Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance


Louisiana Rural Prosperity Summit

admin | 30th January, 2020
Posted In , , , , , , | 0 Comment

Two Days of Focus on the Special Challenges/Opportunities Facing Rural Louisiana

About this Event
Join us for two days of national experts, inspiring stories, and breakthrough rural solutions. This summit will provide insights as to why rural economic development is different and provide ideas, inspiration, and proven solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by rural communities throughout Louisiana.

The goal of these two days is to create an environment where leaders, elected officials, entrepreneurs, and passionate citizens can learn, discuss, and develop strategies to bring back to their communities.


The summit will feature several respected national, state, and local presenters who will lead you through both strategic and tactical ways to impact your local rural community. Including:

Ines Polonius – CEO of Communities Unlimited
Tance Hughes – CEO of Southern Designs
Plus several more to be announced soon

Ines Polonius is CEO of Communities Unlimited, Inc., a CDFI and community economic development organization in the rural South. Communities Unlimited (CU)’s team of 64 full time professionals works side-by-side with local leaders to create fair access to resources needed to sustain healthy communities, healthy businesses, and healthy families. CU resides in the solutions space, providing direct assistance and capital to community leadership teams, micro-enterprises, small businesses as well as water and waste water systems in persistently poor rural places across Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee.

In 1998, Ines founded alt.Consulting, dedicated to starting, growing, transitioning and turning around micro-enterprises and small businesses in the rural Arkansas Delta until a successful merger with Community Resource Group in 2014 formed Communities Unlimited, Inc. Ines earned an MBA and an MA in Economics from Boston University and received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Today, Ines serves on the board of directors of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). She is a 2017 BALLE Fellow, a current RWJF Interdisciplinary Research Leader, an active member of the Partners for Rural Transformation and the national WealthWorks network.

Please visit us at www.CommunitiesU.org

Tance Hughes is an entrepreneur based in Vidalia, Louisiana. His company, Southern Designs, was started when he was 17 years old. His team has grown the company to over $5 million in revenue in 2018 and was named to the Inc. 5000 for 3 consecutive years! His company was the 7th fastest growing company in Louisiana in 2018, in a town of only 4,299 residents. Tance was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 as well.

Who can attend?

The summit is open to everyone interested in improving the rural communities throughout Louisiana.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, please reach out to info sdouglas@cenla.org. If you’re eligible you’ll receive a coupon code for a discounted ticket.

I’m from out of town, where do you recommend staying?

Holiday Inn Alexandria – Downtown (Host Hotel) 

The Historic Hotel Bentley of Alexandria

More Options


Are meals included with the price of the ticket?

Included meals are: Wednesday [Lunch] + Thursday [Continental breakfast] + Thursday [Lunch].

Is seating reserved? How can I make sure I sit next to my colleagues/friends?

Seating for morning and afternoon sessions will be on a first come, first serve basis as the doors open. Sponsors and CLEDA Board Members will have assigned seating for the lunch sessions on both days. Sponsorships are available beginning at $1500 and include a reserved table for the lunch sessions  and 8 tickets to the event. If you are interested in a sponsorship, please contact Stacey Douglas at sdouglas@cenla.org or 318-441-3404.


Connected and Hosted by the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance