Innovative Economies
Track E: Cluster Focus
Funding Tech Ecosystems & Community Infrastructure

Emily is a Branding Specialist and Growth Strategist equipping individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and communities to do BIG things.
Having spent the past 15+ years working in small business support and community development, Emily has been fortunate enough to have experienced this space from both the entrepreneurial approach and the resource provider perspective. Presently, Emily is the President of Small Town Ventures and the Co-Director of Innovative Economies. She has been working with programs such as the SBA funded ScaleUp WNC program, the new Certified Entrepreneurial Communities Program through Creative Economic Development Consulting, and is the host of the Show Me the Money Conference,  Mompreneur Gathering and Authentic Communities Summit.

Emily is a certified trainer in the REAL Entrepreneurship (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) Curriculum and serves as Board Treasurer for The Sequoyah Fund, the Community Development Financial Institution for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She also is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, providing support in marketing and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development. Emily has been a trainer for the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College since 2013, teaching workshops on Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Marketing.

Prior to her current entrepreneurial ventures, Emily served as the Director of the Certified Entrepreneurial Communities® Program with the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Marketing Professor at Southwestern Community College, and the Founder of the Center for New Mountain Business. Emily is passionate about working one-on-one with rural communities and entrepreneurs to develop strategies for collaborative progress and then catalyzing those initiatives with authenticity, innovation and a deep respect for cultural values.