CityWorks(X)po Florida 

a gathering to share big ideas for better places


April 5+6 & 7, 2017

WINTER HAVEN, FL  •  heartland church

What is (X)po?

CityWorks(X)po is a place-making summit, idea exchange and festival-style conference coming to Winter Haven Florida April 6 & 7, 2017. With generous enthusiasm and support from CityWorks(X)po founder Ed Walker, Main Street Winter Haven, Inc. is partnering with the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, City of Winter Haven, Winter Haven Economic Development Council and Visit Central Florida to bring you this exciting event. Attendees will represent communities of all sizes from across the State. (X)po seeks to enhance connectivity within and between cities and to explore exponential impact across seven major themes: Capital & Social Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Good Government, Arts, Design & Music, Knowledge & New Media, Outdoors & Recreation, Public Health & Social Justice and Food & Drink. The (X)po's speakers, panelists and participants will include innovative leaders from each of these spheres. By night the conference continues with networking opportunities at high energy (X)citing events. Wednesday night welcome to (X)po, Thursday April 6th 5:30 - 8:30 (X)po goers check your goodie bag, that beer tasting glass is your pass to Main Street Winter Haven's Downtown Craft Beer Crawl. Friday night join us at Gram Parsons Derry Down for live music presented by Walter Parks and Swamp Cabbage,  plenty of food and drink!   

All included with your pass.

the (X)PO speakers

Engaging. Innovative. Endlessly interesting.

Adrian Jones

For more than two decades, Adrian Jones has devoted himself to fun. The UK native currently spends his days overseeing the operation of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, the world’s largest LEGOLAND site and a place uniquely #BuiltForKids. As general manager, Jones launched the kid-focused vacation destination in October 2011 on the former site of Cypress Gardens, Florida’s first theme park, and since then has overseen more than five years of rapid growth and success that has generated
nearly $1 billion (USD) of economic activity, all within the shadow of the world’s largest concentration of theme parks and visitor attractions.  Under his tenure, what opened as a single theme park designed primarily for children 2-12 has expanded into a
multi-day vacation resort that now boasts more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND Water Park, the 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel, and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, village-style accommodations that will more than double the resort’s on-site room inventory when it opens in mid-2017. Not bad for a chap
who started out selling ice cream to theme park guests as a teenager.  During his lengthy career with Merlin Entertainments Group (LONDON: MERL), Jones previously served as divisional director of Midway Attractions in the western United States, where he was responsible for LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Schaumburg, Ill., Madame Tussauds Las Vegas and Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the first of the premier celebrity wax attractions to be built from the ground up in 200 years. His
varied roles in the attractions industry have included marketing event coordinator, business development sales, events manager and sponsorship manager.  Jones received a bachelor’s
degree in industrial management from England’s Nottingham Trent University and has lived in the United States since 2004.

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Saeed Arida

Saeed Arida is the Founder and Chief Excitement Officer of NuVu Studio. Prior to NuVu, Saeed worked as an architect and designer. He received his PhD in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his doctoral research examined the intricacies of the creative process to understand what creativity is and how an educational environment can nurture creative learning. The architectural studio pedagogy informed this research that ultimately evolved into NuVu Studio. For the past few years, Saeed has been advising many schools on how to transition into a creative curriculum.  Founder and Chief Excitement Officer, PhD, Design and Computation, MIT

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Anthony lyons

Gainesville, Florida is the epicenter of a human design centered movement to radically alter the way that city government provides basic services to its community members. In the middle of it all is Anthony Lyons, Gainesville’s eclectic City Manager. Not your typical local government bureaucrat, Fast Company Magazine, a cutting edge media firm with a focus on
innovation and technology says, he “is rethinking the role of local government in community life.”  
Anthony is a man on a mission to use human design centered thinking, an approach pioneered by the well-known innovation and design firm IDEO, to make the City of Gainesville the most citizen-user centered city in the world. He is leading a charge to bypass incremental change of the city’s service delivery processes.  Creating game-changing breakthroughs that exponentially improve the citizen-user experience and government responsiveness to the needs, aspirations and desires of the people that it serves, is what inspires his zeal. 
Appointed City Manager by the Gainesville City Commission in
April 2016, Anthony is responsible for a team of more than 1500 city employees. Prior to his current position, he served as Gainesville’s Interim City Manager, Interim Planning and Service Director as well as two tenures as the City’s Community Redevelopment Director. He has received nearly 50 awards from international, national, state, and local organizations in recognition of his community building achievements. His penchant for design aesthetics is informed by a Bachelor Arts degree in Art History from Indiana University Bloomington. He is
a husband of 22 years and a father of an eleven-year old.

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kennedy smith

Kennedy Smith is a principal with the Community Land Use + Economics Group. Before launching the CLUE Group, Kennedy served on the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center for 19 years, the last 14 of which were spent as the Director of the National Main Street program. Kennedy is also one of the nation’s foremost experts on economic development planning for older and historic commercial districts. Her work focuses on crafting forward-looking, innovative economic development strategies, then translating them into practical implementation strategies.

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Walter Park

Special + Simple = Support
  Arts presentation in abandoned and historic spaces if kept interesting, dynamic and simple attract sustainable funding. Walter Parks shares how, at The Statuary a former religious icons factory in Jersey City, he and his wife Margo have created a stewardship between the arts and commerce by hosting events where local business owners, politicians, artists and neighbors converge. Classical and jazz concerts events are offered to the public on the front end for free; sponsorship and donations follow and support on the back end. The Holland Street Vault Concert, a Statuary spin off event held last fall in an abandoned public space, helped earn a Kresge Foundation grant for the entire community.

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Bob Kealing

Bob Kealing is a four-time Emmy Award–winning journalist based in Orlando with WESH-TV. He has appeared on national television programs such as Dateline NBC and CBS This Morning and has been a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and C-SPAN. He is the author of  books, and his articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers across the country. Bob's books tell the story of people lives and how they connect to places in Florida. In 2004 the book, Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends lead to the restoration of Kerouac's Orlando home, and The Kerouac Project that supports writers through residency. In 2008 Tupperware Unsealed: Brownie Wise, Earl Tupper, and the Home Party Pioneers, followed by Life of the Party in 2016. The 2012 release of Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock resulted in MSWH historic preservation project Gram Parsons Derry Down. March 19, 2017 Bob will release Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida. These stories encourage all of us to look at our own community with new eyes and to promote our rich cultural heritage of Florida

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Stay Tuned for Speaker Line Up

Need a Place to Stay?

Our hotel partners have got you covered! Call Hampton Inn @ 863.299.9251 or Holiday Inn @ 862.292.2100 for a CityWorks(X)po FL discount rate of $119  including a hot breakfast ;-).

our generous sponsors

This event is brought to you by