by Bryan Chambers, Huntington Communications Director

HUNTINGTON – Mayor Steve Williams will join mayors from across the country at the second annual Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, Oct. 15-16, in Louisville, Ky.

With a focus on making an entrepreneurial city, mayors and entrepreneurship experts will discuss ways to promote startup activity and encourage higher levels of entrepreneurship in their cities.

The conference is hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success, in partnership with Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville.

The 2014 Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship: Making an Entrepreneurial City will explore the growing “Maker Movement.” As more and more Americans have access to both the technologies to build things and the networks to learn new skills, creativity is being channeled into new business ventures, economically benefitting both the maker-entrepreneur and others in the community. Not only that, but Making has the potential to transform manufacturing and thereby American cities. This year’s event will address:

* The Maker Movement and ways to harness this activity.

* Making and how it applies to advanced manufacturing.

* The importance of immigrant entrepreneurs and initiatives to welcome them.

* Practical strategies to grow and promote the entrepreneurial economy of cities.

Williams said he’s looking forward to attending his third meeting with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to discuss with other mayors across the country strategies to create an entrepreneurial culture.

“Clearly, our greatest opportunity for long-term economic growth and job creation in Huntington is to establish an environment that encourages entrepreneurship,” Williams said. “Entrepreneurship is in our collective DNA. Huntington’s history is a chronicle of entrepreneurial vision. My expectation is for us to rekindle that legacy and share in its collective reward.”

“The mayors attending this conference understand how important entrepreneurs are to economic growth, job creation and innovation,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation. “The conference is designed to help them learn from experts and each other about successful programs and structures that can have broad impact on building stronger entrepreneurial communities.”

The program’s keynote speaker is Dale Dougherty, president and CEO of Maker Media, Inc., and founder of MAKE magazine. Attending mayors also will hear from panelists who are experts in entrepreneurship, technology and manufacturing innovation and engagement of immigrant entrepreneurs.