"This is something that we need," said Leffingwell who is executive director of the Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce.
The conference is demonstrating its ability to think outside the box by coming here, Leffingwell said.
"Our kids go away for school and they never come back," Leffingwell said. "They have to have something to come back to."
Bob Henry Baber remembers traveling to West Virginia each year from New York. He recalls going over to the G.C. Murphy store and the smell of peanuts filling the air while family pets roamed about the store's toy section.
"This is like jumpstarting the town," Baber said. "It's like getting the jumper cables out and starting the battery and saying, 'Oh wow, the car still runs.' Yes, it needs a lot of work, but it's got life."
Baber owns the Deitz-Spencer building on Main Street. He said the conference coming to town prompted him to transform his building into an art studio now, instead of two years from now, as he'd been considering.
His studio will be open and free to conference attendees and residents of Richwood. People can come in and make mosaics, with Baber's help, in about a half hour.
Baber served as Richwood's mayor from 2004 to 2007 and said change in Richwood is needed.
Create West Virginia strives to foster creative, diverse, technologically advanced and competitive communities throughout the Mountain State. The group wants communities and individuals to think creatively, as well as globally, to foster economic growth.
"It's not about Richwood really, it's about West Virginia," Kimmons said. "It's about what can be done in these communities if people will reassess what their sustainable assets are."
More information about the conference, registration and volunteering may be found at www.createwv.com.
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.