Faces of Innovate Live

also by Sharanya Rao

Still recovering from the exciting weekend of Innovate Live? Want to relive the experience of meeting new people working on amazing projects? Here’s a few of the awesome attendees from the weekend and what they were up to:

Cathy Stripling

Pulaski, Virginia

Cathy is working on a downtown development project in Pulaski called West Main Development LLC. She explained that Pulaski is smaller than Staunton, but a similar historic town. It’s a factory town, but it has been declining. She is renovating two downtown buildings.

Why did she attend Innovate Live? Cathy wanted to learn more about how people are building vibrant communities. The greater area around Pulaski is doing pretty well, so there’s no reason why the city itself should not. She wanted to learn about what made modern downtowns thrive.

Lynnae Saur

Staunton, Virginia

Lynnae is a Mary Baldwin student who wanted to check out what was going on in the valley. She had been working with the Staunton Creative Community fund to follow up on local food businesses.

Why did she attend Innovate Live? Lynnae wanted to learn more about how people are being innovative in small businesses here in Staunton

Christine Cain

Staunton, Virginia

Christine runs the Staunton Creative Community Fund, which was one of the event organizers. Several people from the organization got together a year ago with the plan of doing more for Staunton. The Staunton Economic Directors even helped out!

Why did she attend Innovate Live? Christine wanted people to take away the idea that innovation and creativity can happen anywhere. She believes that Staunton is a great example of this idea – it’s a small city with a lot of innovation.

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Pat Jarrett

Staunton, VA

Pat presented at Innovate Live! on the Micropolitan Manifesto Forum. He kicked things off and talked about what it means to innovate in a small town.

Why did he attend Innovate Live? Pat wanted to meet people he still had not met – Staunton is a small town, with relatively small circles. He thought it would be cool to meet new people and make connections.

Karen Lawrence

Staunton, VA

Karen has a business where she works on marketing and social media. She had worked with Meghan on the original idea of Innovate Live! She helped with organizing Bridge Day and has been active in other community service.

Why did she attend Innovate Live? Karen wanted to form new connections and learn new information.

Wendy Gray (right in picture)

Staunton, VA

Wendy Gray works for Polyface Farms, which was featured on a tour during the weekend. She wanted to learn more about Project Grows and how she can help, along with more ideas about what’s going on in the area.

Corrie and Lex Park (left and middle in picture)

Originally from Norfolk, VA, but currently living in Staunton.

Corrie runs the downtown Staunton small business Made. She and Lex attended Innovate Live! in order to network and learn what kinds of businesses, personalities, and ideas represent the event.

Erik Curren

Staunton, VA

Erik is a member of the Staunton City Council. He came out to support the Staunton Creative Community Fund. Erik also wanted to learn what kinds of people attended Innovate Live, and what sort of ideas they had.

Clearly, Innovate Live! featured many local individuals – all but one of those we interviewed were from Staunton, VA. This fact attests to the awesome creative and innovative spirit found throughout this town. Meeting new people at Innovate Live! was definitely one of the most fun and valuable aspects of the weekend, so we hope you met a few new faces from reading this post!

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