Topics: Administrative, Building Better Communities

September 30, 2014

Ball State University will host the 2014 Primacy of Place Conference (PoPCON) Oct. 16 in Indianapolis bringing together business and civic leaders from across the state to explore the art of developing, attracting and retaining talent through quality of place initiatives.

The conference is sponsored by Building Better Communities, the outreach and engagement division at Ball State, and will be held at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre, 31 W. Ohio St.

The conference will provide a central point where communities can share their experiences and learn from one another, said Dick Heupel, director of community and economic development at Ball State.

“The prosperity of our state depends on the successes of individual communities in areas such as education, wellness, arts integration, civic engagement, readiness for change, governance and design,” he said. “Attention to quality of life is essential for attracting talent, which in turn attracts businesses and strengthens economies.”

The conference features keynote presentations by Aaron Renn, an opinion-leading urban affairs analyst and entrepreneur; Ed Burghard, creator of the Strengthening Brand America Project, which helps economic development professionals use product and corporate branding concepts to market communities for capital investment; and Mike Langellier, president and chief executive officer of TechPoint, Indiana’s statewide technology initiative.

Best practices in topics such as use of social media to generate community buzz, integration of public art, street accessibility and safety, and available community development resources will be discussed in breakout sessions with state leaders from the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Office of Tourism Development, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Humanities and Indiana Arts Commission.

Also participating in the sessions will be Ball State faculty members James Connolly, director of the Center for Middletown Studies and George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of History; Michael Burayidi, an urban planning professor; Robert Koester, director of the Center for Energy, Research, Education and Service (CERES) and architecture professor; and Jane Ellery, associate director of the Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology and wellness professor.

The agenda also includes presentations by Primacy of Place Community Award winners from Walkertown, Columbus, Rushville, Jeffersonville, Madison/Tipton counties and Greater Lafayette.

To receive more information and to register for the conference, call Krista Flynn at 765-285-5679 or visit