Message from the NCDA President

Greetings to My NCDA Colleagues:

What a pleasure it was to finally see so many of you at the June 2022 Summer conference in St. Paul Minnesota! After nearly three years of pandemic isolation, I think everyone was in jubilation mode!

2022 marks my year of service as the President of the NCDA Board. After fifteen years of being the recipient of so much wisdom and friendship as a member of NCDA, it is my great honor to give back in this role. I am struck by the insight of my “milestones” in life in this professional network. You may recognize your own experience in some of these…

  • First conference – I remember being so excited to have a job that allowed me to go to an out of state event!
  • Five years of participation – feeling grateful for all the resources NCDA provided me and understanding that I now knew enough to realize exactly how much I didn’t
  • Ten years to the present – deepening respect and trust in my colleagues and growing reliance on the family we created among NCDA members.

When I picture the future of NCDA I see…bridges.

Bridges are connections between what’s behind us and what’s on the horizon. Bridges build on what’s strong and valuable in a professional network in the past and continuing the journey into what new members bring to this evolving community support and services for people who may have less income but are rich with local knowledge of needs.

Bridges take us to a new place or back to the comfort of home. Either destination can help us “pay it forward” by encouraging, training with, and learning from each other whether you’ve been in your job for 3 weeks of 30 years.

The past few years have been and continue to be unprecedented hard times. In hard times, the burden is so much worse for the people and families and communities we partner with to use CDBG, HOME, HOPWA and ESG funds (and CARES Act, and…) in easing that burden. Hard times make this work even more critical.

I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes attributed to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nation: “the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.” Seven generations is about 50 years, and since NCDA recently celebrated our 50th anniversary, here is my

commitment. I hope you’ll all join me is working to ensure another 50 years of the NCDA tradition of excellence in our work and friendship.

Thank you for being a member of NCDA. I look forward to working with you in the year ahead.


Debra Rhinehart
City of Seattle, WA