Hi, I’m Becky McCray from Oklahoma.
And I’m Deb Brown from Mississippi.
We believe small towns can be saved — including yours.
You can trust SaveYour.Town to share practical advice for rural communities.
We are part of our communities, just like you are.
We’ve both served on community boards and committees.
From local groups to state and national boards and organizations, we’ve met and planned and worked and volunteered. We’ve been part of arts and history groups, educational and workforce advisory boards, entrepreneur events, professional associations, local and rural initiatives.
Our work has helped us find ways to work inside and outside of formal groups.
Photo: Deb and volunteers ripping out a floor in downtown Webster City, Iowa, around 2014.
We understand traditional economic, workforce and organization development.
Deb holds an Institute for Organizational Management certification, graduated from Leadership Iowa and the Ag-Urban Institute in Iowa.
Becky has her BS in Business Administration, completed the Oklahoma Governing Officials Institute and earned certificates in Facilitating for Results and Quality Leadership.
Sometimes you have to understand the system in order to find a better way.
Photo: Becky and the OSU Stream Team coming up with ideas to improve Dog Creek in Waynoka, Oklahoma, around 2005, photo by Laurie Reyes.
We joined forces in May 2015 to help small towns and rural communities thrive.
In addition to what we’ve learned from all the small town people we’ve met and worked with, we’ve listened to the specific needs of over 1700 rural people in our Survey of Rural Challenges. We understand small town realities.
Our own personal experiences working in business, agriculture, services, media, nonprofits and associations drive us to keep things simple and practical.
(Photo circa 2016)
We’re not biased toward any specific program or solution. We give honest advice.
Want to hear from us every week? Get our newsletters.
Why are we called Save Your Town? Because that is what you are going to do, save your town. No one is coming to do it for you.
We tell that story in this video:
About Deb Brown
Deb grew up on a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, population 141. Her first entrepreneurial venture was raising a hog. You’d find her either with her nose in a history book or out exploring abandoned houses and buildings. Funny, things haven’t changed much, she’s still working on filling empty buildings in small towns.
A wealth of experience includes leading a small town chamber of commerce, foreign casualty insurance underwriting, bartending, retail management, selling knives, and working with small towns. Deb has lived in tiny towns, small towns, small cities and a major metro city. Deb is a relentless optimist and knows how to build possibility in your small town. Better yet, she inspires you to take small steps towards a brighter future for your community.
- Invite Deb to speak at your next event or to visit your town
- Review Deb’s newsletters from the past year
- Read Deb’s latest at Building Possibility
About Becky McCray
Becky believes small towns have a future. She watches the global trends in the economy, technology and society, then she delivers practical steps rural people can implement right now to shape the future of their town. Her advice is based on her real world experience as a lifelong entrepreneur and cattle rancher.
Becky’s career in small towns includes work as owner of retail stores, as city administrator for a municipality of 990 people, as an executive with rural nonprofits and as a teacher of computer and business classes. In 2004, she ran for state legislature, losing by just one vote per precinct. She believes we learn from both our successes and our failures, even when those failures are printed in the local newspaper. She makes her home in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a town of 30 people. She doesn’t just talk about rural issues; she lives them.
- Invite Becky to speak at your next event or to visit your town
- Review Becky’s newsletters from the past year
- Read Becky’s articles at Small Biz Survival
Together, we’re teaching you specific ways to make your small town a better place. We’re creating the videos, courses and toolkits that will help you learn, grow and take action.
Small towns can best be saved by their own people using their own resources.
We’ve joined forces to show you practical steps to help you shape a brighter future for your small town.
Follow us at your favorite places:
You can find us on most any channel using the hashtags #IdeaFriendly #SaveYourTown #BuildingPossiblity and #SmallTownCool (And we love to see you use them, too!)
- SaveYour.Town company page
- Deb Brown – catch video interviews with other smart rural folks
- Becky McCray – watch for mini-articles and editorials
- SaveYour.Town page – ask us anything via Messenger here
- Building Possibility page – Deb’s page and stories
- Becky’s Small Biz Survival page
YouTube: (hint: watch all 3 channels for tips you can use, clipped from our latest videos)
- Cheap Ideas for Downtown Placemaking
- Empty buildings, lots and roofless buildings
- 10+ Empty Window Ideas
- Filling up downtown for the holidays (or anytime)
Other social experiments:
- Becky’s Small Town and Rural Flipboard
- Flipboard – Deb has a bunch of boards
- Becky shares her newsletters at Medium
- Threads app @debra.travels