TURN YOUR TOWN
How to Make it a Great Destination Community
By reading this book you will learn how to make where you live a successful and enjoyable destination community. Regardless of size, if your town is experiencing economic or cultural stagnation, by following proven strategies you can ‘Turn Your Town Around’. Begin charting a course of discovery and meaningful, lasting renewal that transforms your community into a cool place you can enjoy and share for generations.
A 'REAL LIFE' STORY
OF INSPIRATION AND SUCCESS
About Gee Williams
Hello, I am Gee Williams
Gee has a lifetime of experience in serving communities that are successful in attracting visitors and guests while not losing their unique character or charm. He has an extensive background in business, also in both the public service and nonprofit sectors, and years of hands-on elected political experience. Gee earned a bachelor’s degree in business and journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for six years achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Gee was a local newspaper editor and publisher for 30 years managing publications in communities along the East Coast from Delaware to South Carolina. He also has years of experience in marketing and public relations and served as the Mayor of the Town of Berlin for 12 years (2008-2020). During his tenure as mayor Berlin’s historic downtown district became home to over 50 thriving businesses, doubling the number that has previously existed. The town also received 30 unsolicited state and national awards, including “America’s Coolest Small Town.”
BOOK & SPEAKING TOPICS
MAKE YOUR TOWN A COOL PLACE
TO LIVE - ENJOY AND SHARE
Do you believe your town's best days are in the past? Is your community open to changes that will begin a journey to a happier and more prosperous future? Here's the good news. In spite of all of today's uncertainty, there has never been a better time to transform your town into a successful destination community. The future of your town and the life you live there simply boils down to this --- It's never too late to "Turn Your Town Around."
BEGIN YOUR TOWN'S
WITH A WELCOME MAT
Ask yourself: Is your town teaming with shoppers? Is your community a regional destination for dining and hospitality? Do you live in a place that can be proudly and enthusiastically promoted to others? Learn how your town can attract new visitors who will have experiences they will want to share. And with your foresight and groundwork they will return again and again, recommending your town to others. It's time to make your community's guests feel at home --- and yes --- even joyful from the experience.
CHART A COURSE OF
REDISCOVERY & RENEWAL
Rediscovery of your town’s potential begins with renewed belief. One possibility, among many, is to re-discover your town’s roots. You can make your community unique by reclaiming it’s past. Discover your town’s history and share the best of it. Begin with only one or two aspects of your community’s past and traditions. As you start mixing your town’s past with the opportunities of the 21st Century you will start creating wonderful new experiences for both residents and guests. The reward is a community that you are very proud of and will want to share.
Leverage Your Local Pride
1: Connect and Rediscover
Find Your Town's potential for Renewal With positive change, support and encouragement you can replace fear of change with opportunities that encourage local pride. Do you live in a community that was once proud of its origins or history, but this spirit has faded with time? There are many ways to make your town more receptive to positive change and quickly make your community more welcoming – not sometime in the future – but now!
3: Events and Hospitality
Create New Ways to Share Your Community Explore ways to make your town more enjoyable. Rediscover local foods and tasty desserts that can be a shared source of local pride. Consider events, fairs and festivals you can enjoy and share with guests. What are some things you can do to make visits to your town – at any time – more joyful. See if there is a historical date, legend or even a notorious time or incident that you can now use as the founding idea that you can now share with and will attract many guests.
2: Enhance and Re-Invent
Build Your Town's Foundation for Success With positive change, support and encouragement you can replace fear of change with opportunities that encourage local pride. Do you live in a community that was once proud of its origins or history, but this spirit has faded with time? There are many ways to make your town more receptive to positive change and quickly make your community more welcoming – not sometime in the future – but now!
Berlin would not be what it is today without the efforts and tenacity of Mayor Gee Williams. Listen to what he has to say; common sense, uncommonly spoken.
Director, Economic and Community Development, Town of Berlin, MD