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Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 30, 2009

Contact: Andrea Messinger
Office 517-908-0302, Cell 517-230-8379

MML Announces 2009 Individual Awards Recipients
AuGres, Holland, Madison Heights and Wyoming Officials Honored

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—For their outstanding contributions to Michigan communities, four local officials have been chosen as the 2009 individual awards recipients by the Michigan Municipal League (MML).

The honorees are recognized for their professionalism and significant contributions advancing communities statewide and with the MML. Through their service and dedication, they represent the best in local government leaders, advocates, mentors and educators.

The recipient of the 2009 Honorary Life Membership is Margene Scott, city of Madison Heights mayor pro tem, former MML president, and former MML Elected Officials Academy Advisory Board president.  The recipients of the Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award to the MML are LaVern Dittenber, city of AuGres mayor, former MML trustee, and former MML Elected Officials Academy Advisory Board president; and Carol Sheets, city of Wyoming mayor, former MML president, and former MML Elected Officials Academy Advisory Board president. The recipient of the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award is Al McGeehan, city of Holland mayor, and two-time Michigan Association of Mayors president.

The individual awards recipients were recently honored during the MML's 2009 Annual Convention in Kalamazoo.

MML President Jeff Jenks said about the recipients, "In a challenging time in Michigan's history, these individuals have set an outstanding example of tireless contributions advancing local government leadership and adding public value to the role communities play in making Michigan a vibrant and attractive state. From mentoring other elected officials to advocating in Lansing and Washington D.C. on behalf of Michigan communities, they have given their passion, time and expertise to move the League and its mission forward."

Honorary Life Membership, first awarded in 1932, is the League's highest honor, reserved for the most active and inspiring leaders dedicated to the League. This year's recipient, Margene Scott, Madison Heights mayor pro tem, was recognized for the many outstanding contributions to Michigan communities through the MML that characterize her seventeen years in local office. Former MML president and trustee, Scott is active in Michigan Women in Municipal Government, Michigan Black Caucus for Local Elected Officials, MML Workers’ Compensation Fund, the Elected Officials Academy Advisory boards and the MML Region 1 Educational Seminar committee. For photos, click here.

The Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award, first awarded in 2008, is a peer-nomination in memory of Dearborn Mayor Michael A. Guido. It honors chief elected officials who demonstrate excellence in leadership and is an overtime preserver in making outstanding contributions to their communities. This year's recipient, Al McGeehan, city of Holland mayor, is well known for his advocacy efforts on behalf of communities statewide. As two-time Michigan Association of Mayors president, 2006-2008, McGeehan has also served on numerous roles with the MML and National League of Cities.

"Al has delivered speeches under the dome of the Capitol and has led constructive discussions with his peers in the role of presenter at many League events. Truly, Al has set himself apart as a tireless advocate on behalf of municipalities throughout Michigan,” said former MML President Robin Beltramini. For photos, click here.

The Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award, first awarded in 2008, is a peer-nomination in honor of city of Rogers City Councilmember Jim Sinclair, a tireless promoter of local government and fervent believer in education and training for elected officials. It is a tribute to Sinclair's legacy of personal dedication, passion and commitment to the League and its mission.

AuGres Mayor LaVern Dittenber is a quiet champion of education, believing every elected official should be educated so that they can do the best possible for their community and the state. He was encouraged by Jim Sinclair to participate in educational events with the League and, in turn, encourages other officials to do the same.

"LaVern is a compassionate person who is always willing to assist with League endeavors," said former MML President Robin Beltramini. For photos, click here.

Wyoming Mayor Carol Sheets was a founder of MML's Elected Officials Academy. She served as the Academy president and trustee and was among the first to graduate in 1997. Since taking office in 1994, Sheets has never missed an MML Annual Convention or Capital Conference.

"You can always find Carol at those events talking with other officials about the importance of continuing education. Her commitment to education for elected officials was shown when she became part of an organizational committee that created the Elected Officials Academy," said former MML President Robin Beltramini. For photos, click here.

The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington DC and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials and; assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. For more information, visit mml.org.

 

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