General Session Speakers


Tony Ferrara, First Vice President

America in Bloom

Tony Ferrara served 16 years on the Arroyo Grande, California city council and 12 years as the city’s elected mayor. Ferrara has held several municipal leadership positions including board president of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, president of the San Luis Obispo Regional Transportation Agency, and president of the League of California Cities.

Ferrara’s  passion is his 8-year involvement with Arroyo Grande in Bloom as both a volunteer and member of the board. Arroyo Grande in Bloom is a multi-year, multi-category AIB award winner and proud member of the America In Bloom Circle of Champions. Ferrara is the founder and principal partner of Arroyo Consulting Group specializing in municipal project facilitation, strategic planning, and emergency management planning and training.

Scott Paine, Ph.D., Director, Leadership Development & Education
FLC University, Florida League of Cities


Dr. Scott Paine is the director of Leadership Development and Education at the Florida League of Cities. He joined the League after a 30-year career in higher education, including 22 years as a member of the Communication and the Government and World Affairs faculties at The University of Tampa.

Dr. Paine was elected to Tampa’s City Council, where he served for eight years. As an elected municipal official, Dr. Paine served on multiple Florida committees and task forces, addressing issues of growth management, transportation planning, and intergovernmental cooperation.

Dr. Paine is the author of Rethinking Public Leadership for the 21st Century, and More Than Self: A Decade of Reflection on Public Service (forthcoming from the Florida League of Cities). He also writes a regular column for Quality Cities (QC) magazine.




Lisa Soronen, Executive Director
State and Local Legal Center

Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC). In this role, Soronen files amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of members of the Big Seven (National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and International City/County Management Association) in cases affecting state and local government.

Prior to joining the SLLC, Soronen worked for the National School Boards Association, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and clerked for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. She earned her J.D. at the University of Wisconsin Law School and is a graduate of Central Michigan University.




Breakout Session Speakers

Click on a speaker’s name to read a short professional biography.
Chris Hackbarth, Director, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
John LaMacchia, Legislative Associate, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
Richard Murphy, Program Coordinator, Civic Innovations, Michigan Municipal League
Jennifer Rigterink, Legislative Associate, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League