Development District Map

2019 Call for Proposals

The DDAA is pleased to announce a call for proposals for presentations at both the Annual Conference and Professional Development Conference of 2019. We are accepting proposals on a variety of topics, but are particularly interested in sessions that address the opioid crisis, coal-impacted communities, and entrepreneurship in Appalachia.

If you have any questions, please contact Brendan Buff at

EXTENDED DEADLINE: December 7, 2018

2019 Annual Conference


The Development District Association of Appalachia is holding its Annual Conference in Arlington, Virginia from March 18-20, 2019. This is an opportunity to share cutting-edge ideas, highlight success stories and lessons learned, and engage with other LDDs during our Annual gathering. DDAA is seeking compelling session proposals to ensure a comprehensive program. Session proposals should address topics and trends that reflect the wide-ranging needs and interests of member Local Development Districts. We are searching for powerful session proposals focused in the following topic areas:

  • Opioid crisis and correlating workforce issues
  • Opioid crisis and engaging local leadership and partners
  • Economic diversification in coal-impacted communities
  • Entrepreneurship support efforts
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Capacity building for communities, boards, and LDDs
  • Community health and wellness
  • Rural workforce attraction and retention

2019 Professional Development Conference


The Development District Association of Appalachia is holding its Professional Development Conference in Summer 2019. This conference is focused on improving LDD staff by providing topic-related hands-on training by outside firms or individuals, or peer-to peer learning opportunities in areas such as:

  • Leadership & Management
  • Business Line Development
  • Technology Trends and Uses
  • Finance and Procurement
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Peer-Learning and Sharing

Conference Audiences:

The Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) is a membership organization of the 73 Local Development Districts (LDDs) serving the 420 counties of the Appalachia Region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federal-state-local partnership. Conference attendees are Executive Directors, Board Members, local and state Elected Officials, Program Managers, and Staff of Local Development Districts across the 13 state region.
Local Development Districts (LDDs) are multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development organizations that provide administrative, professional and technical assistance to local governments and citizens throughout Appalachia. An LDD is the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) name for the multi-county planning and development organizations which from State to State may be otherwise known as regional councils, councils of governments, area development districts, regional development centers, or regional planning commissions. LDD's are the local partner in the ARC's Federal-State-Local partnership, and they serve the member counties and municipalities within their designated regions in efforts aimed at achieving the goals of the ARC


Please read the following guidelines carefully before submitting your session proposal.

  • Proposals are encouraged to contain contributions from or highlights of the work of one or more DDAA member.
  • DDAA reserves the right to accept only the topic, title, and to accept or reject one or more speakers and moderator or any combination of the above list.
  • DDAA reserves the right to add, edit or make changes to the session title, description, and mode of presentation, panel and moderator.
  • All proposals become property of DDAAA upon receipt. Session topics or speaker recommendations not accepted will be considered for use in future DDAA conferences, newsletters, webinars and resources for up to a period of one year.
  • Strong proposals are respectful of diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender and geographic location.
  • Proposals must be submitted with a minimum of one speaker for the panel. DDAA may confirm additional speakers and a moderator to complete the panel.
  • In order to keep conference registration fees reasonable, DDAA will consider requests for payment of speaker fees and travel expenses, honorarium or speaker’s bureau fees only in special circumstances.
  • DDAA reserves the right to combine session proposals on similar topics into one session.
  • Speakers and moderators interested in attending the conference will be expected to register and pay for the conference.
  • Speakers are invited to attend the session before or after their session, excluding meals and receptions, without paying the registration fee.
  • Individuals or organizations proposing sessions are responsible for confirming proposed speakers and moderators upon acceptance of session proposal.

Proposal Submissions:

The form, while long, includes multiple pages for detail on speakers and moderator information. Only those pages relevant to your session proposal submission are required to be completed. Please contact DDAA at via email with any questions regarding conference proposals. For more details about DDAA, visit our website at

You will be notified via email regarding a decision on your proposal on or before December 15, 2018. All proposals will be kept on file for one year for consideration for future conferences. If the session proposal and speakers are accepted, the person who submitted the proposals will be responsible for confirming the moderator and speakers on or before January 15, 2018.

No substitutes for speakers or moderators can be made without permission from DDAA.

Important Deadlines:

• October – November: 2018 DDAA accepting session proposals
• By December 15, 2018: DDAA notifies submissions of the outcome of their Proposals
• By January 15, 2018: Successful submissions confirm their speakers and moderators (if applicable)

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