The community of Beatrice, Nebraska had been struggling with negative perceptions and apathy due to economic setbacks in recent decades. Community leaders needed to take action to push back the perception of negativity and defeatism.
In 2015, they came together and developed a plan to help facilitate change. By 2018, Beatrice was named the #1 micropolitan community in Nebraska—#14 nationally—for large scale (mostly manufacturing) economic development projects by Site Selection Magazine. Now, post-COVID Beatrice is working to gain back the momentum they had been building.
In this webinar, Michael Sothan, the Executive Director of Main Street Beatrice, will share the journey of changing the perception of Beatrice and six lessons learned along the way.
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About the Presenter
Michael Sothan is the Executive Director of Main Street Beatrice in Beatrice Nebraska (pop 12,300). He has been with Main Street Beatrice since 2013 and has been a part of Downtown Beatrice’s efforts to become listed on the National Register of Historic Places, undertake façade improvement programs, and regularly guides downtown improvements, events, and economic development efforts.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He resides in Steele City, NE (population 60) where he and his wife Megan have purchased an 1890’s grocery store with plans for its rehabilitation. Michael enjoys living history interpretation and the outdoors when not working on community development efforts.