CDI Podcast

Episode 30

Summary: Welcome to the finale of season one of the CDI Podcast! We wanted to make our season finale special so we have assembled some CDI Podcast All-Stars to reflect on the year, discuss our favorite CDI Podcast episodes, and talk about what we are looking forward to going into 2021.

We hope you have enjoyed this season of the CDI Podcast as much as we enjoyed making it! Thanks so much for listening and be on the lookout for season two starting in the spring of 2021. See you next year on the CDI Podcast!

Episode 29

Summary: On this episode, we talk with Quint Studer, author of Building a Vibrant Community: How Citizen Powered Change is Reshaping America. We recently read Quint’s book at our CDI Book Club and wanted to invite him to the podcast to share his insights about community and economic development. We discuss his career, his experience revitalizing Pensacola’s downtown, and how to prepare your community for change. You can learn more at QuintStuder.com or by exploring the following resources:

  • EntreCon: EntreCon is our annual business and leadership conference. Now that EntreCon is fully virtual, people located anywhere are able to attend. This year, in addition to the main keynotes, we have 5 tracks. One of those tracks is a community-building track focused on creating great places to work and live and helping communities on their path to vibrancy.
  • CivicCon: Civic education helps people be more effective citizens, voters, and community members. When we provide it, we take the first and most powerful step to creating civic engagement. And an army of well-informed, highly engaged, and activated citizens becomes the engine that powers that journey to vibrancy. They are the contributors and refiners of great ideas, the voices that advocate for change, the “boots on the ground” that make things happen. You can view CivicCon talks at this link.

Episode 28

Summary: On this episode of the CDI Podcast, we talk with Samantha (Sam) Evans who serves on the Community Development Team at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. Sam focuses on workforce development and on the podcast we talk about the future of workforce development, how community members can be involved in that process, and her experience as a graduate, speaker, and advisor for the Community Development Institute.

Below are a few resources relevant to this conversation:

Episode 27

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. That statement especially applies to our downtowns and Main Streets. Yet, those challenges lead to opportunities for change and lessons learned. Melida Heien of Longview Main Street shares insights into how she and her small business network have faced COVID head-on and highlights within downtown Longview.

Episode 26

Summary: Director of Community Development at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Matt Twyford and his team have continued to support communities, small businesses, and citizens across Arkansas as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect our state. On episode 26 of the CDI Podcast, Matt shares information about himself and AEDC, how he and his team have pivoted their work, and why he thinks it’s important for communities to focus on community development as well as economic development.

Episode 25

Summary: On this episode, we talk with Danny Presley who serves as City Manager of Webster, Texas. Danny is a CDI graduate and recently participated in our CDI Advanced Year class where we created a First Impressions Tour (FIT) Report for the City of Beebe. Danny shares information about his career in law enforcement, his dedication to continuing education, and his experience during the CDI Advanced Year.

Episode 24

Summary: “We’re not in person anymore…” (a play off of Stranger Things) may be the tagline for the 2020 Arkansas Community Development Society (ACDS) conference, but it accurately describes the reality many of us are still coping with. Pivoting to accomodate a COVID-19 world, the ACDS board made the decision to move it’s annual event virtual and also make it accessible to everyone by eliminating registration fees. Check out this week’s CDI Podcast to learn more about ACDS and the 2020 conference from President Patty Methvin and Vice President of Programs Whitney Horton.

The conference will be held Thursday, October 15 and you can learn more at www.facebook.com/ARCommunityDevelopment.

Episode 23

Summary: Our team at UCA has been looking for ways to speak more directly to issues of race and racial injustice that affect our communities. Therefore we created the Arkansas Racial Equity Summit that will take place on October 8. Leading up to the Summit, we asked Dr. Phillip Fletcher, executive director of CoHO, to join us on the podcast to share about his career, his work in Conway and around Arkansas, and issues of racial inequality that face our communities. CoHO is celebrating 13 years of advocating for others by opening holistic centers in Central Arkansas’s under-resourced areas.

Episode 22

Summary: On this episode, we are joined by CDI alum Lisa Taylor! Lisa serves as the Economic Developer for the City of Durant and Executive Director of the Durant Industrial Authority. Lisa was formerly here with us in Arkansas as the Economic Development Director for Sevier County. She is a CDI graduate, PCED holder, and just recently graduated from the CDI 2020 Advanced Year. Lisa shares information about the impact of walk audits and “geo conquesting.”

Episode 21

Summary: On this episode of the CDI Podcast, we are speaking with Dr. Joe Fratesi and Jeremy Murdock of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Joe and Jeremy work with us through our Community Catalyst program where we are utilizing Strategic Doing to spur community-led action. We talk about their careers, Strategic Doing, and how to utilize Strategic Doing to get things done in your community.

Episode 20

Summary: On this episode of the CDI Podcast, we talk to the AR Conductor’s Director of Entrepreneurial Communities, Tiffany Henry, about entrepreneurial ecosystem building, supporting small businesses through COVID-19, and what communities can do to create a more supportive environment for entrepreneurs. The AR Conductor is a public-private partnership between UCA and Startup Junkie Consulting that works to empower entrepreneurs, innovators, and makers in central Arkansas. You can learn more about their work at www.arconductor.org.

Episode 19

Summary: On this episode, we are joined by Mayor Joe Hurst of Van Buren, Arkansas! Mayor Hurst is in his first mayoral term and is a graduate of the Community Development Institute. We talk about what it’s like being an elected official, his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, and his favorite part about CDI.

Episode 18

Summary: When Arkansas native, Kentucky transplant, CDI graduate, and PCED holder Emily Hathcock was in college her goal was to become a librarian. Yet, she ended up in the field of community and economic development. Learn how Emily ended up where she is today, how the Barren River Area Development District is assisting its local communities during the pandemic, and the difference between Kentucky’s area development districts and Arkansas’s planning and development districts on this episode of the CDI podcast.

Episode 17

Summary: On this episode of the CDI Podcast, UCA CDI’s Dylan Edgell and Emily Cooper talk to Lonoke Mayor Trae Reed about what it was like becoming Mayor, his experience being on both sides of a strategic planning process (a citizen, then elected official), and what community leaders can do to involve their citizens in community and economic development projects.

Episode 16

Summary: On Episode 16 of the CDI podcast we visit with one of our favorite neighbors to the south Lisa Johnson, president and CEO the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. The staff at the Bossier Chamber serves area businesses and is committed to working to help strengthen and enhance growth and development in Northwest Louisiana.

Episode 15

Summary: 64.6 Downtown is a nonprofit committed to creating vibrant spaces in downtown Fort Smith through business development, arts and culture, and special events and projects. On this episode of the CDI Podcast, Executive Director Talicia Richardson shares how 64.6 Downtown strives to be the intersection where arts, recreation, entertainment, and lifestyle collide to create a vibrant downtown.

Episode 14

Summary: Are you curious about the CDI Advanced Year? Then you need to listen to this episode of the CDI Podcast! Doug Warner, a Cabot city council member, shares insights into the CDI Advanced Year and his own experience as an elected official in the City of Cabot.

Episode 13

Summary: Innovate Arkansas is a state-funded initiative that helps scale promising Arkansas technology ventures. Funded by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and administered by Winrock International, Innovate Arkansas assists technology entrepreneurs in turning startup companies into viable commercial enterprises. This week on the CDI Podcast, we speak with Innovate Arkansas Program Officer Vicki Malpass. Vicki works directly with startup companies and entrepreneurs in order to ascertain the level of technical assistance required to enable those companies to move toward the ultimate goal of commercialization.

Episode 12

Summary: We are living in a new reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Director of the Newport Economic Development Commission Jon Chadwell shares how the City of Newport is pivoting to support its citizens and businesses during the pandemic and how he and his staff are planning for a post-COVID world.

Episode 11

Summary: The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (WRI) on Petit Jean Mountain is a nonprofit organization that believes valuing diversity of opinion, practicing collaborative problem solving and engaging in respectful dialogue combine to create transformational change. This week on the CDI Podcast, we dive deeper into the programs and services WRI provides to make a positive impact on our state with James Hopper, Director of Programs.

Episode 10

Summary: Have you heard of all the great things Thrive is doing in Helena-West Helena and across the state of Arkansas? Thrive is a non profit design firm who splits their time between operating a small graphic design firm as well as running community development programs. It is Thrive’s vision that their work with 7th – 12th grade students and as designers will attract new, creative residents to Helena. Learn more on Episode 10 of the CDI Podcast!

Episode 9

Summary: Do you know what a walk audit is? Or a bicycle and pedestrian (bike ped) master plan? Do you know why either of these are beneficial for your community? Join us for Episode 9 of the CDI Podcast for the answers to these questions. We are joined by Crafton Tull‘s Vice President of Business Development Dave Roberts, an expert in all things site planning and urban design.

Episode 8

Summary: The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of the Conway (and surrounding area) business community since 1891 and Executive Vice President Jamie Gates is not only a leader in the Conway community, but is a well-known community and economic development expert throughout the state. On Episode 8 of the CDI podcast, you’ll learn more about Jamie and his thoughts concerning the state of business in Arkansas.

Episode 7

Summary: Dr. Jeff Standridge is the Managing Director of the AR Conductor, a public-private initiative powered by the Central Arkansas Venture Team, sponsored by the University of Central Arkansas and supported by Startup Junkie Consulting and Community Venture Foundation. Episode 7 of the CDI podcast explores the world of entrepreneurship in Arkansas through the eyes of Dr. Standridge and his unique background.

Episode 6

Summary: President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce Julie Murray is an experienced business professional with an extensive background in strategic planning and community development. Join us on Episode 6 of the CDI Podcast to learn more about Julie, Van Buren, and her unique views from the Chamber world!

Episode 5

Summary: Entergy Arkansas is a foundational piece of the community and economic development infrastructure in our state. Tandee White, Entergy’s Community Development Program Manager, shares insights in supporting our local communities, preparing for the future, and her experience on the ground in our cities and towns. Entergy is a sponsor of CDI 2020 and a strong advocate and partner for our team at the University of Central Arkansas.

Episode 4

Summary: Engaging young people in our communities can sometimes be a challenge, but their input is necessary if you want to create a vibrant, growing city. Learn some tips and tricks on engaging young folks (specifically college students) from two amazing University of Central Arkansas students, Will Gloster and Javier Hernandez.

Episode 3

Summary: Director of Service Learning and Volunteerism at the University of Central Arkansas Dr. Lesley Graybeal joins us on the CDI Podcast to answer questions about service learning, volunteerism, and how you can harness the power of college students to make a positive impact on your community.

Episode 2

Summary: On this episode, we learn about the organization with a long name that provides amazing results: the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (better known as the ASBTDC)! Interim Programs Manager Whitney Horton shares resources the ASBTDC provides and gives us a peek behind the curtain into her past and present life.

Episode 1

Summary: Welcome to the CDI Podcast! On this episode, University of Central Arkansas (UCA) Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) Director Shelby Fiegel and Assistant Director Dylan Edgell share information about their work at UCA CCED, themselves, and what to expect on upcoming episodes.