Community Development Society

News and Information

Community Development Society – 2015-2016 Marketing and Membership Committee

1) 2015-2016 highlights and accomplishments

a) Update of CDS brochure

b) Planning of new members’ activity at CDS 2016 reception

c) 2 new social media contributors

i) Coordination with CDS 2016 planning committee for social media promotion

2) 2015-2016 ongoing activities

a) Diversity ad hoc committee

b) Connecting with “new members” through email

c) POG, website alignment and rolling membership

d) LinkedIn Company page update


Co-Chair Cindy Banyai

Co-Chair Dan Kahl

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CDS unveils two New Community Development Grant Programs

A few years ago, the CDS Finance Committee had an interesting and fun problem to solve.  Our operations finance account had more money in it than was required to maintain our yearly operations.  The excess of cash was due to our recent well-attended annual conferences. The CDS Polices and Operational Guidelines (POG) required the Finance Committee;  “To prudently invest funds not immediately needed for the operation of the CDS, in order to provide a reasonable return, while limiting the risk of loss.”  Much debate ensued in the Finance Committee and the CDS Board of Directors (BOD) on how CDS would invest and use these funds in the future. At the Fall 2014 BOD meeting in Lexington, KY, the decision was to create a Strategic Initiatives Fund (SIF) with two accounts, a SIF Working Account (SIFWA) and a SIF Investment account (SIFIA) utilizing a 20/80% allocation between the accounts.  The SIFIA was invested with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the SIFWA was placed in an interest bearing money market account.  Quarterly distributions from the SIFIA would go the SIFWA.  These accounts would also be funded by any surplus cash that exceeds 120% of the maximum cash flows requirements for the upcoming yearly operational budget. The initial allocation to the two accounts was $120,000 to the SIFIA and $30,000 to the SIFWA with the caveat that up to 60% of the SIFWA could be awarded from the SIFWA every year to fund strategic projects that are in tgye interest of CDS .  Currently, the total current SIF funds is $168,771.24 with $33,467.16 in the SIF working account and $135,304.08 in the SIF Investment account.     

While this was an exciting time for the finance committee and CDS, it created yet one more problem. How would CDS allocate funds from the SIFWA in a fair and equitable manner and ensure that the funded projects would be in the Interest of the Community Development Society?  An ad-hoc sub-committee of the CDS Finance Committee was formed to analyze the issue and after months of debate, it was decided that Community Development Society should offer grants funded by the SIF. Two new grant programs were developed, the Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grant (CDSICG) Program and Community Development Advancement Grant (CDAG) Program. Each grant program could award up to 30% of SIFWA every year.   The two new grants programs were accepted by unanimous vote at CDS BOD at their 2016 yearly meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota. The initial solicitations for grant applications for the programs will be released in January of 2017 on the web site and in an e-mail to all members.  The CDs finance committee anticipates having $10,000 available for each grant program to allocate next year.    

                The Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grants (CDSICG) will fund special one-time projects that enhance or increase the capacity and ability of CDS to fulfill its mission and promote the CDS Principles of Good Practice to a larger audience.  The is a limit of two awards per year for no more than 30% (total) of the working account for both awards. For example, one project could be funded for 30% of the SIF working account (January 1, amount) or two projects for 15% each of the SIFWA.  Funds not utilized in one year will remain with the SIFWA.  The intent of the grant is to allow CDS to address external resources that are not currently available within its membership to meet the stated purposes of the capacity grant applications. It is not intended to supplant or augment existing committee work which can be funded from annual committee budgets.  Projects must be unique to CDS and have discernable outcomes, reasonable timelines and fixed budgets.  Applications are limited to current members of the CDS Board of Directors. Unfunded applications can be modified and resubmitted in the next opportunity. Additional process guidelines will be available on website in the new future.  

Community Development Advancement Grants (CDAG) fund projects that advance the field of Community Development. These projects could be focused on creating educational resources, projects that increase our understanding of issues, processes that engage people across time and space, and other projects that will enhance and support the science, practice and discipline of Community Development. It is very important that the applicant build a strong case how the project advances Community Development in some form.  The total Community Development Advancement Grants awards are limited to 30% of the SIFWA each year (January 1, amount), with no one grant allocating more than 10% of the SIFWA. It is expected that an awardee of a CDAG will present on the project at the next CDS annual conference following project completion.   Projects must be unique to CDS and have discernable outcomes, reasonable timelines and fixed budgets.  Applications are open to CDS members only. The project operational team can include non-CDS members but team leadership and fiscal responsibility must be established by a current CDS member. An individual can submit more than one application per grant cycle, but only the top ranked application will be funded in the case of multiple accepted applications by one individual.  Grant applications will be peer-reviewed.  Additional process guidelines will be available on website in the new future.

The CDS Finance Committee remains hard at work developing other opportunities and services for our members. In addition to managing the newly created SIF grant programs, the finance committee is responsible for CDS operational, publishing and conference budgets and the Linda Sunde Endowment Fund.   Some of yearly activities include the silent and live auctions at the annual conference, fund raising for the Linda Sunde Endowment and making award and scholarships funding recommendations.  If you are a new or slightly more mature CDS member, you should consider joining the Finance Committee. We really would like your help.   If you are interested send an e-mail expressing your interest to one of the Co-chairs of the Finance Committee; Tony Gauvin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Steve Jeanetta  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or John Gulick (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).      



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How One Town Set Out to Write a Plan that People Would Read

image of town plans

By Leslie Wright, Orton Family Foundation

Not unlike most town plans, the Essex, Vermont, Town Plan was 280 pages long, mostly text with an occasional chart or graph. Not exactly a page turner.  When it came time to revise the plan, city officials decided to give it a makeover, and they looked to Community Heart & Soul™ for inspiration. 

Heart & Soul of Essex was a two-year project that officially wrapped up in 2014, though the organization continues to work for positive change in the community. Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven community development method developed by the Orton Family Foundation that focuses on engagement from a broad and deep representation of a community. 

The 2016 Town Plan has a whole new look.  It’s less than half the size at 124 pages and features color photos, sidebars and graphics. The online version features links out to further documents and policy, which helped trim the document.

Content was revamped, too. The Heart & Soul of Essex vision statement and six Heart & Soul value statements are included. The first chapter is devoted to an action plan with goals, time frames, and cost estimates spelled out. In the old plan this section was buried at the back, without as much detail on delivery.

The plan won the Vermont Planners Association 2016 Town Plan of the Year award.

“Hands down, everybody thought it was far and away the best,” said Shanna Saunders, president of the New Hampshire Planners Association, the group responsible for judging plans. “The extent of public outreach they did really wowed people.”

In rethinking what a town plan could be, planners turned to the precedent and the plan created by Heart & Soul of Essex. 

 “We wanted to make the town plan distinctive, to make people feel they were a part of it,” said Dana Hanley, director of community development. “We wanted to do something really different that would make people actually read it, because everyone always tells us they never read the town plan.” 

Heart & Soul set a precedent for community engagement that meant both planners and residents were receptive to a participatory process, said Liz Subin, coordinator of the Heart & Soul of Essex. Planners held a photo and art contest to collect images for the plan and held meetings in neighborhoods to gather input.

“They really saw the opportunity for the plan to be something other than one that historically sits on the shelf, that nobody interacts with,” Subin said. “If it was a vibrant, living thing it could help them do their jobs and help the community feel more connected, and this plan does that.”

Best of all, Hanley is now hearing from residents who are reading the plan.

Here's a link to a video about the plan:


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Community Development Data Viz June 2016

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President’s Update—Rededicating Ourselves to Our Mission and to Humanity

There is no other way to begin this column but to pay tribute to the innocent victims of the horrific act of violence that occurred early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, USA. Forty-nine people lost their lives and another 50 were injured when a man opened fire on a nightclub. My heart goes out to the victim's families and loved ones, as well as everyone else that is struggling to find peace and comfort. Personally, I’ve found a need to step back from the various news outlets and social media venues, as so many of the news articles and social media conversations seek to further polarize rather than unite our society.

However, a blog post by Billy Shore (founder and executive director of Share Our Strength and chair of Community Wealth Ventures) really struck a chord. In “Bearing Witness: Orlando and the Imperative of Rededicating Ourselves to Mission and Humanity” (, Shore notes that many leaders feel that their own efforts are “almost trivial or irrelevant in the context of what has happened.” However, he encourages us to “rededicate ourselves to our mission and to humanity.” Shore references a speech by Robert F. Kennedy (, given the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in which Kennedy addresses not only violence involving bloodshed, but “another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.” 

While horrific acts of violence involving bloodshed such as the Orlando nightclub shooting can create an overwhelming sense of helplessness and hopelessness, it’s important for us to remember that our work as community problem solvers, peacemakers, and capacity builders serves an important purpose as our world continues to work towards unity, tolerance, and peace. Let’s rededicate ourselves to our mission and to humanity.


May we all find peace.

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President's Update--May 2016

Online registration is now available for the Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) International Conference 2016, to be held July 23-27 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA! If you haven’t had an opportunity to register for the conference yet, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the layout of the registration information designed by our new web developer (with assistance from Steve Jeanetta, AOM, Chris Marko, and others).  Chris Marko, VP-Programs, has been notifying presenters, coordinating program sessions, and working with the Local Host Committee to finalize details for the conference.  

The CDS/IACD conference is a great opportunity for you to get involved with an outstanding network of community development professionals. If you are not already part of this network, I would encourage you to think about how you will get engaged with the membership this year. Will you join a committee? Join or lead an Interest Group? Run for a board position? There are so many opportunities in this organization for you to grow personally and professionally. If you have any questions regarding these opportunities, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or another board member. We’re here to help.

Gisele F. Hamm, President


Community Development Society International

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Community Development Data Viz - May 2016

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The Importance of Public Engagement

Why is engaging the public so important? Some critics would say that public involvement is slow, cumbersome, and wrought with conflict. Indeed, engaging the public can be a lengthy process. Public engagement often requires multiple meetings and processes which are energy intensive and time consuming.  In addition, whenever you engage more people, there is an increasing likelihood of surfacing different thoughts and opinions. So, the argument is made that community engagement is slow, cumbersome, and involves conflict.

In spite of this, engaging the public does have redeeming value. There may actually be an increased likelihood of conflict if we do not have an open, engaging process. By listening to the perspectives of the people who will be impacted by the decision, it may be possible to craft solutions that address the needs of those impacted, rather than only those who stand to benefit. While expediency may win the day, engagement may determine the ultimate sustainability of the project outcomes.

Competitive businesses know that the customer comes first.  Elected officials know they must listen to their constituency. Educational institutions know they must listen to the needs of the students. It seems that most of our organizational and governmental structures acknowledge the value of listening to, and engaging their constituency. 

For community developers, if we agree that there is value in public engagement, the primary question becomes, "How do we engage the public in important conversations and problem solving in ways that are timely, enjoyable, and productive?"

One great resource of ideas is the 2016 Community Development Society Annual Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 24-27. The conference, held in conjunction with the International Association of Community Development will focus on elements of community sustainability – including sustainability through public engagement. For more details visit the 2016 conference information page on this CDS website.

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Featuring Cases of International CD Work

By Jim Cavaye


The CDS International Committee has been active in fostering networks between community development practitioners from across the globe.  The committee has worked closely with International Association for Community Development (IACD) and developed an updated MOU between CDS and IACD.  We look forward to the joint conference between the two organisations in July and will welcome international delegates at our reception just before the conference opening.  

The committee is seeking international case studies of community development practice to feature on the CDS website and to foster sharing between practitioners.  We invite practitioners from any country to provide a brief description of their work or a particular community activity together with one or two photos.  We’d like practitioners to describe “learnings” and key points about the aspects of community development which been important to the project or activity.  Please contact Jim Cavaye (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Gary Goreham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.


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Community Development Data Viz - April 2016

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President's Update

It’s hard to believe that the 2016 Joint Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development Conference to be held July 23-27, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA is only four months away.  Approximately 220 abstracts were submitted this year, and notifications to presenters are slated to be distributed this week. Conference registration is also scheduled to be available on the CDS website within the week. The Program Planning and Local Host Committees are working to ensure that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are woven throughout the conference. Seven engaging mobile learning workshops have been coordinated by the Local Host Committee and a number of pre-conference workshops have been confirmed.

Thank you to all of our members who took the time to vote in the CDS Board elections and/or submitted a scholarship or award nomination this year. Your participation in processes such as these is an important responsibility you hold as a member of CDS.

Gisele Hamm, President


Community Development Society International

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So you want to be in Vanguard?

Vanguard is here for you! That's right, you, the members of the Community Development Society. This publication is your regular update to what is happening within in our organization (like conference deadlines and election information) and what is happening more broadly in our shared community of practice (position announcements, publications). However, this publication can only serve you, if YOU share with us these important pieces of information. 

So, you want your information in Vanguard? Here are some tips to make sure your article, posting, or announcement get in!

  1. Post to the CDS Blog - As a CDS member you can post any piece of information related to your work on our blog. This includes job openings, new placements in your organization, new publications you've released, other conferences you are involved with, musings on your areas of practice -- really pretty much anything! Use this space to connect with your fellow members. As Vanguard Editor, this is my first stop for content.
  2. Contribute to CDS Connect - Like the CDS Blog, this is your place to share and share alike -- it's a membership benefit, take advantage! Join an affinity group discussion and  post job vacancies, and don't forget to complete your profile so you can continue to connect with like-minded professionals. This is another place I can easily source content for Vanguard.
  3. Post to the Community Development Society Facebook Page or Group - This is an especially great place to share interesting articles and resources, as well as photos, videos, and related memes. I often check here to source material the section CD Resources.
  4. Tag @CommDevSoc on Twitter - Like our Facebook pages, I check here CD Resources. 
  5. DO post yourself - If you have an important announcement to share, please post it in one of these easy -to-find locations. Emailing pdfs or other documents to myself the CDS office makes putting together the Vanguard challenging and all too easy for us to miss YOUR very important message.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Vanguard and I really look forward to hearing from even more of you and being there to share your message.

Feel free to reach out, I'm listening.


Cindy Banyai

Editor, Vanguard 

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President's Update

This morning I had the opportunity to do my civic duty and vote in the US Presidential Primary Election.  As a member of the Community Development Society, you also have a duty to vote for your Society’s leadership. While certainly not as important as a country’s presidential election, the CDS election process is key to ensuring we have an effective board of directors that represents our membership.  On February 29th, CDS members received an email, “2016 CDS Annual Election Information” which provided voting instructions for the annual board election. If you have not yet voted and misplaced or deleted the email, please watch your email inbox for a followup reminder email and take a few moments to vote. We are fortunate to have an excellent slate of candidates to choose from. The deadline to cast your vote is May 1st!

Another important deadline is for the CDS 2016 Awards and Scholarships. Nominations and applications are due March 31st, and information and forms can be found on the CDS website.  If you have any questions about the categories or application process, please contact Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


It’s exciting to see the plans unfold for the 2016 Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development to be held July 24-27, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA! Both the Local Host and the Program Planning Committees are doing an excellent job of coordinating the conference program, events, and activities. Abstracts are currently out for review, and acceptance notifications are expected to be sent out within the next few weeks. Conference speakers, mobile learning workshops, and other conference highlights are being confirmed, so watch the CDS website, emails and social media sites for conference updates!

Gisele Hamm


President, Community Development Society International

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Community Development Data Viz - March 2016

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President’s Update—A Time of Transition

I have never been a fan of the cold winter weather that we experience in Illinois, and I’m most certainly looking forward to the first signs of spring and the promise of renewal that the season brings. This past weekend I was in Peoria, Illinois and made a stop by the shopping mall to see if I might catch an end of season sale on winter coats. I had heard that the large anchor department store, Macy’s, was closing due to poor sales and earnings performance, which would result in not only a large, vacant space, but the loss of employment for those who worked there.  For me, this news affected me in a similar way that the arrival of winter affects me—eliciting feelings of sadness and signifying the end of a season. As I walked through the store and scanned the leftover merchandise and store fixtures, it brought back memories of shopping there with my mom and sisters, then later with my husband and children. I spoke with one of the store’s employees—a gentleman in his 70s who had worked there ever since I could remember, and who was always very helpful and professional. He mentioned that the store’s closing came as a surprise to those who worked there, and that he was now going to be depending on his Social Security and Medicare to get him by.  Like the change in seasons, transition from a once vibrant environment to a declining one can be distressing, but like the change in seasons, this transition can also bring a sense of renewed hope for what is yet to come. Community members are already brainstorming ideas for the vacant spaces such as apartments, a hotel, community college branch, business offices, a health care facility, or a business incubator. As purchasing habits change and internet shopping continues to increase, large shopping malls most likely will continue to decline in popularity.  However, with this “change in season” will come new ideas and opportunities.


It’s been a month of transition for the Community Development Society as well. Last week, we were informed by Accent on Management (AOM) (CDS’s business management office) that Karen Holt, the CDS Business Manager, was moving on and that we will be working with a new CDS Business Manager. We truly appreciate all Karen has done for CDS, and we wish her well in her next endeavor. Lisa Kirr will be our new Business Manager, and Julie White will continue to serve as the CDS Executive Assistant. Lisa comes to AOM with extensive event planning experience, in addition to having earned an MBA and developed strong communication and leadership skills. Starting this month, we are also working with a new web development company which will enable us to build on what has already been accomplished on our new website.  Another transition:  Joyce Hoelting has stepped down as editor for CD Practice after several years of excellent service in that role. Joyce’s work as editor is very much appreciated, as we know it can be challenging at times! Craig Talmage has graciously agreed to take on the role as editor, and has already shared some great ideas for how we might enhance the publication for our membership. We look forward to working with our new colleagues and appreciate your patience as we work through the transition process. 

Gisele F. Hamm, President, Community Development Society

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Community Development Data Viz February 2016

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CDS to the Voter’s Box!

By Whitney McIntyre-Miller

CDS is proud to announce that we have secured a slate of very talented and dedicated board and Vice President candidates for election this year.  These candidates are in the process of preparing their platform statements for your consideration which address each candidate’s 1) experience in community development, 2) special, unique talents they will bring to CDS, 3) current and past experiences with CDS or other professional organizations, and 4) vision and ideas for CDS.  We will be preparing the ballots, and voting for the three board members and one Vice President will commence in March.  If you have any questions about the voting process, the candidates, or nominations in general, please contact either Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Whitney McIntyre Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The following individuals will be standing for the following elected positions:

 VP-           Cindy Banyai
Board-        Leanna Avery
                Jim Cavaye
                Michael Fortunato
                Kurt Mantonya
                Wilson Majee

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CDS Awards & Scholarships Made Easier: Nominate by March 31st

It’s that time again! CDS Scholarships and Awards are back with a new and improved process. It’s time for you to nominate the outstanding peers, mentors, and students in your midst for their amazing work in community development. It’s also time for you to encourage students and members alike to apply for this year’s CDS scholarships.

To submit your nomination, access the online awards nomination forms (link here) or scholarship application forms (link here) and take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the required information. The forms are tailored to each award or scholarship you select making it easier for us to track and ensure form completion.

For your convenience, the awards and scholarship committees will do the work of soliciting the resumes, CVs, or biosketches and letters of support. All you have to do is provide us with emails to help you complete your application or nomination. This way we can ensure that all applications are completed in full before our reviews.

CDS awards and scholarships are amazing ways to showcase our new and seasoned community development researchers, practitioners, students, and friends alike. It is a must that we receive as many applications and nominations as possible. Self-nominations are welcome in many areas.

Please direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you!

CDS Awards and Recognition Committee
CDS Scholarships Committee

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SHELBURNE, Vt. (Feb. 11, 2016)—Orton Family Foundation Executive Director David Leckey announced the hiring of Katherine McQuade as director of marketing and communications.

McQuade’s background includes executive leadership in marketing for companies in the global tech sector and teaching organizational leadership at the university-level. 

“A proven leader with marketing savvy, we are delighted that Katherine is joining the Orton team. Her knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we bring Community Heart & Soul™ to small towns and rural communities across the country,” Leckey said. 

McQuade joins Orton from the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she was assistant professor. In addition, she served as adjunct instructor in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. She served as director of marketing for NRG Systems in Hinesburg, Vermont, a leader in the sustainable energy industry that manufactures wind measuring devices. 

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead Orton’s marketing and communications efforts as the foundation spreads the word about its powerful and empowering, resident-driven community development method,” McQuade said.  

Her experience includes serving as marketing manager for Hypertherm, in Hanover, New Hampshire, a global leader in plasma and laser cutting systems and market development manager for Philips Medical Systems in Andover, Massachusetts. She holds a Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Master of Business Administration from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire, and a Bachelor of Science in education from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

About the Orton Family Foundation: With its Community Heart & Soul™ method, the Orton Family Foundation empowers people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of communities. Community Heart & Soul does this by assisting the residents of small cities and towns in making plans and taking action based on what matters most to residents and upholds the unique character of each place. For more information visit

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President’s Update – Happy New Year!

The Community Development Society is off to a great start to the new year! Plans are well underway for the 2016 Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development, which is only six months away! Over 200 abstract proposals were submitted for the conference, and the program planning committee is currently coordinating the abstract review process and organizing the program.

Nominations are currently being accepted to fill the Vice President of Operations as well as three Board of Director positions. If you have not had the opportunity to serve on the CDS Board, we strongly encourage you to consider applying, or if you know of a CDS member that might be interested, please contact Craig Talmage (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or another Board member.

Thanks to the leadership of Craig Talmage, the awards and recognition committee and the scholarship committee have been working together to streamline the application and nomination processes used by the two committees so that the submission procedures are easier for both applicants and reviewers. Calls for awards and scholarship applications/nominations will be released this month, so please watch for the announcements and plan to submit an application and/or nomination.

Have you had an opportunity to check out the CDS Affinity Groups yet? If not, I would encourage you to go to the CDS website and click on the “CDS Connect” tab at the top of the home page. The Affinity Groups offer CDS members the opportunity to network and engage in conversations related to various fields of interest/expertise. You may join as many of the groups as you wish.  If you have any questions, please contact Whitney McIntyre Miller (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016!

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