Brook Kaufman is the Keynote Speaker for EPIC: An Ozarks Eclipse Experience

The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) is happy to announce that their signature National Small Business Week event, EPIC: An Ozarks Eclipse Experience, will feature keynote speaker Brook Kaufman, who is President & CEO of Visit Rapid City where she leads the charge to grow the local visitor economy. 

Through her diverse career, Brook has launched small businesses, grown large ones, authored a popular blog for female runners, and published a book called Onward! – which, fittingly, is a no-excuses approach to running and life. Prior to joining Visit Rapid City, she was the CEO of Visit Casper where she played a pivotal role in a variety of marketing efforts, including taking the lead in promoting the Great American Eclipse which passed directly over Casper in 2017. Through her leadership during the Eclipse, Casper welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the United States and more than 142 countries, received national and international media coverage, and realized significant economic impact as a result of strategic efforts. 

The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse is the focus of this year’s EPIC event because nearly all of OzSBI’s 7-county service area is in the path of totality. Most of the Eastern Ozarks will experience anywhere from 15 seconds to over four minutes of complete darkness as the moon passes in front of the sun in the middle of the afternoon on April 8, 2024. This will be the last total solar eclipse that our area will experience for a generation and is expected to be a significant tourism draw for the area. EPIC: An Ozarks Eclipse Experience will be all about how communities and business owners in the path of totality can prepare themselves to capture some of the tourism revenue that will flood into our area. 

Brook will hold two keynote presentations at EPIC. The first presentation,  Preparing Your Community for an Eclipse: 13 All-Too-Real Truths, will be all about helping community leaders and planners prepare for the eclipse. There are a myriad of factors to consider when expecting a large number of tourists to quickly come and go in an area that doesn’t typically have this type of tourism activity, including impacts to traffic, hospitality, sewage and water management, and more. Brook’s presentation will discuss what the planning teams learned during the Casper eclipse, including what worked and what didn’t work. This presentation is open to the public, and city planners, eclipse task force members, hotel managers, commissioners, and other community leaders are especially encouraged to attend. 

Brook’s second keynote presentation, Preparing Your Business for an Eclipse: 7 Strategies For Success, is designed to help business owners and managers understand how to turn tourists into customers during the event. With some planning ahead, business owners in the area will be able to capitalize on the economic opportunities that this event represents and Brook will cover seven strategies for doing so. This presentation is also open to the public and anyone who is in or near the path of totality is encouraged to attend, as the anticipated crowds for the eclipse will likely impact the entire Ozarks region. 

EPIC: An Ozarks Eclipse Experience will be held at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator on Thursday, May 11 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Brook is scheduled to give her first keynote speech at 10:00am and her second at 1:45pm. The event will also feature Astronomer, Dr. Peggy Hill, who will talk about the science behind the eclipse and what to expect, as well as marketing team, HIVEMINDED Marketing, who will discuss how to use the Eclipse Media Kit and other marketing tools to promote your business and community during the eclipse. The public is enthusiastically invited to attend – registration just opened and tickets are available now. To register for EPIC, visit, or call 417-256-9724 for more information.

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