The University of Central Arkansas Community Development Institute announced the appointment of four new advisory board members.

The CDI Advisory Board was formed in 2002 to assist with the development of CDI curriculum, marketing and promotion, resource development and external stakeholder support. Individuals are invited to join the CDI Advisory Board based on their experience, knowledge and desire to work with the board for the purpose of advancing community and economic development practices in Arkansas and states around the region.

“Our new advisory board members bring a unique set of qualifications and diverse backgrounds to the board, said Amy Whitehead, director of CDI and the Center for Community and Economic Development at UCA. “We’re excited to have them on board as we begin to plan for the 32nd annual institute.”

The new members are:

Pam Alexander

Pam Alexander, president of the Arkansas Community Development Society

Alexander is the head of HarnessPoint Community Solutions in Jonesboro, Arkansas and has helped hundreds of communities align their mission with actions that board members, staff, volunteers and the community will stand behind and leverage for authentic collaborative engagement, funder support and institutional success. She said, “The CDI Advisory Board offers a tremendous platform for expanding the reach of professional development opportunities for community developers as well as others who care about the future of our communities.”

GB Cazes, chief operating officer for Metova, Inc.

G.B. Cazes

Cazes has experience fostering collaboration among government, industry and academia. Cazes said, “I’m looking forward to working with CDI leadership to find new ways to work with community leaders as they strive to address the opportunities and challenges presented by technology and innovation.”


Luci Sposito, vice-chair of the Houma-Thibodaux Metropolitan Planning Organization

Luci Sposito

Sposito is a Certified Louisiana Economic Developer and a Professional Community and Economic Developer. Sposito is a CDI graduate and has served as a class director for the program. Her background includes private and political appointments in marketing, public relations, communications, grant management and economic development. She said, “I’m absolutely convinced that every leader should have a working knowledge of community development. As an advisory board member, I hope to help recruit Louisiana leaders to CDI at the University of Central Arkansas.”

Candace Williams, executive director of Rural Community Alliance

Candace Williams

Williams is a 2017 graduate of CDI. She works in rural communities across Arkansas to create opportunities in education, economic development and youth empowerment as a way to improve the quality of life and place for its citizens. Williams said, “CDI has been so instrumental in my growth as a leader and advocate of rural Arkansas. Being a member of the advisory board offers another opportunity to uplift and encourage others within the field of community and economic development.”

CDI 2018 is July 30 through Aug. 3 on the campus of UCA in Conway.

For more information, visit: or call Shelby Fiegel at 501-450-5269. 

The Community Development Institute (CDI) began at the University of Central Arkansas in 1987, with the goal of equipping community leaders and economic development professionals with the tools and strategies they needed to create vibrant, successful communities.