Building Healthy Communities: Community Development Financing Strategies (Regional Invest Health Conference Support)

In June, I had the opportunity to partner with the Peoria and Bloomington Invest Health teams for three purposes:

  1. Event Planning for a regional community development conference
  2. Facilitation of a joint strategic planning session, and
  3. Writing a follow up report detailing those two events.

The two-day event was held at the Gateway Building in Peoria, IL, and was attended by almost 100 leaders from around the region. Speakers for Day 1 came from around IL, IA, MO and TN and focused on how anchor institutions can advance community development and economic revitalization, as well as capital stacking and financing mechanisms for related efforts. On Day 2, the Invest Health teams engaged in a strategic planning session, which I facilitated, based on the prior days’ learning, and identified next steps for both the Bloomington and Peoria areas.

100 Central Illinois leaders attended

During the planning process, I created a series of documents to support the conference, which were stuffed into packets for all of the guests at the event.


Peoria’s Riverfront “Gateway” Building
Peoria’s historic Mark Twain Hotel, my basecamp
Several local media outlets covered the event

After the conclusion of the two-day event, I compiled all of the notes from the planning session, along with all of the conference materials, into a final comprehensive report for both teams. The report will be used to comply with their grant reporting requirements, to guide next steps, and to inform local decision makers about the work of each team (among other possible uses). Serving these teams for this event was such an honor, and this project represents the 3rd time I’ve engaged as a consultant with the Invest Health project on a national or local level. It’s truly been a rewarding experience, and I wholeheartedly support their mission. I’m excited to see what they accomplish in the future!