The Mission...

The Community Development Society furthers community work through teaching, practice, and research. CDS provides those who do community work with best practices, networking opportunities, tools, and other resources.

Membership Spotlight

Welcome to the Membership Spotlight!

CDS is highlighting the work of its members to share information and get to know more about our members and their area of expertise. As survey responses become available from CDS Members, these will be 'spotlighted' in this section of the website and will become a part of the ongoing list to date.  

If you would like to complete the membership survey, click here:
https://cdsabstractsubmission.wufoo.com/forms/cds-members-spotlight-survey/  

Click here for all 2009 Member Spotlight Profiles!

Connie Loden
Wisconsin Rapids, WI, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member of CDS since 1994, I think.   I am president/CEO of the Heart of Wisconsin Business Alliance, which is a chamber of commerce and community economic development organization.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work in community development involves engaging the public to be involved in creating the future of their community - taking a systemic approach to involvement and understanding the community systems and culture at play and fostering innovation.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong for the professional development benefit I gain through my membership. The benefits that I receive are many -connection to practitioners and researchers, particularly international, allowing the exchange of ideas and best practices.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1 International members & friendships 2 Conferences –sharing with other practitioners and professionals in the field 3 Networks& professional exchanges of ideas -ability to be published in a professional development publication
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         It opened up international opportunities to share my expertise w/others. Allowed a professional platform for my work to be evaluated by my peers, and improved by suggestions and expertise. It has recognized my work w/Innovative Project Award
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I have passion for international community development work, fostering innovation & community leadership. Favorite book Synchronicity-The Inner Path to Leadership- Joseph Jaworski  Quote "You must be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi 

Mark Brennan
State College, PA, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been an active member of CDS for 5 years, but indirectly involved with the Society for the last 15.  Since 2009 I have been a professor of leadership and community development at Penn State University.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work involves a mix of teaching and research in topics related to community capacity building, community theory, community power, small group/grassroots development, and community action.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I believe that CDS is the premier organization that brings together community development academics, policy makers, and practitioners.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1.  The diversity of our membership.    2.  The creative environment of our membership.  This contributes to a wonderfully creative and ego free environment.    3.  The clear integration of research, teaching, and outreach.  Activities
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Being involved with CDS has allowed me to collaborate in a variety of areas including extensive interaction with our members, participation in our annual meetings, the honor of being part of our board of directors and editorial board.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Areas of Specialization: Community and Leadership Development, Research Methods, Social Change, International Comparative Studies, Natural Resource Sociology, and Rural Sociology.  Favorite Book:  Ken Wilkinson's The Community in Rural America

John Kuester
Elk River, MN, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member since 1989.  I am a retired rural community developer.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          The favorite part of my work was going into small communities and assessing how they operate so that I would be better grounded in making appropriate suggestions as to how they could achieve their vision.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I joined initially at the suggestion of my boss who felt that CDS was a good fit with our rural development work.  I quickly found a strong network of folks who understood community development and who felt free to share their feedback and expertise.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1. The personal and professional network developed through CDS 2. The Endowment and the future sustainability it will provide the organization 3. The opportunity to explore Annual Conference venues
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Up to the point I joined CDS and strange as it may seem, I did not know that the work I was doing was community development.  In the following years it helped a great deal to have a professional reference point to both describe and evaluate my work.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I sincerely feel that the movie Babe has a great deal to say about effective ways to bridge between diverse agendas within a community. 

Chris Marko
Portland, Oregon, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a CDS member for five years.  I work for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation a non profit organization which helps rural communities acheive their visions and goals through training, technical assistance, and financial resources.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I enjoy making a difference for communities regarding basic needs including drinking water and wastewater, affecting rural program and policy decisions through advocacy, and networking with a wide range of people in community development through CDS.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong to CDS because it is the most broad based organization involving a wide range of community development practitioners and education throughout the world.  CDS helps keep me engaged in cross section between education and community development.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         Diveresity of people Conference is fun! Connection to education
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         CDS has helped make networking regarding community development and rural policy valuable.  CDS contributes to my professional development, helps me work more effectively with communities, and enhances partnerships involved with community development.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Special interests include music, one of my favorite books is The End of Science 

Kristin Kauth
Kaukauna, Wisconsin, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         A member for 32 years. Joined when I began working as a Continuing Education Specialist in the Center for Urban Community Development, University of Wisconsin - Extension.      Retired. Involved in volunteer work with area non-profits.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I was a community development/outreach educator/practioner in Milwaukee, WI for over 24 years with experience in academic, corporate, and non-profit settings. Hold a Masters Degree in Urban Education.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         The inclusiveness within CDS cannot be duplicated in any other organization. It is the place to be if you are serious about community development. Members have been my mentors, educators, colleagues and friends over the years.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         The Annual International Conference, enthusiasm of members, lasting friendships.  The mix of professional backgrounds, academics and practioners - what a learning experience!  The international and multi-discipline viewpoints.
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         I found a professional home that was there forme through 3 career changes. It brought me in contact with a group of people that provided encouragement, support and leadership opportunities that proved valuabe in my work and personal growth.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Book recommendation: Practicing Community Development by Donald W. Littrell and Doris P. Littrell; published by University of Missouri Extension; 2006.  Special Interest: Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes (national non-profit org.)