Our focus this year is on the rural economy and the power of local action," said GrowSmart Maine Executive Director Nancy Smith. "Bangor was just the perfect place to bring this summit and this program.
The event focused on adapting rural areas to the changing economy and population. One of the featured presenters included Bruce Katz, an author who worked on a report in 2006 that helped predict Maine's future growth.
There's been a lot of redevelopment in a very short period of time in a lot of Maine cities and towns," said Katz. "I think it's a level of optimism and positive energy that you can build on now."
The summit attracts leaders from across the state to share experiences and connect with each other. Visitors come from different backgrounds, but are all heavily engaged in their own communities.
"You really get to see a great cross section of the people across Maine who are doing amazing things," said Smith.
Jase Wilson, the CEO and Founder of the tech startup Neighborly was another featured presenter on Thursday. The program also included workshops highlighting economic development and revitalization.
"It's great to have an event where people talk or learn for a day, but the goal really is that those connections continue on and that the conversations that began here have an impact in communities across the state," said Smith.