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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


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


Michigan Municipal League Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients

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

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship that will cover up to $1,000 each for municipal managers and elected officials to get training to help their communities.

The recipients are:

  • Colleen Brown, Mayor, City of Montrose

  • Mike Greene, Manager, Village of Three Oaks

  • Lisa Hicks-Clayton, Councilmember, City of Dearborn Heights

For Montrose, a city that’s just .9 square miles with 1,600 residents, the scholarship will mean more ideas and resources they can implement back home, said Brown, who plans to attend the League’s Convention next fall.

Already, League training has helped Montrose by providing resources for a medical marihuana ordinance, including implementation and sample zoning ordinances, and tips on how to better market local projects to attract developers, Brown said, adding that attending the Convention will bring more inspiration.

“Being a member of the League has inspired me to believe that just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the opportunities that are out there,” she said.

Greene said his community will also directly benefit from the scholarship opportunity.

“I plan to focus on the economic development side—how a small municipality can attract some sort of bigger industry,” said Greene, who plans to attend the ICMA Annual Conference next year. “As a small municipality, we’re looking for another big staple to come and support our local economy.”

ICMA is an association of professional city and county managers and other employees who serve local governments. Greene hopes to get a national perspective and ideas from members from other states.

A native of the Thumb, Greene has served as the village manager for a year and a half, after a short stint in North Carolina for grad school. He came back home because, he said, “I love Michigan. I was lucky enough to have a great home life. I got to explore the whole state growing up. You get all of these options—rural, lake life, city life—that you don’t get anywhere else.”

Lisa Hicks-Clayton hopes to learn more about “developing community partnerships, economic development and redevelopment, coordinating resources, lobbying, and civic engagement.” She is always striving to be the best council member that she can by learning new skills and expanding her knowledge to benefit her community of Dearborn Heights.

Hicks-Clayton will be attending the Elected Officials Academy Advanced Weekender this February. She has been an active member of the League having served on the Elected Officials Academy Board and she continues to serve on the League’s Municipal Services Committee.

The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship was established in March 2017 with a generous $10,000 investment from League 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 League members, Foundation board members, and DTE Energy matched an additional $10,000.

“Training and education are a large part of the key to good government,” Barr said. “The League 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.
Applications for the next round of scholarships will be accepted through May 31, 2019. 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.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and

About the League: 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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