Community Development Society

News and Information

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.


For more information please visit:






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Community Development Data Viz - September 2015

View the embedded image gallery online at:

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FREE New Book by CDS member Timothy Collins

Check out the latest from Timothy Collins - a free downloadable book! Here's more:

Macomb, IL—            Selling the State: Economic Development Policy in Kentucky, has been published by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University.


The full-length book, written by Timothy Collins, IIRA assistant director, is the story of a state’s efforts to adapt its economic development policies to changing times from the 1950s to the 1990s.


“Studies like this are extremely rare, although there has been increased interest in economic development policy recently,” Collins said. “This book grew out of my dissertation work and represents more than 25 years of research and writing.”


Selling the State traces policies of nine Kentucky governors who sought to build unity around job creation with the promise that industrial attraction would improve living conditions in the cities and rural areas of the Commonwealth. The book uses the governors’ words, legislative and court records, state publications, and newspaper accounts to interpret the gradual expansion of state-level economic development policy.


“Frankly, the state’s efforts met with mixed results in the long run,” Collins said. “Reduction of poverty was one positive outcome. But in terms of alleviating regional disparities and changing the state’s position relative to the rest of the nation, the policies were not fully successful.”


Themes in the book include:


·         state-level activism to deal with uneven economic development and poverty by attracting new businesses;

·         sometimes reluctant protection of existing natural-resources-based industries;

·         suggestions of changing social-class relationships, especially in the area of loss of small businesses;

·         constantly increasing incentives to match tougher national and global competition;

·         an off-and-on connection between economic development policy and improved education; and

·         the emergence of neoconservative and neoliberal thinking at the state level in order to promote a more business-friendly climate.


The book is unusual because there are so few in-depth studies of states’ economic development policies. The historic perspective helps lend understanding to the problematic evolution of business incentives.


As former Daily Yonder editor Bill Bishop notes in the Foreword: “Selling the State tells how choices made over a century sustained a culture that was, in a sense, economically inert. It was a choice the state made—rather a series of choices. Kentucky wasn’t alone in its economic path. The consequences of those decisions—traced in the book’s charts—have been profound.”


Selling the State is available for free from the IIRA website,



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Community Development August 2015 Data Viz


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Passing of Paul S. Denise

With a heavy heart we pass on the news of the passing of former CDS leader Paul Denise in May of this year. He was professor  and  former chair of the Community Development Department at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  He co-authored the book,  Experiential  Education for Community Development with Ian Harris. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California-Berkeley and served in the U.S. Army.  His wife, Anna, preceded him in death in 1987. He was born October 16, 1925 and died April 21, 2015 in Seattle. His ashes will be scattered in Pugent Sound.

Ron Hustedde was Paul’s former graduate student in the 19070s  at SIU and he wanted to make sure we shared this within our community.


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President's Update - Staying connected with CDS

By Gisele Hamm

The Community Development Society Annual International Conference held in Lexington last month truly lived up to its ‘Creativity and Culture’ theme, thanks to the outstanding contributions of the Local Host Committee, artists, presenters, and participants! If you were able to join us in Lexington, I hope you came away from the conference re-energized and excited about the opportunities in the field of community development.  We have posted the Powerpoint presentations, President’s Remarks, and links to photos from the 2015 conference on the CDS website so I would encourage you to check them out.

As the new President of the Community Development Society, I appreciated the ideas, feedback, and words of encouragement that so many of you shared, and am inspired by the desire expressed by many, including our new and international members, to get involved in the Society. CDS is YOUR organization, and member involvement is key to making CDS an enriching and engaging network for the membership.  I would like to encourage every CDS member to join at least one of our committees this year.  Participation in a committee does not require a great deal of time or effort, but is a rewarding experience, a great way to network with other members, and serves to strengthen the Society. Please take some time to review the CDS Committees information and contact the chair of the committee(s) of interest to join.

For the 325 participants who attended the 2015 CDS Conference in Lexington, a conference evaluation form is available here. Your input will provide valuable insight for the 2016 Community Development Society and the International Association for Community Development Joint International Conference to be held July 17-20, 2016, in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA.  Next year’s conference theme is: Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. The Program Planning Committee and Local Host Committee are already in the midst of conference planning and preparations, and next year’s conference promises to be one you will not want to miss. If you have not already, I would encourage you to “like” the 2016 Community Development Society Conference Facebook page to stay informed of exciting 2016 conference details as they develop.

I look forward to my term as CDS President this year, and would love to hear the ideas, concerns, or comments you might have for the Society, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, I would encourage you to get engaged in the various CDS social media sites if you have not already to network and increase your level of involvement in the Society. We are on Facebook (Public Group (here) / Community Page (here)), LinkedIn (here), and Twitter (here).

Let’s make this the Community Development Society’s best year yet!


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2015 CDS Committee Update

The CDS committees provide the leadership and guidance for the society in a number of key areas and offer a great opportunity to become more engaged in CDS. Please look over the list of committees and contact the chair or co-chair for more information on the committee and how you can become involved.

Awards and Recognition Committee

Issues eight (8) annual awards for CDS recognizing volunteer efforts for those who assist the society and recognizes outgoing board members for the society.

·        Co-chair: Craig Talmage, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


·        Co-chair: Michael Dougherty, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Communications/Publications Committee

The Communications Committee is responsible for the design and development of communication networks among CDS members and with entities external to CDS. Committee members oversee the content management of the CDS website; anticipate and recommend policy to support communication needs in CDS; prepare and propose an annual budget to the Board of Directors; manage CD Practice, Vanguard, and Community Development; recommend policy regarding the production and distribution of CDS publications; and organize the process of appointing editors, including making recommendations to the board.

·         Chair Printed Materials: Abbie Gaffey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Co-chair Electronic Materials: Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Co-chair Website: Steve Jeanetta, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Ex officio members:

– CD Practice Editor: Joyce Hoelting, University of Minnesota, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

– Community Development Editor: John Green, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

– Vanguard Editor: Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Finance Committee

This important committee reviews and recommends policies and procedures for the CDS Endowment, manages the fund-raising appeals to CDS groups, and seeks financial support from foundations and corporations. The committee is also responsible for monitoring the overall financial health of CDS.


·         Co-chair: Tony Gauvin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·          Co-chair: John Gulick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Committee

The International Committee develops strong and productive intercountry communication, research, action, and project links among CDS members and assists in broadening the international participation of CDS.

·         Co-chair: Jim Cavaye, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 ·         Co-chair: Gary Goreham, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·   This committee servers to foster membership engagement by facilitating member-led interest groups.  These groups serve to connect members throughout the year through networking, resource and information sharing, and program development.


Marketing/Membership Committee

This committee’s responsibilities include developing and implementing a far-reaching innovative plan that will nurture and sustain a viable CDS while also adding value to the field and offering many opportunities for networking, skill development, and capacity building of organizations, people, and communities.

·         Co-chair: Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Co-chair: Dan Kahl, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nominations and Leadership Development

The role of this committee is to foster democratic process within CDS itself by organizing and carrying out the election of officers according to the CDS bylaws, identifying potential candidates for office, and communicating the opportunities for involvement in the leadership of CDS to the membership.

·         Chair: Whitney McIntyre Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2016 Program Planning Committee

The role of the Program Planning Committee is to build the program for the 2016 CDS Annual International Conference to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota. Keynote speakers and plenary sessions will be determined based on the conference theme, available resources, and in consultation with the Local Host Committee. Concurrent sessions will be selected based on a review of abstracts received in response to the Call for Presentations. The committee will provide support and follow through with keynote speakers, presenters, moderators, mobile learning workshops, and conference sponsors and dignitaries. Mobile learning workshops will be coordinated with the Local Host Committee. Opportunities will be provided for feedback and evaluation of the conference.

·         Chair: Chris Marko, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2016 Site Selection Committee

Locates potential places for future CDS annual conferences that can provide a peak learning network experience for CD practitioners, scholars, and policy makers.

 Chair: Katie Ellis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Community Development Society Recognizes This Year’s Award Winners

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. – Buddha

At this year’s Annual International Conference in Lexington, Kentucky (USA), we had the privilege to recognize individuals and groups who have given all their hearts to community development work in society today. They epitomize our Principles of Good Practice and serve as models for community development researchers and practitioners today. We congratulate them for their outstanding work for our society and communities and for their remarkability.

For the past 31 years, we have recognized outstanding and innovative contributions to the field of community development. We continue this rich tradition as we recognize nine outstanding programs, leaders, researchers, students, and friends of community development, including two friends of community development. We are grateful for their contributions to the field, and for the supportive networks that they are weaving.

Innovative Program Award

Community Heart & Soul Program, Orton Family Foundation

For a superior innovation program using the Principles of Good Practice. The approach is designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empowers residents to shape their communities based on what matters most.

Learn more at:

Current Research Award

Bruce Schwartau, University of Minnesota Extension Community Economics Team

For a current research project(s) or product that represents an important contribution to the field of community development. This study examined Minnesota retail and service businesses that open or expand after the opening of Wal-Mart Supercenters. 

Learn more at:

Outstanding Program Award

American Institute of Architects Design Assistance Team

For completion of superior programming that exemplifies and positively influences community development practice. This was exemplified in their program that catalyzes local community development and leads to enormous changes in local approaches by combining community engagement, listening and reflecting, explaining new ideas, and making clear and concise recommendations that respect and reflect community priorities in a way that enables communities to develop frameworks and comprehensive plans.

Learn more at:

Student Recognition Award

Laurel Goodman, University of Missouri

For being a student who has contributed to community development through a paper, an article, a field project or internship, or other applied research. She is a University of Missouri MPH student whose research is focusing on the evaluation and mixed-method analysis of the Missouri-Illinois Step Up to Leadership Program. 

Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award

Cindy Banyai, Banyai Evaluation and Consulting

For her superior contribution to the field of community development and the Society. This is demonstrated in her domestic and international development experiences and publications. Aside from her fantastic development work in southwest Florida, she is an adjunct faculty member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Department of Public Affairs, where she teaches Global Studies. She currently serves as the Editor of the Vanguard and as a member of the CDS Board of Directors.

For more on her consulting work, visit:

Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award

Ted Alter, Pennsylvania State University

For a significant stream of superior research that exemplifies and positively impacts community development practice and represents a lasting contribution to the field. His work is holistic in nature and demonstrates a seamless transition among teaching, research, and outreach. He applies innovative engagement and democratizing practice to a wide array of social, economic, and environmental problems facing communities across the world. He is a productive and vibrant community development researcher in the field. 

See examples of his record of work at:

Community Development Achievement Award

Sharon Gulick, University of Missouri

For her outstanding contribution to community development through teaching, research, programming, and administration. She is a visible, vibrant, and grounded leader. She helped define and develop the University of Missouri Extension’s community economic and entrepreneurial program (ExCEED) that has gone on to partner with more than 20 communities and regional groups identifying assets, building coalitions, and developing strategic plans. She is a strong leader within the Society, Cooperative Extension, and communities in Missouri and beyond. 

See examples of her work at:

Friend of Community Development Award

Sister Claire McGowan, New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future

Although she is not a CDS member, she has made a significant contribution to the field of community development. She reflects the continuum of community development and exemplifies our Principles of Good Practice. She is a Dominican Sister of Peace in Kentucky who has made significant contributions to the field of community development. Ten years ago she founded New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable thinking and sustainable development in order to ensure a healthy, safe, and productive future for all. She has also launched curbside recycling projects, initiated a community visioning program, trained local and regional facilitators, and mobilized populations around key environmental issues. These are only a few examples of her impact in communities in Kentucky and beyond.

Learn more about the New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future at:

Friend of Community Development Award

Brian Fogle, President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Although he is not a CDS member, he has made a significant contribution to the field of community development. He has a significant presence in community development in Missouri and is actively engaged with many regional, statewide, and national organizations that are focused on the importance of community, philanthropy, and self-empowerment of citizens. As the President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, he encourages the foundation and its affiliates to focus on complex issues facing communities and works with individuals and businesses to address them.

Learn more about the Community Foundation of the Ozarks at:

For more information about CDS’s award opportunities or if you would like a copy of our conference PowerPoint and program, please email Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or visit: Also, a big thanks to Katie Ellis for her previous service as chair of our committee and all our past committee members as well, especially Michael Dougherty, David Barnes, Sheri Smith, and Gisele Hamm. Finally, we leave you with an excerpt from Wendell Berry’s “Real Work” from “Standing by Words”:

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

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Summer Camp for Adults – Our Annual International Conference

I remember my first day of summer camp. As my mom gripped my arm tight while simultaneously dragging me towards the registration table, I swear that I was definitely going wet my pants. Little did I know that it would be the best week of my life.


I first heard about the Community Development Society’s (CDS) annual international conference (hereafter referred to as camp) and the opportunity there to present my work (hereafter referred to as skits) from Rhonda Phillips, who served as one of my advisors at Arizona State University (ASU). She encouraged me to go to camp in Cincinnati, Ohio (2012) and to apply to perform a skit that week. Because of the encouragement of my dissertation advisor Richard Knopf and Rhonda, I registered for camp and submitted my skit ideas.

My first year at camp was a blast. I ate too much bacon at breakfast and way too many chili dogs. Other campers seemed to enjoy my skits. I met a few fun people, and I was able to get to know the friends I came to camp with better. Although I did have fun, I really felt still as a bit of an awkward kid at camp. I had not made many new friends, yet.

During my second year, camp was held in Charleston, South Carolina (2013). This year I applied and received a camp scholarship and presented more skits than the previous year. I got special name tag showing that I was an award winner. I totally began to feel less awkward and kind of like a cool kid. And, I felt like I was beginning to be treated like I was a cool kid. I made more new friends, but I was still unsure whether or not I would actually keep in touch with them.

I was wrong. Sure enough my camp friend Katie Ellis invited to be a junior counselor (she actually asked me to serve on the awards and recognition committee). Prior to my third week of camp in Dubuque, Iowa (2014), I learned the ins-and-outs of camp and took part in some of the behind-the-scenes work.

Week three of camp, I definitely felt like a cool kid. I had responsibilities. I had friends and found individuals who were committed to my development as a person (and I theirs). I even found myself motivated to reach out to newcomers at camp. I even started promoting camp to other friends back at home.

This year was my fourth year at camp; this time we were in Lexington, Kentucky. I was elected to be a lead counselor (well, I was elected to board of directors). I had more responsibility at camp this year. I recognized more familiar faces around the camp. I made more friends, and we definitely stayed up later than we should in the evenings. Together, we dreamed of ways to get even more people to camp in the years to come. And, I still ate plenty of bacon at breakfast. My friends and I left camp reinvigorated to make life (and work) back home better.

This has been my camp (i.e., CDS) experience. I am no longer a Ph.D. student about to wet his pants on the first day of camp. I have discovered my own CDS trajectory.

But, I wonder whether we are empowering other newcomers to our society and conferences (like me four years ago) with a zeal for our society and our work. So, I leave you today not only with my camp memories, but with some questions for us to wrestle with in the coming future.

(1) How do we make our conference less intimidating and more welcoming for newcomers? (We don't want people feeling like they are going to wet their pants)
(2) How do we make all conference attendees feel welcomed and valued? (We all deserved to feel like cool kids)

(3) How we fairly identify leaders and distribute responsibility for our society’s success? (Cool kids tend to be naturally cliquish. Aren’t we all cool kids in our own ways?)

(4) How do we inspire all members to tell others about CDS, in which I also include the nurturing of newcomers at our annual international conference? (Camp is for everyone. It is created by everyone. Everyone deserves to learn and have fun. They should want to tell others back home about their camp experience)

(5) How do we meaningfully keep in touch after the annual international conference? CDS has started new affinity groups, which may be one method. (Remember writing KIT in yearbooks or books from camp; we have to do better) 

I hope you answer these questions for yourselves. I hope you also challenge our CDS leaders to tackle these questions. And, I cannot wait to hear and see your answers at camp next year.

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Community Development Data Viz - June 2015




Community development word cloud




Rural broadband connectivity




Community Leaders and their qualities


politics diversity


Diversity in American Politics

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Come home to CDS this summer

By Dave Lamie

As Summer draws near, I hope that you are able to take some time to step away from your normal activities, spend quality time with family and friends, and recharge your enthusiasm for the certain challenges that lie ahead. One of the qualities that many community development professionals share is a certain confidence in the face of a challenge. I would go so far as to say that many even go out of their way to face these challenges, often head-on. If that is you, then be especially sure to spend the time you need to heal your recent battle wounds and restore your energy and enthusiasm for what lies ahead. If you are less inclined to risk, then perhaps this summer will be a time for you to consider what act of courage you will explore for the coming year.

Whether you need to heal and recover, or discover your act of courage, one of the best ways for you to do this is in the company of others faced with the same challenges. Further, one of the best places to find these others is at the annual CDS Conference, this year July 20-23 in Lexington, Kentucky. There you will be challenged, perhaps beyond your comfort zone. There you will find the healing balm you seek to restore your courage to face the challenges that lie ahead with confidence. There, you will gain new knowledge, reconnect with old friends, and find new ones amongst people who share many of your deepest values and professional interests. I doubt you will find this unique group of individuals anywhere else on the planet.

As I wind down my term as President, I am pleased to see CDS doing so well. Our membership is growing, our board is strong, we have a solid lineup of future Presidents, our conferences have been excellent and we have several more great ones in planning stages, and our financial house is in order. All of this did not happen overnight and it could only happen with so many of you stepping forward to play your part, putting service above self. Though the last three years as VP Operations, VP Program, and then President have seen their challenges, because of this great community we call CDS, we were able to face them with confidence.  

I wish you a safe and rewarding continuation of your Summer and  I look forward to seeing many of you in Lexington!   

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Peace Leadership for Community Development

By Whitney McIntyre Miller

Today I want to introduce you to a new model, which has broad implications for community development.  Coming from the field of leadership studies, peace leadership is a new sub-field that builds upon leadership studies, peace studies, and conflict resolution.  Peace leadership is an emerging area of study, and I am pleased to be working at the start of such an interesting movement.

The model that I have been working on with a colleague is called the “Integral Perspective of Peace Leadership”.  The model builds off of Ken Wilber’s integral theory and focuses on peace leadership as a space to work in four areas collectively: innerwork, or reflective self-development practices; theories and processes, or the mechanisms which we build peace in ourselves and communities; communities of practices, or the collective spaces where we take up this work; and globality of the field, or the broader systemic relationships we have with each other and the environment.  The notion of the model is to build our collective leadership capacity for peace in all arenas of life- both in terms of challenging existing structures and mechanisms of violence and building new structures and societies in the image of peace.

This model is important to community development, as it challenges us to move beyond the valuable work we do in creating robust communities of practice with strong theoretical underpinnings to continue to grow our focus on systems thinking; drawing broader connections beyond the communities with which we work; and also focusing on each of our own innerwork.  Building upon our innerwork, with practices such as mindfulness, meditation, authenticity, empathy, help us to, in turn, build stronger communities, which are then more connected to their broader, surrounding environment.  The model allows us to envision our communities as those comprised of reflective individuals who collectively form a strong focused whole- understanding our shared needs and how these connect with the broader society and environment.  If we can work to build such communities, perhaps we can further challenge the violence of the day and build a world in which we all want to live.  I hope you will explore not just this model of peace leadership, but the broader notions of peace leadership in your community development practice.


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Community Development Leader Janet Ayres lauded for Career Contributions

Purdue’s University retiring faculty member Dr. Janet Ayres was recently honored by the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development with a new major award at its annual fall conference.  The award, presented by Indiana’s Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, was intended to recognize the recipient of the inaugural
John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award.  According to the October 15, 2014 Carroll County Comet[1], Lt. Governor Ellspermann said, “For more than three decades, Dr. Janet Ayres has worked to improve the quality of life in rural Indiana by building the skills, knowledge and leadership capacity of its residents. She has worked tirelessly in support of conservation, playing an instrumental role in developing the leadership development program for the Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors.”

“Janet Ayres was an inspiring partner in region-wide initiatives for much of her career, and was a real force in pulling the North Central state extension program leaders together as a team during her stint in that role as the representative from Purdue,” said Scott Loveridge, Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.  Among her accomplishments is leading authorship of the widely recognized NCRCRD-published “Take Charge: Economic Development in Small Communities” a curriculum that was widely implemented by Extension professional across the country in the 1990s.

Dr. Janet Ayers made a significant contribution to the Community Development profession and the Community Development Society adds its thanks and best wishes on the occasion of her retirement. 



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