downtown Main Street.The City of Akron was fortu- nate enough to gain two federal TIGER (Transpor- tation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants to completely remake our downtown Main Street, building face to building face.As far as I know,we are the only city, certainly in the Midwest, but we might be the only city in the country, to get two federal DOTTIGER grants and that spurred the complete reconstruction of Main Street. It’s a huge swath of downtown–lengthwise, it’s half a mile. It’s going to be pedestrian friendly, focused on pedes- trian ease of access; we have bicycle tracks built in; we have transit drop-offs and pick-ups built into the infrastructure; and then,we do the cars. So, it’s a totally different mindset from the way we did Main Street 25 years ago.” In addition to being cheerleaders for Akron, Hardy and Gsellman tout the advantages of Ohio, the Mid- west in general, and what has often been referred to as the “rustbelt.”Hardy states,“I’m always making a pitch for the rustbelt.We are not a charity case; we’re doing incredible things.We’re reinventing our downtowns; we are innovating socially, economi- cally, and from a public policy perspective, as well.” Gsellman adds,“Our region and our resources are here.We’ve got the water,we’ve got the workforce; we’ve got the universities; everything is here, now, and people are just finally realizing that and that’s why a lot of people are coming back to the Mid- west. It’s sustainable, it’s available, and I think that’s the real attraction of this area.” PREFERREDVENDORS The University of Akron - www.uakron.edu Since its founding in 1870,The University of Akron, located in the heart of Ohio’s fifth-largest city, has been vital to the growth and vigor of Northeast Ohio.Working symbiotically with county and city government, the Greater Akron Chamber, and other important partners, the University continues to create and inspire generations of thinkers, experts, artists and leaders. KB Bioenergy -www.kbbioenergy.com KB BioEnergy, Inc. is a waste to energy company specializing in biosolids. We have held a public-pri- vate partnership with the City of Akron since 1989. While creating renewable energy,we strive to protect and improve the environment we live in for current and future generations.