Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities

Beatrice 2019 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference

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2018 CEC Conference Attendees

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When: Wednesday and Thursday, April 24th and 25th, 2019
Where: Vintage Venue, 620 Court St, Beatrice, NE 68310

Nebraska Extension's Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference is a premier conference for those interested in building entrepreneurial communities throughout Nebraska and beyond.

Join other like-minded communities as we learn programs and resources, share best practices and ideas, empower ourselves and others to assist entrepreneurs and grow our local communities at the annual Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference.

Throughout this conference, you will have a chance to hear from economic and community development professionals from across the state and country. Thirty break-out sessions across six tracks will be held in downtown Beatrice venues—all within walking distance.

This year's tracks include: 

  • Creating a Vibrant Downtown
  • Placemaking
  • Diversifying the Economy
  • Collaborative Development
  • Community Investment and Civic Engagement
  • Groundwork for Change

The conference runs “Noon–to–Noon” allowing participants to travel to and from the conference at reasonable hours.

2019 Conference Sponsors

2019 CEC Conference Sponsors

Registration Types

TWO DAY — Two-day registrations are $80 per person.

ONE DAY — One-day registrations are $40 per person.

STUDENT — Student registration is $40 per student.

MULTIPLE COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES — Communities are encouraged to send multiple representatives to maximize learning and networking! When communities bring several participants, they have greater leverage to implement some or all of the strategies they learn at the conference. For communities or community groups sending 3 or more attendees, a $20 discount will apply for each person.

We highly encourage residents to work with a community or county based organization (e.g. volunteer organizations, Chambers, Economic Development agencies, etc.) to recruit community members and focus community registration. Attendees living in communities without these organizations can still apply; we simply ask that one person act as the focal point for the group.

For more information on registering students or community members under the multi-attendee discount, please contact Jason Weigle (, 402.768.7212).

Hotel Information

We have a variety of hotel options available for April 24th. Reservations should be made directly with the hotel using the block name: "CEC Beatrice Conference".

Capri Inn & Suites, 402.228.8808
3721 N 6th St, Beatrice, NE 68310
$59.99/night pre-tax; breakfast included
No cutoff date for reservations

Holiday Inn & Suites, 402.228.7000
4005 North S 6th St, Beatrice, NE 68310
$119.00/night pre-tax; breakfast included
Cutoff date for reservations: April 3

Victorian Inn, 402.228.5955
1903 N 6th St, Beatrice, NE 68310
$89.00/night pre-tax; breakfast included
No cutoff date for reservations

More Info

For more information about the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference, contact a CEC team member:

Jason Weigle
Team Co-lead
Marilyn Schlake
Team Co-lead & Beatrice Liaison
Sandra Barrera
Ben Dutton
Jessica Jones
Kurt Mantonya
Jacie Milius
Charlotte Narjes
Rex Nelson
Becky Vogt
The Beatrice Team
Angie Bruna
Beatrice Chamber of Commerce
Erin Chadwick
Michael Sothan
Mainstreet Beatrice

Schedule at a Glance

Click for Full Conference Details

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
  • 10:30-11:45am - Registration and Lunch
  • 11:45am-12:45pm - Welcome & Keynote Speaker - Dell Gines, Kansas City Federal Reserve
  • 1:30-2:30pm - Breakout Session I
  • 3:00-4:00pm - Breakout Session II
  • 4:30-5:30pm - Breakout Session III
  • 6:00pm - Networking Reception at Homestead National Monument
Thursday, April 25, 2019
  • Breakfast on your own
  • 8:30-9:00am - Keynote: Beatrice Collaboration with Angie Bruna, Erin Chadwick, and Michael Sothan
  • 9:15-10:15am - Breakout Session IV
  • 10:45-11:45am - Breakout Session V
  • 12:00-12:45pm – Capstone Speaker - David Weaver, Orton Foundation
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