General Session Speakers
Chelsey Clarke, Strategic Intelligence Unit Supervisor
Rocky Mountain HIDTA
Chelsey Clarke has been an intelligence analyst since 2012. She has worked for the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) (Dayton, Ohio) and Lockheed Martin (Denver, Colorado). While at ATIC, Clarke was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award for specialized analyst training. Clarke joined the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) program in 2014 as a strategic intelligence analyst, and in 2016 was promoted to strategic intelligence unit supervisor.
Clarke is a primary contributor to the annual RMHIDTA regional Threat Assessment and The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact reports. She has also represented RMHIDTA in both media interviews and public presentations.
Clarke graduated from Lubbock Christian University with a degree in Criminal Justice, where she was both an Honors Scholar and recipient of a bronze medal for highest GPA in Criminal Justice. She obtained her master’s degree in International Security, with concentrations in intelligence and homeland security, from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
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 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.
Michigan Municipal League
Matt Bach is director of communications for the League. Previously, he was a newspaper reporter for 18 years at multiple newspapers, including the Flint Journal, the Livingston County Press, and the Daily News in Greenville. The Grand Blanc resident also was public relations manager for the Flint Area Convention & Visitors Bureau before joining the League in 2009.
Steven Baker has served as a Berkley councilmember since 2009. He’s active in a variety or organizations, including council liaison to the Berkley DDA and Historical Committee, voting member of the Woodward Ave. Transit Analysis Steering Committee, and has served on the League Board of Trustees and several committees. Baker also leads the IT strategy and innovation agenda for DTE. He holds a BS in computer science and an MS in software engineering from Oakland University.
Bryan Barnett, Mayor
Bryan Barnett has served as mayor of Rochester Hills since 2006. Previously, he served as a Rochester Hills councilperson for six years. When elected, Barnett was the youngest elected official in the history of Rochester Hills, and the youngest mayor in the U.S. of a city with a population over 50,000. One of his most notable accomplishments has been the successful implementation of the Recycling Rewards Program, making Rochester Hills the first community in the entire Midwest to offer the incentive-based program called Recycle Bank.
Joe Borgstrom, Principal
Place & Main Advisors
Joe Borgstrom is an accomplished professional in the fields of Downtown Redevelopment, Community and Economic Development, Main Street and Placemaking. Joe was formerly the Director of Downtown & Community Services at MSHDA, which included the national award-winning Michigan Main Street program. He was a founding member of the Community Assistance Team and served as its director at MSHDA and at the MEDC.
Catherine Bostick-Tullius, Commissioner
Catherine Bostick-Tullius has served as city commissioner for the city of Lapeer since 2009. Her relationship with the city of Lapeer began in 1997, when she served as a board member on the Zoning Board of Appeals and on the steering committee that established the Pix Arts Council for Greater Lapeer, Inc. in 2001. She has served for numerous other organizations, including Lapeer County Habitat for Humanity and the Lapeer County Bar Association. Bostick-Tullius has been practicing law since 1995, and has had her family law practice in Lapeer since 1997.
Rick Bunch, Executive Director
Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office
Rick Bunch develops projects with sustainable enterprises and markets, drawing on his extensive network in academia, nonprofits, and the business world to propose cross-cutting solutions and assemble diverse teams of experts. He has 17 years’ experience with several nonprofits and businesses education institutions, helping them integrate sustainability into their programs.
Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce
Melanie D. Davis, APR is president & CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is responsible for the organization’s operations and planning/execution of its strategic plan. Previously, Davis served as executive director for the Adcraft Club of Detroit, president of the Macomb County Chamber and V.P. of marketing and communications for the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Nancy DeBoer, Mayor
Nancy De Boer was first elected to Holland City Council in November 2005. In November 2015, she was elected the first woman mayor in Holland’s 148-year history. During her tenure on the Council, Nancy has championed Holland Youth Advisory Council activities, the Labor Day BoardWALK, the Pay it Forward Holland initiative, and Holland’s involvement in America in Bloom and now the international Communities in Bloom.
Maureen Donker, Mayor, Midland and
League Board of Trustees
Maureen Donker has been the mayor of the City of Midland for the last six years, having been first elected to the city council in 2007. She is also the executive director of the Reece Endeavor, a nonprofit that obtains and provides housing for persons with disabilities. Donker serves on the MML Workers’ Compensation Fund Board, and as facilitator of the Community Advisory Panels for the Midland Sites of the Dow Chemical Company, the Dow Corning Corporation, and Cabot Corporation.
Shanna Draheim, Director, Policy Development
Michigan Municipal League
Shanna Draheim joined the Michigan Municipal League in August 2016 as the director of policy development. She oversees special research initiatives and projects related to the strategic goals of the League, and collaborates with members and other stakeholders to identify research needs and policy recommendations. Prior to joining the League, Draheim was a senior consultant with Public Sector Consultants, where she conducted research and managed projects for the firm and its clients on a wide range of public policy subjects
Esther Fifelski, Human Relations Coordinator
Rebecca Fleury, City Manager
Rebecca Fleury has been in local government management for 17 years, specializing in the areas of Public Finance, Community Development, and Public Safety. She started her position as Battle Creek city manager in October 2014. Fleury is a member of the International City/County Management Association, an adjunct professor for the School of Public Affairs and Administration at WMU, and a member of the Battle Creek Rotary Club.
Audrey Forbush, Partner
Audrey Forbush is a partner at the law firm of Plunkett Cooney. She is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and is the firm’s Governmental Practice Group Leader. Forbush is a trial attorney who has defended municipalities for over 25 years in all aspects of litigation including police use of force, pursuit, employment litigation, civil rights, motor vehicle and premises liability. She currently serves as the legal advisor for the Law Enforcement Action Forum.
Kathie Grinzinger, Lead Executive Recruiter
Michigan Municipal League
Kathie Grinzinger assists Michigan communities with their executive searches by connecting talented public administrators to key leadership positions. She has more than 30 years of experience in municipal management and public sector human resources, most recently as Mt. Pleasant city manager. Gringinzer also has a long history of involvement with the League and various associations as a trainer and consultant.
Michigan Municipal League
Chris Hackbarth rejoined the League in January 2015 as the organization’s director of state affairs before adding federal affairs to his job title. He previously worked for the League from 2009-2011 as a legislative associate. He spent several years working as the director of the office of policy initiatives for the Michigan Secretary of State and lobbying for Midwest Strategy Group. Hackbarth has a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University.
Allison Harris, Director, Strategic Community Initiatives
Allison Harris is the director of the Strategic Community Initiatives department at EcoWorks. She holds a PhD in environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining EcoWorks, she works for URS Corp. performing brownfield redevelopment, city energy management, and sustainability planning. she later did a post-doctoral fellowship at Wayne State University studying real-time emissions of electricity production.
Linda Hart, Community Outreach Coordinator
Holland Area Visitors Bureau
Linda Hart is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Holland Area Visitors Bureau. Tourism is a prominent economic driver for Holland and Holland in Bloom, and its efforts have complimented the community. Hart’s 5-year involvement with Holland In Bloom has helped the city achieve multiple awards with America in Bloom, including the elite Circle of Champions designation. Hart served as the local lead in 2015 when Holland hosted the AIB National Symposium. She serves on the America in Bloom Board of Directors, and is chair of its National Symposium Planning Committee.
Elmer Hitt, Director of Police & Fire Services
Elmitt Hitt was appointed as director of police and fire services for the City of Jackson in 2017. He started his career at the Jackson Police Department in 1996 as a cadet. In subsequent years, he was promoted to patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and deputy chief before becoming director.
Kate Hosier, Assistant City Manager
Kate Hosier has served as South Haven’s assistant city manager since 2016. She has held a variety of other positions with the city, including deputy clerk and police dispatcher. Hosier holds a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Gary Howe was elected as a city commissioner for Traverse City in 2013. He has also served on Traverse City’s Parks and Recreation Commission and Planning Commission.
Steve Kempker, Sheriff
Steve Kempker was elected sheriff of Ottawa County in 2016. He began his law enforcement career with the city of Holland in 1980, then joined the sheriff’s department in 1989. Since then, he has had a variety of assignments as deputy sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and undersheriff, before being elected sheriff.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Ryan Kilpatrick is the Senior CATeam Rep with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He has a background as an urban planner and land use consultant and holds a master’s in Design for Social Innovation. Kikpatrick promotes urban revitalization through real estate development, project financing, placemaking, and talent attraction. He is experienced in negotiating the use of multiple public and private financing mechanisms.
Gene King, Coordinator, Law Enforcement Action Forum and
Loss Control Consultant, Michigan Municipal League Liability and Property Pool
Gene King retired from 25 years of police service to join the Michigan Municipal League’s Loss Control Services. His experience as a police chief prepared him to assist League members in their risk management needs. King is also the coordinator of the Law Enforcement Action Forum, which provides guidance to the League on public safety issues and provides Risk Management members with sample policy to meet industry best practices for law enforcement.
Bridget Kozlowski, Community Relations Director
Bridget Kozlowski has served as the community relations director for the City of Sterling Heights since 2014. Previously, she held positions as communications coordinator for the Village of Lombard Heights, IL, and a reporter for the Chicago Tribune Media Group.
Michigan Municipal League
John LaMacchia handles transportation and infrastructure issues. He has nearly a decade of experience in Lansing, serving with former Sen. John Gleason as chief of staff, and in the office of former Senate Minority Leader Bob Emerson. In those roles, LaMacchia developed and secured passage of multiple public acts. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University.
Clark Hill PLC
Kenneth Lane is a member in Clark Hill’s Lansing office, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of municipal law, municipal litigation, planning and zoning, and public pension law. Lane serves as general and special counsel to cities, townships and villages across the state.
He also served as assistant township manager for Delta Charter Township and city attorney for Lansing.
Anthony Lewis, Director, Business & Community Affairs
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Anthony Lewis has been with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights since 2002, becoming director of business and community affairs in since January 2017. Previously, he served as the department’s community outreach specialist and civil rights investigator. He has developed and initiated a number of programs, including the Michigan Civil Rights Youth Advisory Council and programs with Michigan Works! to enhance the employability of Michigan job seekers.
April Lynch, City Manager
April Lynch has served as Ferndale’s city manager since 2011. Previously, she held a variety of positions in local government, including assistant city manager/director of administrative services for the City of Ypsilanti; director of human resources for the City of Monroe, and assistant to the city manager/director of human resources for the City of Grand Haven.
Kathleen Ling, Mayor
Kathleen Ling has served as Mount Pleasant’s mayor since 2008. Previously, she was a social studies teacher at Mount Pleasant Public Schools.
Steven D. Mann specializes in the area of municipal finance, representing public agencies as bond counsel. His practice covers all facets of tax increment financing, special assessments, and economic development. He has also authored several amicus curiae briefs for both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing on behalf of public bodies and municipal associations in cases involving complex issues related to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.
Don Mawer, Chief of Police
Donald Mawer began his career in Law enforcement in 1990 with the Marshall City Police Department, where he spent 13 years serving as a patrol officer, field training officer, investigator, shift sergeant, and finally shift commander. In 2003, he became Frankenmuth’s fifth police chief in the department’s 100-year history. He was appointed by Governor Snyder in January 2012 as a Commissioner on the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. He is an active member of MACP, CMACP, and LEAF. He currently teaches at Delta College and Ferris State University.
Patrick McGinnis, City Manager
Pat McGinnis has served as Grand Haven’s city manager since 2003. His extensive experience in local government also includes 13 years as city manager of West Branch.
Matt Messer, Chief of Public Safety Services
Matt Messer has served as Holland’s chief of public safety services since 2008, Previously, he held the position of captain of the criminal investigations division for five years.
Michigan Municipal League
Anthony Minghine joined the League in 2006 to focus on the broader policy issues surrounding local government. He is a regular speaker on a variety of topics effecting local government, and plays a key role in training local officials and testifying to the state legislature. With over 25 years of experience, Minghine is an expert in operational and finance issues relating to municipalities and nonprofits. He is a 1985 graduate of Wayne State University.
Michigan Municipal League
Richard Murphy leads several placemaking projects and supports the League’s legislative staff with transportation and municipal finance research. He has served as city planner in Ypsilanti, programs director for Michigan Suburbs Alliance, and board member of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan. He holds degrees in computer engineering and urban planning from the University of Michigan.
Mark Nettleton, Attorney
Mika Meyers PLC
Mark Nettleton practices in the areas of pubic finance, municipal law, land use and zoning law, and real estate. In his law practice experience, Nettleton has assisted Michigan counties, cities, villages, and townships with bond issues and financing transactions, ordinance and utility franchise issues, intergovernmental agreements, special assessment proceedings, drain proceedings, assessments and financing, and annexation matters.
Marcus Peccia, City Manager
Marcus Peccia has served as Cadillac’s city manager since 2009. He has over 16 years of municipal experience. He is a member of the League’s Board of Trustees, Michigan Municipal Executives, International City/County Management Association, a Rotarian, and sits on several community boards. He has also been involved in a variety of community development projects in Cadillac, most notable the PlacePlans project nicknamed “Cadillac Plaza.”
Melanie Piana, Mayor Pro Tem
Melanie Piana is currently serving her second term on the Ferndale City Council as Mayor Pro Tem. She is an experienced urban policy and community development professional with expertise in nonprofit management and local government. She also serves on the Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, is a Trustee on the League Board, and the Trustee representative to the League Foundation Board.
Michigan Municipal League
Jennifer Rigterink is the Legislative Associate of State Affairs for the League, where she advocates on behalf of communities, with a concentration on municipal services, economic development, and land use issues. Previously, she managed the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® program. Rigterink earned a BS in urban and regional planning from Michigan State University.
Anne Saliers, Community Energy Services Manager
Holland Board of Public Works
Anne Saliers directs the Holland Board of Public Works’ energy optimization and community outreach programs, and chairs the steering committees implementing the City of Holland’s 40-year Community Energy Plan and Georgetown University Energy Prize initiatives. Saliers led the development and launch of Michigan’s first On-Bill Loan Program.
Rusty Showalter, Councilmember
Rusty Showalter serves as a councilmember for the City of West Branch, and has been an active councilmember since 2008. Serving as the current chair of the West Branch Downtown Development Authority, he has played an instrumental role in expanding the West Branch River Walk Trail System as asll as the development of a pocket park downtown. Showalter is also a member of the League Board of Trustees.;
Kimberley Sims, Mayor
Kimberly Sims has served as mayor of Muskegon Heights since 2015. Previously, she held the position of councilmember. Sims has been involved int he grassroots level of improving her neighborhood and the city.
Geoff Smith, Director
Sturgis Department of Public Safety
Geoff Smith has been the Director of Public Safety at Sturgis Police & Fire since 2013 and has been a member of the law enforcement community for over 22 years. He received his bachelor’ degree in Management & Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University in 2011 and is a certified Ground Fighting Instructor, Rape Prevention Instructor, and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Smith is currently a member of L.E.A.F., MACP, IACP and WMACP.
Theodore Staton, City Manager, Upper Arlington, Ohio and
Board Member, League of Women in Government
Theodore Staton joined the City of Upper Arlington, Ohio in 2011. Previously, he served as city manager for the City of East Lansing, bringing with him a proven track record of steering a municipality successfully through challenging financial times, while simultaneously maintaining core service standards and seizing upon new opportunities to enrich citizens’ lives and the attractiveness of East Lansing to prospective residents and businesses.
Robert Stevenson, Executive Director
Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
Robert Stevenson has served as executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police since 2011. He began his law enforcement career in 1974 as a cadet with the Livonia Police Department. He was promoted to police officer in 1978, then rose through the ranks, serving as sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief, and chief until his retirement.
President, Michigan Municipal Executives
Keith Van Beek works for Ottawa County as the Deputy County Administrator. Prior to joining Ottawa County in 2009, he spent 12 years with the City of Kentwood in various administrative and management roles. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the International City Management Association and Michigan Municipal Executives, for which he is currently serving as President.
Mark Vanderpool, City Manager
Mark Vanderpool began as city manager for the City of Sterling Heights in 2004. Previously he served as assistant village manager for Skokie, Ill for 11 years. He also served as assistant city manager for Tecumseh, MIch. for four years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration/political science from Augustana College and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University.
Eric Williams, City Attorney, Big Rapids and
MAMA Board of Directors
Eric Williams has practiced law in Mecosta and Osceola counties since 1982, running a private law office while serving four years as assistant prosecutor and 28 years as Big Rapids city attorney. He is also a longstanding board member and former president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, and the Public Corporation Law Section Council.