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Press Release


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


Michigan Municipal League Foundation Announces First Scholarship Recipients

John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship Provides Opportunities to Elected and Appointed Municipal Officials

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is pleased to announce the first three recipients of a new scholarship that will cover up to $1,000 each for municipal managers and elected officials to get training to help their communities. The scholarships were announced during the 19th Annual Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and Public Corporation Law Section Summer Education Conference on June 25 on Mackinac Island.

The first recipients of the John Barr Education Leadership Scholarship are:

  • Sarah Dvoracek, Evart city treasurer/city assessor

  • Lee Kilbourn, Auburn mayor and Michigan Association of Mayors president

  • David Quick, Lawrence village president

“This opportunity will allow me to obtain tools and knowledge from other municipal treasurers,” said Dvoracek, who will attend the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association Basic Institute for training. “Continuing my professional development will allow me to become the best leader possible. I am ready to take responsibility for the well-being and improvement of my community.”

Kilbourn, who plans to attend the League’s Elected Officials Academy training, said it will help him do a better job for his city and state. “There is so much more to learn to run a city,” he added. “I want to be better trained to help my city and help all of us to do a better job.”

The commitment to use the training to help their local communities was a common thread through all the scholarship applications, including Quick’s, who said: “This training will not only help, but is a necessity to provide the skills to lead and govern my community. Getting training on municipal finance, budgeting and development will increase my knowledge of other options available to my community, and allow me to share what I learned with my fellow council members and village manager.”

The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship was established in March with a generous $10,000 investment from MML Foundation Board Member and Ypsilanti City Attorney John Barr. The scholarship was created from his vision to provide local elected and appointed officials the knowledge and skills they need to lead and govern their communities. Matching donations from MML members, Foundation board members and DTE Energy reached an additional $10,000.

Barr was pleased with the first round of scholarship applications and said, “Training and education are a large part of the key to good government. The MML and affiliates offer wonderful opportunities for both training and education. My hope is that this scholarship initiative will encourage more public officials to increase their knowledge and understanding of the best practices of local government.”

Five yearly, one-time scholarships of up to $1,000 for nonpartisan training of local elected or appointed officials will be awarded. The training must have a leadership component and practical application to the individual’s role as a public official in municipal government.

“Communities can’t afford to offer professional development or leadership training,” MML Foundation President Gisgie Dávila Gendreau said. “Our donors’ generosity means we can help make communities better.”

To be eligible, applicants need to be current members in good standing of the League. Priority will be given to members of one of the following League affiliate organizations: Michigan Municipal Executives, Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and Michigan Women in Municipal Government. Need is considered in the scholarship committee’s decision making.

Applications for the second round of scholarships will be accepted through Nov. 30, 2017. For more information, including an application form, visit and click on the John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship.

The Michigan Municipal League Foundation helps create and maintain vibrant communities in Michigan by funding placemaking projects and educating community leaders and advocates. We recognize that communities are economic drivers, so the Foundation plays a key role in connecting communities to opportunities to help them grow and thrive.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The 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. Learn more at




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