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Here are some of the many urban innovators you will hear from at UIX. For the complete line-up, click here.

John Fetterman is mayor of Braddock, PA, a town with the motto: "Reinvention in the only option." A native of York, PA, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Albright College and then attended Harvard University to earn a master's degree in Public Policy. Fetterman moved to Braddock in 2001 to work for AmeriCorps, won the mayoral election in 2005, and was re-elected in May 2009. As mayor, Fetterman has drawn international attention in trying to revitalize the economy in Braddock. While the town had over 20,000 residents in the first half of the 20th century due to its proximity to Andrew Carnegie's mills, the population and economy collapsed beginning in the 1970s with the decline of the steel industry. For more info about Braddock, click here.

Eve Picker is the founder of cityLAB in Pittsburgh and a new real estate crowdfunding platform, smallchange.com. Her expertise in inner city redevelopment and regeneration has earned her broad recognition both in the Pittsburgh community and nationally. Committed to good design, her work consistently aims to make a positive contribution to the public realm with every project. Eve has a background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, economic development strategist, publisher (founding publisher of Pop City), and co-founder of a provocative public forum for urban issues.

Jen Guarino is co-founder of The Makers Coalition in Minneapolis, Vice President of Leather goods for Shinola in Detroit, and all-around American Made evangelist. She was recently honored as the Minnesota Manufacturing Awards CEO of the Year for her revitalization efforts as CEO and co-owner of JW Hulme. At Shinola, she is continuing her passion for domestic manufacturing by leading the development of Shinola’s Detroit-based leather goods manufacturing efforts. Twitter: @Jenn_Guarino @MakersCoalition @Shinola

Hunter Franks creates shared spaces and experiences that break down social barriers and catalyze connections between people and communities. He is the founder of the Neighborhood Postcard Project, a worldwide participatory project that collects personal positive stories from residents in marginalized neighborhoods and sends them out to random local residents to foster community connection. He also founded the League of Creative Interventionists, a network of people working to build community through creativity. Hunter has also worked with Freespace, the Makeshift Society and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation. Learn more about his Creative Interventions Tour at hunterfranks.com. Twitter: @Hunter_Franks @Neighbormail @theleagueofci

Kim Bartmann has re-imagined spaces in ‘difficult’ neighborhoods since 1991. Her commitment to community and the arts is manifest in Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, opened in 1993. As an extension of her restaurants’ focus on local buying & sustainability, she opened Minnesota’s first LEED-CI certified restaurant in 2007. Her 7th and most recent project, Tiny Diner, takes these values further. The diner is producing energy with a patio/solar array and showcasing biointensive urban farming methods and efficient water use strategies through its edible gardens, pollinator habitats, and rainwater catchment systems. From its hardscape to its landscape, the Diner was designed to provide a renovated example of whole system design: low impact, educational, and tangibly tasty. Twitter: @TinyDinerMpls

Ryan Myers-Johnson is the founder and curator of Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, an outdoor, site-specific festival to celebrate Detroit's urban landscape and culture through dance, music, theater and art. A Detroit-based choreographer, dancer and curator of performance art, Ryan received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Film from the University of Michigan. From there, she studied, performed and worked in Detroit, New York and Japan. Ryan's choreography has been presented at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Cranbrook Institute. She is always excited to explore the intersections of dance, science, history and interdisciplinary collaboration. Twitter: @SidewalkDetroit

Joan Vorderbruggen is a multidisciplinary artist, community organizer, and public art administrator. In 2012 she founded and directed Artists in Storefronts, assisting over 150 artists from 5 to 80 years old create exhibits of original work in vacant and under-utilized commercial storefronts. In addition to creating a temporary, pop-up urban walking gallery, her project commissioned six permanent murals, hosted dozens of community events, tours, festivals, and over 50 live performances in alternative spaces. In just eight months of participation, eight properties with a combined vacancy of more than 15 years acquired short and long-term lease agreements. Joan has since been hired as the Cultural District Arts Coordinator for Hennepin Theatre Trust activating the downtown Minneapolis Cultural District with her project Made Here. Twitter: @MadeHereMN

Jeff Sturges enjoys making things and connecting people. Inspired by his experience with the MIT Fab Lab GreenFab program and the NYCResistor hackerspace, he moved to Detroit to build community workshops such as the Mt. Elliott Makerspace and OmniCorpDetroit. Sturges believes that collaborative making and learning can be much more than just STEM and STEAM education–they can be a way to strengthen our communities and ourselves. Jeff is a Director's Fellow at MIT Media Lab. Twitter: @JeffSturges @MEMakerspace @OmniCorpDetroit

Dwayne Wharton serves as the Director of External Affairs for The Food Trust, a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. Prior to joining the Food Trust, Dwayne was the National Deputy Director of Friends of the Children, a long-term mentoring organization serving vulnerable youth; Director of Residential and Homeless Services for Project H.O.M.E., a social service agency serving homeless women and children; and Director of Red Cross House, a one-of-a-kind short-term housing and service facility for disaster victims. Twitter: @DwayneWharton @thefoodtrust

Phillip Cooley is the founder of Ponyride, a creative incubator in Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood. Ponyride engages a diverse group of creative, socially-conscious entrepreneurs, giving them the opportunity for production, community outreach, and education. As a co-owner of Slows Bar BQ and a general contractor for O'Connor Development, Cooley helped catalyze the regeneration of Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Park, now home to Astro Coffee, Sugar House, Mercury Burger Bar, Two James Distillery and Gold Cash Gold, coming soon. Cooley is passionate about Detroit because he believes in a democratic city where all are welcome to participate. Twitter: @ponyridedetroit

Bobby Fry is the owner of Bar Marco and The Livermore in Pittsburgh. When good food advocate Jamie Oliver issued a challenge to revamp the city's health and wellness, Fry co-founded the Food Revolution Cooking Club at the Barack Obama Academy High School in East Liberty. This May, they hosted their 2nd annual Food Revolution Day, a global day of action to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. Twitter: @FRPCC @barmarcopgh @FoodRev

Devita Davison spearheads Detroit Kitchen Connect, a network of shared, commercial kitchen spaces that provides community resources and an array of industry-specific services to burgeoning food entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 2012, she has worked to grow the program from a visionary idea to a multiple facility operation that provides culinarians the ability to benefit from synergies, peer learning and shared resources. Prior to joining DKC she was the founder of The Southern Pantry Company, a gourmet, specialty food store in New York, and spent 15 years working in marketing, branding and licensing for Ralph Lauren and Hearst magazines, including such titles as Food Network, Country Living and Good Housekeeping. Devita is a steering committee member of FoodLab Detroit, a community of triple bottom line food entrepreneurs. Twitter: @foodlabdetroit

Megan Deal is lead creative director for Tomorrow Today, a design studio that works with people who care about cities. Megan’s past work includes the development of PieLab—a pie shop, job-training center and cultural hub in Greensboro, Alabama; and the design and development of CoSign—an initiative that paired business owners with local artists and professional sign fabricators to install a critical mass of new storefront signage in Cincinnati. A simplifier at heart, Megan’s background in graphic design allows her to translate complex information into accessible visual solutions. Megan earned her BFA from the College for Creative Studies, where she’s also served as an adjunct professor. Twitter: @meganmdeal

Dan Carmody is the President of Eastern Market Corporation (EMC), where he leads the non-profit transforming one of Detroit’s most venerable institutions into the nation’s most inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food hubs. EMC seeks to leverage its long history of retail and wholesale markets, an adjacent cluster of food businesses, and crop diversity from Michigan, Ontario and Ohio to fortify the regional food system. EMC works with many partners to build a great urban neighborhood around the market, increase access to healthy food throughout Detroit, and create new food ventures and employment opportunities. Twitter: @EasternMarket

David Jurca is the Associate Director at the Cleveland Urban Design Center (CUDC) and contributes to the full range of the practice's projects, including Pop Up City. Working with social media, video and other technologies, David spearheads the CUDC's efforts to develop new techniques for community engagement. David teaches the spring graduate design studio, advises MUD capstone students and has led several community design charrettes. He also teaches at Case Western Reserve University as a part-time lecturer in the SAGES program. He has a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University and received his M.Arch from Kent State University. Twitter: @ksuCUDC


Sebastian Jackson is the founder and owner of The Social Club Grooming Company, a barbershop/salon working to break down racial barriers and promote sustainability in Detroit. The Social Club provides environmentally-friendly grooming services as well as health and beauty education through socially-responsible practices. Sebastian also hosts a monthly series called "Shop Talk" of conversations with innovators, and has been featured himself by UIXModel D and Huffington Post as an innovator to watch. Twitter: @SebastianWho @SocialClubDET 

Noam Kimelman is the co-founder of Fresh Corner Cafe L3C, a mission-driven fresh food delivery service that works to ensure that all Detroiters can easily and always access an affordable healthy meal. In 2013, his business won 1st place in the Emerging Social Enterprise category of the statewide competition hosted by Michigan Corps and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In 2014, he was awarded by the National SCORE Foundation as the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Noam is also Board President of Detroit Food Academy and a member of FoodLab's Steering Committee. Twitter: @FreshCornerCafe


Jen Rusciano is the Executive Director of Detroit Food Academy, a non-profit experiential leadership program dedicated to transforming the lives of young Detroiters through food and social entrepreneurship. DFA partners with local high schools, educators, and food entrepreneurs to facilitate a year-round practicum culminating in the design and launch of students' own triple-bottom-line food business. By developing food-based solutions in their communities, students grow as holistic leaders who are healthy, connected and powerful to affect change within and beyond the local food system. Twitter: @DetFoodAcademy

Matt Anthony is the co-founder of The Launch WerksCincinnati Made and First Batch in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Made is a nonprofit effort to promote, connect and scale the small batch manufacturing community. First Batch is a four month accelerator that connects the manufacturing community with entrepreneurs to take an idea to production. Anthony is a member of the Losantiville Design Collective, a workshop, studio and retail space that promotes local designers and artisans in Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Twitter: @CNCYMade @FirstBatchCNCY


Sara Blumenstein is the co-founder of Pittsburgh Canning Exchange and a designer at MAYA Design. From 2011 to 2014, Sara managed experiments at cityLAB and designed their programs, graphics, and web projects -- including Garfield Night Market and Tiny Houses. Sara studied literature at the University of Chicago, archeology at the University of Bologna, and received her Masters of Architecture with distinction from the University of Michigan. She was a 2010 Booth Traveling Fellow in Architecture. Read more about Sara on her website. Twitter: @sarablumenstein

Mark Covington is the founder of Georgia Street Community Collective on Detroit's East Side. The project began when Covington began cleaning up three empty lots near his grandmother's house, and then became inspired to start a community garden. With the help of volunteers and several urban gardening organizations, he began to think bigger about neighborhood revitalization and youth engagement, turning an old corner store into a community center. The garden now comprises five lots, including a fruit orchard. Covington has been featured in several documentaries, including Urbanized and After the Factory. Twitter: @cub5578

Joe McClure is the co-owner of McClure's Pickles, a family-owned maker of all-natural, gluten-free and kosher-certified pickles, relish, bloody mary mix, chips and brine. Joe oversees large-scale production, Midwest distribution and sales, and management of their 20,000 square foot factory. In addition to being a pickle-maker, Joe recently completed a doctoral degree in physiology from Wayne State Medical and is a classical musician. Twitter: @mcclurespickles

Greg Peckham is the Managing Director of LAND studio in Cleveland, whose mission is to create places and connect people through public art, sustainable building and design, collaborative planning, and dynamic programming. Greg's focus is working with community groups, elected officials, artists, and designers to plan and implement projects in the urban core and surrounding city neighborhoods. Through this work he maintains a strong commitment to citizen participation in urban planning efforts. A few of Greg’s interests include urban policy focused on arts & culture, infrastructure, and community development. Twitter: @cleveLANDstudio

Tunde Wey is an entrepreneur, writer, and chef who has created several pop-up dining experiences, most recently Lagos: Nigerian BBQ. He co-owns (revolver), a restaurant that hosts guest chefs in Hamtramck, Michigan. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, he has lived in Detroit for 14 years, where he helped launch Urban Innovation Exchange as the lead reporter and engagement coordinator. As a Green Garage community member and DC3 creative venture, he has experimented with crowdfunding and storytelling in various forms. Twitter: @detroitbfd

Katy Locker joined Knight Foundation as Detroit program director in September 2013. A Michigan native and Detroit resident, Locker served as the vice president of programs at the Hudson-Webber Foundation for five years prior. She helped lead an effort to launch the “15x15” vision, aimed at attracting and retaining 15,000 young, talented households to greater downtown Detroit by 2015, and spearheaded the release of “7.2 SQ MI,” a report that captures the progress of greater downtown Detroit. Locker holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from Cornell University and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. She is the chair of the board of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Twitter: @katylockerindet @knightfdn

Claire Nelson is the director of Urban Innovation Exchange. As a founder of Open City, Declare Detroit, Mind the Gap and Bureau of Urban Living, she believes in the power of small-scale projects to spark civic engagement and change. A Chicagoland native, she studied architecture & urbanism at Smith College and Columbia University and has lived and worked in New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and New Orleans. At Van Alen Institute in NYC, she helped produce the first Creative Cities convening after 9/11. As publisher of Model D in Detroit, she led the monthly Speaker Series and the On the Ground neighborhood reporting project. Twitter: @UIXDetroit

Matthew Lewis is the managing editor of Model D, an online magazine telling the story of what's next for Detroit, and a contributor to Urban Innovation Exchange. His writings have appeared in A Detroit Anthology (Rust Belt Chic Press), Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroit, the Detroit Free Press and MLive. Last year, he worked on the team that developed NEIdeas, a challenge to reward existing businesses in Detroit for growth. Before that, Matthew worked for the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program and as a technology assistant at the Detroit Public Library. He studied urban planning at Wayne State University and English at the University of Michigan. Twitter: @matthewjlew @modeld @UIXDetroit

Jessica McInchak is a researcher and analyst with Data Driven Detroit, dedicated to providing accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making. Jessica leads the research for Urban Innovation Exchange, surveying and interviewing Detroit innovators to gain insights into the networks and resources they are using to start and scale their work. Twitter: @D3detroit

Dacia Snider is unabashedly proud to call Cincinnati home. The northeastern Ohio native's passion for the city was cultivated during her time at Downtown Cincinnati Inc. and continues as the founding publisher ofSoapbox Media. Drawing on her background in economic development, she understands the important role media plays in setting the narrative for a community. Each week, Soapbox tells the new Cincinnati story -- creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play. Twitter: @daciasnider @SoapboxCincy

Michelle Freeman works to showcase, engage, and connect people doing good work to keep Philly creative, fun and a better place to live. As publisher of Flying Kite, she founded On the Ground, an initiative to dive deeper into neighborhood transformation, embedding journalists for 90 days to uncover the people and projects moving the city forward. Her company Witty Gritty is a full-service marketing and event planning agency specializing in outdoor events and festivals, cause-based marketing and events, and community outreach programs. Twitter: @micheemichee520 @FlyingKiteMedia @wittygrittyPHL

Greg O'Loughlin is the Principal and Funder of SWELL and publisher of Keystone Edge, an online weekly dedicated to covering the new economy in Pennsylvania. A proud University of Pittsburgh graduate, Greg has 12+ years of brand strategy experience. He took the helm on Pennsylvania tourism & economic development marketing at Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners, leading a brand campaign to change the narrative on his home state. Greg started SWELL in 2011 while completing his MBA at St. Joseph's University. Twitter: @gjoloughlin @swellees @keystoneedge

Fran DiDonato is the publisher of Freshwater Cleveland, an online publication about the people, ideas and innovators creating a world-class city. Prior to joining Freshwater, Fran served as the interim executive director of Cleveland Water Alliance, a consultant on the Global Cleveland initiative, and national director of partnerships for CEOs for Cities. Twitter: @FranCDiDonato @FreshWaterCLE

Camille LeFevre is the managing editor of The Line, a weekly online magazine covering what's next for Minneapolis and St. Paul. An interdisciplinary arts journalist, critic and editor, LeFevre has written thousands of articles, previews and reviews for journals, magazines, newspapers and online-publications throughout the United States. She’s currently an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches professional courses in arts journalism, and has also taught in the dance and architecture schools. Twitter: @TheLineMag