About Us

Community Building Institute (CBI) is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and offers Community Building Workshops and events, consultation, and facilitator training worldwide. CBI provides free introductory talks and workshops to qualified community, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Key Leadership at CBI

Edward GroodyEDWARD GROODY serves as President and Board Chair of CBI. He is President of Ed Groody & Associates, Inc., an organization development-consulting firm. He and his team of consultants have been helping companies get exceptional results and create a Spirit of Community in the workplace since 2001. Edward specializes in helping leaders implement change in a way that engages and honors people. He has facilitated highly successful financial and cultural turnarounds in a variety of industries and corporate settings.

Prior to starting Ed Groody & Associates, Inc. he served as Director of Organization Development with Covenant Health, a large health care system serving East Tennessee. Edward is one of a handful of individuals to train and work with M. Scott Peck, M.D., bestselling author of The Road Less Traveled and developer of the innovative group and team-building process called Community Building. Edward was also a part of the leadership group that organized and facilitated the first men’s conferences with renowned poet and author Robert Bly in Minnesota in the 80s and 90s.

Edward is a longtime student of contemplative practices. In addition to his full-time consulting work, he leads Poetry Divina, Community Building, meditation/centering prayer and other contemplative workshops for retreat centers, universities, nonprofits, businesses, and religious groups.

Tim DempseyTIM DEMPSEY serves as Executive Director of CBI. Tim began his career living with released prisoners in a network of halfway houses between his undergraduate and graduate studies. He has since devoted 25 years to operating highly successful social-sector prison reentry programs, which focus on employment and rely on both the principles of Community and the practice of Community Building for their comparative advantage. As part of his MBA, he established one of the nation’s first alternative staffing programs exclusively for returning prisoners, which both extended the mission of the organization he was running and contributed 30% of its budget.

Tim completed undergraduate studies at Notre Dame and graduate studies at both Catholic University (MA) and The University of Tennessee (MBA). He is currently managing a nonprofit that coordinates a large network of volunteers to support prisoners and their families while preparing them for reentry/reunification. He also consults on program design and organizational, brand and fund development in the social sector.

Paula WilliamsPAULA WILLIAMS  serves on CBI’s Board of Directors and as a Community Building facilitator. She is a law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she teaches the Nonprofits Clinic and a Nonprofit Corporations Seminar.  Prior to teaching law, she practiced law with The Legal Aid Society in New York City for many years. She is a board member of More To Life – US, a nonprofit organization that offers courses for personal growth and development, and of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.  Paula earned a B.A. degree from Brown University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

For information about upcoming workshops, see our Calendar or contact us directly to learn about how you can attend a public workshop, bring a workshop to your area, or sponsor facilitator training in your community. Call 865-224-7130.