KEYNOTE Speakers

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Shawn Dunwoode A multi-disciplinary creative force for change from Rochester New York. A director, producer, designer, maker, influencer, developer and artist, Dunwoody focuses on creative implementation and innovative planning for urban interventions and community forms of urban development.

Dunwoode Visual Consulting is a multi-award winning design-based strategic art team, that takes a creative approach to brand enhancement for organizations in the public and private realm: innovate, inspire, and implement original concepts and bring them to life.


Kevin Wright Kevin’s work as Executive Director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF) from 2011-2018 received local honors and was featured in national publications such as The Huffington Post. It was there where he used his diverse background in storytelling and community planning to help a struggling organization develop a new brand and mission and grow from a staff of one contracted employee to seven full-time employees and several interns. Additionally, he grew the foundation’s budget ten-fold and developed a more sustainable and diverse revenue stream. Kevin has led teams in the creation and implementation of dozens of projects ranging from small creative placemaking activities to multi-million dollar real estate deals. These projects have included several public and private partners and a diverse set of public financing tools such as Tax Increment Financing, public loans/grants, and Historic Tax Credits.


Joe Nickol, AICP Joe grew up in a small, western resort town. The first city he lived in was not until after high school in Rome, Italy, where he learned the power of walkable neighborhoods, active streets and public spaces, and smartly adapted buildings and neighborhoods. He later settled with his wife in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for ten years, experiencing first-hand how a deindustrializing city went from down and out to up and coming through bottom-up resourcefulness, smart leadership, technology, and an unshakable commitment to neighborhood livability. During that time he led the urban design studio at Urban Design Associates, designing districts, neighborhoods, and cities in North America and beyond. In 2015 he moved to Cincinnati, joining MKSK as a Senior Urban Design and Development strategist, wholly focused in cities from Detroit to Nashville. He co-authored with Kevin Wright the Neighborhood Playbook in 2016 based on their collective experiences before launching together YARD & Company in 2018.