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  • October 2016 - Conference proposal for El Paso 2018 withdrawn because of difficulty with institutional support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

32 Hits

Meet the new Vanguard Editor - Lisa Gilchrist

While it has been my honor and my pleasure to serve as the Vanguard Editor for the past five years, the time has come to pass the torch to a new bearer. I am happy to announce that through inquiry, proposals, and interviews, the CDS Communications Committee in partnership with the CDS Secretary, Caitlin Bletscher, have reccomended Lisa Gilchrist, Director of Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services, to be the next Vanguard Editor. Lisa has some exciting ideas about how to improve Vanguard to ensure it continues to serve our members as the primary communications piece for our society. She and I have been working together over the past couple of months on this transition and she will take over as solo editor October 2018. Congratulations and welcome Lisa!

More about Lisa

Lisa Gilchrist has been Director of Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services since May 2016. Her team’s community development efforts center on preventing and reducing poverty, ending family violence, supporting positive mental health, and enhancing inclusion and diversity with a focus on volunteers, seniors, and youth. Stony Plain is located in Alberta, Canada just west of the provincial capital of Edmonton. Previously, Lisa spent fourteen years in leadership with the federal government at Service Canada to deliver employment programs for youth, people with disabilities, unemployed workers, and in community engagement with the temporary foreign worker program.
Lisa completed a Bachelor of Arts at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada and a Masters of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development through the Pennsylvania State University. She has been a member of the Community Development Society since 2015.
Lisa has two stepsons in their early twenties who are slowly moving into careers with the military and as a welder/ranch hand. Lisa and her husband John share their rural home with three Labrador Retrievers, three barn cats, and two horses.

74 Hits

President's Update - Coming together, moving ahead

Our annual time of gathering nears. It is the time that we take to learn, share, and become enriched with like-minded collegaues and friends in community development. We honor the outstanding in our field. We discuss our work and listen to that of others. We also come together to think and consider the future of our field and organization, engaging in the critical dialogue necessary to make each other better. I cannot wait to see you.

We will celebrate during our awards ceremony and honor traditions during our lively auction. We also celebrate our new members and students, as well as our international students and past presidents in a special reception ahead of the conference opening. Things like member and IACD President Paul Lachapelle giving his raffle-won hotel room to a student volunteer, Janna Parke, (who won a random draw among student volunteers) fill us with hopefulness and comradiere as we connect across fields and generations.

Members have been engaged in honest thought and reflection on proposed changes to our bylaws. We will continue this dialogue during our conference, in a special workshop and during out business meeting. I am confident that we will find the best path forward for us through this process. 

We have colleagues and leaders that will be joining us and those that will departing us. There are those that wished they could be with us, but cannot - like our dear departed colleage Karen Tinsley from the University of Georgia who itended to shared with us her work on data and community, but lost her life in a truck-bicycle crash earlier this year. Together we will make memories and share those from years past. 

Renaissance is upon us. Our annual time together of renewal. I cannot wait to see what we will become.  

162 Hits

President's Update - Detroit here we come!

President's Update - Detroit here we come!

We are rocking and rolling preparing for our annual conference coming up in Detroit July 21-25. I am excited to share with you that our night out event will be held at the Detroit Historical Musem, an amazing venue! We also have secured some wonderful musical acts to demonstrate the arts and local talents in our host city, including the very special Daybreaker Rave and Fitness event featuring the Godmother of House Music, DJ Hotwaxx Stacey Hale. Early bird registration ends June 15, so get those registrations in!

Your leadership has also been working on the elections and planning for the transition of new directors and officers. Be sure to join us at the Business Meeting luncheon on Tuesday, July 24 for their installation.

In order to continue to improve our organization, a committee was formed to review our current bylaws. The group is working on a document to share and crafting interactive discussions at the conference to get your input and feedback and proposed changes. We hope you can get involved!

Thanks again to all our wonderful members for the work you do in our communities! I look forward to seeing you in Detroit!

172 Hits

Call for Papers for Edited Research Volume - Community Supported Enterprises

By Norm Walzer

Stagnant economies and population declines combined with an aging population including retiring business owners has seriously affected the ability of many rural areas to retain access to vital enterprises such as grocery stores, restaurants, and social services that affect social capital and the quality of life. In response, community leaders have organized groups of residents to pool their funds and invest in businesses they consider adding to essential to quality of life. These enterprises become self-supporting with residents donating time and efforts into related management activities. Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) have a social purpose and add to social capital but operate with a business model intended to be self-sustaining without continued financial contributions by local investors.

            While some successful CSEs have been documented and studied already (http://cgs.niu.edu/Reports/Emergence-and-Growth-of-Community-Supported-Enterprises.pdf), more information about their motivations, purposes, and keys to success in both rural and urban neighborhoods is needed to systematically analyze their full potential. Especially important is to understand their applicability in other domestic and international locations. Key is to understand types of investors, desired outcomes, organizational structures, and successful management practices under different environments and social systems.

            To obtain a more complete picture of how CSEs developed, operate, and were effective in helping improve the potential of communities, Norman Walzer is organizing an edited research volume on these issues. Contributions should include analyses of important factors, rather than only describe case studies with limited ability to determine ways to generalize or apply successful experiences in other areas. The main topics of interest include (but not limited):

            a. conditions in which CSEs were organized;

            b. organization patterns, e.g. nonprofits, cooperatives, for profits;

            c. groups that have been involved in these enterprises;

            d. state and local assistance or direction for CSE efforts;

            e. reasons for successes and best practices; and

            f. implications for use of CSEs in other places.

            The chapters (not more than 30 double-space pages inclusive) will be refereed prior to acceptance. Authors interested in contributing chapters to this research volume should send an abstract (not more than 500 words) preferably before July 1, 2018 to:

                        Norman Walzer

                        Senior Research Scholar

                        NIU Center for Governmental Studies

                        148 N. Third Street

                        DeKalb, IL 60115

                        815-753-0933

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

689 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - November 2017

Thanks for tuning in! This month's selection of interesting data visualizations focus on gender-based violence with a special look at transgender issues, and sexual harrassment. 

672 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - October 2017

773 Hits

Community in Disaster

Disasters have a unique way of bringing people together. I first got to experience this as a graduate student studying the concept of "gotong royong" in Indonesia. This "spirit of community helping" was in full swing in the area I was researching with, the villages in and around Jogykarta, while they were rebuiling after an earthquake that flattened homes and killed over 10,000 people in 2006. Hurricane Irma was not nearly as devastating, but it was the first time that I was the one responsible for taking care of my family and home in the face of disaster.

I ran. I ran because I could. I was lucky. I have a wonderful network of friends across the country that helped me and my family get out of the narrow galley of Florida and into safety without being stranded on the side of a highway without a place to stay or gas to get there. I was also able to help my friend and her family, which helped eased my concience for running when I knew others could not. This is not quite community, but priviliege and social capital in action to say the least.

We returned to a minimally damaged home and a city that looked like all the trees exploded. We were all lucky in Southwest Florida that the eye came in and the strength was weakened when it got to us. Storm surge was small and flooding was minimal in most areas, although places that were hard hit in heavy rains a few weeks earlier were again affected - mostly modestly priced areas that happen to be in flood plains (or purposfully, depending on how much control you think engineers have of watershed and drainage control in high-end gated golf communities). 

Then we took care of our house. Folks cleaned out the rotting food from the refrigerators (there had not been power for several days and hundreds of thousands across the state would go without for more than a week). We piled branches and debris in front of our house waiting for cleaning crews to take it away (and weigh it for FEMA). We sweltered in our hot homes, relieved the storm had passed, but worried about what to do next. 

During the aftermath, a beautiful thing happened - community came. Neighbors were outside their homes lending assistance in clearing trees and debris, offering cold drinks if they still had power, and equipment if they had it. Kids were off school (many buildings were damaged, many were without power, and others still had displaced people sheltering there) and many businesses were closed, so people pitched in to help. They served food at shelters or public places. They helped nonprofits clean up their grounds and make repairs. They searched by boat for people and animals stranded in high flood waters. When night came, neighbors gathered together to chat, sing, drink beer, and scheme on how to get power from the one working street lamp. 

I'm eternally grateful that Irma did not physically destroy my community beyond repair. I am also grateful to have witnessed this very special sense of community develop from this event. I'm hoping it's something we can continue to build. 

473 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - August 2017

700 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - April 2017

1016 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - March2017

858 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - January 2017

1074 Hits

Community Development Data Viz November 2016

1018 Hits

Community Development Data Viz October 2016

1462 Hits

Community Development Data Viz September 2016

1186 Hits

Hometown Pride is Good for Business in McComb, Ohio

Business is picking up in the northwest Ohio town of McComb (pop. 1,600). From a car dealer to a carpet store, merchants are feeling optimistic and opening shops.  In one month’s time eight ribbon cuttings have happened. 

When has there been so much activity in this small town? There hasn’t, at least not in the past six decades.

“There hasn’t been anything happening downtown, because, as long as I can remember, it was a furniture store. When the furniture store went out, downtown was devastated,” said Joe Wasson, whose family owned Bennett’s Furniture Town. 

In 2013, Bennett’s closed. That left 50,000 square feet of retail space in 16 buildings vacant, right downtown. Since then Wasson has been among those working to help write McComb’s next chapter. Wasson has been involved in economic development efforts and is project coordinator for a Community Heart & Soul™ project that kicked off a year ago.

Community Heart & Soul is a community development method pioneered by the Orton Family Foundation. The project is a partnership with The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation.  

In June, three ribbon cuttings were held:  Select Auto Group at the edge of downtown; Northwestern Water and Sewer District Water Shed, a place for people to fill jugs with drinking water;  and  Great Scot storage facility behind the Great Scot supermarket.

A few weeks later ribbons were cut at Siferd’s Carpet, which moved back into a space it occupied about six years earlier; Bread & Butter Antiques, celebrating  renovations after a storm damaged its building; McComb Emporium, a group-owned antique and vintage goods store; Kayro’s Fine Art, an art studio where classes are also held; and Tees, Tees and More, a custom embroidery and retail shop. 

Holly Hanken, owner of Tees, Tees and More in downtown, felt like the timing was right to start her business. She sensed good things happening around the Heart & Soul project and decided to take the plunge. So far, business is going better than she projected and she’s excited to be getting work locally and from out of town.

“It’s a good time for McComb. McComb is moving into its next phase of life cycle, definitely in a positive way,” Hanken said.

image of shop owner

It’s hard to say what factor or factors are contributing to McComb’s momentum, Wasson said. But McComb Region Heart & Soul, which is still underway, has helped foster a sense that local residents can steer change and that’s helped make people feel optimistic about the future.

“There’s a new sense of pride here in town. I can see that as I walk down any street. People are taking care of their yards a little better. It’s a whole sense of community,” Wasson said. “Heart and Soul’s been a big part of that. Would it have happened without Heart and Soul? I don’t know what path we’d be on, but it’s a byproduct of seeing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that things are happening, and that we are in control of what happens to us.”

997 Hits

Community Development Data Viz June 2016

1605 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - May 2016

2408 Hits

Featuring Cases of International CD Work

By Jim Cavaye

 

The CDS International Committee has been active in fostering networks between community development practitioners from across the globe.  The committee has worked closely with International Association for Community Development (IACD) and developed an updated MOU between CDS and IACD.  We look forward to the joint conference between the two organisations in July and will welcome international delegates at our reception just before the conference opening.  

The committee is seeking international case studies of community development practice to feature on the CDS website and to foster sharing between practitioners.  We invite practitioners from any country to provide a brief description of their work or a particular community activity together with one or two photos.  We’d like practitioners to describe “learnings” and key points about the aspects of community development which been important to the project or activity.  Please contact Jim Cavaye (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Gary Goreham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

 

1223 Hits

Community Development Data Viz - March 2016

1739 Hits
Powered by EasyBlog for Joomla!