In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about the rural collaborative advantage; how rural community leaders can recognize the resources within their community and then then collaborate with the various organizations within their community to create a culture of health. We’re having that conversation with Chris Thompson, President and CEO of the West Missouri Community Action Agency.
“Whether you’re in an urban area or a rural area, it is what it is. Poverty is poverty.”
Chris is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency located and West Central Community Development Corporation (d/b/a New Growth) located in Appleton city, Missouri. Prior to joining West Central in 2014, Chris coordinated community economic development efforts in Clarkston, Georgia — a community that has been described, variously, as the “most diverse square mile” in the United States and as “the Ellis Island of the 21st Century,” and on American Indian reservations (in South Dakota); and has served as an economic development advisor to, and provided administrative oversight of, large networks of resources for community transformation in twenty of the most economically challenged counties in the United States.
During his time in community economic development, Chris has led efforts to develop a unique community engagement model known as a community trust, assisted in the development of a small business accelerator model featured in a documentary, facilitated community engagements throughout the United States, consulted non-profit organizations on community development and facilitation, and has spoken on community development issues at various conferences, and on various media.
Chris also practiced commercial real estate law for over 16 years, which practice included stints at large law firms, at large international corporations, and at smaller boutique firms providing counsel to local, regional and national real estate developers and commercial/retail tenants.
Chris holds degrees in business (B.S. Business Administration), law (J.D.), and alternative dispute resolution (L.L.M.), all from the University of Missouri – Columbia.