What Is CEDAM?


CEDAM’S Mission

CEDAM supports its diverse membership to create vibrant, sustainable and resilient communities. We enhance locally-driven efforts through high quality training, technical assistance, capacity building and policy advocacy.

CEDAM’s Vision

Michigan has healthy, vibrant, inclusive communities. CEDAM members are at the forefront in advocating, collaborating and delivering sustainable community-building programs. They utilize CEDAM resources to remain connected, effective and informed.

CEDAM members continue to empower low- to moderate-income and marginalized populations by promoting self-sufficiency.

The legislature and units of government are active partners in identifying and responding to their communities’ needs. CEDAM members maintain relationships with policy makers and community leaders and are engaged in the legislative process.

CEDAM’s History

For an excellent overview of the community development movement, read “The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development” written by Alexander von Hoffman and published in Shelterforce Magazine.

The Beginning

In 1998, a number of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in Detroit started meeting and exploring the development of a citywide trade association to address common development and policy problems.

A survey of CDCs (24 in Detroit and 25 outside of Detroit) revealed need for both a citywide and a statewide trade association to advance community development issues. Survey results showed almost unanimous agreement that a statewide CDC trade association should be organized, with priorities including affordable training for CDCs, coordination and aid with gaining access to financial resources and addressing policy issues.

Many familiar names were involved early on in the process of creating CEDAM. Mark McDaniel, Tom Edmiston, and Gary Heidel recruited Richard Cannon to work as an organizational development consultant to work on turning the idea of a statewide trade organization into reality.

First CEDAM logo

Our first logo.

We started to recruit an interim board of well-known and trusted individuals from across the state and started the incorporation process. The interim board consisted of: Jonathan Bradford, Linda Smith, Jane Clingman-Scott, Christi Coady, Gene Kuthy, Patricia Christie, Dennis West, Tom Johnson, Mary Ann Vandemark, Annie Graham, Almus Thorp, Raymond Hatter, Bill Hawkins, Bobby Wells and Steve Tobocman.

The interim board was a good mix of on-the-ground community advocates and statewide practitioners with histories of supporting the CDC movement.

With help from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, the initial group held an organizing meeting in Detroit with more than 100 people attending. CEDAM was born!

The state was divided into regions and two CDC representatives were elected from each region. In addition, several “at large” positions were filled by individuals who were active and supportive of community development activities.

Early Years

CEDAM’s activities early on were conducted largely through committee work. Partnership Building and Public Awareness, Training and Technical Assistance and Advocacy and Public Education committees were comprised of CEDAM members.

Each committee worked on issues of importance to CEDAM’s members – from obtaining common member benefits, to creating CEDAM’s signature Real Estate Development Training, to advocating for policy issues such as the creation of an affordable housing fund, an enhanced tax reversion process, etc.


Eighteen years later, CEDAM still serves as the connector for the wide spectrum of groups working on community economic development in Michigan. Urban and rural CDCs, community action agencies, Habitat for Humanity affiliates, Main Street programs and neighborhoods groups – while they all serve different populations, they all have similar goals. CEDAM continues to provide a voice for these goals, which is still a vital part of Michigan’s CED industry today.

Updated on January 2, 2018.