Tenth Annual River Summit - “The Future of our Corridor: The Great Miami Riverway”

March 24, 2017 at the University of Dayton River Campus

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8:00-8:30 am:  Registration, Continental Breakfast, Networking and Tour Corridor of Exhibits

8:30-8:45 am:  Welcome  – Leslie King, University of Dayton Rivers Institute

8:45-9:00 am:  Great Miami Riverway Place-making and Wayfinding Update – Sarah Hippensteel Hall, PhD, Miami Conservancy District

9:00-9:30 am: The Importance of Brand Champions for a Community Brand – Cathy Fromet and Caroline Chaikin, Studio Graphique 

9:30-10:45 am: Keynote Speakers - This year’s keynote address will help connect the Great Miami Riverway’s branding and place-making efforts to statewide tourism promotion programs. – Katie Frank, Downtown Development Coordinator City of Miamisburg

  • Melinda Huntley serves as Executive Director of the Ohio Travel Association, a nonprofit association serving all aspects of Ohio’s $42 billion tourism industry. The Ohio Travel Association (OTA) brings the industry together to create change, stay on top of trends, and increase sales. Their members include all sectors of Ohio’s tourism industry, including attractions, museums, hotels, destination marketing organizations, restaurants and suppliers.
  • Mary Cusick is the Director of TourismOhio, the state’s official tourism promotion agency. TourismOhio strives to make Ohio a destination of choice, enriching lives through authentic travel experiences. TourismOhio aggressively positions Ohio as a relevant travel destination and supports Ohio’s tourism industry to drive economic prosperity throughout the state.

10:45-11:00 am: Corridor Champion of the Year Awards – Stan Kegley, City of Troy

11:00-11:30 am:  Networking Break and Tour Corridor of Exhibits

11:30-12:15 pm: Accomplishments from Upstream and Downstream – This session will provide an overview of riverfront communities’ most recent accomplishments and explain how they are working to improve access, amenities and the visitor experience. We will also hear what cities’ next steps are for activating their section of the Great Miami Riverway, and learn about ways they are leveraging our trails, rivers, and the many amenities surrounding them. 

Moderated by: Nick Racchi, University of Dayton River Steward


  • Mayor Michael Borhorst, City of Sidney
  • Mayor Kazy Hinds, City of Piqua
  • Mayor Michael Beamish, City of Troy
  • Mayor Nan Whaley, City of Dayton
  • Mayor Bill Flaute, City of Riverside
  • Mayor Dick Church, City of Miamisburg
  • Vice Mayor Carla Fieher, City of Hamilton

12:15-1:00 pm: Lunch and River Steward Highlights – The University of Dayton Rivers Institute is a strong voice for our rivers and a source for activating our waterways for the past 10 years. This panel will provide an update on the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, which houses the Rivers Institute, and highlight several River Stewards and their experiences in our watershed. These bright young leaders commit their time and talent to learn about our watershed, grow as leaders, ands to serve our region and its rivers.

Moderated by: Hunter Phillips Goodman, Ph.D., University of Dayton, Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Panelists: River Stewards

1:00-1:45 pm:  How safe is it? Rivers for recreation - Our area rivers are popular for fishing, rowing, and paddling but how safe are they? Experts will discuss recent efforts to make the rivers safer and more accessible.

Moderated by: Charlotte Shade, University of Dayton River Steward


  • Sarah Hippensteel Hall, Ph.D., Miami Conservancy District
  • Mike Ekberg, Miami Conservancy District
  • Jeff Kavanaugh, Ph.D., University of Dayton, Biology Department
  • Felicia Graham, City of Dayton

1:45-2:15 pm:  Networking Break and Tour Corridor of Exhibits

2:15-3:00 pm: Innovative Recreation Projects: Building Momentum for the Next Decade - The past decade of outdoor recreation planning, partnerships and investments are coming to fruition in the Great Miami Riverway.  Panelists will discuss downtown Dayton’s newest riverfront developments,  expansions to the regional bike trails network, and the upcoming International Trails Symposium.  These large-scale investments and strategic partnerships in recreational infrastructure set the stage for the next ten years, connect our region to other major trail networks, and build momentum for the region to become an excellent place to visit, live, work and play!

Moderated by: Jeff Malik, American Trails, and Cody Ruffing, University of Dayton River Steward


  • Carrie Scarff, Five Rivers MetroParks
  • Brad Westall, City of Columbus
  • Wade Johnston, Tri-State Trails

*Social Reception immediately following at Ladder 11, 936 Brown Street


Find Us

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

St. Joseph Hall 433 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1445