Dear CDS Community,
It was great to see so many of you in Dubuque where our local hosts did a superb job of demonstrating the value of collaboration and working across numerous boundaries to help us put on a great conference! If you were not able to make this year's conference, then definitely make your plans now to attend next year's event in Lexington, Kentucky!
Community Development Society conferences are nearly always a humbling experience for me. Not because I am particularly shy, but because I often feel that my CD work is so inadequate when compared to all of the great things the CDS membership is doing and how clearly they demonstrate the CDS Principles of Good Practice. It was right at 25 years ago that I participated in my first CDS conference. Prior to that time, I knew nothing of the organization, but as a newly-hired Rural Development Extension Specialist, my mentors at Purdue thought it a good idea for me to go along with them to this meeting. I will always owe them a debt of gratitude for helping me to find this organization and for encouraging me to get involved.
Over the past 25 years I have been able to contribute my small part to the body of CD work, and I now realize that for most, if not all, of us, that is sufficient. In fact, the beauty of CDS is that it is an organization dedicated to acknowledging, celebrating, and nurturing each of our seemingly insignificant efforts, allowing us to only really sense the significance of our work when we come together, as a community. For many, this occurs at our annual conference. For others, it happens when we collaborate on an article for our journal or participate together in committee work. CDS is an organization for people who appreciate, dare I say "who are at least slightly addicted to", the idea of community.
As we continue to move the organization forward I hope that you will consider ways that you might want to be involved. There are numerous committees that would really appreciate your sharing of time and talents. You will definitely get more out of the experience than you invest.