Keynote Speakers

Matt Wagner

Matt has more than 20 years of non-profit management experience in downtown development, entrepreneurship and tech-based economic development. Matt worked as “Road Warrior” for the National Main Street Center between 1995 and 1998. From 1991 to 1995, he led the Sheboygan Falls Main Street as Director, during which time Sheboygan Falls was chosen as an inaugural Great American Main Street Award winner.

Now, as Vice President of Revitalization Programs at Main Street America, Matt is responsible for the Main Street Approach - a time-tested framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization and leads the Field Services team that provides services directly to mainstreet communities.

The Main Street Approach recognises that every community and commercial district is different, with its own distinctive assets and sense of place. The Main Street Approach offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. The Main Street Approach helps communities get started with revitalization, and grows with them over time.

Matt received his Ph.D. in Urban Affairs with a specialization in Urban Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a Fulbright Scholar Specialist, recently completing work in the area of entrepreneurship and economic development at the University of Hyderabad, India. In addition, Matt has presented internationally in areas of economic development and community revitalization, including recent work for the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, the National Trust in Australia and Canada, as well as the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.

Daniel Lim

As a Programme Manager, Daniel Lim spent the last six years pioneering projects to activate spaces within the George Town World Heritage Site (GTWHS) through placemaking under the banner of Think City – a community-based urban regeneration organisation in Johor, Malaysia. Aside from placemaking, his passion in advocating community engagements has led him to oversee numerous other grants and programmes. Daniel’s present role involves the setup, management and execution of Think City’s rejuvenation initiatives in downtown Johor Bahru. While still in its early stages, he is currently working on several demonstration projects aimed at highlighting the potentials of public space usage together with local stakeholders.

Cecilia Woolford 

Cecilia Woolford of Hillridge Stud near Kimba brings both corporate and government high level proven experience of organisational change. As Chair and board member of a number statutory and non-government boards at the state and national level, her ability to lead organisations though substantial change whilst retaining sustainability is nationally recognised. Cecilia chaired the newly created Andamooka Town Management Committee between 2012 and 2013. She is currently the Chair of the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) and was recently awarded the inaugural SA Climate Change Leaders Award (Individual) for her work in Climate Change Adaptation across SA and nationally.