. We’ll find the right actions to address the obstinacy and stubborn pessimism.

Becky McCray leads a group of regional leaders through downtown Kendrick, Idaho

Becky McCray leads a group of 30 regional leaders in imagining new uses for spaces in downtown Kendrick, Idaho (pop 300)

We’ll walk through your downtown and look for possibilities. We’ll brainstorm specific steps you can take to improve things. Deb or I will give you an outside viewpoint. You drive past this stuff every day. There are things you don’t see anymore. We’re new; we will see them. There are other things that stick out because they bother you, because you know how they got that way. We can give you an honest assessment of whether they are worth being bothered about. We will not give one-size-fits-all advice. Our suggestions are based on what we see right there in your community.

It’s not about gathering ideas or building consensus. It’s about unleashing people to take action.

Next, you and a small group of people in your community join one of us in a discussion. We all pull our chairs up together. We get on the same side of the problem, and we all work together on practical actions you can implement now. Our impartial approach helps us ask just the right question or see the overlooked potential in your town.

Based on your specific needs, we’ll custom tailor a program, a roundtable discussion, a guided brainstorming session, or a cooperation-building program. To gather more support and awareness, you can add a traditional one-hour public presentation.

You’ll get down to earth insights that everyone can put into practice that day. Of course you’ll still have opposition in your town. We’ll talk about what steps you can take without their help and to start changing their attitudes. Everyone who participates will look at their business or organization in a different light and know what steps they can take.

Becky McCray leads local leaders from the town and university in a tour of the positives and negatives of downtown Pullman, WA (pop 33,000)

How does our downtown fit into our community’s lifestyle? What do our downtown merchants offer specifically for locals? With Becky’s questioning, prodding, and guidance, our merchants association board was able to “see the light.” During our brainstorming session with Becky the board came up with solid answers to those two questions and also began to put together a long term and short term “local” marketing plan. Becky is an expert in drawing out answers, helping board and community members see their area in a new light, and getting results. What we achieved in a few hours was much more than had been achieved in years of monthly board meetings.

Leslie McLellan, event organizer, marketing consultant, Lake Arrowhead Village Merchants Association, California

Next steps…

To open the conversation, stop by the Contact page and tell me about what would work best for you.

Next… get a feel for my style on the Videos page.

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