Education & Events

On-site Presenters



Headshot of Christopher Johnson.

Christopher Johnson

Christopher J. Johnson serves as the League’s General Counsel. He came to the League from the law firm of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz & Joppich, P.C., where he was a founding partner. For over 30 years, Chris has been active in the defense of municipalities in civil litigation throughout the state of Michigan. He maintains specialties in the fields of municipal law, school law, legislation, and liability and insurance defense. He is admitted to all state and federal courts in the state of Michigan as well as the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Chris also served as the mayor of Northville from 1987 to 2015 and was awarded the Citizen of the Year by Northville Chamber of Commerce (2015). He served on the Northville Board of Education from 1976 to 1987. In 2010, he was named Top Lawyer by Hour Magazine and DBusiness, Southeast Michigan’s Journal for Business.

Headshot of Sarah Preisser.

Sarah Preisser

Sarah Preisser  founded Mindset Talent to bring Fortune 500 leading edge talent practices to small and mid-sized business, public sector, and non-profit sector clients.

Prior to establishing Mindset Talent, Sarah spent 21 years with Accenture, a global technology and management consulting organization, with 10 years in management consulting and 11+ years focused on designing and implementing talent strategies impacting 480,000 employees in 54 countries. Sarah has deep experience creating talent strategies ranging from innovative recruitment programs and new career frameworks, to compensation models and leadership development programs. Sarah has been a participant and facilitator of numerous leadership development programs over the course of her career, travelling to Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India, gaining insights and expertise in working with diverse teams. Sarah was trained in Design Thinking and Agile development through Accenture’s “Five School” at the Dock in Dublin, Ireland. She is a certified practitioner in human-centered design via the Luma Institute.

Headshot of Bob Slattery.

Bob Slattery

Bob Slattery has been working with local officials and Michigan communities for over 35 years.

He was mayor of his hometown of Mt. Morris, Michigan, from 1991 to 2009 after serving as chairman of the Planning Commission for several years.

As President of the Michigan Association of Mayors and then as President of the Michigan Municipal League 2001–2002, he visited dozens—maybe hundreds—of communities around Michigan. He was named an Honorary Life Member of the League in 2006 and continues to represent the League and Michigan cities and villages on the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council.

A strong believer in the importance of continuing education, Bob has attained Level III in the League’s Elected Officials Academy (EOA) and has served on its Board of Directors. He has presented at EOA training events for over 10 years.

Bob has been a senior planner for the Road Commission for Oakland County and Director of Planning for the Genesee County Road Commission. Most recently, he was Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Burton. He is a past chairman and life member of the Genesee County Small Cities and Villages Association.

Marilynn Semonick

Marilynn is Chief Exploration Officer at The Success Studio. With a passion for individual and organizational improvement, she has spent more than four decades assisting communities around the world in their initiatives to create intentional, results-oriented change. An educator, consultant, coach, facilitator, and co-author of Aligning for Strategic Change, Marilynn has worked in numerous industries across five continents. Most relevantly, she has worked with several municipalities in their efforts to create respectful, collaborative, civil, high-functioning leadership teams.

Kathie S. Grinzinger

Kathie has decades of experience in building human resource capitol to develop and grow organizations. In her last 25 years of municipal service, she served as assistant city manager and city manager for the City of Mt. Pleasant. Post retirement, Grinzinger headed MML’s Executive Search Service. She has long been a trainer of elected and appointed government officials in council-manager relations; media, community and crisis communications and a facilitator of goal-setting and problem-solving sessions. Grinzinger is a former President of the Michigan Municipal Executives, and member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees.

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