Photo of smiling faces

Community Development Council (CDC)

The Community Development Council (CDC) is the coordinating body for the CDI national network. It is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to establish professional standards through certification and training that will be recognized as valuable to both the community development practitioner and those who employ their services.

CDC was founded in 1995 to promote the advancement of standards of competence for community development professionals through accreditation of community development educational programs, professional certification, and the development of community leaders.

Support for the Council's activities comes from private and public sector sponsors and from fees generated by certification and accreditation services. It is not a membership organization but does maintain a registry of Professional Community and Economic Developers in good standing.

The CDC oversees the certification process through its board of trustees and works collaboratively with the Community Development Institutes to deliver the full range of services leading to certification. The 16-member board is comprised of representatives from private industry, government, educational institutions, and non-profits. SEDC serves as the administrative home for CDC.

CDI History

CDC Board Officers


Kay Fitzsimons
Director, CDI Texas
Executive Director, Community Leadership Programs
Lone Star College

Vice Chairman

Amy Whitehead, PCED
CDI Central Director
Assistant Vice President, Community and Workforce Development
University of Central Arkansas


Gloria Zacharias, PCED
Program and Policy Coordinator
Business Oregon


Gene Stinson, CAE, PCED, CEcD, HLM
Southern Economic Development Council

Board Trustees

E.E. (Skip) Campbell, Ph.D.
CDI Southeast Director
Director/Adjunct Professor, Gadsden Center at
The University of Alabama

Michael Dougherty, PCED
Extension Specialist/Extension Professor
West Virginia University Extension Service

L. Steve Jones, PCED
Site Consultant
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Ray Laughter
Ray Laughter Consulting Group

Frank McCrady
President/CEO, East Montgomery County Improvement District

Christopher Merrett, Ph.D.
CDI Midwest Co-Director
Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs Western Illinois University

Jerry Miller
CDI Northwest Director
Economic Development Specialist
Idaho Commerce

Carolyn Motl, PCED
The Motl Group

Ivy Owen, PCED, EDFP
Executive Director
Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority

Robert Pittman, PCED
Senior Principal
Janus Economics, LLC

Skip Smart, PCED
Director, Community Development
Louisiana Economic Development

Sandy Wittig, MBA
CDI Midwest Co-Director
Financial and HR Manager, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Western Illinois University


Honorary Advisory Member

Vic Lafont, PCED
Executive Director
South Louisiana Economic Council