Community Development Society

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Notes from the CDS Chair

By Jane Leonard

Two months have flown by since I arrived early and walked thru the 2019 annual conference details with Mary Simon Leuci and Janie Dunning (Local Host Committee co-chairs) at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.

In two short days, people would be arriving for the 50th anniversary celebration and 51st annual meeting of CDS. I was pretty much in awe during the entire time. We were following in the same footsteps of our founders – who began CDS in 1969 on that same campus.

The quality of the conference, the rich interconnections between people from around the world, and the spirit of celebration was a wonderful way to kick off the next 50 years of CDS. Being with Lee Cary, the first president of CDS, and all the other past-presidents on the Sunday evening opening reception was a highlight for me. Monieca West and I had been co-presidents during the 25th anniversary year of CDS; Monieca was kind enough to come back to organize that special Sunday celebration program.

Many thanks to Sharon Gulick and Tim Collins for their work on the CDS at 50 history book – photos, reflections, and more. The Local Host Team was crazy good! Love you all! They’re already helping the local host team in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, sharing know-how for the 2020 annual conference there (July 12-15, 2020).

I close with thanks to all who attended the conference and those who presented stories, research, and practice know-how. We form a community when we gather each year. We leave inspired to keep helping build community wherever we call home.

Please share your comments, thoughts, and ideas for CDS going forward into the next 50 years – write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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