Thursday, September 29, 2022
8:00 am - 1:00 pm

CMSC Headquarters
410 Sheldon Street - Eversource Building
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
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Do you want better working relationships with your downtown’s business and property owners, or with your town’s municipal departments?

As a Main Street leader, you bring together a multitude of stakeholders to create and implement plans that make your Main Street vibrant for all.

And in a perfect world, those stakeholders would come together seamlessly.

But that’s not reality, is it?

Whether it’s challenging personalities, troubling historical context, personal agendas, absenteeism and apathy, or lack of understanding about the vision for Main Street, you can sometimes be held back by the very stakeholders you’re trying to serve!

If this predicament sounds familiar, you’re going to love our new training! CMSC has teamed up with The Empowered Block to bring you a customized workshop tailored specifically for Main Street professionals to improve their working relationships and overcome challenges with business owners, property owners, municipal departments, and other downtown stakeholders.

An expert in urban planning, affordable housing, community engagement, and economic development, Raquel Vazquez, CEO and founder of The Empowered Block, will lead an immersive half-day training including dynamic discussion and group exercises. Through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the training will cover:

Observe & Understand 

This event is approved for 4 AICP credits for certified planners

  • Stakeholder Inventory: Review each stakeholder in the local economic development ecosystem, their role, and their priorities.
  • Stakeholder Perspectives: Understand each stakeholder’s unique perspective, delving into their roles and how their priorities and concerns are shaped.

Engage & Implement

  • Engagement Strategies: Learn different types of engagement strategies to employ when interacting with stakeholders and when to use them.
  • Inclusive Engagement: Study how the past impacts present day neighborhood and commercial corridor contexts. Understand the importance of inclusively engaging stakeholders for greater benefits for all.
  • Build Collaborative Teams: Best practices for building trust, consensus, and managing difficult conversations.

Grow & Adapt

  • Local Contexts in Connecticut: How COVID and other macro-economic factors are affecting stakeholders and its impact for engagement.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Best Practices: Bring everything together to review the techniques and strategies for reaching your engagement goals.




8am – 9am: Registration and breakfast

9am – 1pm: Training led by Raquel Vazquez of The Empowered Block

Located at CMSC’s Hartford Offices — Entrance to free parking at 110 Charter Oak Avenue. Follow the signs up the stairs to enter 410 Sheldon Street.


Registration Information — Registration opens 6/15/22

Registration includes breakfast, free parking, 4-hour training led by experienced community development professional, and printed take-away resources.

  • CMSC Member: $75
    • Early bird (deadline August 1): $50
  • Non-Member: $100
    • Early bird (deadline August 1): $75

There is limited capacity for this event — Click Here to Register Now

Deadline to register is September 15, 2022.


About the Trainer

Raquel A. Vazquez, Founder & CEO, The Empowered Block

Raquel is Founder & CEO of The Empowered Block LLC. For over 12 years, Raquel has spent her career in community development work, ranging from constituent services, community outreach, policy analysis, and affordable housing development in New York City and Washington, DC.

She has dedicated her career to advance equity, foster investment, and strengthen public-private partnerships in underserved communities.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Raquel is proud to be a Black & Latina community development professional. Raquel has a Master’s in Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Finance, and a double Bachelor’s in Sociology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies.