RSS Feeds :: Listservs :: mml mobile

powered by google

About the League Blue Arrows

Board of Trustees 2020-2022

The Michigan Municipal League is supported by a strategic and passionate Board of Trustees who are a critical part of the League's organizational structure. This 19-member Board guides the League's internal workings and public policy with support from five legislative committees.

Learn more about serving as a Trustee and how to apply.


William Wild has served as mayor of the City of Westland since 2007.  Dedicated to forward-thinking policy innovation, he has put Westland, a town of 85,000 residents, on the national map with recognition as one of “America’s top 50 places to live, work and play” by Wall Street 24/7 magazine.  Under Wild’s leadership, the City of Westland has benefited from initiatives like “Westland Mission: Green!” which promotes environmental best practices, the “Compassionate City Program,” a goal to incorporate a friendly and humane lens into community planning and activities, and the “Passport to a Healthy City” program, designed to empower Westland residents to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  An active public servant since 1999, Wild began his service career as a member of Westland’s Planning Commission and in 2001 he began a seven-year tenure as member of the Westland City Council.  He is 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 expires in 2021.


View all past League Presidents here.

Vice President:
Dr. Deirdre Waterman
 was elected mayor of Pontiac in 2013, becoming the first woman to be elected to the position; she was re-elected in November 2017.  An ophthalmologist by profession, Dr. Waterman is a longtime business owner and operated her practice, Holloway Eye Care, in Pontiac for more than 30 years. She was the first African-American female ophthalmologist in the state of Michigan. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in Biology and Political Science, as well as Meherry Medical College.  She completed her residency at the Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State. Dr. Waterman was recently awarded the 2017 Crain’s Newsmaker of the Year Award. She also served as chairman of the National Medical Association, Region IV, as well as two terms as finance chair for that organization. She was president of the Associated Healthcare Providers and is listed in the first Education of Vital Signs: Michigan, citing African-American achievement in healthcare. Her term expires in 2021.

Michigan Municipal League Trustees


Michael Cain has served as city manager of Boyne City since 2002.  He has over 35 years of municipal management experience having previously worked for Grand Traverse County, Traverse City, Fenton, Wolverine Lake, Troy, and St. Johns.  Cain has served on various League committees.  He is a member of the International City/County Management Association and the Michigan Municipal Executives where he served on the board and several committees.  He currently serves as the chairperson of the Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet County 911 Authority and is also on the board of Networks Northwest.  Cain believes in and works hard to removes unnecessary organizational silos while promoting collaboration and cooperation within and between organizations, communities, and people while looking for ways to say yes.  He is the past president and current board member of the Boyne Valley Lions Club and is an Eagle Scout.  Cain received his master’s in Public Administration from MSU.  His term expires in 2021.

Brian Chapman has been serving in local government since 2007 and is the current city manager for the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Prior to coming to the Soo, he was the city manager for the City of Vassar; organization development specialist for the City of Oshkosh, WI; management assistant for the City of Oshkosh, WI; and assistant to the city manager in Negaunee. Chapman has also served as a consultant to numerous communities and counties throughout Wisconsin. His background includes areas as diverse as public works, economic development, public finance, organizational development, process improvement and long-range planning. He is an active member of the International City Managers Association (ICMA), Michigan Municipal Executives (MME), and Strong Towns. Chapman received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University. His term expires in 2021.

Robert Clark has served as mayor of the City of Monroe since 2010, and previously as a councilmember. He serves on the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Downtown Development Authority, and Monroe City Employee Pension and Post-Retirement Health Care board of trustees. Active within the community, he serves on the Monroe County Business Development Corporation, River Raisin National Battlefield Foundation board, and the River Raisin Watershed Council. Prior to elected office, Clark served on the City of Monroe Citizens Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a member delegate of SEMCOG, serving on the Budget and Finance Committee and past SEMCOG chairperson.  He is on his third term as a member of the MML Liability and Property Pool board of directors, and current chairperson. Clark is a graduate of William Penn College, Iowa, and earned BA degrees in sociology and psychology. He completed 30 years of service with the Michigan State Police, retired at the rank of major, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. His term expires in 2023.

Peter Dame has more than 25 years of experience as a municipal official.  He has been the city manager for the City of Grosse Pointe since 2006. A native of Portage, MI, Dame graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in History.  He developed his interest in getting things done at the local level while serving as a Congressional aide for his hometown U.S. Representative.  While in the nation’s capital, Dame obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University.  He then worked for the Village of Oak Park, IL for more than 12 years in administration and served on the West Central (Cook County) Municipal Conference Intergovernmental Committee before returning to Michigan.  Dame is a member of the Michigan Municipal Executives (MME) where he had served on its Ethics Committee, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and he has served on the Municipal League’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for at least a decade.  His term expires in 2022.

Carla J. Filkins was elected as the first female mayor in the history of the City of Cadillac in 2013.  In addition to her role on the council, she also serves on the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Cadillac Planning Commission.  Born and raised in the Cadillac area, she is involved with several community organizations including the Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle, the Cadillac Rotary, the Cadillac Mayor’s Youth Council, the Mayor’s Fit City Challenge, and has many others.  She holds an MBA in Marketing, a Bachelor of Business Leadership, and is a graduate of the Cadillac Leadership program.  She holds certification as a Six Sigma Black Belt in process improvement, and is a recipient of the Athena Leadership Award.  Filkins works for Munson Healthcare as the Director of Regional Materials & Logistics, and this is her 39th year in Northern Michigan’s Healthcare Supply Chain.  Her term expires in 2022.

Monica Galloway has served as a councilmember for the City of Flint since 2013.  Born and raised in San Diego, CA, she and her Flint-native husband and two sons relocated to Flint in 1995.  As someone who is passionate about the community and the wellbeing of its residents, Galloway made the decision to run for the 7th Ward Flint City Council seat in 2013.  The success of this election made her the first African American and female to hold this position.  In 2015, under Emergency Manager Order, all council members were required to complete Level One of the League’s Elected Officials Academy (EOA).  That Emergency Manager's Order opened up learning and networking opportunities that have given her the confidence to better serve the citizens in Flint.   She has completed all four levels of the EOA, and is a SaveMICity Ambassador. Her term expires in 2022.

Stephen J. Gawron was elected mayor of Muskegon in November 2013 and has served on the Muskegon City Commission since 2001. He was appointed vice mayor in 2005 and held that position until the incumbent mayor resigned in 2013. Since serving on the city commission, Gawron has provided the progressive leadership needed as the city and the entire Muskegon community moves through a historic transformation of growth and revival.  He recognizes that advanced manufacturing is critical to the city as investment and employment continue to expand with a high level of collaboration with the private sector. Gawron has taken his local engagement to the state level with participation in the Urban Core Mayors Association of Michigan. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University and a 33-year veteran of the Michigan Department of Corrections as a pre-sentence investigator. His term expires in 2023.

Robert La Fave serves as the village manager for the Village of L'Anse.  In his 11 years of service to the community, he has worked with multiple community stakeholders (Village Council, DDA, Chamber of Commerce, Baraga County EDC, Planning Commission, and citizen groups) to engage in placemaking and downtown revitalization efforts to improve the quality of life of local residents and to help make the community more attractive to visitors and business alike.  LaFave has served on the Michigan Municipal Executives board, MSU Extension Statewide Board, is currently on the Baraga County EDC, and various other community boards.  He holds a Master of Public Administration from Grand Valley State University, holds a Citizen Planner Certification from MSU Extension, and is currently a PhD. student in Michigan Technological University's Environmental and Energy Policy Program.  His term expires in 2023.

Frances McMullan has over 25 years of experience in municipal government, serving in multiple capacities at the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti; including 12 years as city clerk. She is the first African-American female city manager for the City of Ypsilanti. McMullan serves as chaplain for the Michigan Municipal League Black Caucus and is a board member of Destination Ann Arbor, a not-for-profit convention and visitors organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas and Washtenaw County. She is passionate about rebuilding and stabilizing cities through long-term financial planning, infrastructure, sustainability, and community and staff collaboration. McMullan has a master’s degree in business management, a bachelor’s degree in public law and government/public administration, and she is a proud graduate of the first class of the Michigan Municipal League’s 16/50 Women’s Leadership Program. She loves mentoring and empowering others. Her term expires in 2021.

André L. Spivey has served on the Detroit City Council since 2009. He serves as co-chair of the Budget Finance and Audit Committee and the Neighborhood Services Committee, and represents the city council on the Detroit Zoological Society Board of Directors. Spivey has served as the chair of the 2010 Census Taskforce, the M.O.O.V.E. Taskforce, and the co-chair of the Black Male Engagement Taskforce and the Immigration Taskforce.  The Detroit native is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, a Master of Divinity Degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY, and a Master of Science Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University. Spivey is currently pursuing a Juris Doctorate at Wayne State Law School in Detroit. He is involved in several community and civic organizations, and is an active member of the Morehouse College Alumni Association-Detroit Chapter, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., UNCF, and the NAACP. His term expires in 2023.


Jean Stegeman has more than a decade of public service and is currently serving her second term as mayor in the City of Menominee. She was a member of and served as chair of the Menominee planning commission for several years prior to becoming mayor. She’s on her second term as a member of the League’s Liability and Property Pool board of directors. She is active in several local civic organizations.  Her term expires in 2021.

Deborah Stuart has served as the city manager for the City of Mason since 2016. She has over 17 years of local and state experience assisting community and economic development projects come to fruition. She recently served as the community development incentives director for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In that role, she was responsible for various Michigan incentive programs, including the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Community Revitalization Program (CRP), Renaissance Zones, Smart Zones, and Brownfield Programs averaging over $100,000 million annually being awarded to Michigan communities. Stuart holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Central Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. She proudly serves as a League Ambassador to both the 16/50 and SaveMICity Projects, and is the current chair of the League’s Municipal Administration and Permitting Committee. Stuart was the 2018 recipient of League’s Community Builder Award due to her work on both local and state initiatives related to Community Development.  Her term expires in 2023.

Patrick Sullivan has been the city manager of the City of Northville since 2006.  Before coming to Northville, he was the city superintendent in St. Clair for 10 years and the assistant city manager/village clerk in the Village of Beverly Hills for five years.  Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs from Wayne State University and a master’s in public administration from Oakland University.  He has been a member of the League’s Finance Committee, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and the Michigan Municipal Executives (MME) where he served on the board of directors and as its president in 2018.  His term expires in 2022.

Keith Van Beek currently serves as city manager for the City of Holland. His experience in public administration is extensive. He previously served as the deputy county administrator for the County of Ottawa, and as the city administrator for the City of Kentwood for 12 years.  Throughout his career, Van Beek has been highly involved in professional associations. He is a credentialed manager in the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), past president and former board member of the Michigan Municipal Executives and the West Michigan Municipal Executives; and a member of the Michigan Association of County Administrative officials. He has served a number of community organizations and agencies, including as the chairperson of Community SPOKE, an alliance of the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance and Ottawa County Human Services Coordinating Council, and he is the current treasurer of the Greater Ottawa County United Way.  Van Beek is a graduate of Holland Christian High School, Calvin College, and has a Master of Public Administration from Grand Valley State University. His term expires in 2023.

Mark Washington has served as city manager for Grand Rapids since 2018.  He is committed to making Grand Rapids a city that is nationally recognized for being equitable, welcoming, innovative, and collaborative with a robust economy, safe, and healthy community, and the opportunity for a high quality of life for all.  Washington has worked in local government for nearly 24 years—in Austin, TX as assistant city manager and as director of human resources and civil service, and in Fort Worth, TX, as assistant director of human resources, and street services operations program manager.  He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tarleton State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Amberton University, a master of arts degree and doctorate degree in education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and holds several certifications.  Washington is a member of the International City/County Management Association, Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, and serves on the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Spectrum Health Community Commitment, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, Tarleton State University College of Business advisory boards, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and is a Trustee of Paul Quinn College.  His term expires in 2022.

Diane Brown Wilhelm has been a tireless public servant, sitting on the Midland city council and planning commission for more than 10 combined years. She is a senior manager executive for Accenture and Midland city council’s legislative director. Wilhelm holds leadership roles with Midland’s Shelterhouse, Midland Community Family Ministries, and the League of Women Voters, while also serving as Accenture Global Employee Engagement Lead & Project People Advocate.  These and many other community service roles allow Wilhelm to employ the strengths she has developed in the professional world for the benefit of her community.  Her term expires in 2021.


Barbara A. Ziarko has been a Sterling Heights resident for the last 42 years and an active member of the Sterling Heights City Council since 2001.  She holds an associate degree from Macomb Community College and is a retiree after 27 years combined working experience as an administrative assistant to the principal of St. Anne School in Warren and as a bookkeeper for St. Blasé Church in Sterling Heights.  She has been active in the community having served as a volunteer at Pope Francis Center in Detroit, a Friend of the Sterling Heights Library, a member of the American Polish Century Club Ladies Auxiliary, vice president of Regina High School board of directors for seven years, and a coordinator for bible school, MCREST, and Relay for Life.  She also takes every opportunity to immerse herself in the city by actively participating in programs such as the civilian police and fire academies and Sterling Heights Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  Her term expires in 2022.

League Executive Director and CEO

Dan GilmartinDan Gilmartin is the executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.  Through his work with communities, Dan is recognized as a national leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform, and transportation policy.

Under Dan’s leadership, the League powers innovative programs and practices that improve communities in Michigan and beyond. He is a frequent national and international speaker. In recent years, he has given presentations internationally including in China, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark, and across the nation—from Los Angeles to D.C. to Vermont. In 2018, Dan gave highly publicized testimony before a U.S. Congress Senate Committee on behalf of local governments nationwide regarding state and local transportation infrastructure needs.

Dan is frequently quoted in state and national publications on community-related topics.  He has also authored numerous opinion columns that have appeared in statewide publications, including the Detroit News, Crain’s Detroit Business,, and Bridge Magazine.

In 2018, Dan added podcast host to his resume on the Economics of Place podcast, part of the League’s We Love Where You Live podcast series. He is a frequent blogger and a contributing author to the books The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People and the follow-up Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities.

He is actively engaged in the National League of Cities and previously served on the NLC’s board of directors.  In 2018, he was selected to the NLC’s National Task Force on Housing and in 2015 was a member of NLC’s President Election Task Force.

Prior to his current position, Dan served for four years as the lead advocate for Michigan’s communities in Lansing and Washington, D.C., where he concentrated on a number of key issues including transportation, land use, and urban redevelopment.

Dan is a Michigan kid, a Detroit native (and booster), and currently resides in the historic downtown of Northville, Michigan with his wife, Lori, and two young sons.

Dan's blog: Economics of Place



MML Home :: League Services :: Advocacy :: Training/Events :: Resources :: Insurance :: Legal :: Classifieds :: Links :: About MML :: Privacy :: Webmaster
Michigan Municipal League :: 1675 Green Road, Ann Arbor MI, 48105 :: 734.662.3246 l 800.653.2483

mml home calendar Coronavirus Resources
MML Facebook MML Twitter MML Flicker MML Linkedin MML Instagramea shape="rect" coords="22,5,66,46" href="#" /> Podcast INSIDE208 Coronavirus Resources