Community Development Society

News and Information

Chair's Update - Evaluator's Dilemma

People sometimes think I am wild and crazy. Maybe it's because I love adventure and take opportunities as they arise. Maybe it's because I lived abroad for so many years. Maybe it's because I am a good dancer and like to have fun. What's funny to me about all of these perceptions is that they beguile my typically dogged commitment to process and facts. There have been many times in my personal and professional life over the years where I have found myself saying "...but this may cause problems..." or "...this shows we should change course..." I think it's the evaluator in me, but almost as sure as I am to take on opportunity (like going to Ghana next week!), I also raise questions and concerns where needed to adhere to process, ethics, and facts. 

I've tried my best to uphold those principles in my work for CDS. I truly believe that compassionate and critical dialogue on the activities of our organization are necessary for our continued growth and development. This is one of the reasons the board chose to move to monthly meetings of the full board and ad-hoc meetings of the Executive Committee last fall. These regular meetings encourage exchange of ideas among board members and dissuade the out-of-the-light-of-day decisions that can get an organization into trouble.

I continue to commit to you, the members, that I will work hard to uphold our shared values and to name potential threats to our organization so the board can work to avoid them. Because my leadership here has never been about me, but about you, the member, and our professional home and beloved field of community development. As a leadership volunteer and an independent consultant who self-financed every meeting and conference (except one), including my 6 years of leadership to the organization, you could say that I put my money where my mouth is in terms of commitment - a commitment to our field and our home. For you. For us. So we can stay strong and stay together into our 50th and beyond!

Let me know your thoughts. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Board Update:

The May board meeting has been cancelled because of scheduling conflicts that would result in not having a quorum. 

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Chair's Update - Lions and Lambs

I've been reflecting on the old addage for March, "In like a lion, out like a lamb." March certainly has been a lion for many places around the US this year and I'm sure we're all hoping that the month ends in a more gentle, lamb-like fashion. This is particularly true to ease the burden of our friends and neighbors suffering through extreme temperature swings and flooding this season.

Since I live in Florida, I have the pleasure of a constant stream of northern guests through the month of March. It's wonderful to connect with family and friends and bring them a literal dose of sunshine during the deary late winter months. I'm very fortunate to have so many lifelong friends and close family members that make the trip. These connections, our own social captial, are the building blocks of communities and what we as practitioners of community development seek to build and support in the areas we serve.

Lions and lambs also convey symbolism of the weak and the strong, specifically of the weak becoming strong. For me, this also has relevenace to our shared work as so many of us are working with disempowered people - helping to bring out the voice of the lambs to stand toe to toe with the lions. We are often working to develop a community's social capital to enable their self determination - rise and rise again until lambs become lions. 

Board Activities Update

The board and it's committeess have been working together to continue the necessary transitions required with the now formally adopted bylaws, including shifts in scope and consolidation. Committees are working to further develop policies aligned with the new bylaws and further streamline our organization. 

The board approved the scholarship amounts.

2019 conference planning is underway. Accespted session proposals have been sent out, keynotes have been planned, mobile learning workshop development is moving along, and fundrasising is rocking and rolling!

2020 conference proposal for South Dakota was submitted to the board.

Staff search is underway.  

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President's Update - 50 looks good on you CDS!

President's Update - 50 looks good on you CDS!

Happy new year! Welcome 2019! What a joyous year for us here at CDS as it marks the official beginning of our 50th anniversary year celebrations! We have our homecoming conference, Coming Home to Cultivate the Future, coming up July 14-17 in Columbia, Missouri. What a perfect year to honor someone in our field who has made an outstanding contribution through an award (nominations due February 14)! I can't wait to see you in July and to see what the future has in store for us!

Meanwhile, your board has been busy working together to make sure our organization is ready to face the future. We have committees focused on revamping the bylaws and the structure of our organization, as well as preparing us a budget to ensure proper operations through our 50th year and beyond.

We are focused on growing our membership to reach those that have been with us over the years and the next generation of community developer. Our 50th anniversary and homecoming are the perfect time for outreach and we encourage our members to do the same. Will you commit to reaching out to one old colleague and one new to tell them about our annual conference? Imagine how robust our network would be and how lively our conference would be if each and every one of us did this! I'll be making my calls today!

Finally, thank you for your commitment to our field and to our organization. Without dedicated members like you, we would not have made it 50 years - Thank you!! Give yourself a nice little pat on the back - 50 years looks good on you CDS. 

 

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Meet Our Board - Huston Gibson

By Huston Gibson

Hello CDS! My name is Huston Gibson. I hold a PhD in Planning and I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning at Kansas State University where I serve as the program Director for our online graduate certificate in and Master of Science in Community Development (M.S. CD). I also serve as Faculty Coordinator for the Great Plains IDEA Community Development online graduate program consortium, which our Community Development academic program is part. In addition to serving on the CDS Board of Directors I am also a U.S. country correspondent for the International Association of Community Development (IACD) and serving as guest editor for the March 2019 edition of Practice Insights, a special edition of the magazine focused on CD education. As a CDS board member, I am interested in the society’s foci and relationships related to the practice of community development, as a professional field and academic discipline.

I have a passion for helping create sustainable, resilient, and livable communities; I have worked domestically and internationally helping promote downtown viability, economic development, environmental conservation, ecological consciousness, social equity, land-use compatibility, housing options, public school quality, and neighborhood amenities.

As an academic I regularly speak at local, regional, national, and international events and I have published my work in multiple peer-reviewed outlets, including Community Development, the journal of the CDS. I have been a member of the CDS since 2014 when I attended my first conference in Dubuque that year, and I have attended every annual conference since. Hope to see you at the next one!

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President's update - Back to the Future

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As we are gearing up for our big 50th Anniversary celebration in Columbia, Missouri next July (be sure to get your proposals in by November 30!), this is an opportune time for reflection on our organization - who we are and where we want to go. Your board has been working on this, in particular revising our bylaws and considering the roles of officers, directors, and staff. Keep an eye out for your opportunity to weigh in on the process! In the meantime, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who are leading this process with any of your thoughts and concerns.

In October, the board discussed finances and staff to keep the organization running smoothly. We are very fortunate to have such a long-standing history of investment in our organization and so many members who care about the society. The discussion on these areas is ongoing and we can't wait to share with you how your leadership is taking this organization forward!

November is a month of thanks. I am very thankful for all our members. For the way that you contribute to our society. For the way that you work tirelessly to improve your communities. For the way that you lead our world. Thank you. Thank you for shining a light on community development and for lifting up us all.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit of timeline and explanation of events that happened over the past couple of years. There have been many transitions in our organization as we all work together to carry forward. Because of these changes, there have been many questions about when, why, and how things have happened. In an effort to help communicate to our members around these transitions, I am writing about some of those items here - to the best of my recollection and using our board minutes as a guide. Hopefully this will help - here we go!

  • October 2016 - Conference proposal for El Paso 2018 withdrawn because of difficulty with institutional support
  • December 2016 - Call for proposals for 2018 conference hosts, although there was some interest the call ended with no concrete host proposals
  • December 2016 - AOM submitted contract renewal to the board 15 days ahead of contract expiration with 25% increase in fees
  • April 2016 - I put forth Detroit as a potential host location for 2018 although there was only 1 other active member from Detroit who was able to support the proposal (no institutional support). This was done to avoid losing members by not having a conference because a large proportion of our annual memberships come from new members and renewals associated with the conference.
  • June 2017 - 2016-2017 Board of Directors approves conference in Detroit and signs contract committing the organization to approximately $150,000 in costs to the host hotel
  • June 2017 - AOM and CDS officially part ways after Big Sky conference
  • June - October 2017  - Julie White, formerly of AOM, serves as interim administrator as Vice President of Operations Talmage lead board through development of Managing Director position and staff search
  • October 2017 - Board retreat in Detroit, conference planning on track, board tentatively agrees to re-shape officer roles and committees through revision of POG and bylaws
  • November 2017 - Justin Fallon-Dollard hired as CDS Managing Director
  • November 2017 - President Hains indicates work on bylaws and POG forthcoming to Executive Committee
  • January 2018 - Vice President of Operations Talmage presents summary of proposed bylaws changes to Board of Directors with digital response requested afterwards
  • February 2018 - Proposed bylaws changes were voted on and passed by the board, I expressed interest to properly communicate changes to membership with President Hains and Director Williams agreeing to take responsibility for
  • March 2018 - President Hains and Vice President of Operations Talmage resign
  • April 2018 - Board of Directors agree to revert back to operating under 2004 bylaws because bylaw changes passed in February 2018 had not been published in Vanguard, as required for implementation according to 2004 bylaws
  • April 2018 - Vice President of Programs Cindy Banyai ascends to President as prescribed by 2004 bylaws and confirmed by Board of Directors
  • May 2018 - Jane Leonard appointed by Board of Directors to vacant Vice President of Operations position
  • July 2018 - Conference held at provisional location in Detroit

Although this may not be a comprehensive timeline, I hope that it helps to clarify the timing of events to bring a better understanding of our organization's leadership and management transitions. I am happy to continue discussing these or any other items of concern that our members may have. Please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call/text (239) 464-6976. I'm listening.

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