Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. As co-founder of SaveYour.Town, she shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly-ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning book, Small Town Rules. She’s been featured and quoted in books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts and university publications. She makes her home base in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a community of 30 people. Her goal is to deliver practical steps you can put into action right away to shape the future of your town.
Areas of Expertise (11)
Small Business Book Awards 2013 (professional)
A Community Choice Winner in 2013 Small Business Book Awards, Small Biz Trends.
Best Small Business Books Published in 2012 (professional)
Awarded by National Federation of Independent Business
Top 100 Small Business Influencers, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 (professional)
As selected by a group of small business experts and online nominations. Quite an honor, considering the competition included many much more "well known" people.
Small Town State of Now Conference (professional)
An international gathering of hundreds of people from small towns exploring high tech, held in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The State of Now and 140conf events provide a platform for the worldwide online community to: listen, connect, share and engage with each other, while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet. The new ideas created by the community are much stronger than the ideas that each person brought with them.
Kauffman Platinum Award (professional)
awarded by EntrepreneurshipWeek USA, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Outstanding Resource Partner, Small Business Administration, 2003 (professional)
Honored in the Northwest Oklahoma Region, nominated by the local Small Business Development Center for our work together on Entrepreneur Days throughout the region.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University: B.S., Business Administration 1993
Minor in Mass Communications. Summa Cum Laude.
- Rural Renewal Initiative, Oklahoma State University
- Alva Area Chamber of Commerce
- Northwest Oklahoma Alliance
- Shift Your Shopping National Working Group
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alumni Association
Mack Collier, Founder | BlogChat
Becky agreed to co-host the 1st Live #Blogchat event at South By Southwest. I threw Becky quite the curveball, as I asked her to join and help facilitate the discussion and flow at this event with only a couple of hours notice. But I did that because I knew that she could handle the event, and she did so flawlessly. Becky is a very polished yet completely natural speaker, and that resonates with her audience. She was a star of our event, and a huge reason why it was so successful.
Cheryl Lawson, Founder | Social Media Tulsa
Becky’s ability to connect the changes in today’s business world to small town rules is phenomenal. When she speaks, you can see the light bulbs going off in the audience as they collectively nod their heads. Becky McCray understands community and seamlessly becomes a part of any audience she encounters. More than just a speaker, Becky is a valued partner and an asset to me as an event organizer.
Kevin Jessop, President | AMAOKC
That Becky McCray knows her stuff. Our AMAOKC surveys indicate she was EXTREMELY well received!
Derrick Parkhurst, Organizer | OpenBeta
I have a sneaking suspicion that you could talk about anything and make it seem interesting.
Deb Brown, Director | Webster City Chamber of Commerce
Outstanding guided brainstorming session today with Becky McCray. She got the entire room to start thinking about working together, sharing our passions and supporting local businesses. Everyone left with a list of things they could go back to work with and install right away. So much better than a one hour lecture and more empowering as well. By the end of the week, I saw businesses changing their marketing, starting to work together, cooperating with the local paper, and a few new people starting to work with the Chamber.
Laura Girty, Regional Director | Northwest Oklahoma Small Business Development Center
Consistently audiences rate her highly and go away energized and excited to tackle their business dreams, and always wanting more. She continues to be one of the most valuable resources I have found for small business!
Media Appearances (4)
Rural Sourcing: how big city companies are rural sourcing instead of outsourcing, turning to small town service providers for their lower cost of doing business.
Social media expert Becky McCray says the key to success on the Web can be found in any small town.
Geek Beat TV with Cali Lewis
Revision3 Internet Television online
Cali Lewis and John P interview Barry Moltz and Becky McCray about their new book "Small Town Rules" at Blogworld 2012.
Small Town Greatness, AARP Live
Rural towns are not small versions of urban cities. They have unique qualities and challenges. We'll address these issues tonight and we want viewers to call and share what’s great about their town and what they feel needs to happen to create a community for all ages.
Event Appearances (13)
Current list on my speaking site
Over 200 events
Do small towns have a future?
TEDxGympie: Innovation in Rural Communities Australia
Small Town Rules
BlogWorld Expo New York City
Small Town Rules -- Keynote
Michigan Small Town and Rural Development Conference Thompsonville, Michigan
What we can learn from small town entrepreneurs
SXSW Interactive Austin, Texas
Social Media: Linkage to Multiple Markets
International Economic Development Council Conference Columbus, Ohio
Small Town Rules - Keynote
Norfolk County Tourism and Economic Development Symposium Canada, Norfolk County, Port Dover
Small Town Rules - Keynote
Locally Energized: Community Futures Development Corporations Conference, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference 12 locations across rural Washington, USA, via remote video
Tackling Rural Entrepreneurship Challenges
National Summit on Rural Entrepreneurship Washington, D.C.
10 Trends in Rural's Favor, and Why Small Towns Need Social Media
Rural Development Conference, USDA, TVA Murfreesboro, Tennesse
Broadband Access as a Basic Service panel
Public Knowledge Policy Panel Washington, D.C.
Sample Talks (3)
Small Towns Have a Future: 10 Trends in Our Favor
All your life, you’ve been told that small towns are dying, drying up, and disappearing, and that there’s nothing you can do to change it. What you don’t ever hear is the good news. Big trends are moving in our favor: brain gain, changing retail dynamics, new travel motivations and more. Learn why we have a future and how to shape the future of your town. Rural audiences love this topic because it is a breath of fresh air: the good news about small towns!
Developing Resilient Communities: The Idea Friendly Method
You don’t have to know all the answers. You just have to be open to new ideas. Today you can put your ideas into action with less overhead, less drag and more meaningful participation by more people. Learn three practical ways the research-backed Idea Friendly method will help you improve the climate for new ideas and position your small town to thrive, no matter what the future brings. This topic shakes up old approaches so we can better adapt to the future. Audiences leave feeling measurably more optimistic (16.8% more optimistic in one survey) because they see exactly how they can shape a better future for their town.
Refilling the Business Pipeline: Expanding Economic Opportunity with the Innovative Rural Business Models
The old way of going into business doesn’t fit today’s economic crisis realities. Entrepreneurs will need new, more accessible business formats and new ways of doing business, including pop-ups, shared buildings, businesses inside of other businesses and more. Find out how entrepreneurs are already using these smaller scale experiments and tests to learn what works before making a huge investment. Learn how you can adapt them for your community and pull down the barriers to entry. Not only are entrepreneurs interested in these potential models, but local leaders also can put them to work spurring new business development and supporting fuller participation in the local economy.
- Workshop Leader
- Author Appearance
Research Focus (1)
Survey of Rural Challenges
Since 2015, over 1400 people answered the Survey of Rural Challenges. It uncovered big disconnects between what rural people want and what media, service providers and policy makers provide. Services and assistance commonly offered to rural people don’t match up with what rural people say they want help with. Common themes in media coverage and policy conversations around rural communities don’t match rural views. What urban and suburban people think of rural challenges is tinged by stereotypes that don’t agree with what rural people are thinking.
Quality Leader Certificate
Workforce Development, Workforce Oklahoma Training Institute, Nov 2002, University of Oklahoma College of Professional and Continuing Studies
Facilitating for Results
Zenger-Miller Achieve Global, Feb 2002, 12 hours, Francis Tuttle Tech Center
Email newsletter archiveBecky McCray
Practical steps you can take to shape the future of your town and news when I offer products and services to help you do it. "I love you more than my granny’s baked country ham! You sit down and think, 'what does Joe need to hear right now?' and then send it to everybody. You’ll never convince me otherwise! Keep doin’ you, Becky! And THANK YOU!" -Joe Crawford, Kentucky
Small town business blog postsSmallBizSurvival.com
The rural small business blog with how-to articles since January 14, 2006. "It's our 'go to' site for information on rural and small town businesses and we highly recommend it." Small Business Labs
Complete list of media mentions and articlesBeckyMcCray.com
Print media, TV and radio, books, and academic research citations Because of my unusual focus on rural business, you’ll find my contributions and mentions of me in more than a dozen books, as well as countless blogs, magazines, podcasts and university publications. It’s not just the US; mentions come from Romania, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, the Dominican Republic, the UK, Canada and Australia.