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Resolving Conflict on Main Street: The Art of Effective Communication

Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM (EDT)

Resolving Conflict on Main Street: The Art of...

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Note: While registering online, provide three questions/ situations you need to resolve in your work. See session five for more information on the group exercise.
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Event Details

Learn how to improve your communication and reduce conflict – while producing better results for your community and strengthening your relationships with stakeholders.

Downtown and corridor development is a complex undertaking that touches and connects diverse groups of stakeholders from across
your community. With so many people involved, communications can get bumpy. This workshop will help you improve your communication skills and provide ways to manage difficult situations and personalities. Avoid the pitfalls that can hinder your community’s progress.

Hear tips and best practices to strengthen communication with staff, board members, local leaders and volunteers. Gain communication approaches to help you improve your downtown or historic commercial corridor.

Participate in discussions on how best to build a plan that effectively communicates your vision, goals, strategies and value to the broader public. Expand your circle of partners, funders, volunteers, businesses and supporters.

Who Should Attend

• Main Street, Downtown Development Authority and Non-Profit Organization Leaders, Staff, Boards and Volunteers

• City, Village and Township Elected and Appointed Officials, Boards and Staff



8:30 a.m.
Sign In and Light Breakfast

Welcome and Introductions

Session One: Focusing Your Internal Communications to Build Downtown Advocates
Cristina Sheppard Decius, CMSM, owner, POW! Strategies, Inc., and executive director, Downtown Dearborn
Focusing a downtown’s communications strategy on its internal stakeholders is one of the strongest ways to build supporters and advocates for your downtown — while spreading the good word. During this quick tutorial, you will learn how to build your own internal communications strategy using best practices. You will hear perspectives from a panel of key internal stakeholders. This session focuses on the significant role that city officials, staff and administration; and DDA/Main Street board members, staff and volunteers all play in moving downtowns forward.


Session Two: A Tale of Two Projects—Lessons Learned in Meaningful Community Engagement
Jordan Twardy, director, Community & Economic Development, city of Ferndale
Kara Sokol, director, Communications, city of Ferndale
Sharing their experience with two major project opportunities in recent Ferndale history, the speakers reveal lessons learned and best practices that have worked for their community to achieve better development outcomes and build stronger relationships with their community. Topics covered include methods of outreach, addressing resistance and identifying and resolving community concerns.

Lunch on your own to experience downtown Pontiac’s eateries

1:15 p.m.
Session Three: Strategies for How to Properly Manage Meetings
Kathleen Bertolini, analyst II, Human Resources, Oakland County
Jason M. Deneau,
analyst II, Human Resources, Oakland County
Having difficulty managing meetings? Learn how to manage them more effectively with strategies for working with argumentative, disruptive or negative participants; regaining balance; and keeping up momentum for more effective and productive meetings


Session Four: Strategies for How to Properly Manage Different Personalities
Kathleen Bertolini and Jason M. Deneau
Learn how to manage the different personalities in your downtown — while maintaining your relationships in order to effectively do your job as a DDA director/Main Street manager. You can acquire the skills needed to help you navigate the different opinions and ideas while building consensus and partnerships with vested stakeholders in the unique environment of a downtown.

Session Five: A Real-World Group Exercise
Kathleen Bertolini and Jason M. Deneau
This session is a group exercise working through real-world communication issues. The topics will come from you. During your online registration or at check-in, you will submit three questions or situations you are facing at work. These could involve any of your stakeholders (e.g., board members, residents, clients, etc.). Provide something relevant to you to be discussed with the group.


4:15 p.m.
Networking option at Exfermintation: 7 N. Saginaw Street, Pontiac

Event Brochure

Questions? Contact Annaka Norris, | (248) 858-5447

Have questions about Resolving Conflict on Main Street: The Art of Effective Communication? Contact Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs

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When & Where

The Treasury
30 N. Saginaw Street
Pontiac, MI 48342

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM (EDT)

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Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs

Oakland County is the economic center for the state of Michigan. We provide leading-edge services and programs that help the county continue to make the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. These initiatives spearhead a positive business environment and maintain job growth and a high quality of life for our citizens.

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