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`Challenge of Change' conference scheduled in Medford next week

More than 200 people will convene in Medford next week for the the Oregon Economic Development Department's sixth annual Challenge of Change conference.

The Oregon Economic Development Commission will meet on Tuesday, the first day of the two-day conference, at the DoubleTree Inn.

Gov. John Kitzhaber will deliver the keynote speech, discussing ways agencies can get beyond running programs and into solving problems for Oregon communities. He'll speak at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 21, and will be followed by a slate of nationally prominent speakers.

Included are: Terry van der Werff, a futurist and consultant on global trends and strategic change. — — John Sidor, executive director of the Council of State Community Development Agencies, — will present a workshop on Partnering Effectively in Today's Environment. — — Audrey Taylor, president of Chabin Concepts Inc., will deliver a series of workshops on — matching a community's attributes with its opportunities. — — Kip Lilly, principal of Lilly Foresight Dynamics, will speak on Building — Organizations to Champion Partnering. — — David Dodd, senior partner in the Morrison Dodd Group, will present Planning and — Financing for Success. —

The final day's program includes awards and a presentation on speaking by motivational speaker Kerry Robertson and a talk on the ``10 Commandments for Economic Development by Maury Forman, course director for Community, Trade and Economic Development in Washington state.

The conference is being held for the first time in Southern Oregon.

They've got some great speakers, said Gordon Safley, executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SO-REDI). There's a fair amount of attention to rural community development, working on the grass-root levels.

Local sponsors include Bear Creek Corp., Southern Oregon History Center, WP Natural Gas, Timber Products Co. Rogue Waste Systems, PacifiCorp and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Details on registration for the conference are available from Dian Lindsay, Ewe-Me and Company (503) 644-5614.