Community Development Society

News and Information

President's Update - Paddling Along

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As summer winds down, I find myself reflecting on the adventures I’ve shared with my family this year — visiting Detroit, camping in Northern Michigan, and all the memories we made together. Spending time with my children and parents also brought back summer memories from years past. One summer, when I was a teenager, my parents took us whitewater rafting. It sounded so exciting and I was certain that we were going to have the adventure of a lifetime, and I suppose we did, except, not the way I anticipated. Rather than facing the rapid together and triumphantly making it through the course as I envisioned, we crumbled. I accidentally knocked my dad out of the boat, we argued, my brother became disengaged, and at one point we weren’t going anywhere because each of us were paddling in opposite directions. We did eventually make it to the end, together and in one piece, but it took us putting aside our squabbles to communicate and collaborate.

As your pilot, I’ve worked with our staff and leadership to land the CDS plane to get us through an enriching and engaging Detroit conference. Now, I’m feeling like we are in a boat on a river, all paddling in different directions. Through this coming year, a year of celebration of our 50 years as an organization, I pledge to continue to work together with our leadership and staff to ensure that we are all paddling in the same direction.

Currently, your board is working to improve policies and procedures through exploring policy based governance. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) The board will also be working to engage members through the committees to keep energy flowing to our organization. Here is an outline of our committees. Please let me know if you want to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. one!

As your President, I will focus on communications and engagement to continue to enrich our organization and to look for places to engage for sustainability through our 50th and beyond. We have been through a lot of changes over the past few years, leaving many of our members looking for more information. I’m hoping to provide that information through a series of short, videos and blogs. Additionally, we will be hosting some townhall-style dialogues for members to answer questions and provide a place for your input on happenings in our organization. Stay tuned for more info!

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President's Update - Flying the plane together

Image result for pilot

I read recently that flight instructors tell student pilots to “just fly the plane” when problems arise in the sky. They do this to remind the pilot to not become so distracted by problems that they crash the plane. I’m writing this President’s Update as your new pilot working to ensure our CDS plane does not crash. Although we have been through some turbulence, we are back to flying this plane together – our conference is on track, our leadership is strengthening, and our management is streamlining. Your Directors and Officers have re-committed themselves to working for the members, actively designing more and better processes for engagement. Here we go together!

We have launched the registration for our 49th annual international conference in Detroit (#CommDev18) with the help and support of our Conference Planning Committee, Local Host Committee, and dedicated staff and vendors. The conference includes an engaging line up of keynote speakers highlighting community development in Detroit, mobile learning workshops that will take us to see activities around the city, and an array of interactive and informative presentations. Details are being finalized, so keep an eye out for updates!

Recent leadership resignations left some temporary gaps. Following our current guiding documents, the bylaws enacted in 2004, and confirmed by our committees and board, I assumed to the presidency and will continue through my elected term ending July 2019. It is my honor to continue to serve CDS. I promise to bring to my presidency the same effort and commitment to our organization that has guided me thus far. I will work to improve our governance, organization development, and meaningful member engagement. I strive to listen to our members and work in the interest of our organization. Please feel free to reach out to me directly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (239) 4654-6976) if you have any thoughts or concerns or see a role you can play to help us achieve these goals.

The Conference Planning Committee, with the support of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the past presidents, is taking on the responsibility of stewarding our 2018 conference to success in lieu of appointing a Vice President of Programs. I will also continue to serve as conference chair to coordinate these collaborative efforts.

The Board has appointed Jane Leonard to serve as Vice President of Operations. She has accepted the appointment and is currently working with the Executive Committee and Board to ensure we have a conference location for 2020. She brings not only her professional experience as a “prac-ademic” to the role, but the experience of having been part of the CDS leadership in the past. She will no doubt add a bridging dimension to discussions on the advancement of our organization. I really appreciate Jane’s willingness to step up for our organization in a time of need.

Elections for new CDS leadership are coming up shortly. Please be on the lookout for the email containing your ballot information and vote for the candidates that you know can help lead our organization though our 50th year and beyond!

The Board has also been exploring ways to update our guiding documents, including our bylaws and our Policies and Operations Guidelines (POG). Although some work has been done in this respect, the Board wanted to ensure that proper member engagement was part of this updating process, so a committee has been formed to design a process around updating our organizing documents. This will include interactive sessions to gather member input during the 2018 conference, a clear transition plan for any structural changes, and transparency and communication in relation to proposed changes. We look forward to including you in the process of updating and improving the functioning of our organization.

I am appreciative of the work of our new Managing Director, Justin Fallon-Dollard. He jumped right in supporting the conference proposal submissions, registration, and logistics, as well as processing memberships, working with our finances, and looking for ways to streamline and improve our administrative processes. Management transitions are not a simple undertaking and I want to acknowledge the commitment Justin has made to support CDS through all our recent transitions. The Executive Committee and the Board will continue to work with Justin to ensure that all the operations of our organization are running smoothly and improving moving forward.

This has been a challenging time for CDS and for me personally. I look at what has happened recently, and I can hardly believe what we have been through. I do know we learn from mistakes and we become stronger through challenge. The committed remain to drive us forward together. I am proud to be a part of CDS, where we have been and where we are going. It is an honor to serve our members and our field. Although I can’t promise to never make mistakes, I can promise to always work for the best interest of our organization and its members. This is as true today as it’s always been. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve. Let me know how I can better serve – I’m listening.

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Get involved with #CommDev18!



Every year, the CDS annual international conference is our time to come together as colleagues to learn and share. The 2018 CDS Annual International Conference in Detroit is no exception and there lots of great things on the horizon! However, we want to make sure that our members’ voices are heard and that this conference really hits the mark. With that in mind, we are extending an invitation for members to join the Conference Planning Committee. Committee members will meet by phone once a month leading up to the conference and will review current plans, make suggestions to tailor the conference program to needs and expectations of the members, as well as to provide support as needed. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Explore Detroit at #CommDev18

I am so excited that we will be meeting in my hometown of Detroit for #CommDev18! Detroit has been nothing short of a hotbed of innovation in community development and revitalization. Holding our annual international conference there will ebable us to learn and explore community development alongside our local counterparts -- engaging with urban agriculture, equity activists, and planners to see how people and neighborhoods in Detroit continue their renaissance. 

As Chair of the Conference Committee, I am happy to be leading the process of engaging membership and local stakeholders to make this conference a success. Our first round of proposals has closed and the Scholarly Activities Committee and other reviewers are hard at work vetting proposals to make sure we have the highest quality presentations for #CommDev18.

We recieved an amazing number of formal presentation and poster proposals, but also a trove of the newly concieved Roundtables, Think Tanks, and Birds of  Feather proposals. Be sure to check them out as the program takes shape early next year! For now though, you can check out the schedule at a glance here

You can still be actively involved in the conference by signing up to be a student volunteer or part of the new CDS Mentor Program (mentor, mentee). All student volunteers will be put into a drawing for a free stay at the conference hotel during the conference -- what a deal! All senior Society members are encourages to sign up to be mentors to students and newer members of our organization to help them connect during the conference and grow in their careers in community development. We need you!

We have some great Mobile Learning Workshops taking shape, including the Dequindre Cut Bike Tour, Henry Ford Museum, and more! We will be partnering with Visit Detroit to help coordinate some of these tours. Also, be sure to check them out to find out about other great things to do and see during your trip! 

This year, we are truly getting back to our roots by coordinating service events in our host city ahead of the conference. So, plan on getting in and getting to work on July 21 with one of our service project locations, including farmwork with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network or blight removal with Life Remodeled. More opportunities may become available, depending on interest, so stay tuned and be sure to sign up to serve when you register! 

There's so much more underway, -- including amazing keynotes, sponsors, events -- but I'll end here for now. Keep an eye on our website for more! Registration will be here soon!

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Changes are afoot at Vanguard!

Thank you to all the loyal followers of Vanguard. As you may know, the Community Development Society has recently changed management companies. With that comes many changes to things we use on a regular basis, such as email and support programs. To ensure that you, the member, are kept fully up to date and never miss any of the vital communications from our organization, I encourage you to add 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. to your address book. These are two main email addresses that our management team will use to send you information about upcoming events and engagement opportunities in CDS. If you use Gmail, you can simply drag the next issue of Vanguard from your "Promotions" tab into your "Primary" inbox. Gmail will then remember that you want to see Vanguard there and you won't miss a beat! 

Additonally, I want to apologize for the late publication of July's Vanguard. With all of these changes and with the many personal and professional responsibilities I have as an independent consultant and mom of littles, I simply was not able to get Vanguard out mid-month as usual. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and I appreciate your understanding and support. I love being the Vanguard Editor and sharing with all of you the exciting updates of our members and organization. Thanks for subscribing!

If there is any way that you see to improve Vanguard, please let me know by sending me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'm listening to your feedback and am planning on updating the format of Vanguard in the near future so that it is more mobile friendly. I'd love to hear from you!

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2016-2017 Site Selection Committee Report

This has been a challenging, yet fruitful year for Site Selection for future conference locations at the Community Development Society. Due to unforseen circumstances, the planned location for the 2018 fell through. In order to conduct an international conference for CDS in 2018 an RFP was released in the fall of 2016. Although there were no formal proposals from the RFP process, several contracts were made for future conferences. Detroit has been proposed as  a conference location for 2018 and is currently still under develoment. The tentative schedule for future conferences can be seen below. A shared document with contact information and themes was created and put into the CDS shared Google Drive. Pre-proposals will be created and pursued further by the incoming Vice President of Operations. We are happy to have planned locations through 2027.


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President's Update - Up next, Big Sky!

By Chris Marko

The Community Development Society (CDS) Board met September 9th- 10th in Big Sky, Montana—the site for our next conference with the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP).  The CDS Board met jointly with the NACDEP Board to tour the venue, facilities, and plan logistics for the conference, and develop common goals and expectations for the conference—I can tell you it is truly and wonderful place with mountainous inspiration all around.  Rumor has it that some CDS and NACDEP folks got involved with some wrangling on site.  One of the common goals of both Boards is to have fun so get ready for another great, educational, and fun conference in Montana!  The dates are June 11th – 14, 2017 so mark your calendars and plan ahead.  Vacation packages are available at Big Sky so bring your family, friends, and explore what the local area has to offer—Yellowstone National Park is less than two hours from the Bozeman airport.  The CDS NACDEP Conference 2017 theme is Big Skies, Bold Partnerships continuing CDS’ tradition of collaboration and strengthening partnerships with groups and people involved with community development.  At the CDS Board meeting we accomplished two items which build on our partnership with the International Association for Community Development (IACD) who we conducted our joint International Conference in Minnesota in July, 2016 on Sustaining Community Change.  The CDS Board voted to adopt the newly created definition of Community Development by IACD:   “Community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice, through the organization, education and empowerment of people within their communities, whether these be of locality, identity or interest, in urban and rural settings".   We believe it is important to promote representation of community development with common terms and will welcome further discussion about community development, as we have and will continue to do as community developers this year, and at the upcoming CDS NACDEP Conference June 11 – 14 2017 in Big Sky!  The CDS Board also plans to partner with IACD on conferences every fourth year which will strengthen the breadth of our organizations globally.  Similarly CDS intends to develop opportunities with NACDEP regarding leadership, economic development, and education through our conference and partnership.  CDS Board members had the pleasure of visiting with Montana State University Extension staff to discuss what we do in community development.  Stay tuned for our Call for Abstracts which will be issued earlier this year as we will be having our conference earlier in the summer than we have traditionally held our conference (late July) next year.  We encourage you to consider submitting an abstract, welcome and invite your participation in the conference, and as always encourage you to participate on Committees and organizational development for CDS.   As outlined at the CDS IACD Conference my focus as President involves cultivating new leadership for CDS, sustaining change and building on sustainability themes, and continuing to continue improving organizational processes and consistency for the future of CDS.  We also welcome articles for publication in our Journal of Community Development, and CD Practice.  For more information about the conference feel free to contact Bryan Hains, Vice President of Programs and the newly formed Conference Planning Committee Bryan Hains, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; for information CDS operations and Vanguard feel free to contact Cindy Banyai, Vice President of Operations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; and for anything to do with CDS feel free to get in touch yours truly, Chris Marko, CDS President This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I appreciate what you do in community development.  Keep up the great work!

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CDS Awards and Recognition Committee, Scholarship Committee – July 2016 Report

By Craig Talmage


CDS Awards, Scholarships, and Banquet This Year (2016)

Plan and Program

This year’s banquet begins at 6:30pm. Gisele (and Charlie?) will welcome guests to the Banquet. Salads will be on the table, and dinner will be served shortly thereafter. At 7:10pm. Gisele (and Charlie?) will recognize Past Presidents of CDS (and IACD?). At 7:15pm, the awards banquet will begin. Six awards (five from CDS; one from IACD) and six scholarships (all from CDS) will be recognized (all listed below). Participants have been asked ahead of time if they would like to make any remarks, and have asked to make any remarks brief. All emcees/speakers will have a script. Participants will have programs available at their tables, and a rolling slideshow of winners will be shown. At 8:00pm, the live auction will begin.


·         Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research – David Campbell, University of California-Davis

·         Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award – Neil Linscheid, University of Minnesota Extension

·         Innovative Program Award – Strengthening Skills for Leading Others Program of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)

·         Outstanding Program Award – The Futures Program from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality

·         Friend of Community Development Award – Gavin Rennie, Unitec

·         IACD Global Ambassador Award* - Randy Adams, Vice President of IACD, past President of CDS, and former Executive Director of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) in the U.S. *This award will be given out by IACD, not CDS. The President of IACD will present the award.  


·         CD Scholarship Fund ($1000) - Renee Reed Miller

·         CD Scholarship Fund ($1000)  - Toyin Kolawole

·         George Nickolaus CD Graduate Student Award Fund ($1000)  - Richard Loughery*
Richard will not be present to receive the award. He has been asked to send remarks.

·         Nette Nelson Travel Fund ($2000) - Sharad Sharma

·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS ($1000): Travel Scholarship - Bidita Jawher Tithi

·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS ($1000): Community-Based Research Scholarship - Annie Li


CDS Awards Status and Submissions by Year

The table below shows the number of (qualified) applications received each year for the past 7 years.









Gibson (DSA)








Bradshaw  (Research)








Littrell (New Professional)








CD Achievement








Outstanding Program








Innovative Program








Current Research








Friend of CDS








Student Award









Total Entries






















Dual Entry











Net Entries









·         2013 Carryover – Littrell New Professional, Outstanding Program

·         2014 Carryover – CD Achievement (2)

·         2015 Carryover – Littrell New Professional, Outstanding Program

·         2016 Dual Entry – Innovative Program and Outstanding Program (2)


The number of award entries (both Total and Net) have been relatively stable since 2013.  This represents a rebound from low years in 2011 (especially) and 2012. 


The category that has been the most popular over the period examined has been “Innovative Program.”   It has received multiple entries except for the 2011 (which was the nadir for awards submissions).   The next two most popular award categories have been Community Development Achievement and Outstanding Program. 


The number of submissions for each, however, has been boosted since by the carryover of applications (2013-2015) and the acceptance of applications for both programming categories (2016).


Related to that, Community Development Achievement is the one category has had at least one submission during the period examined – although resubmissions kept that streak alive in 2014.

Three awards have had averaged less than one submission per year for the time period examined – the Duane L. Gibson Distinguished Service Award, the Student Recognition Award, and the Current Research Award.  

CDS Awards and Scholarships Possible Changes for Discussion


·         Increase publicity on all the awards and scholarships – especially the larger named awards

o   Continue to utilize current means

o   Have an even stronger social media push

o   Ensure part of application/renewal packet

o   Need to consider more grassroots ways of soliciting from all institutions/groups represented among CDS

o   Survey our membership regarding their perceptions of our awards and scholarships

·         Ramp up encouragement of awards and scholarships nominations

o   From board members

o   From committee chairs

o   From moderators and presenters and conference

o   Through the journals

·         Create a new teaching/education based award or transform another award to be specifically teaching/education focused

o   No current teaching-focused award

o   Need to consider possible bias towards activity in awards recipients

§  Are we biased in selection?

§  Are we biased in our solicitation?

·         Outstanding Program and Innovative Program into Program of Merit

o   Recognize multiple entries

o   Moving in that direction with multiple entries

·         Consider dropping or combining awards that receive few entries each year

o   This likely isn’t a great option, but it is worth putting on the table

§  Non-named awards such as the current research award and student recognition award do not receive many nominations each year.

·         Discuss and address whether the student recognition award should come with a stipend

o   Should the award be considered a scholarship

·         Allow more flexibility on number of program awards that can be given out each year

o   Currently some are limited and some are not

o   Limits make sense on special honors, less so on program awards

CDS Awards and Scholarships Leadership Transitions (2016-2017)


·         Michael Dougherty and Craig Talmage will remain as co-chairs. Sheri Smith will remain on the committee. We will be looking for at least two additional members for next year.


·         Jane Leonard has agreed to chair the scholarships committee. She will be recruiting additional members for the committee. If necessary, Craig Talmage will serve as a member of the committee, but his primarily role will be to help maintain and run the online application process.

Looking to Joint CDS NACDEP Conference in 2017

Michael Dougherty is the chair of the NACDEP Recognition Committee and has been in contact with that organization’s board regarding awards next year. A joint banquet and awards ceremony seems appropriate. We have suggested that a back and forth / alternating model would suit the ceremony well. For example, we would give out one award, and then NACDEP will give out an award. A combined script would be developed to ensure things run smoothly. A joint ceremony seems fitting when looking at extension winners of CDS Awards over the past 7 years.

Extension Winners of CDS Awards Since 2010

CD Achievement (2 of 6 awards)

·         Sharon Gulick, University of Missouri Extension (2015)

·         Mark Peterson, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (2011)

Current Research (3 of 6 awards)

·         University of Minnesota Extension Community Economics Team (2015)

·         Dave Ivan, Michigan State University Extension (2012)

·         Steve Jeanetta, University of Missouri Extension (2012)

Littrell New Professional Award (2 of 7 awards)

·         Neil Linschied, University of Minnesota Extension (2016)

·         Paul Lachapelle, Montana State University Extension (2011)

Gibson DSA (2 of 4 awards)

·         Mary Emery, South Dakota State University (2012)

·         Ron Hustedde, University of Kentucky (2010)

Friend of CDS (0 of 6 awards) and Student Recognition (0 of 3)


Innovative Program Award (6 of 7 awards)

·         Strengthening Skills for Leading Others Program, CEDIK, University of Kentucky (2016)

·         Community Arts Program, University of Missouri Extension (2014)

·         Marketing Hometown America, UNL, NDSU and SDSU Extension (2014)

·         Great Community Book Read Program, South Dakota State University (2013)

·         Healthy Econsystems, Healthy Communities – Kansas PRIDE (2012)

·         Latino Farmers and Local Multicultural Food and Marketing Systems, Iowa State (2010)

Outstanding Program Award (3 of 5 awards)

·         The Futures Program, UMN Extension Center for Community Vitality (2016)

·         Stronger Economies Together, SEDC (2013)

·         Saving Our Grocery Stores, Saving Our Communities: K-State’s Rural Grocery Initiative (2010)

Bradshaw Research (1 of 3)

·         David Campbell, University of California (2016)

Submitted by Awards and Recognition Committee:

Michael Dougherty, CDS Awards and Recognition Co-Chair

Craig Talmage, CDS Awards and Recognition Co-Chair

Sheri Smith, CDS Awards and Recognition Committee Member


Submitted by Scholarship Committee:

Craig Talmage, CDS Scholarship Committee Member

Kurt Mantoya, CDS Scholarship Committee Member


Jane Leonard, CDS Scholarship Committee Chair

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Congrats to Our Award and Scholarship Recipients

By Craig Talmage

This year we celebrated our award and scholarship winners at our annual banquet at the CDS Conference. We would again like to recognize our award and scholarship recipients.  Also, if you are interested in serving on our committee, please email Craig Talmage (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please also consider nominating a person or program for an award or scholarship next year. Learn more at


·         Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research – David Campbell, University of California-Davis

·         Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award – Neil Linscheid, University of Minnesota Extension

·         Innovative Program Award – Strengthening Skills for Leading Others Program of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)

·         Outstanding Program Award – The Futures Program from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality

·         Friend of Community Development Award – Gavin Rennie, Unitec


·         CD Scholarship Fund - Renee Reed Miller

·         CD Scholarship Fund - Toyin Kolawole

·         George Nickolaus CD Graduate Student Award Fund - Richard Loughery

·         Nette Nelson Travel Fund - Sharad Sharma

·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS: Travel Scholarship - Bidita Jawher Tithi


·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS: Community-Based Research Scholarship - Annie Li

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President's Update - Introducing the 2016-2017 CDS Board

By Chris Marko


First of all thank you to all who were involved with planning, conducting, and participating in this year’s Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA July 24th – 27th, 2016.  We hope you found the event inspiring, valuable, and practical for your future research and practice in community development, and the many aspects of sustaining community change, and sustainable development.  Please keep in touch with people you met, share information, experiences, opportunities, and please continue to participate with CDS.  I would like to welcome our new CDS Board members:  Leanne Avery, State University New York (SUNY) at Oneonta, New York; Kyle Patrick Williams, Chapman University, Orange, California; Michael Fortunato, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and Wilson Majee, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.  We have a creative and capable group of leaders focused on getting things done.  We invite you to participate with CDS, join Committees, contribute an article, develop a proposal for next year’s conference in Montana!  In particular we are looking for people to participate on CDS Committees. We are currently finalizing our Committees, and Committee leadership, and welcome your interests, ideas, leadership capabilities, and collaboration on behalf of the Society:

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 design and development of communication networks among CDS members and entities external to CDS. Committee members oversee 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 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: Craig Talmage, 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: Steve Jeanetta, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Committee

The International Committee develops strong and productive inter-country communication, research, action, and project links among CDS members and broadens 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.

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 adding value to the field and offering opportunities for networking, skill development, and capacity building of organizations, people, and communities.

·         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.

  • Co-Chair:  Kyle Patrick Williams, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Co-Chair:  Craig Talmage, 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 develop the program for the 2017 CDS Annual International Conference to be held in Big Sky, Montana. Keynote speakers and plenary sessions will be determined based on conference theme, available resources, and 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 with keynote speakers, presenters, moderators, mobile learning workshops, and sponsors. Mobile learning workshops will be coordinated with the Local Host Committee. Opportunities will be provided for feedback and evaluation of the conference.

  • Chair: Bryan Haines, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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

CDS Executive Committee

If you are interested in any committees, have questions, are interested in learning more about CDS, and how to get involved, please feel to contact any one of the CDS Executive Committee members:

Abbie Gaffey, Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve Jeanetta, Treasurer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cindy Banyai, Vice President of Operations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bryan Haines, Vice President of Programs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

Thank you and look forward to a great year!




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Community Development Society – Electronic Communications Report 2015-2016

Electronic communication reach and followers by platform


1. Vanguard

a. Mailing list grew to 1040

b. 27.9% average open rate

2. LinkedIn Group

a. 548 members

3. Facebook Page

a. 782 likes

b. Reach and interactions increased dramatically when quote campaign started in March – moving from an average of less than 100 people reached with posts to an average range above 300

c. Fans

i. 48% women, 48% men

ii. Mostly from US, but have international following – particularly from Australia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, UK

4. Facebook Group

a. 679 members

5. Twitter

a. 455 followers

b. 131 impressions per day from April 15-July 14, 2016


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Community Development Society – 2015-2016 Marketing and Membership Committee

1) 2015-2016 highlights and accomplishments

a) Update of CDS brochure

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

c) 2 new social media contributors

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

2) 2015-2016 ongoing activities

a) Diversity ad hoc committee

b) Connecting with “new members” through email

c) POG, website alignment and rolling membership

d) LinkedIn Company page update


Co-Chair Cindy Banyai

Co-Chair Dan Kahl

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CDS to the Voter’s Box!

By Whitney McIntyre-Miller

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

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

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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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President's Update - Staying connected with CDS

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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Come home to CDS this summer

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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President's Update - Engaging community development

President's Update - Engaging community development
By Dave Lamie
I sometimes struggle trying to find something worthwhile to say in these columns.   Some of you are probably saying “we’ve noticed”.  For now, I will just choose to ignore the nay-sayers and proceed with my usual approach of sharing some rather personal dimension of myself with the hopes that it might strike a similar chord in others.   My justification for being somewhat personal is intentional and grounded in my belief that really good community development is not so much about technical assistance as it is about relationship.  If I am going to be effective at all as a community developer, then I must have some sort of authentic sense of caring about the community’s well-being.  I’m not sure exactly where this empathy originates.  But, many speculate that it’s origins are biological, learned behavior, or even divine in nature.  Perhaps it is all three.  Who’s to definitely say?  What I do think is that it works this way.  I’ve simply got to care if it’s going to work well.  The most satisfaction I’ve ever felt in my work as a community developer has come when I truly cared, and when I was able to effect a positive difference in the object of my caring.   Absent caring, all of the tools, technologies, techniques, and resources our modern world has made available, simply do not generate the same results…definitely in me, perhaps in the community.  
Enough preaching…because I am confident that I am preaching to the amazing CDS Choir!  What I’d rather us be better at is actively listening to our membership.   The CDS Board exists for the purpose of better serving you, our members.  We are developing online tools in our website project that should help in this regard.  Be looking for these to roll out in the near future…and ENGAGE!  The annual conference in Lexington is going to be amazing.  Gisele Hamm, Ron Hustedde, Dan Kahl, and others involved in the local host committee are doing a spectacular job of organizing a truly groundbreaking event!  Registration is now open!  So, please register as early as possible and encourage your friends and colleagues to join you!!!  
Looking forward, we have Minnesota squarely in our sights for the 2016 conference and it is already beginning to take shape.  We are reviewing proposals for future years and are very much open to exploring ideas for subsequent years.   It is pretty fair to say that the more lead time we have to work on a conference, the more degrees of freedom we have to work with to maximize the experience for all.  
Please read the remainder of this newsletter and think of ways that you can deepen your engagement with CDS.  And, hopefully, we will see you in Lexington!
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Call for submission - CDS 2015

Call for Submissions

(Workshops, Paper/Program Presentations, Panel Sessions & Posters)
2015 Annual Meeting of the Community Development Society
Hilton Lexington Downtown Hotel
Lexington, Kentucky– July19-22, 2015
Deadline: January 31, 2015, 11:59p.m. (Central Standard Time)

Creativity and Culture: Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Health, Environment, Economic Vibrancy, Social Justice and Democracy

Community activists and developers are integrating the arts and culture into building vibrant communities. Increasingly, groups and organizations are leveraging the arts and imagination to engage citizens in community development. In doing so, they create places and organizations that support economic diversity and strengthen the aesthetics of communities. There is a growing awareness that the arts can serve as a vehicle to bring people together. There is interest in making places more intentionally open for diverse economic opportunities and fostering connections across cultures which makes communities more vibrant and welcoming.

Culture is also gaining more attention in community development as society becomes more diverse through demographic shifts including greater concentrations of the elderly, immigrants, ethnic diversity, and counter-culture movements. As a result, it could be argued that there isn’t a single public but multiple publics. Community developers are challenged to be culturally aware and sensitive as they weave these multiple publics together into a community of shared vision, interests and investment.

The 2015 Community Development Society conference offers a platform for dialogue about community development with an emphasis on the roles of creativity and culture in framing community issues and responses. We invite you to join us July 19-22, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky in the heart of the world’s most avid horse culture, to share your research and learning about how the arts and creative expression are strengthening the bonds of communities around the world.

This venue provides opportunities for spirited and lively exchanges about community development practice, learning, and scholarship. Won’t you join us?

Who Should Submit a Proposal?

Anyone who has engaged in community development work, especially work related to the conference theme, is encouraged to submit a proposal.
It is the goal of the Program Committee to formulate a balanced mixture of accepted submissions with pre-selected speakers, mobile learning workshops, our annual banquet, business meeting, off-site hosted events, and other networking opportunities. Every consideration will be given to creating an event from which all participants will substantially benefit.

How to Complete Your Submission:

Beginning Thursday, November 20, submissions will be accepted at:

The following instructions provide you with a step-by-step process for submitting an abstract for the 2015 annual meeting:

STEP 1: Complete Contact Information

Please provide the following information: (a) date of your submission; (b) your name; (c) organizational affiliation; (d) email address;(e) complete mailing address (include specific department or bureau, if applicable); (f) telephone and fax numbers; and (g) name/email of your additional presenter(s).

STEP 2: Enter the Title of Your Proposed Presentation

STEP 3: Specify the Topic from the List that Most Closely Reflects the Nature of Your Submission.

Conference organizers will be reviewing submissions based on two areas: conference sub-themes and Community Development Society tracks. Please select a conference sub-theme (such as health, environment, social justice, and so on) and a CDS track (such as general community development, planning and evaluation, community development education,and so on).

Submissions relating to any of the sub-themes and CDS tracks on this list will be reviewed. A description of each sub-theme and CDS track can be found at the end of this document.

NOTE: These conference sub-themes and CDS tracks are designed to help the Program Committee determine the breadth of submissions being considered for the 2015 meeting. Please note that the final session themes and tracks that appear in the conference program may differ from those listed.

STEP 4: Indicate the Format of Your Presentation.

You have SEVEN PRESENTATION OPTIONS from which to choose. Below are the formats you can choose and the amount time associated with each format:

NOTE: The time and locations specified below are intended to serve as general guidelines. Please note that they maybe subject to change in the event that submissions that are approved for presentation at the 2015 meeting exceed expectation:

30 Minute Sessions (20 minute presentation, 10 minutes discussion)

Research Paper: Showcasing community development theory, methodological advances, or applied studies

-- or --

Practice/Outreach Program: Highlighting an innovative project/program you have implemented that is having a positive impact on people, communities, and/or regions

60 Minute Sessions (Allow at least 10 minutes for discussion)

Small Panel Session: Organizing 3-5 individuals with a diversity of perspectives on a topic of importance and relevance to the community development field

-- or --

Innovation Session: Propose an entirely “out-of-the-box” innovative session that connects with the Creativity and Culture theme of the conference while demonstrating the CDS Principles of Good Practice

90 Minute Sessions (Allow at least 15 minutes for discussion)

Workshop: An in-depth, interactive session sharing an innovative program or project that CDS members might be able to readily adopt in their own communities

-- or –

Large Panel Session: Organizing at least 4 individuals with a diversity of perspectives on a topic of importance and relevance to the community development field

Poster: Displaying your research practice efforts through the use of a poster (will be showcase data special time during the meeting)

STEP 5: Select up to Three Acceptable Format Options for Your Proposed Presentation:

Since it will be unlikely that we can accommodate all requests for the various types of presentation formats, you are urged to provide upto three acceptable options for your presentation. For example, if your first choice is to do a workshop but we are unable to accommodate your request, give us your second choice in terms of the format for your presentation. Likewise, if a third choice is acceptable, please provide that as well. For example, would you be willing to present in a Practice/Outreach session as a second choice or in a Poster Session as a third choice? Just let us know your top three preferences (in priority order) in terms of the format for your presentation.

STEP 6: Provide an Abstract of Your Proposed Presentation (300 word limit)

STEP 7: Prepare a shorter, 50-word Summary of Your Proposed Presentation

(for display in conference program, if accepted).

STEP 8: Indicate if You Will Need any Audio-Visual Equipment.

Please tell us what specific equipment you will need. NOTE: Overhead projectors, LCD projectors (for PowerPoint presentations) and audio equipment will be available for your use. However, you must bring your own laptop for your presentation or make plans with another person in your session to use his/her laptop.

STEP 9: Provide an electronic copy of your abstract.

STEP 10: Does Your Submission Embrace the CDS Principles of Good Practice?

Your work should embrace the Community Development Society’s Principles of Good Practice. Please review these principles highlighted at the end of this document. Place a checkmark in the“YES” box if you agree that your submission is consistent with these principles. These principles can be found at the end of this document.

STEP 11: Explain How Your Submission Relates to the Creativity and Culture Conference Theme

Deadline Date:
All proposals must be submitted using the CDS online submission system by 11:59 p.m., SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015 (Central Standard Time).

A Special Note to Our International Association for Community Development Colleagues and Other International Participants:

We welcome our IACD and other international colleagues to take part in the 2015 CDS Conference. Named in the top 50 places to visit in a lifetime by National Geographic Traveler, Lexington, Kentucky will provide an enriching experience for you while you are in the United States.

We urge you to submit well-developed abstract proposals to be part of this great event. Due to the additional time needed by many of our international conference participants to arrange for travel to the United States for the July 2015 conference, we are providing a limited opportunity for you to submit your conference abstract and receive an earlier confirmation regarding the acceptance of your presentation. While the official date for general abstract acceptance notification will be in March 2015, we are setting aside a limited number of slots for early notification for international submissions. Thus, if you submit your conference presentation proposal by December 15, 2014, we will notify you of your proposal acceptance/non-acceptance by Thursday, January 15, 2015. If you are notified that your abstract is accepted as a presentation for the 2015 CDS conference, you will receive a registration form with your acceptance email so that you may register early. Please note: All international colleagues are welcome to submit abstracts during the regular call for abstracts timeframe if they do not wish to submit for the early notification option.

Please note that the CDS does not have sufficient resources to help defray the travel expenses of our international attendees. However, if you’re a CDS member, you may be eligible to apply for one of the travel scholarships available for members taking part in a conference outside of their home continent.
An announcement regarding the 2015 travel scholarship application process will be released during the early part of 2015, so you are encouraged to review the guidelines once they are released to see if you might be eligible to apply. The announcement will be posted on the CDS website.
Conference Registration and Hotel Reservations:

Information on the annual registration fee and hotel rates/reservation process will be available on the CDS website soon. Please check this site for up-to-date information on the 2015 conference:

Conference Program Questions:Feel free to submit any questions about the 2015 program to Gisele Hamm, CDS Vice President for Programs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Submission Questions: For issues with the proposal submission process, Please contact Karen Holt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CDS Principles of Good Practice

We believe that adherence to the Community Development Society's Principles of Good Practice are essential to sound community development.

  • Promote active and representative participation toward enabling all community members to meaningfully influence the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Engage community members in learning about and understanding community issues, and the economic, social, environmental, political, psychological, and impacts associated with alternative courses of action.
  • Incorporate the diverse interests and cultures of the community in the community development process; and disengage from support any effort that is likely to adversely affect the disadvantaged members of a community.
  • Work actively to enhance the leadership capacity community members, leaders, and groups within the community.
  • Be open to using the full range actionstrategies to work toward the long-term sustainability and well-being of the community.

The CDS 2015 Conference Theme is:

Creativity and Culture: Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Health, Environment, Economic Vibrancy, Social Justice and Democracy

1. Please select at least one of the following conference sub-themes:

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Health
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and improving health.

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening the Environment
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and improving environmental conditions.

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Economic Vibrancy
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and strengthening economic vibrancy.

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Social Justice
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and addressing social justice.

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Democracy
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and engaging citizens or strengthen democracy.

Creative Community Development Approaches for Strengthening Social or Cultural Well-Being
Presentations focusing on research and effective process for integrating community development and strengthening social or cultural well-being.

2. Please select one of the following CDS tracks:

General Community Development Practice and Process
Presentations focused on community development practices, processes, and theories broadly defined.

Planning and Evaluation
Presentations focused on planning and evaluation as utilized in community development processes and practices.

Community Development Education
Presentations related to teaching and education of community development theories, processes, and practices in classrooms or other educational settings.

Scholarship and Research
Presentations focused on research and scholarship related to community development.

Community Leadership
Presentations related to leaders and leadership in community settings.

Economic Development
Presentations focused on the practices, processes, and theories of community economic improvement.

Rural Community Development
Presentations focused on the practices, processes, and theories of community development in rural settings.

Youth in Community Development
Presentations about the role of youth in community development practices, processes, and theories.

International Community Development
Presentations related to community development practices, processes, and theories in international settings.

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Membership and Marketing Committee 2014 Report

By Cindy Banyai

Executive Summary

This report discusses the composition of the 2014 Community Development Society (CDS) obtained from the membership roster and the most recent Membership Survey.

This information is being analyzed to better inform the CDS marketing strategy, as well as to tailor conference components (mobile workshops).

Here are the top findings:

  • Members report being a part of CDS for an average of 11.3 years. They are largely from the Midwest, but there is a sizeable international component of the membership.
  • Aside from community development specifically, members are most involved with planning and evaluation, education and training, and dealing with projects and programs.
  • Networking, knowledge sharing and learning, and the journal and publications are the most valued components of being a member of CDS.

Membership data from 2011-2014 has also been analyzed to better understand the year to year membership retention rates and to set targets for future growth in this area. The major findings are that we have a major issue with membership retention, with only 40% of members renewing consistently. The issues stem from a lack of continued value for conference-local memberships and problems with the membership renewal system.

The Membership Committee requests $6,000 in 2015 to help address some of these recommendations.

Membership Composition

Average member reports being involved with organization for 11.3 years

Where are CDS members from?

Only a few members in each state, but membership is Midwest-heavy

Top Origins of CDS Members 2012-2013

  1. Minnesota (12.5%)
  2. Kentucky (7%)
  3. Wisconsin (6.2%)
  4. Ohio (5.4%)
  5. Missouri (5.4%)
  6. Illinois (4.7%)
  7. Canada (4.7%)
  8. New York (3.1%)
  9. International (3.1%)

 What areas do CDS members work in?

 cds areas of work

  1. Community Development
  2. Planning and evaluation
  3. Education/teaching/training
  4. With programs/projects
  5. Research
  6. Economics
  7. Rural
  8. Leadership
  9. Extension
  10. Government
  11. Youth
  12. Business
  13. Urban
  14. Volunteers
  15. Health
  16. Tourism
  17. Sustainability


What career difference does CDS make?

what i like about cds word cloud

  1. Networking
  2. Knowledge sharing and learning
  3. Journal/Publishing

 what members like

This is consistent with what members like about CDS. In the member survey, people most often identified the connections they make through CDS as what they like the most, followed by the publications, and knowledge sharing.

Membership Retention

retenion graph

The findings from analyzing year to year membership lists, as well discussing with other Directors and Julie While from the management office, is that there is a core membership of 135 or so members the sign up every year (2011-2014 puts number at 106). This number is low because of some of the peculiarities of the CDS membership process being associated with the conference. The main issues with this include: a large single-year membership contingent from the conference host area dedicated members who can get the discounted membership rate for 2 conferences, but skip paying years.

Data Analysis highlights:

  • Consistent membership 2011-2014: 106 members, 40% of total memberships between 2011-2014. This demonstrates a tremendous issue with overall membership retention.
  • 38% of memberships (295 out of 800) between 2011-2014 were only members for 1 year. This data relates to the issue with regional membership in conference areas, but indicates a lack of apparent continued value and outreach to colloquial members.
  • 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 retention rate (through July 2014) = 47% according to CDS management office, but analysis of 2011-2013 shows a much lower number of 40%
  • 35 people were only members from 2011-2013, 37 people were only members from 2012-2014, and 15 people had gap years in their membership. All of this information points to issues with the membership renewal process.

Potential rationale for retention issues

  • Lack of consistent membership outreach – Some members only stay a short time because they cannot find a home in the organization and have difficulty connecting to value of membership (especially if not publishing), this could potentially isolate practitioners
  • Lack of consistent membership renewal reminders and ease of renewal process - even long time members have gap years because of lapses in the membership process
  • Conferences are too colloquial – the locals who attend the conferences cannot find benefit to continued membership beyond the conference year

Membership Committee 2015 Budget Proposal





Online advertising

Design and run ads on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook) to entice non-members connections and new contacts to join CDS


CDS Brochure refresh

Content and graphics re-design


Print 2000


Postage to send brochures to CDS representatives


Brochure Total



Committee Total


2014 -2015 Committee Members

Cindy Banyai - Co-Chair

Dan Kahl - Co-Chair

Sharon Gulick

Chris Marko

John Gulick

Rani Bhattcharyya

Kathy Macomber

Johanna Reed Adams

Tracy Marlo-Daugherty

Dennis Deerey

Christopher Cotton

Paul LaChapelle

James Wilcox

Kurt Mantonya

John McNutt

Beth Nagy


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Connecting with Former Vanguard Editor Col. L R Hughes



In early August, it was my pleasure to receive a series of communications from former CDS Vanguard Editor Col. L R Hughes (for 8 years through the early 1990's). He was gracious enough to share some of his experiences as the Editor of Vanguard from when it was a printed 16-page newspaper (things have certainly changed, haven't they!?!). The main reason he reached out to me was to pass along some vintage Vanguard materials (pictured here). Let me know if you see any familiar faces or have stories to share about these classic Vanguard excerpts. Thanks again Col. Hughes for sharing this wonderful piece of Community Development Society history with me. 





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