The Women’s Municipal Leadership Program is an opportunity for aspiring women to advance their skills and hone their leadership abilities on the path to becoming strong local managers. This year’s program, held virtually, selected 29 participants. Meet the future women leaders of our communities below.

Sarah Ames
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Troy

Sarah graduated from the University of Arkansas and moved to Michigan in Fall 2020 to begin working with the City of Troy. As the Assistant to the City Manager, Sarah enjoys learning about the various challenges and duties that she is assigned. She believes the position is giving her great insight into the challenges that City Managers and other administration officers face in daily operations, as well as giving her a broad understanding of local government internal operations as well as communication between residents, staff, and City Council. Sarah is excited to network with other women in local government, learn from these connections, and learn from Michigan Municipal League and hopes that these skills will prove useful in her future as a City Manager.

Katherine Anderson
Deputy Clerk/Treasurer, Parks and Rec Director
Village of Pentwater

Katherine is the Deputy Clerk/Treasurer and Recreation Director for the Village of Pentwater. She has worked for the Village for the past four years, during which time she earned her Michigan’s Certified Professional Treasurer’s certification through the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association. She also serves as the Chairperson for the Parks and Recreation Board, where she wrote their most recent MDNR Joint Recreation Plan. As the Rec Director, she enjoys working with and watching the children in her community prosper and learn valuable life skills through their programs. She also loves serving her community, developing relationships with residents and she looks forward to furthering her career in government.

Hannah Behl
Planning & Communications Coordinator
City of Grand Ledge

Hannah Behl has been with the City of Grand Ledge for five years as the Planning and Communications Coordinator, serving her first role in local government. Prior, she worked in Human Services and received her BS in Community Development from Central Michigan University in 2015. She enjoys finding new ways to bridge internal communication gaps between departments, increase public transparency, and enhance public spaces. Hannah finds success working with a number of community partners to continue economic development efforts, and improve community recreation opportunities in Grand Ledge. She is eager to continue her career and looks forward to gaining momentum in municipal management. When she isn’t at City Hall, Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors or working on renovation projects with her husband Chad, and being a new mom to nine-month old, Silas.

Kate Bell
Manager, Smart City Technology

Kate Bell is a Manager with NextEnergy’s Smart City Technology practice working to help cities establish and achieve net-zero carbon goals, support economic development, and improve quality of life for residents across Michigan. She received her Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics at Mount Holyoke College. Kate’s professional experience mirrors her passion for leveraging the tools of state and local governments to facilitate long-lasting and effective policymaking. Prior to joining NextEnergy, she served as a Community Development Fellow executing economic development programs and strategies for the City of Mount Clemens.

Heather Bowman
Public Works Director
City of Big Rapids

Heather Bowman, has served in multiple roles in a municipal setting her entire career. Currently, she is the Director of Public Works, for the City of Big Rapids, overseeing multiple divisions; Streets, Water, Wastewater, Dial-A-Ride, Motor Pool, Parks & Recreation. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Ferris State University in Recreation & Leadership Management. Serving on multiple boards, such as the Chamber of Commerce and DDA to encourage economic development within the community is a passion of hers.

Dr. Maria Calhoun
Deputy Human Resources Director
City of Southfield

Dr. Maria Calhoun has served in various roles within the City of Southfield municipal government for more than 22 years. She is a graduate of Northcentral University, and a proud United States Air Force veteran. In 2020, Dr. Calhoun completed the Saginaw Valley State University Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. Dr. Calhoun is passionate about inspiring others to become public servants in local government.

Natalie Dean
Assistant City Manager & HR Director
City of Dowagiac

Natalie Dean has over 17 years of municipal service experience, helping communities grow and prosper. Natalie began her career in municipal government in Marshall, Michigan, where she served in a wide range of roles, including Planning & Zoning Administrator, Director of Community Services and eventually Assistant City Manager. Serving for a time as the community planner for Wightman, she ultimately returned to public service to follow her passion for municipal leadership.  Since 2019, she has proudly served the City of Dowagiac as Assistant City Manager and Director of Human Resources.   With a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, Natalie firmly believes that a well-run local government is grounded in passionate employees and engaged communities.

Dietz, Angela

Angela Dietz
Accounts Payable/Utility Billing/Website Manager
City of New Baltimore

Angela has been working in municipal government for 12 years, and been with the City of New Baltimore for over 6 years. She grew up in Warren and is a graduate of Madonna University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Angela is currently working on completing her Master Citizen Planner certification as well as beginning the process of working towards her Certified Municipal Clerk certification. Angela enjoys a challenge, is a passionate book worm, and an avid runner.

Melissa Fairbairn
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Birmingham

Melissa is the Assistant to the City Manager in Birmingham. In this role, she is particularly proud of launching and implementing Engage Birmingham, a platform designed to increase resident engagement in City decision-making. After teaching middle school and working for education nonprofits for nearly a decade, Melissa returned to school to earn a Master’s of Public Administration from Wayne State University. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and a Master’s of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Rebecca Guerriero

Rebecca is a manager in PwC’s ESG and sustainability consulting solutions practice in Detroit. Previously, she worked with state and local governments on their COVID-19 response and for a national foundation on their climate funding strategies. A Michigan native, she earned a master’s degree in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan. In her spare time, she coaches and plays ice hockey, sails, and enjoys a round of golf.

Katie Guyer
Communications Coordinator
City of Midland

Katie Guyer has served as the City of Midland’s communications coordinator since 2016. In her role, she oversees all day-to-day communications initiatives with the belief that government communication should be transparent, timely, and relatable. Key projects under her jurisdiction include social media management; media relations; online public engagement platform, E-CityHall; and Midland’s award-winning Citizens Academy program. She is also a public information officer in the Midland County Emergency Operations Center, most recently serving during the Edenville and Sanford dam failures in May 2020. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Butler University and is a Certified Public Manager through the National Certified Public Manager Consortium.

Ciona Hall
Planning Coordinator
City of Rochester

Ciona serves as the Planning Coordinator, where she streamlines the process for all commercial developments in the City. She holds a dual degrees in Criminal Justice & Sociology as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Local Government Management from Oakland University. Her passion is to become an Economic/Community Development Director. Ciona obtained the Master Citizen Planner (MCP) credential from Michigan State University Extension. She is a member of Michigan Association of Planning (MAP), Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) & International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Ciona is grateful for this opportunity to learn more about leadership roles in municipal government and network with others.

Jessie Harris
Administrative & DEI Intern
Ottawa County

Jessie Harris works as an intern for Ottawa County, a position she has held for the past year. Jessie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and political science and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree in state, regional and local governance from Grand Valley State University. Though she is about to graduate in December 2021, she considers herself a lifelong student and never passes up an opportunity to grow and gain new perspectives. Jessie aspires to be in municipal management and is driven by a passion for equitable service delivery, intergovernmental collaboration, and innovative ways of providing public service. Jessie is an Officer of the ICMA Student Chapter at Grand Valley State University, a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity network.

Lisa Hathaway
City Clerk
City of Grosse Pointe Woods

Lisa Kay Hathaway is the City Clerk in the City of Grosse Pointe Woods and has served in that capacity since appointed in 2005. She began her employment with the City in 1995 and was promoted to Deputy City Clerk/Confidential Administrative Assistant to the City Administrator in 1998. Lisa has attained multiple certifications, most notably through the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks having achieved the Michigan Professional Municipal Clerk certification and being the first recipient in the State of Michigan to attain Level 3 (MiPMC-3). She also holds Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) certification through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. She was elected by her peers to serve ten years on the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks Board of Directors and appointed to serve as Chair on several of the organization’s committees. Lisa has served as Acting City Administrator and assisted to transition seven new City Administrators as well as multiple other executive level staff over her twenty-seven year career. She attended Davenport University and is working toward attaining a degree in management. Lisa has completed the requirements of the Leadership Macomb program and the Women’s Municipal Leadership Program through the Michigan Municipal League. Lisa is passionate about ethically performing her duties as a public servant, being tasked with challenging projects, and seeing those projects through to completion.

Sarah Karl
Asst. Village Manager/Asst. Finance Director
Village of Dundee

Sarah Karl is the Assistant Village Manager for the Village of Dundee and has served in that role since March 2020. Sarah began her career with the Village in 2019 as an administrative assistant. She earned her Bachelor ‘s Degree in General Business Management from Michigan State University. Following graduation from Michigan State she worked in various roles in business management and sales for over 15 years. Her commitment to community is apparent by her dedication to volunteering for numerous efforts that give back to a community’s heart. Her transition to municipal management has provided challenging, educational and rewarding experiences, and she is grateful for the opportunity to develop additional skills in working with truly amazing colleagues and citizens.

Michelle Koppin
Assistant Superintendent
City of Livonia

Michelle is the Assistant Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Livonia. She oversees operations of the Jack E. Kirksey Recreation Center, Civic Park Senior Center, Greenmead Historical Park, along with other City parks and athletic facilities. Additional responsibilities include capital improvements, programming, and special events. Michelle is active with mParks (Michigan Recreation and Park Association), a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association, a Certified Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Trainer (LGIT). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Western Michigan University.

Alexandra Longstreet
Finance Director
Village of Middleville

Alexandra has her Bachelor’s and Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Phoenix. She is also a US Army Veteran having spent eight years doing human resources and medical supply for the military. She strives to continue her education in all areas of government and leadership.

Erin McIntosh
Administrative Assistant
Network 180, Kent County Community Mental Health Authority

Erin McIntosh graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Grand Valley State University. Originally from the east side of the state, she relocated to Grand Rapids in 2016 to pursue education as a first-generation college student. Currently, she is working to obtaining her Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Policy, Advocacy, and Program Evaluation. She has worked in several administrative support roles within the City of Wyoming, City of Grand Rapids, and now in Kent County’s Community Mental Health Authority. Erin is a published undergraduate research scholar and has a passion for reading, writing, and community advocacy.

Tiffany Moore
City of Stevensville

Tiffany Moore started her government career with the Village of Stevensville in 2008. She was appointed interim Clerk in 2009 and has served as Village Clerk since 2010. She is a member of the Berrien County Clerk’s Association and previously served two years on the board of the former Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. Tiffany is excited to learn and grow in her role and continue serving this great community. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband of 17 years, 3 daughters and their Beagle at their seasonal campsite, attending concerts and hosting barbecues.

Holly Palmer
City Treasurer
City of Kingsford

Holly Palmer serves as the City Treasurer for the City of Kingsford. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northern Michigan University. She has 8 years experience in city government, having worked as the Administrative Assistant/Accounts Payable Clerk for the city prior to being appointed treasurer. She worked as the Finance Director for a community action agency for 15 years prior to that. She is a Certified Public Funds Investment Manager and is working toward her Michigan Certified Professional Treasurer designation.

Mary Parisien
Assistant Commission Counsel
Wayne County

Mary graduated from the Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2015 and has since been an active public servant, beginning her career as a City Councilmember in her hometown of South Lyon, Michigan. Mary formerly worked for the City of Detroit as legal counsel for the Detroit City Council, Board of Ethics, and the City’s many departments. Mary currently serves as Assistant Commission Counsel to the Wayne County Commission. Mary enjoys serving her community and helping others, but her greatest joy is spending time with her family.

Melissa Roberts
Executive Coordinator
Grand Blanc Township

Melissa Roberts has been with the Charter Township of Grand Blanc for 3 years. She first served as an Administrative Assistant for the Fire Department and then promoted to the role of Executive Coordinator to the Superintendent and Supervisor of the Township. Prior to joining the public sector, she worked as a Human Resource Manager for 10 years in the private sector. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Melissa enjoys sharing innovative and creative ideas in an effort to bring vitality to the Township. She has taken on the role of project manager for a Township-wide IT assessment, our website redesign and implementing agenda management software to mainstream all documents for Grand Blanc Township.

Nancy Short
Government & Nonprofit Administrator

Nancy Short has more than 15 years of experience at the intersection of government and nonprofit designing, revitalizing, and scaling programming to drive internal and external engagement and increase and diversify participation for organization and community success. Whether leading political affairs for a statewide trade association, scaling the state’s largest civic engagement initiative, identifying and cultivating gubernatorial appointees, or launching and revitalizing programming to build trust and support in the community for a health system, her love is leveraging relationships to drive mission, outcomes, and impact. People-focused, driven by results but passionate about impact, she believes public service is never done and serves on a number of nonprofit boards locally and statewide. Short holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University.

Kaitlyn Szczypka
Village Clerk & HR Director
Village of Elk Rapids

Kaitlyn Szczypka is the Village Clerk and HR Director of Elk Rapids, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2017 with a dual degree in public policy and history. She is currently attending Central Michigan University’s master’s in public administration program. Kaitlyn is a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and the International Institute of Clerks. Her goal is to become a municipal manager for a vibrant Michigan community.

Priscilla Tatum
Services Program Manager

Priscilla Tatum is committed to public service that focuses on community relations and human services. Priscilla is an advocate for social change and sustainability.

Maria Willett
Chief Assistant to the Mayor
City of Rochester Hills

In her role as Chief of Staff, Maria leads the mayor’s key initiatives, fundraising campaigns, special events, and communications. Whether it’s crafting a creative tweet or coordinating a fireworks show for thousands, every day is a little different. Maria is active in the community as a member of the Rochester Area Youth Assistance, Rotary Club, the OU Day of Giving Committee, the Rochester Hills Museum Young Leaders Circle Board, and the Create Collective. Her leadership has been notably recognized with the Crain’s Detroit 20 in the 20’s Award (2020), the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year (2019), and the Elite 40 under 40 Award by Oakland County (2018).

Heidi Zabik
Legislative Director
Michigan House of Representatives

Heidi Zabik is a Legislative Director at the Michigan House of Representatives, where she has worked for four state representatives during her thirteen years of service. She is skilled in policy research and analysis of current Michigan compiled law and pending legislation, with expertise in Local Government and Municipal Finance, Tax Policy, and Headlee/Proposal A impacts on local units of government. Ms. Zabik holds a Bachelor Degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University, and in 2015 she earned a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Western Michigan University. Zabik is excited for the opportunity to transition from state level government to local government, to further develop her passion for administrative leadership, grant management and strategic budgeting.

Angelic Zizumbo
Administrative Assistant
Saginaw County Road Commission

Angelic has 24 years of public sector experience, serving 22 of those years with Saginaw Township. Currently she is the Administrative Assistant for the Saginaw County Road Commission. Spending 22 years with Saginaw Township in various roles, her current role is providing her with a whole new set of PR skills. Angelic is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration at Delta college and Central Michigan University. Upon completing her degree looks forward to advancing her career within local government. Angelic has a passion for serving her community and bringing people together for the greater good of the community. She is thrilled to network with other women in local government and to gain the essential leadership skills to further her local government career.