Center Hires Planner for MarketPlace Conference

Release Date: 



Kathie Starkweather,, Phone:(402)687-2103 ext. 1014 or – Joy Marshall,, Phone:(402)614-5558
Lyons, NE – Joy Marshall has joined the Center for Rural Affairs staff as a planner to work primarily on the annual MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success rural entrepreneurial conference.
Last year was the first year for the conference in which Marshall was contracted to plan and organize the event. The first conference had approximately 500 attendees, thirty educational sessions and fifty-two exhibitors; making the conference an overwhelming success.  Marshall was invited to come aboard full time to coordinate the event again.

Joy will be responsible for planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating the MarketPlace conference. Her previous meeting planning leadership skills will continue to grow this project. 
“My role in this conference will allow me to continue to assist small business owners and community leaders.  Attendees at the conference will enhance and strengthen their management skills and opportunities as well as networking with service providers. At the same time I will be able to utilize my meeting planning expertise,” commented Marshall.

Since 2000, Joy has worked part time for the University of Nebraska's Center for Rural Innovation with a project called the Nebraska EDGE (Enhancing, Developing and Growing Entrepreneurs). Her role with EDGE was to train and assist coalition members, program managers and instructors in offering quality educational entrepreneur classes primarily in the western Nebraska. In 1995 she also started her own small business called Performance Planners -- independent meeting planning service.

This is not Joy's first experience with the Center for Rural Affairs. Joy has served on the Center for Rural Affairs board and belonged to two different REAP organizations. In 1995 she received an award for her outstanding leadership as "REAP Officer of the Year" and in 1998 she was honored by receiving the "REAP Friend of the Year" award for her outstanding support for the project.

The entrepreneurial conference will again focus on building jobs and the rural economy from within. The conference will offer training, networking, and professional development opportunities for startup and existing small businesses, service providers, rural communities, and family farmers and ranchers.

The Center for Rural Affairs’ MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success will be held in the New World Inn in Columbus, Nebraska on February 27, 2008.

For more information contact: Kathie Starkweather,  or Joy Marshall, . Or visit, .

For a picture of Joy Marshall visit:

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