Community Development Society

News and Information

President's update - Back to the Future

Obra maestra Empire Back to the Future 770x462

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  • October 2016 - Conference proposal for El Paso 2018 withdrawn because of difficulty with institutional support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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