Working together to develop community

At least four people with personal and professional connections to the Elkins community will participate in the Community Development Pipeline Program through The University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development. The program is designed to provide training and technical assistance to community leaders in Washington and Benton counties. The Community Development Pipeline program is grant-funded by the Walton Family Foundation.

The four people are: Mayor Troy Reed, Elkins Community Network Board members Jamie Smith and Ezequiel Tovar, and Trish Ouei, director of public affairs at Beaver Water District, which is headquartered in Elkins.

These individuals were selected through a competitive application process based on their dedication to community development and desire to create sustainable change in their communities. Over the course of the program, the cohort will participate in UCA’s Community Development Institute (CDI) training and engage in community and economic development work at the local level.

“The 25 leaders selected for the Community Development Pipeline program display varied experience, backgrounds, and skills, but one thing they have in common is their passion and love for their communities,” said Director of the Center for Community and Economic Development Shelby Fiegel. “These leaders have a desire to expand their knowledge and involvement in making their communities thriving places to live, work, and play. We hope that the Pipeline program serves as a catalyst for positive change.”

Cohort members will receive a three-year scholarship and travel support to CDI. They will also have the opportunity to become certified Professional Community and Economic Developers (PCED).


Participants will benefit from opportunities to enhance their leadership skills and network with other community development professionals and experts to learn about the latest trends and best practices in the field. They will also have access to technical assistance resources and support to accomplish short and long-term community and economic development goals.