Registration is under way for California’s largest annual meeting focused solely on issues affecting the Central Valley. “Central Valley — Put it on the Map!” is the theme of the Great Valley Center’s annual conference, which will be held May 5-6 at the Radisson Hotel, 500 Leisure Lane in Sacramento.

California State University, Fresno is one of the conference partners.

The theme refers to the Central Valley’s broadening role in the economic future of California, the importance of global leadership provided by Valley-based organizations and the growing awareness among Valley residents of the area’s unique qualities and culture.

Keynote speakers include Mark R. Drabenstott, director of the Center for the Study of Rural America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Edward J. Blakely, author of the book “Fortress America;” and Kenji Hakuta, dean of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California at Merced.

The conference offers six main seminars and 45 concurrent sessions on a variety of topics in the areas of economic development, health, arts and culture, youth, water and the environment, and civic engagement and participation.

The conference also will feature a “Regional Mall” where business and organizations can exhibit products and services, informational displays and book store featuring titles and other merchandise with Valley origins.

Registration is $195 before April 13 and $235 after that date. Californiaormation or to register online, go to For questions about registration or assistance contact Heidi Arno at or (209) 522-5103.

(Copy prepared by University Relations