Highlights from 2016


  1. Cleveland Rocked: The NACEDA network converged on Cleveland for the Ninth Annual NACEDA Summit which drew record attendance. With our hosts Ohio CDC Association and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, NACEDA put together a packed event with sessions specifically designed for CDC association professionals engaged in policy, fundraising, member management, and communications, among other topics.

  2. Advancing Partnerships for healthy places: NACEDA hosted a one-day Symposium on Community Development & the Social Determinants of Health at the Summit. Sponsored by the New Venture Fund with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and LISC, a mix of community development and public health professionals gathered to explore how to foster partnerships between these two fields. NACEDA learned a lot about the health field, its members, and available resources as a result of the symposium. Look forward to announcements about next steps by NACEDA in 2017.

  3. Also in Ohio: The CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati joined the NACEDA network. And, outgoing Executive Director Patricia Garry received the Diane Sterner Award for Community Economic Development Association Leadership for her involvement in founding the Ohio CDC Association and CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati – and for her longstanding work making Cincinnati neighborhoods stronger.

  4. Regional Meet-ups: NACEDA coordinated three regional caucus meetings (in the South, the East, and the Pacific Coast), that included 31 individuals from 19 member organizations.


  1. Common Goals: With its People & Places partners, NACEDA convened a leadership meeting from across the four organizations to forge a common policy agenda, focusing on developing shared positions on CRA reform, fair housing, and small business support. 

  2. Practitioner Voices: NACEDA worked with the Federal Reserve System on encouraging their Interagency CRA Conference to include practitioner voices in coming years. The bank was responsive. NACEDA plans to be more engaged with their next conference as they begin planning in March 2017.

  3. Seat at the Table: NACEDA provided formal regulatory comment on the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, to improve the program’s impact on LMI communities.


Member Services

  1. Creative Placemaking Knowledge Building: NACEDA received nine proposals from members and their arts-based partners to participate in the Creative Placemaking Immersion Program, a National Endowment for the Arts-funded program to build knowledge of creative placemaking as a front-line community development tool for advancing equity in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Community development and arts partnerships from Massachusetts, Ohio, and Philadelphia were selected for participation. The program kicked off in November in Memphis, TN.

  2. Stepping Up: 2016 saw the creation of the Emerging Leaders Development Fund, which gave scholarships to 17 emerging leaders from the NACEDA network to attend the 2016 Summit. The summit offered an emerging leaders track and a social night out. The emerging leaders group also convened a number of meetings throughout the year that covered topics including leadership development models and professional development opportunities.

  3. Thriving Networks: In January, NACEDA launched the Thriving Networks Technical Assistance initiative, a program to better understand the strengths and growth areas of NACEDA member associations and strategically direct technical assistance to these associations. Results from a self-assessment tool provided themes of communications, member engagement, and financial stability. Watch for information about implementation information in 2017.

  4. Strategic Communications: Based on information gathered from the Thriving Networks Assessment, NACEDA hosted a two-day Spitfire Strategies communications training in Atlanta, GA. Twenty-two member and partner organizations took advantage of the training followed by personal coaching.


  1. Cross-Country: Staff paid a visit to 14 states across the country in service of NACEDA members and advancing the community development field. Highlights include co-presenting with members at the Smart Growth Conference, presenting outcomes from the NACEDA Health Symposium to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, kicking off the Creative Placemaking Immersion Program in bluesy Memphis, attending member conferences, and grand tours of Michigan and Alabama during site visits. States visited: AL, CA, CO, GA, IL, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, MA, MI, TN, TX

  2. Cross-Sector: NACEDA has focused on building cross sectoral partnerships with the arts and health sectors, developing relationships with key players through the planning and implementation of the Creative Placemaking Immersion Program and the Community Development & the Social Determinants of Health Symposium.

  3. Cross-Pollination: These partnerships are already opening new opportunities. NACEDA connected the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to ten organizations in the NACEDA network who were invited to attend the 500 Cities dataset launch December 7 in Dallas, TX.

Looking Ahead to 2017

Grow Your Network’s Access and Influence: Urge your members to participate in People & Places 2017 – the most diverse and inclusive community development conference in the country. We expect 1,000 placemakers to pack their passion and head to the DC area on May 31 - June 2 to learn from each other and amplify the voice of the community development field. Registration opens February 1. Watch for special discounts and scholarships for your networks.

Creative Places, Healthy Places, and Thriving Networks: We’re sharpening our focus in 2017 to advance arts and health partnerships – and to advance capacity-building partnerships among NACEDA members. Stay tuned.

New Board Leadership: Here’s an election you can be excited about – NACEDA Board Chair Sharon Legenza (Housing Action Illinois). Members also elected these new board members: Shekeria Brown (South Florida Community Development Coalition), Marty Kooistra (Housing Development Consortium of Seattle/King County) and Rose Teng (Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers) were elected just this year.

Time Flies When You’re having fun: NACEDA will soon be celebrating 10 years as an organization. Be on the lookout for ways to participate in upcoming celebrations.