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, concluded with a special graduation and awards ceremony.

Representative Fred Love was honored with the Friend of Community Development Award, offered each year to an individual or organization that demonstrates strong support for community development and CDI. At the ceremony, Rep. Love and the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District presented a check to UCA for scholarships to the 2014 CDI. This enabled 12 local officials and community leaders to attend the 2014 training.

Basil Julian, recently retired Grants Manager for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, received the Bill Miller Award as recognition for his longstanding leadership and support of CDI, which included 14 years of service as a CDI Class Director.

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 the 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."

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.