I.V. team attends the ‘Regards to Rural’ Conference

Six Illinois Valley professionals from five different organizations attended the 2024 Regards to Rural conference April 18-21 in Kennewick, Wash. hosted by the Rural Development Initiatives.
Regards to Rural is a unique opportunity for community members and leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond to come together to discuss rural priorities, explore innovative economic models, obtain tools to make change in communities and inspire action to help pave the way to rural vitality.
The I.V. attendees included: Energy Trust of Oregon Senior Community Strategies Manager Karen Chase, I.V. Living Solutions Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Connie Dillinger, I.V. Wellness Resources Programs Director Laura Mancuso, I.V. Community Development Organization Communications & Outreach Manager Anna Wiley, IVCanDo Project Manager Joy Lark and Main Street Cave Junction President Amy Lusson.
“Networking with other grantors and connecting with other rural communities was a plus. This is my second time being invited to participate in Rural to Rural (RDI conference),” said Dillinger.
The conference was packed full of meaningful sessions and workshops such as Building Resilience and Vitality in your Community, Ready, Set, Grant!; Rural Funder Panel, Paving Pathways to Public Participation; and so much more!
“From attending ‘Regards to Rural,’ I gained a lot of practical knowledge and tangible ideas to encourage community engagement in the I.V., reminding me that together, we can truly cultivate vibrant and resilient rural communities,” wrote Wiley in a follow-up email to the Illinois Valley News.
There was also a Partners Gallery that held tables with information from organizations that support rural communities such as Energy Trust, Oregon State University Extension and Engagement, The Ford Family Foundation and Pacific Power, just to name a few.
IVCanDO and Energy Trust of Oregon are partnering together to help residents of the Illinois Valley save on their energy bill. Through this partnership, Lark from IVCanDO now offers free home energy assessments for qualifying customers of Pacific Power and Avista, with the potential to receive incentives for energy efficient upgrades.
“Speaking at a workshop and attending the Regards to Rural conference was great for my programs because it showed that building partnerships within and extending to other communities makes you so much stronger. I was able to connect with many others who have experienced the struggles that we face in our own rural community and get new perspectives on ways to tackle them,” explained Lark. You can go to https://www.ivcdo.org for information.
If you would like more information about Rural Development Initiatives, visit https://www.rdiinc.org.