Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, has been named the keynote speaker for the second day of the 2019 Main Street Initiative Summit set for Oct. 29-31 at the Bismarck Event Center.

Adams will discuss the intersection of community health and economic prosperity. The day also will feature a health care track agenda with sessions on behavioral health, blue zones, rural health care challenges, food access and health in all policies.

“We’re thrilled and grateful to have Dr. Adams join us as a guest of honor at this year’s summit. His expertise and insight will be a great addition as we discuss what it takes to create healthy, vibrant communities – one of the three pillars of the Main Street Initiative,” Gov. Doug Burgum said of the three-day interactive summit. “The summit’s health care track also will address the boundless opportunities available to improve the health and quality of life for all North Dakotans.”

As surgeon general, Adams holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, overseeing about 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world.

The Main Street ND Summit will bring together local and national community development experts and advocates to share best practices and inspire community leaders, entrepreneurs and students in envisioning North Dakota’s future.

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“This summit will provide attendees with access to best practices, resources and networking opportunities, empowering them to immediately apply what they have learned to further local initiatives that will help their communities thrive,” Burgum said.

The event will serve as a forum for information on the community planning principles behind the three pillars of the governor’s Main Street Initiative: a skilled workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure and healthy, vibrant communities. The goal is to help North Dakota compete in a 21st century economy in which rapid technological advancement is changing every job, industry and organization.

If you go

Other featured speakers include:

  • Gil Penalosa is the founder and chair of the Canadian nonprofit organization 8 80 Cities and chair of World Urban Parks. Last year, Penalosa was listed in Planetizen’s Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists and recently received in Australia the World Urban Parks Annual Distinguished Individual Award.

  • Christopher Zimmerman is vice president for economic development for Smart Growth America and director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. An economist by training, Zimmerman leads SGA’s Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance program and oversees the downtown revitalization program, which provides training and technical assistance to local officials.

  • Jana Lynott is senior strategic policy adviser for Livable Communities/Transportation with AARP’s Public Policy Institute. She recently completed a series of papers titled, “The Future of Transportation: The Opportunity (and Potential Pitfall) of Disruptive Technologies.”

  • Adam Vauthier is executive director at Anaconda (Mont.) Local Development Corp. Vauthier also served as the ALDC’s board chair, is a founding member of the Anaconda Trail Society and is a former member of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge Planning Board. He’s also been at the helm of Accelerate Anaconda, a community-development offshoot of the ALDC.

  • Jaixai Reineke is a freshman at Brookings High School in South Dakota. Reineke has been actively working to share the importance of, and have, the voices of youth heard in her community. Reineke organized and hosted the first youth-organized TEDx youth event in the history of South Dakota. Her topic will address cultivating young pioneers in the region.

  • Kim Huston is author of “Small Town Sexy,” a book about the allure of living in small town America. Huston enjoys speaking about her love affair with her not-so-big city lifestyle in her hometown of Bardstown, Ky., population around 14,000. She has gained national recognition with her book, which discusses the seductive charm and appeal so many small towns have today.

Registration for the 2019 Main Street Summit is open. Sponsorship opportunities and marketplace booth space are available. Visit for more information.