Chair’s Update – October 2023


Apologies for the delay in issuing Vanguard! We were very busy delivering an outstanding conference in Portland, Oregon in mid-July, followed by transitions in both the CDS Board of Directors and Executive Director position. We all needed time to get situated as a leadership team.

As reported during the Annual Business Meeting, we thanked Chair Mary Emery for her service to CDS over the last three years and welcomed Na’Shon Edwards as the new Vice Chair of Operations. According to the bylaws, I moved into the Chair position and Steve Jeanetta moved into Vice Chair of Programs. We also thanked Director Dilip Patil for his three years of service, Director Celina Tchida for their two years of service, and welcomed Director Sarah Hultine-Massengale and Director Daniel Kahl to the Board.

On the administrative side, I would like to thank Doug Leslie for his service to the Community Development Society between February and July of 2023 and welcome Tammy Baxter  as our newly contracted Executive Director as of October 1, 2023. Vice Chair of Operations (now Programs) Steve Jeanetta chaired the search committee, joined by Secretary Lisa Gilchrist, Director Neil Linscheid, and Director Zach Wood. We advertised the Executive Director contract on the organization’s website and various job posting sites. The selection process consisted of two interviews with the search committee and another with the full Board of Directors. Tammy was our first choice, and we are very pleased that she accepted our contract offer.

Tammy Baxter has many years of experience leading and consulting both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She has held nonprofit executive roles for more than 10 years and senior administrative leadership roles in operations, human resources, organizational development, donor relations, and grant administration. She has also served as Executive Producer for large-scale festivals and events. Tammy is passionate about mission driven organizations that support community advocacy, social service, and educational initiatives. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Stony Brook University, and a Graduate Certificate in Management of Nonprofit Agencies from Capella University. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Brooklyn College in Broadcasting and Media Studies. 

Please join me in welcoming Tammy to CDS and send along a note to

Margaret Stout
Chair, CDS Board of Directors

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