Community Development Society

News and Information

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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Community Development Data Viz January 2016

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Job Opportunity at the University of Mississippi - Cultural or Political Sociology of Europe

Assistant Professor--Cultural or Political Sociology of Europe
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology ( and the Croft Institute for International Studies ( invite applications for a Croft Assistant Professor of Cultural or Political Sociology with a focus on contemporary continental Europe. This is a tenure-track position beginning August 2016. The successful candidate will have strong quantitative methods skills and will be able to teach introductory and thematic courses for Sociology and European Studies and the research methods course for International Studies majors. Candidates should have an active program of scholarly research, a strong commitment to teaching and proficiency in a European language other than English. Ph.D. (or advanced ABD) in Sociology is required at the time of application. Tenure and promotion reside in Sociology and Anthropology. Teaching and service responsibilities will be divided equally between the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Croft Institute.The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers the BA and MA degrees in Sociology and the Croft Institute administers the major in International Studies within the College of Liberal Arts. Interested candidates should apply online at by uploading letter of application, curriculum vita, outline of current and projected research interests, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and writing sample. Use the appropriate links to attach these materials to the on-line application. Three confidential letters of recommendation should be mailed to Sociology/Croft Search Committee Chair, c/o Department of Sociology and Anthropology, P.O. Box 1848, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677-1848. Review of applications will begin January 15th, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. Salary is competitive. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. The University of Mississippi is an EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.
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Thank you, poster judges!


More than 30 posters were submitted for display at our CDS Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, in July. Posters were eligible for recognition in three categories, including:

Most Appealing Visually

Best Presentation of a Theme with International Significance

Best Presentation of Content

Six judges worked through the crowds to evaluate the posters identify winners in each category. Judges include Suzette Agans, Jolly Beyioku, Susan Erickson, Nora Feuquay, Neil Linsheid, and Bjorn Peterson. Thank you, judges, for your work to not only identify winners, but to provide useful feedback to all poster presenters.

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Community Development Data Viz - November 2015

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President’s Update – Reflections from the CDS Fall Board Meeting

The CDS Board members enjoyed two productive days in Bloomington, Minnesota for the annual on-site fall board meeting. As is tradition, our meeting was held at the location of our upcoming conference—the 2016 CDS/IACD Joint Conference, which provided us the opportunity to tour the conference venue, discuss details with the hotel management, and meet with the local host committee. The Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Mall of America Hotel is going to be an outstanding location for our upcoming conference, with ample meeting space, excellent food, and comfortable sleeping rooms. The local host committee is very organized and is pulling out all the stops to make our conference experience a memorable one. Several mobile learning workshops are being planned, providing a wide variety of learning experiences. Both the local and the program planning committee are working to ensure that our theme of sustainability is highlighted throughout, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are a central focus.  The Call for Abstracts gives you the opportunity to propose a paper, panel, workshop, or poster around sustaining community change, so please look for the Call announcement via email and/or the CDS website and submit your proposal. Your participation is key to making the conference a valuable experience for you and other attendees.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to submit your evaluation of the 2015 Lexington conference. Your feedback provided some valuable information for us regarding what is working well as well as opportunities for improvement and enhancement. Each year, the program planning committee works diligently to provide the most valuable experience possible based on membership desires, but some suggestions or requests are just not feasible given our budget, impressive attendance numbers, and/or other constraints. However, Chris Marko, VP of Programs is working with the local and program planning committees to ensure we have additional opportunities for networking, adequate time for activities such as the poster sessions, enriching breakouts, a variety of food, among other details. The steady increase in membership and conference attendance over the past few years is due in part to the fact that the CDS conference just keeps getting better every year!

Due to the efforts and generosity of CDS leadership and membership over the past few years, CDS is in sound financial condition, which has facilitated development of the Community Development Strategic Initiatives Fund by the Finance Committee. The Strategic Initiatives Fund will give CDS the financial capacity to engage in new initiatives that will serve to broaden the scope and impact of the Society. During the most recent board meeting, we discussed possible opportunities for the future, and we look forward to sharing those developments with the membership as they evolve.

The Board is continuing to work on the process of streamlining the various committee responsibilities through a concerted effort to document tasks and provide guidance and information to newer committee members, chairs and Board officers. This will most likely take some time, but we are continuing to make impressive progress.

During last year’s fall board meeting, the board participated in a strategic planning process facilitated by Lori Garkovich. The strategic plan outlined several goals critical for the continued growth of the organization, and as community developers, we all recognize the importance of not just letting the strategic plan sit on the shelf. Thus, the Board is asking that all committees reflect upon the goals and provide an update in their committee reports at the conference business meeting regarding progress made towards the goals.

We are so fortunate to have a hardworking and committed group of individuals that make up the CDS Board of Directors. This current CDS Board truly embraces a culture of teamwork, which makes for a pleasant and effective leadership experience for all those serving. If you have not yet served on the CDS Board, we encourage you to consider it and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you. Also, if you know of someone that you would recommend to serve in this capacity, we are accepting nominations. Craig Talmage is serving as our Nominations chair this year, so please contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Special Issue of Community Development - BRE - Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts
Business Retention & Expansion
Special Issue of Community Development
(Journal of the Community Development Society)

Guest Editors:
Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension 
Brent Hales, University of Minnesota Extension
Alan Barefield, Mississippi State University 
Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) has existed as a central activity and priority for economic development practitioners for more than a generation.  A wide variety of public and private
organizations in communities, regions and states/ provinces in North America and beyond have incorporated BRE programming into their community economic development programs.  A 2009
national survey found that 62% of cities and counties were doing BRE surveys with their businesses and 82% were partnering with chambers of commerce or others on BRE (N=709).[1]

Business Retention and  Expansion International (BREI) has existed as a BRE‐specific association for over 20 years in order to promote best practices and build capacity through quality educational opportunities.  The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) also offers BRE training and finds that “business retention programs have become the most popular economic development efforts of communities nation‐wide.”[2] 
There is an opportunity to explore the collective impact of BRE and share what has been learned about this important component of community economic development.
Despite its emergence as a pre‐eminent concern for community development practitioners, relatively little has been published in recent literature.  What innovation is happening in BRE visitation
programs?  How do other data gathering methods contribute to economic developers’ understanding of the businesses and economics in their sphere of influence?  What are the results at the community,
regional and state/provincial levels?  How does BRE intersect with economic development techniques and strategies?  
Seeking to build on advances in community economic development strategies, we are soliciting abstracts for papers to be published in a special issue of Community Development in 2017. The intent of
this special issue is to provide a collection of high quality articles on various aspects of using this approach to inform and induce economic development with a goal of helping readers to learn about
innovative procedures and approaches in conducting a BRE process.  While BRE might be regarded as relatively mature with regard to a developmental continuum, both scholars and practitioners can make
significant contributions to the literature by sharing research and practices from case studies, process evaluations, larger scale studies, and analysis of benchmarked data time series.
Submission of topics and abstracts is open and topics of special interest include, but are not limited to:

--Intersection between BRE and other economic development strategies: entrepreneurship, business recruitment, technology‐intensive, creative economy, etc.
--Public policy implications of BRE from local to state/provincial scale
--Measuring BRE results: metrics and methods                                                         
--Case studies of BRE results over time
--Benchmarking BRE data for trends and program development.
--Implications of face‐to‐face visitation vs. other primary data collection methods like focus groups, electronic surveying, mixed methods, and other techniques
--Accomplishing relationship building with businesses
--Quality data collection while using technology: considerations and tradeoffs
--Innovations and evolution in data collection from secondary sources
--Moving from BRE data analysis to systemic action
--Building broad‐based partnerships for BRE
--The process of BRE in its various forms (volunteer visitor, continuous, electronic survey, etc.).  What are the implications for urban, suburban, rural, regional, and state/provincial BRE programs
--Using volunteer visitors vs. professional economic developers for BRE program implementation
--BRE training and capacity building for economic development professionals, board members and volunteer participants.
--Retaining baby boomer businesses in communities as the boomers transition to retirement
The abstracts should be written for both practitioners and academics and provide generalizable results that can contribute to the body of knowledge on Business Retention and Expansion rather than,
for example, only reporting a case study. However local experiences can document the findings or test the results. The final accepted papers will be written in a professional style including literature review,
documented outcomes and references. The emphasis should focus on the manner in which the BRE effort was applied, essential ingredients in success, what has been learned from the process, and
outcomes and impacts achieved. 
Those interested in contributing to this special issue, please send an abstract, not longer than 500 words, outlining the topics addressed, organization and/or methodologies used, and how the paper
will contribute to the BRE topic to: Michael Darger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by January 29, 2016.
When submitting, include BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION ABSTRACT in the memo subject line. Authors will be notified by March 1, 2016 regarding invitations to prepare a full paper.
 Final paper submission will be expected by July 15, 2016 using standard Community Development format requirements.  Papers will be submitted through the usual refereeing process.  
It is expected that a BRE track in the 2016 CDS conference will be offered and authors are encouraged to submit their paper to the conference call as well.  However, conference submission is not
required.  An invitation to prepare a full paper for the Journal does not imply invitation to a presentation opportunity at the conference, nor vice versa.  However, both the Journal and the conference are
excellent opportunities to advance knowledge on BRE.


[1] Warner, Mildred and Zheng, Lingwen (2011).  Economic Development Strategies for Recessionary Times: Survey
Results from 2009.  ICMA Municipal Year Book 2011 (Washington, D.C.: ICMA, 2011), 33‐42.

[2] Retrieved from

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Jerry W. Robinson, Jr.

September 3, 2015
BROOKHAVEN, Miss. – Funeral services for Dr. Jerry W. Robinson Jr. will be at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Brookhaven, Miss., with burial at the church cemetery. Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. today at the church. Dr. Robinson, 83, passed away on Monday (Aug. 31, 2015) at his residence. He was born in Amite County, Miss., on Feb. 12, 1932, to Jerry W. Robinson and Ella Lee Robinson.
Jerry W. Robinson Jr., Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology Emeritus, Delta State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Professor at Houston Baptist College.
Dr. Robinson obtained a Ph.D. and M.S. in sociology from Mississippi State University, a M.R.E. and B.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a B.S. in agriculture from Louisiana State University and a B.A. in sociology from Mississippi College.
Dr. Robinson worked in community development and was a member of the Community Development Society, Rural Sociology Society, Phi Kappa Phi; Editor, Community Development Journal; and played a major role in the writings of proposals for Delta State University and other community development centered organizations in the Delta.
Dr. Robinson's academic writings have been published on multiple occasions in over eight different professional journals in his field, and he has also been responsible for or involved in the publications of no less than seven other books on topics ranging from community development, stress and wellness, and child safety (Snappy the Safety Turtles). His favorite award was "person of the year" for the Mississippi Delta in 2005.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Jerry W. Robinson and Ella Lee Touchstone; brother, John; and sister, Cheryl.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara Jean Byrd Robinson; and the following children, Wyatt Robinson and wife Angie of Peoria and their two children, Rachel and Ryan and his wife Rachel and their child Hunter of Jasper, Ala., and his daughters, Addie and Chandler and her child, Jade; Gina Robinson of Brookhaven, Miss., and her three children, Peyton, Mia, Cody and wife Jordan and their son, Avery; H. Lee Robinson and wife Wendy of Brandon, Miss., and their two children, Connor and Courtney; and Aimee Biagioli of Cleveland, Miss., and her husband Joseph and their five children, Katherine, Kristin, Alexander, Ava and Haley. To express your thoughts to the family, you may visit and click on his name to leave a comment.
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Community Development Data Viz - October 2015

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President's Update -- Opportunities Abound for CDS Members

It has been a busy month for Community Development Society Board and committee members! CDS is certainly fortunate to have such an outstanding group of leaders working to ensure an enriching membership experience for us all.

Whitney McIntyre Miller has taken the lead on coordinating the new “CDS Interest Groups” which will give us all an excellent opportunity to network with and learn from other researchers and practitioners.  If you are a new member or perhaps have been a member for awhile but wish to get more engaged, this is a great way for you to get to know other CDS members, get more involved with the Society, and increase your level of knowledge in the community development field. Many CDS members have already signed up to participate in one or more of the groups, but if you haven’t yet, Whitney has provided information in this month’s Vanguard on how you can sign up.

It’s that time of year again when we solicit nominations for available Board of Directors positions. Currently, we are looking to fill the VP-Operations (which moves into VP-Programs and President), and three board positions. If you have not had the opportunity to serve in this capacity or if you know of someone that would be a great addition to the CDS Board, please take the time to submit a nomination.  Serving on the Board of Directors is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  Our goal is to have a board that embodies the wonderful diversity of our membership, and we need your help to ensure we have a slate of candidates that represents this diversity.

In the next few weeks, the call for abstracts will be circulated for the 2016 CDS/IACD Joint International Conference to be held July 24-27, 2016, in Bloomington Minnesota, USA. The conference theme is “Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives.”  Please watch for the call for abstracts in your email inbox and on the CDS website.  We encourage you to submit one or more abstracts, as the high quality presentations, panels, and posters provided by our members are an essential component to making the annual conference successful.

Happy Autumn!

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CDS Website Lauches New Social Networking Tools

Over the past 18 months there have been lots of changes to the CDS website. Most of them are changes you may not notice unless you use the site regularly but some of the more recent changes are pretty big. If you go to menu bar at the top of the front page of the website you will notice three communication tools that have their own tabs (CDS Connect, CDS Discuss, and CDS Blog). Two of the three (CDS Connect and CDS Discuss) are brand new and the CDS Blog has been substantially changed over the past 18 months. CDS Discuss is a new feature that we hope to use to engage in discussions across the organization around key issues affecting the field of community development or issues important to the organization itself. For instance, we hope to start a discussion in the next few months around the CDS Principles of Good Practice. These discussions will be open to the membership and the public so we can get anyone involved who has an interest in that discussion. Once the discussions are completed they will be archived and can be accessed later by those with interests in that topic or issue. The third item “CDS Connect” is a tool we are really excited about and are launching right now.  CDS Connect is a “members only” social networking site that provides a simple and easily accessible way to connect with friends and colleagues around the things you care about most in your community development work.

To get started go to the CDS Website .  On the front page select the “CDS Connect” in the menu bar across the top of the page.  It will take you to a login screen. You will need to login with your membership login to gain access. If you have no clue what your login is anymore there are a couple of tools to help you retrieve that information. If you still have problems contact Julie White This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at our association business office so we can figure out how to get you in. This does require a current membership to access, so if you’re behind on your dues it may require getting caught up.

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Once you are in you will find yourself in the recent updates section. This will be a very busy page and include an eclectic mix of discussions. What most members will want to do is find or start discussions around the topics they are most interested in exploring. If you look just under the blue bar at the top of the page you will find menus that will give you several options for sharing and retrieving information. One of these is called “groups” If you select this tab it will give you a list of all various interest group discussions available in CDS. These groups parallel the interest groups that the board has been setting up with member input the past few months. If you signed up to be part of an interest group you will likely have received an invitation to join the discussion. If not, you can still browse the various groups and join the discussions interesting to you. Simply pick the group from the list and select “join” and you’re in! The site will keep track of the groups you’ve joined.  If you look to the menus on the left you will see a tab called my groups.  It will keep track of the groups you have joined.  We also have a short video that our web designer put together that will introduce you to the basics Please try it out and connect with your colleagues on the things you care about the most.

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Awards and Recognition Committee – Needs Your Help!

Dear CDS members,

First, do you enjoy learning about the amazing work your colleagues and friends are conducting out in our communities? Consider joining the Awards and Recognition committee. Our CDS awards are fantastic ways to honor and distinguish our colleagues and friends. If you are interested please, email me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to learn more about this opportunity. We will begin coalescing our ideas for the next season of awards in the next month or two, so contact me ASAP.

Second, it is time now to start thinking about who you want to nominate for a CDS award next year. Check out our website ( to learn more about each award. We have awards for new and seasoned professionals and researchers alike. Start thinking now about who you want to nominate. You can always nominate multiple persons, and I encourage you to tell others about how they can honor their colleagues and friends through our CDS awards.

Finally, you can always email me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with any questions you might have regarding the awards’ processes or regarding any errors you might find on our awards and recognition website. We are always looking for ways to fine-tune our processes and materials.


Craig Talmage
Awards and Recognition Committee

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CDS Interest Groups: Connect, Share, and Engage!

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Connect, Share and Engage!


As those of you who were in attendance at the Lexington, KY conference know, this year the Community Development Society is rolling out interests groups- opportunities for you to connect, share, and engage with community development practitioners, scholars, and students sharing your unique interests.  Through our work with the board, and suggestions from CDS members, we have created 16 interest groups that hopefully will inspire you to connect and engage with your CDS colleagues.  These groups are listed below.  For information on how to join through our online CDS Connect systems, please read on.


  • ·         Arts in Community Development
  • ·         Community Development Education
  • ·         Community Leadership
  • ·         Economic Development in Community Development
  • ·         Health and Community Development
  • ·         International Community Development
  • ·         Planning and Evaluation
  • ·         Rural Community Development
  • ·         Community Development Scholarship and Research
  • ·         Sustainable and Community Development
  • ·         Urban Community Development
  • ·         Indigenous People in Community Development
  • ·         Broadband Communications and Community Development
  • ·         Food and Nutrition in Community Development
  • ·         Radical Approaches to Community Development
  • ·         Youth in Community Development


Each group has its own community space on our all new CDS Connect website (  Simply use your CDS login credentials to enter into the CDS Connect space.  Once you are logged in your profile page appears on the screen.  If you have not done so already, we encourage you to add a picture and some information about yourself so that other CDS members can get to know you.  Under the long blue bar at the top of your screen you will see the word Groups.  Clicking on the word Groups ( takes you to our Interest Groups page.  On the left hand side you will see a list of all of our interest groups.  Simply click on the one you want to join and then click the “Join This Group” button on the far right after the interest group page loads.  Now you are in!  Join as many (or as few) groups as you want!  The process is fast and easy!


If you signed up for an interest group (or several) at the conference in Lexington, KY you should have either already received (or will soon receive) an invitation to join a group.  If so, just click the link provided to confirm your interest in the group.   If for some reason this is not the case, please feel free to join through the procedures mentioned above, and we apologize for any inconvenience.


Want to take your connection with CDS and your interest groups to the next level?  We are still in need of chairs or co-chairs for six of our interest groups.  They are: Arts, Economic Development, Education, Planning and Evaluation, Indigenous Peoples, and Food and Nutrition.  If you are interested in heading up one of these phenomenal groups, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We have a strong group of chairs and co-chairs signed up already, and you may be just the addition we are looking for!  We are very enthusiastic about the potential of these interest groups and look forward to your engagement with your groups and the CDS!



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CDS Board Elections

The Community Development Society wants you!  Please consider joining the CDS Board of Directors this upcoming year! 

The following positions are up for election:

  *  Vice President of Operations (One position open) : A 3-year term that moves into the roles of Vice President of Programs and President
  *  Board of Directors (Three positions open):  A 3-year term in service to the CDS Board

Nominees for each of these positions can expect to meet (remotely) on a monthly basis to direct the operations of the Society.  Committee leadership roles are typically assigned to each Board member.  The Board typically meets in person twice each year—late November/early December at the site of the upcoming annual conference; and at the annual conference (generally held in July).  There is no compensation provided and the cost of traveling for the two in person meetings is borne by the member (some exceptions have been made for traveling to the mid-year meeting, but attendance at the annual conference is expected).

The operations of the Society are supported by a professional management firm.  A current roster of the Board of Directors and Officers can be found at  Please contact any of them to discuss in more detail the responsibilities and rewards of being involved with CDS.

To submit a nomination for any of the positions listed above, contact Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or the CDS Business Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or any current Board member.  To be eligible for the ballot, nominees must be current members in good standing.  Please only nominate a peer that has agreed in advance to serve if elected.  Self-nominations are strongly encouraged.

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Passing of Dr. Jerry W. Robinson, Jr.

By Gisele Hamm

Dr. Jerry W. Robinson, Jr.

February 12, 1932 – August 31, 2015

It is with great sadness that we inform you that the Community Development Society has lost a dear friend and colleague recently. Dr. Jerry W. Robinson, Jr. passed away August 31, 2015 at his residence in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Jerry was a Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology, Emeritus at Delta State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Professor at Houston Baptist College. His obituary can be accessed here.

Jerry was one of the founding members of the Community Development Society and served on various committees including the Editorial Committee. Jerry received the 1987 Community Development Achievement Award and the 2002 Duane L. Gibson Distinguished Service Award. 

Jerry’s exceptional dedication to the Community Development Society was evident throughout the years. In 1989, with James A. Christenson, Jerry co-authored the book, Community Development in Perspective and directed all royalties from the book to the CDS Endowment.  In the acknowledgements, the authors note, “We appreciate the encouragement and support of the Community Development Society. The costs of production for this book were born by the authors and the universities in which they work. We feel strongly that the society needs more books focusing on the profession, and, to this end, all royalties generated from this book will go to the Community Development Society of America to be used to encourage and support future endeavors.”

Jerry was a highly valued and respected member of CDS, and with many great contributions to the Society, he has left a lasting legacy that will not be forgotten.


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President’s Update – Change is in the Air!

By Gisele Hamm

September is here once again and change is in the air. The day my youngest son’s junior year of high school started, even the temperature that day seemed to abruptly signify that summer had turned to fall. For those of us who work on a university campus, we’ve experienced a change in our environment as the campus transitioned from the quiet summer break to the start of another busy fall semester. 

During a phone call with long-time CDS member, Ron Hustedde this past week, we once again reflected on this year’s CDS conference in Lexington, and the change it represented.  The ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the CDS and IACD presidents signified new opportunities for the organizations to support community development globally in a collaborative manner. The activities, events and presentations, focused around the conference theme of “creativity and culture,” encouraged participants to “think outside the box” and explore all of the intriguing ways the world is changing around us. We even saw exciting change occurring with regard to the composition of the membership and leadership of the organization, with greater diversity and an increase in community development professionals under the age of 40. 

It was rather timely that this week I received a copy of the new book, Rural Communities: Legacy and Change, authored by CDS members, Cornelia Butler Flora, Jan L. Flora, and Stephen P. Gasteyer. While I have yet to begin reading it from cover to cover, I couldn’t resist skimming some of the chapters—and Chapter 12—Generating Community Change—was of particular interest, not only because of the change we are fostering in our “community” of community development professionals (CDS), but also because community change is the theme for the 2016 CDS conference.  The authors discuss the importance of two factors found in the major approaches to community development—planning and linkages to outside sources or strategic partnerships.  Last fall, the CDS board participated in a strategic planning process in which five core goals were identified to provide the organization with some direction for the next few years. The five goals included augmenting the Society’s recognition and reputation; improving operations and ensuring sustainability of the organization; enhancing and increasing the opportunities and resources provided to community development professionals; and expanding, diversifying, and engaging CDS membership. The importance of linkages or strategic partnerships to the organization is evident throughout the plan—strengthening relationships internally among members and externally with other organizations is essential. The creation of interest groups in which members can interact with other community development practitioners and researchers is one way CDS is working to enhance the experience for our membership. Our connections with IACD, NACDEP, and other community development organizations will continue to evolve and grow stronger in the next few years as we work to provide joint conferences and other engaging opportunities for our members. 

It is an exciting time to be a CDS member!


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Special Issue of Community Development Focuses on Community Entrepreneurship Development

Due out later this fall, issue 5 of the 2015 volume of Community Development is focused on community entrepreneurship. Guest edited by Michael W-P Fortunato (Sam Houston State University) and Theodore R. Alter (The Pennsylvania State University), the issue contains a collection of nine articles including an invited essay by Thomas S. Lyons. Additionally, there are two themed book reviews for the special issue. (There are two additional general articles included in the issue as well).


In his essay, Lyons puts forth the following thesis, "... entrepreneurship as a mechanism for fostering community development matters because it can help us address economic inequality in our communities and in our nation. Of course, like anything else, this requires intentional focus and a strategic approach." I think this special issue represents the type of focus Lyons is requesting. It will serve as a critical resource for scholars and practitioners interested in the role of community entrepreneurship, and it will set the basis by which future applied scholarship in this field will be judged.

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Hip Hop: More Than Musical Entertainment, It’s a Platform for Community Change. By Bryan Hains

A mountain of truth is only as high as the valleys of its unity, today I’m bringing together the sounds of music with the service of community…” (Devine Carama, 2015)




The Community Innovation Lab at the University of Kentucky would like to highlight an innovation associated with both a community of interest and of place. Artist and musician, Devine Carama, recently utilized his community of practice, “Hip Hop,” challenging citizens to positively change their community of place, “Lexington, KY.” His most recent album, “A Vintage Love Supreme” blends his musical talent with his passion for community in an innovative way.




While most artists send a portion of their proceeds to community organizations as a form of community service, Devine took this to the next level. In order to receive a copy of “A Vintage Love Supreme,” all any community member needed to do was prove they were positively contributing to their community by responding through social media. This innovative method of community change caught on quickly. Within a week of its initial promotion, Devine received over 1,000 pictures and commitments from individuals who were positively influencing their local communities. In fact, it caught on both locally and nationally. The “trending” movement has been a pleasant surprise to Devine who states that he may prolong the movement as long as it continues enhance and strengthen both the “Hip Hop” community and communities of place.  Devine’s innovative method for community change presents “food for thought” regarding innovative methods for community development practitioners and researchers.


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