Resources Blue Arrows

League Awards

ceaCommunity Excellence Awards

The League recognizes innovative solutions through the peer-nominated Community Excellence Award, a spirited competition we affectionately call “The Race for the Cup.”

For the latest information on the award, past winners, and how to enter, please visit our Community Excellence Awards website.


2021 - Rochester Hills

2020 - Canceled Due to COVID

2019 - Bay City

2018 - Fraser

2017 - Hudsonville

2016 - Beaverton

2015 - Westland

2014 - Harbor Beach

- Ironwood

2012 - Grandville

2011 - Clare

2010 - Grand Haven

2009 - Lathrup Village

2008 - Jackson

2007 - St. Joseph

Honorary Life Membership Award

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 and its mission.

2021 Honoree - Dick Bolen

2020 Honoree
- Jacqueline Noonan

2019 Honoree - David Lossing

2018 Honorees - Karen Majewski and William Mathewson

2017 Honorees - Carol Shafto and Larry Nielsen

2016 Honoree - Colleen Layton

2014 Honoree - Jeff Jenks

2013 Honoree
- Robin Beltramini

2012 Honoree - Deb Doyle

2011 Honoree - Vicki Barnett

View All HLM Recipients Since 1932


Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award

Celebrating a chief elected official who personifies professionalism and leadership, is an active League member, is dedicated to the citizens in their community and advocates on their behalf in Lansing and Washington, DC.

Click here for more information on this award

2021 Winner - Chris Barnett, Township Supervisor, Orion Township

2020 Winner
- Bobby Hopewell, Former Mayor, Kalamazoo

2019 Winner - Paula Zelenko, Mayor, Burton

2016 Winner - George Heartwell, Former Mayor, Grand Rapids

2013 Winner - James R. Buck, Mayor, Grandville

Past winners

Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award

Celebrating a person dedicated to public service who has shown passion and commitment to the League, enthusiastically supporting its mission and promoting its purpose.

Click here for more information on this award

2021 Winner
- Brenda F. Moore, Mayor, Saginaw 

2020 Winner
- Deb Doyle, Mayor, Durand

2019 Winner - Mark Vanderpool, City Manager, Sterling Heights

2018 Winner - Steve Baker, Councilmember, Berkley

2017 Winner - John Barr, City Attorney, Ypsilanti

2016 Winners

Lois Allen Richardson, Councilmember, Ypsilanti

Scott Erickson, City Manager, Ironwood

2013 Winner - Joyce Parker, Emergency Manager, Allen Park

Past winners

Community Builder Award

The Community Builder 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.

2021 Winner – Patrick McGinnis, City Manager, Grand Haven 

2020 Winner
- Dr. Sheryl L. Mitchell-Theriot, City Manager, Lathrup Village 

2019 Winner - Maureen Donker, Mayor, Midland

2018 Winner - Deb Stuart, City Administrator, Mason

2017 Winner - Marcus Peccia, City Manager, Cadillac

2016 Winner - Marja Winters Farrow, Community and Economic Development Director, Benton Harbor

capitolLegislator of the Year Awards

The Legislator of the Year Award is presented to a few legislators for their instrumental actions in the Michigan State Legislature on behalf of local communities. These individuals are recognized for their efforts in the passage of legislation that will benefit local governments, or who have fought consistently to support local government. 

2021 Winners
Representative Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak)
Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond)

2020 Winners
Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield)
Representative Gary Howell (R. North Branch)

2019 Winners
Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland)
Representative Jim Lilly (R-Macatawa)

2018 Winners
Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth)
Representative Sam Singh (D-East Lansing)

2017 Winners
Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy)
Representative Robert Kosowski (D-Westland)

2016 Winners
Representative Dave Maturen (R-Vicksburg)
Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing)
Craig Ryan, Director, Senate Majority Policy Office - Legislative Staffer of the Year

2014 Winners
Tom Casperson
Nancy Jenkins
John Pappageorge

2013 Winners

John Pappageorge
Jim Townsend

2012 Winners
Rudy Hobbs
Wayne Schmidt

2011 Winner

2010 Winners

awards banquetAwards of Merit

Each year, the Michigan Municipal League recognizes and honors a select few individuals with Special Awards of Merit for outstanding contributions to Michigan communities. The merit awards are given out during the League's annual Capital Conference.

Former State Rep. Rob Verheulen (R-Walker)

Susan Dana
Kurt Dykstra
Issue Media Group
Larry Nielsen

Dan Burden
Adam Smith
Under the Radar Michigan

Peter Allen
Beach Hall
Spencer Nebel

Gary McDowell
William Rustem
Howard Shifman

2010 Winners

Outstanding Service Awards

The Outstanding Service Award is granted to individuals or communities who have gone above and beyond in helping League staff advocate on behalf of all local communities at the state and/or federal level.  From being involved in our internal committee process, to testifying in front of legislative committees, to being involved on League or legislative workgroups, their feedback and time commitment has been crucial to our efforts.

Clyde Robinson, Kalamazoo City Attorney

Brandon Fournier, Labor Attorney, Shifman Law

Tom Dempsey
Chris Miller
Tom Youatt
City of Midland

Brian Donovan
Pat Sullivan
Jaymes Vettraino
Kara Wood

Stephen Postema
Tim Wolff

2011 Winners


Elected Officials Academy - An Education and Recognition Program

The Elected Officials Academy is a four-level program that recognizes the educational and leadership accomplishments of elected officials.  Learn all about it by clicking here.

Level One: Education Award

To encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials who obtain fundamental information regarding Michigan municipalities.

Level Two: Leadership Award
To encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials who build on the core knowledge obtained in Level One, to enhance their leadership skills and to continue their dedication to excellence in community leadership.

Level Three: Governance Award
To encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials who achieve an outstanding level of education and leadership beyond that obtained in Level Two, and their continuing dedication to excellence in community governance.

Level Four: Ambassador Award
To encourage and recognize the exemplary service of locally elected officials to their community, to the communities of the state of Michigan, and to the Michigan Municipal League.

Level 4 Graduates

Monica Galloway, City Councilmember, Flint (2020)
Brenda F. Moore
, Mayor Pro Tem, Saginaw (2019)
Lois Allen-Richardson, Councilmember, Ypsilanti (2018)
Jim Holtrop, City Commissioner, Hudsonville (2018)
Jeff Jenks, City Commissioner, Huntington Woods (2018)
Rebecca Hopp, Mayor Pro Tem, Ferrysburg (2017)
Suzanne Pixley, Mayor, Eastpointe (2016)
Joshua Meringa, Councilmember, Grandville (2014)
Nathan Triplett, Mayor, East Lansing (2014)
Barbara Holt, Mayor, Walker (2013)
Deb Doyle, Mayor, Durand (2012)
David Lossing, Mayor, Linden (2012)

Affiliate and Other Awards

Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Awards mama

Click here to learn more.



Michigan Municipal Executives John M. Patriarche Distinguished Service Awardmlgma

This award is given each year at the Michigan Municipal League's Annual Convention during the Colloquium session. Click here to learn more.

risk managementLoss Control Achievement Awards

The Workers' Compensation Fund gives out annual Loss Control Achievement awards to recognize communities making outstanding efforts in maintaining safe work environments.

Fund Year 2019/20 Press Release

Fund Year 2018/19 Press Release

Fund Year 2017/18 Press Release

Fund Year 2011/12 Press Release

Fund Year 2010/11 Press Release



nlcNational League of Cities Awards


The National League of Cities (NLC) recognizes cities and towns that have turned ideas into accomplishments. It provides various avenues to cities for sharing and rewarding their efforts.  Each year, member cities are given the opportunity to nominate their programs for three different award and recognition programs: Awards for Municipal Excellence, City Cultural Diversity Awards, and City Showcase. More on NLC awards



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