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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


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


Officials from Detroit, Howell, Mason, Muskegon Heights, Sault Sainte Marie, and Westland Selected to Statewide Municipal Association

HOLLAND, Michigan – The members of the Michigan Municipal League recently elected six new members to the statewide League Board of Trustees.

During the League’s Annual Meeting at its 2017 Convention Sept. 12 in Holland, the League membership elected as new board members: Marlon Brown, Mason Mayor Pro Tem; Shea Charles, Howell City Manager; Brenda Jones, Detroit Council President; Kimberley Sims, Muskegon Heights Mayor; Oliver Turner, Sault Sainte Marie City Manager; and William Wild, Westland Mayor. 

The League board also selected its 2017-18 officers. Lapeer City Commissioner Catherine Bostick-Tullius was selected as president and Ferndale Councilmember Melanie Piana named vice president. As vice president, Piana is in line to become the League president for the 2018-19 term.

New board member details:

  • Marlon Brown was first elected to the Mason City Council in 2012 and presently serves as mayor pro tem. He has been actively involved in the Michigan Municipal League serving on the Elected Officials Academy Advisory Board as well as several League Policy Committees including Municipal Services, Municipal Finance, and Land Use and Economic Development. In addition to his role on the city council, Brown has served as chairperson of the Mason Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, vice chair of the Mason Planning Commission, vice chair of the Mason Historic District Commission, and secretary of the Ingham County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. He is also involved with several community organizations, including serving on the Board of Trustees for the Mason Orchestral Society and formerly serving as treasurer of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. Outside of his civic involvement, Brown works for the State of Michigan as the human services section manager in the State Budget Office. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University, a master of public administration from the University of Delaware, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public administration at Valdosta State University. He is an alumnus of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University. His term on the League board expires in 2020.

  • Shea Charles currently serves as city manager for the city of Howell, and has over 20 years of municipal experience. He is a member of the Michigan Municipal Executives, International City/County Management Association, and sits on various community boards. Charles has been the League’s Finance Policy Committee chair since 2001. He has been Howell City Manager since 2004 overseeing several significant capital projects as well as Downtown Howell’s continued resurgence. His term on the League board expires in 2020.

  • Brenda Jones has been president of the Detroit City Council since January 2014. She was first elected to council in November of 2005 and re-elected to a second term in January 2010. She was appointed unanimously by her colleagues to represent the Detroit City Council on the Fire and Police Pension Board. She also serves as ex-officio member of all standing committees. In addition, she is the chairperson of the Skilled Trades Task Force and Military Veterans Task Force. Jones is the former president of Communications Workers of America, Local 4004, where she represented over 1,000 union members and advocated tirelessly for fairness and equal rights in the workplace. A trailblazer, visionary and humanitarian, Jones continues to work for justice for all citizens. A recipient of the 1988 Spirit of Detroit Award, Jones currently serves as a board member for several organizations: the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights; the Detroit Metropolitan Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues; secretary for the Communications Workers of America National Minority Caucus; trustee of Michigan Minority Networking Women – Detroit Chapter; trustee of Elise Bryant Educational Scholarship Foundation; and 1st vice president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) – Detroit Chapter. She is a member of numerous groups, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU); the Trade Union Leadership Council (TULC); lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and a NEP Delegate for the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). She has been an active and faithful member of the Wyoming Avenue Church of Christ for 43 years. She is also a precinct delegate for the 14th Congressional District. Her term on the League board expires in 2020.

  • Kimberley Sims was elected mayor of Muskegon Heights in November 2015. She has spent over 22 years communicating, including 12 years as a member of the Muskegon Heights City Council before becoming mayor. The messages have changed throughout her professional career. She has mastered the art of sharing messages and has lent support to the re-framing of mindsets, community actions and advocacy that did not have a voice. Sims is working to ensure all voices are represented in the conversation, are heard, and for communities to begin rallying around equity, empowerment and education. Through her leadership, she continues to raise the standard of expectation for residents in the county and dreams of a place where inclusion and diversity are celebrated. Sims envisions a place where residents can live, work and play, a place where our differences don’t divide us but are celebrated. She is currently working on changing the ways in which to engage community, empowering residents with knowledge and power to access the basic things that they need. Working with Way to WellVille and Public Health Muskegon County, Sims has begun a new journey, leading the cause to stabilize the health of one’s community. Her term on the League board expires in 2020.

  • Oliver Turner has been city manager of Sault Ste. Marie since June 2014. He has previously served as the village manager for the Village of Almont, Michigan and has additional local government experience with the City of Perrysburg, Ohio and prior private sector retail management experience.  Turner obtained his master of public administration degree as well as his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Toledo and has a strong commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, responsiveness, and excellence in service delivery. He also maintains an open-door policy that encourages feedback from citizens and stakeholders regarding municipal services, as well as their recommendations for how services can be improved. A member of the Michigan Municipal Executives (MME), he is currently chair of the MME Ethics Committee and is an active member of the International City/County Management Association and the Michigan Municipal League. Turner has also served previously on the MME Board of Directors. His term on the League board expires in 2020.

  • William Wild has been mayor of Westland since 2007. An active public servant since 1999, he began his service career as a member of Westland’s Planning Commission and in 2001 he began a seven-year tenure as a member of the Westland City Council before becoming mayor. An experienced leader and entrepreneur, Wild’s budget and planning strategy has attracted more than $500 million in new capital investment in the decade he has served as mayor. A native Michigander, Wild attended the University of Michigan - Dearborn and early in his career, he ventured out on his own as a small business owner in the waste and recycling industry. He is also a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, SEMCOG Economic Development Task Force, and serves on the board of directors for the Thai Initiative, a Seattle-based nonprofit that leads the way in creating subnational relationships between the United States and China. His term on the League board expires in 2020.

The newly elected Trustees join Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin and the other volunteers who remain on the 2017-18 Board: Christine Burns, Spring Lake Village Manager; Wendell Dompier, Baraga Village President; Maureen Donker, Midland Mayor; Jason Eppler, Ionia City Manager; Rebecca Fleury, Battle Creek City Manager; Andy LeCureaux, Hazel Park City Councilmember; Richard Lewis, Traverse City Commissioner; Brenda Moore, Saginaw City Councilmember; Melanie Piana, Ferndale City Councilmember; Rusty Showalter, West Branch Mayor Pro Tem; and Mark Vanderpool, Sterling Heights City Manager.

The board also thanked for their years of service outgoing President Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Mayor; and board members Kim Corcoran, Ironwood Mayor Pro Tem; Ken Hibl, Clare City Manager; and Marcus Peccia, Cadillac City Manager.

For photos of the League board members and officers go to the “Awards and Honors” album in this Michigan Municipal League collection on flickr: Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Michigan Municipal League/

For additional information, contact Matt Bach, Michigan Municipal League communications director, at and (734) 669-6317.

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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