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Drum Roll Please…


~by Michael Wilcox

Assistant Director and Program Leader for Community Development / Purdue Extension
Associate Director / North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD)


During the last six months, many individuals, organizations, and institutions have been stretched to their limits in terms of leadership, resources, teamwork, relationship-building, and collaboration. Somewhat similar to our experience during the Great Recession, everyone has had to make decisions on how to move forward, and the choice set can appear to be limited at first glance. For example, staying the course and weathering the storm serves as a counterpoint to reimagining ourselves and our organizations. Sometimes the choice is made for you and sometimes you can pursue opportunities that are strongly rooted in your organizational values. I am excited to announce two of the latter!

Announcing the CDExt Steering Committee

Since 2018, we have been exploring the creation of a steering committee for Purdue Extension’s Community Development program area with the goal of leveraging our internal capacity to make our organizational structure more responsive, representative, and resilient. This committee will serve as an internal advisory board to inform decision-making and provide guidance to our program area. We are drawing members from every corner of our organization and honoring our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Name Position
Gina Anderson NACDEP Pres, ANR/CD Educator
Krista Pullen NACDEP VP, ANR/CD Educator
Kristi Whitacre NACDEP Secretary
Annette Lawler HHS/CD Educator
Maria Marshall Faculty Specialist
Roberto Gallardo PCRD/Extension Specialist
Amy Nierman District Director
Abby Hostetler EDEN
George Okantey CD Educator
Michael Wilcox CD Extension Prog Leader
Kara Salazar CD Asst. Program Leader/Ext Specialist
Tanya Hall CD Regional Educator


Announcing the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) @ Purdue University

On Tuesday (Sept. 1), the NCRCRD moved to Purdue University for the first time in its history. NCRCRD is one of four regional centers funded by USDA-NIFA and their member institutions. Our very own Dr. Maria Marshall (professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and director of the Purdue Institute for Family Business) will serve as director of the NCRCRD, and I am honored to now serve as the associate director. The mission of the NCRCRD is to “build rural communities through cutting-edge research and Extension programs and innovative partnerships.” We intend to accomplish this by using interdisciplinary, systems thinking to build regional collaborations focused on three key themes:

  • Creating Resilient Communities and Economies
  • Developing Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Promoting Community Health and Wellness

We are looking forward to this fantastic opportunity to foster collaboration across the North Central Region and beyond. To learn more about this new opportunity, please see:

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