Workshops are held on Tuesday morning before Capital Conference officially begins. They are designed to be longer sessions that enable attendees to dive deeper into a subject of interest. The length of the workshops often provides opportunities for more interaction between presenters and attendees.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

How Does Your Community Stack Up? Hands-On Help with RRC Evaluation and MGC Challenge

Economic and environmental sustainability are key components of successful communities. To help municipalities move forward in these areas, the League partners with MEDC and several other state agencies to support two programs: Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) and Michigan Green Communities (MGC) Challenge. These programs help communities evaluate their progress towards economic and environmental sustainability and identify areas of improvement. In this hands-on workshop, you can get real-time assistance from experts associated with each program to help you complete relevant program documents and access the opportunities each program offers.


Christopher Germain, Redevelopment Ready Communities Planner, MEDC
Jamie Kidwell-Brix, Michigan Green Communities Network Coordinator
Richard Murphy, Program Coordinator, Michigan Municipal League
Michelle Parkkonen, Redevelopment Ready Communities Manager, MEDC
Ryan Soucy, Redevelopment Ready Communities Planner, MEDC
Jeff Spencer, Environmental Specialist, DEQ Office of Environmental Assistance
Karen Wieber, Redevelopment Ready Communities Planner, MEDC

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

How Can Complete Streets Connect your Community?

Complete Streets is a way to plan and design streets that serve all travelers, whether in a car, on a bike, or riding in a stroller. Community leaders who have successfully adopted Complete Streets will share how this approach can improve safety and support placemaking efforts.  Attendees will also have a chance to engage in hands-on exercises and receive an update from MDOT on their work with context-sensitive solutions.


Rob Balmes, Planning Manager, Bureau of Transportation-Policy Division, Michigan Dept. of Transportation
Bradley Peterson, Landscape Architect/Context Sensitive Solutions Coordinator, Michigan Dept. of Transportation
Tracie Leix, Local Agency Program Engineer, Michigan Dept. of Transportation
Chip Smith, AICP, Councilmember, City of Ann Arbor
Rebekah Kik, City Planner, City of Kalamazoo
Justin Lyons, Planner, City of Ferndale

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Crowdfunding and Community Investment: Using Local Money to Implement Local Projects

Crowdfunding as a means of investing in both public spaces and entrepreneurial ventures has been gaining momentum in Michigan. To-date, communities have invested more than $5 million through the MEDC/MML/Patronicity Public Spaces Community Places program and the Michigan Invest Locally Exemption. This session will provide an overview of different types of crowdfunding, feature successes, offer best practices and tools, and allow attendees to workshop ideas with their peers.


Angela Barbash, Principal and Investment Advisor, Revalue
Chris Miller, Downtown & Economic Development, Adrian
Rob St. Mary, Director of Outreach, Patronicity

9:00 am – 11:00 am

Storytelling for Local Leaders

Amazing things happen every day in every community and municipal leaders often struggle to tell these stories. Prioritizing storytelling can help spread the word, share successes, and humanize complicated issues. This interactive workshop will challenge attendees to find their inner storyteller and share practical tools and resources to make storytelling easy, fun, and effective.


Nina Ignaczak, Managing Editor, Metromode
Sharlan Douglas, City Commissioner, Royal Oak

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys 31st Annual Advanced Institute

Stay current on the latest legal issues affecting Michigan local governments. Attendees will hear presentations from experts who will review recent legislation and court decisions as well as current challenges, strategies, and examples. You will leave this session with a better understanding of current legal issues and the impact they have on the municipalities you represent. This is also the perfect opportunity to network with your colleagues and exchange ideas and experiences.