The University of Central Arkansas Community Development Institute (CDI) has announced the appointment of five new advisory board members, as well as two reappointments to the board.

The five new members include: Shaneil Ealy, associate vice president of UCA Outreach & Community Engagement; Stacey Neal, director of Community Competitiveness at Louisiana Economic Development; Shelley Mehl, executive director at the Faulkner County Community Foundation; Patty Methvin, president of the Arkansas Community Development Society; and Matt Twyford, Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED), senior manager of community development at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The two reappointed board members are Sasha Grist, PCED, executive director of the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District and Samantha Evans, PCED, community development advisor, Workforce Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Individuals are invited to join the CDI Advisory Board based on their experience and knowledge and desire to work with the board for the purpose of advancing community and economic development practices in Arkansas and surrounding states. Advisory Board members work in conjunction with the staff at the UCA Center for Community and Economic Development to provide marketing assistance, coordinate activities and identify speakers for CDI.

Amy Whitehead, assistant vice president of community and workforce development at UCA Outreach, said, “Since the institute’s inception, the CDI Advisory Board has played a critical role in the program’s success. The knowledge and expertise of our board members are of the highest caliber. We are excited to work with all of our new and existing board members over the coming year.”

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

About 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 needed to create vibrant, successful communities.

For over 30 years, professionals from Arkansas and surrounding states have come to CDI for applied training in community and economic development. Taught by experienced practitioners, the CDI experience is a three-year training program, with one week of training per year.

Graduates of CDI are eligible to become certified Professional Community and Economic Developers (PCED).

CDI 2019 runs from July 29, 2019 through August 2, 2019 on the UCA campus in Conway.