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Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations              
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Marja Winters Farrow Receives First Community Builder Award

Michigan Municipal League Honor Celebrates Community Change


LANSING, Michigan —The Michigan Municipal League awarded its first Community Builder Award to Marja Winters Farrow during the League’s annual Capital Conference Awards Gala March 22 in Lansing.

Until recently, Marja Winters Farrow was the Benton Harbor assistant city manager and director of community and economic development. Before that, she worked in Detroit as deputy director of the Planning & Development Department for five years and as director of the Office of Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization for two years. She is currently vice president of Strategic Growth & Partnerships for Farrow Group, Inc.

“We most recently had the privilege to work with Marja on our PlacePlans project in Benton Harbor,” said League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “After years of an emergency manager making decisions for the community, civic engagement was low and residents, visitors, and neighboring communities had a negative perception of the local government. A strong civic engagement component was crucial to the success of this project, and Marja's leadership made it possible. Marja's talents, leadership, and passion for good community development make her the perfect recipient for this new award. 

Gilmartin added when Winters Farrow came to Benton Harbor in 2014 as assistant city manager and economic development director, she built relationships and trust with community groups, neighborhood leaders, local developers, and area agencies. Her focus on people, organization, and action gave new energy to the community and act as a catalyst for the city's development.   

About the Community Builder Award: This award honors individuals whose leadership creates positive community change. Through efforts such as encouraging civic engagement, supporting up-and-coming leaders, fostering good working relationships, and thinking strategically, they make their community a place where people truly love to live and work.

For photos of Winters Farrow receiving this award go to this Michigan Municipal League “Award Recipients” album on flickr: Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Flickr Photo Michigan Municipal League/

Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., 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.





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