28th CDI concludes with ceremony

IMG_8003Conway –Over 100 community leaders from Arkansas and surrounding states participated in the 28th annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas. The event, held August 4-8, 2014, concluded with a special graduation and awards ceremony.

Amy Whitehead, CDI Director, said, “Each year, the awards ceremony is one of the highlights of the Institute. It is always very gratifying to hear our participants share what they have learned from experience. At this ceremony, UCA is recognizing the people who are committed to making a significant positive impact on the communities they serve. Our award recipients and graduates should be proud of the work they have completed through the institute.”

CDI has specially designated awards that recognize outstanding individuals from each class of the program. In the Years 1 and 2 classes, the Champion of CDI award goes to an exceptional individual who displays qualities essential to community development, such as leadership and compassion. The Year 1 Champion was Whitney Horton, Business Consultant for the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Center. The Year 2 champion was Felecia Herndon, Vice President of Finance for the Tyler, TX Economic Development Council.

Drew Williams, Regional Manager for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, was awarded the Ernest Whitelaw Award. The Whitelaw Award recipient is chosen by his peers in the Year 3 Class for dedication to the practice of community development, involvement in the CDI experience, and personal leadership and integrity. After the awards ceremony, 26 community and economic professionals graduated from CDI 2014.

The Community Development Institute, established in 1987 at the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, Arkansas, trains community and economic development professionals from Arkansas and surrounding states. The complete CDI experience is a three year training program, with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts, and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.

For more information about CDI, visit uca.edu/cdi, or contact Josh Markham at 501-450-3460 or joshm@uca.edu.