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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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New president humbled, asks for your involvement

New president humbled, asks for your involvement
Dear CDS Community,
 
It was great to see so many of you in Dubuque where our local hosts did a superb job of demonstrating the value of collaboration and working across numerous boundaries to help us put on a great conference!  If you were not able to make this year's conference, then definitely make your plans now to attend next year's event in Lexington, Kentucky!  
 
Community Development Society conferences are nearly always a humbling experience for me.  Not because I am particularly shy, but because I often feel that my CD work is so inadequate when compared to all of the great things the CDS membership is doing and how clearly they demonstrate the CDS Principles of Good Practice.   It was right at 25 years ago that I participated in my first CDS conference.  Prior to that time, I knew nothing of the organization, but as a newly-hired Rural Development Extension Specialist, my mentors at Purdue thought it a good idea for me to go along with them to this meeting.  I will always owe them a debt of gratitude for helping me to find this organization and for encouraging me to get involved.
 
Over the past 25 years I have been able to contribute my small part to the body of CD work, and I now realize that for most, if not all, of us, that is sufficient.  In fact, the beauty of CDS is that it is an organization dedicated to acknowledging, celebrating, and nurturing each of our seemingly  insignificant efforts, allowing us to only really sense the significance of our work when we come together, as a community.  For many, this occurs at our annual conference.  For others, it happens when we collaborate on an article for our journal or participate together in committee work.  CDS is an organization for people who appreciate, dare I say "who are at least slightly addicted to", the idea of community.   
 
As we continue to move the organization forward I hope that you will consider ways that you might want to be involved.   There are numerous committees  that would really appreciate your sharing of time and talents.  You will definitely get more out of the experience than you invest.  
 
Gratefully,
 
 
Dave Lamie

 

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